Navigating Video Measurement Analysis

This post is part of an on-going series on video measurement tips, tricks and best practices.

SiteCatalyst provides an ocean’s-worth of data, but finding your way to the best analysis can be a challenge. For video measurement, a few key metrics can be a compass to guide you towards analysis gold. In my last post I covered how to set-up your video variables within SiteCatalyst, which will provide you with the basic video reports available in the Video menu. Today I’m going back to the ideas from my first post to look at metrics that can help you analyze video consumption in the context of your larger on-line strategy.

Expert data analysts are storytellers who weave pieces of data together to create understanding and reach conclusions. The most powerful stories around video have a few central themes: how much video was consumed (video views and video time spent), who watched it (visitors/visits), and why they watched it (context). Playing a video requires more participation than simply loading a web page, leading to a generally held belief that watching videos indicates the user values the content and thus the brand. Marketing that increases video consumption is seen as being more successful than marketing that does not. These beliefs influence the type of analysis done with video metrics.

Selected Met­rics

Suc­cess events count the num­ber of times some­thing occurred and are a great start­ing place for build­ing your analy­sis. For video there are four basic met­rics: video views (also known as video starts or stream starts), video time viewed (recorded in sec­onds of video watched), vis­its, and vis­i­tors. These four met­rics pro­vide the count for how much video was con­sumed and how many peo­ple con­sumed it.

Along with these four met­rics, I sug­gest the fol­low­ing five addi­tional cal­cu­lated met­rics , all of which can be built with the Cal­cu­lated Met­ric Editor:

– Video Views per Vis­it: [Video Views]/[Visits]

– Video Views per Vis­i­tor: [Video Views]/[Unique Visitors]

– Video Time per Vis­it: [Video Time]/[Visits]

– Video Time per Vis­i­tor: [Video Time]/[Unique Visitors]

– Video Time per Video View: [Video Time]/[Video Views] five cal­cu­lated met­rics pro­vide aver­age con­sump­tion by aver­age time per video and by visit and visitor. Creating aver­age met­rics removes the vari­abil­ity of vol­ume when com­par­ing items, allow­ing for a more bal­anced look at con­sump­tion regard­less of pop­u­lar­ity. For exam­ple, if you are com­par­ing a very pop­u­lar video where users drop out after the first 30 sec­onds to a less pop­u­lar video where users watch for 5 min­utes, then look­ing at video time divided by vis­i­tor will put both videos on equal foot­ing and allow you to see which video drove the most time spent.

In addi­tion to these met­rics you may also want to con­vert your Video Time met­ric from sec­onds to either min­utes or hours. For instance, you could cre­ate a cal­cu­lated met­ric Video Min­utes per Vis­i­tor using the for­mula ([Video Time]/60)/[Unique Vis­i­tors]. Make sure you label your cal­cu­lated met­rics so they are easy to understand.

In any given report, you won’t want to use all of these met­rics, but these met­rics together will form the com­mon lan­guage for explor­ing video con­sump­tion and video influ­ence. In the reports below, the data shown is fake data gen­er­ated within a sam­ple report suite and does not nec­es­sar­ily indi­cate nor­mal trends in video con­sump­tion. Let’s take a look.

Video Context

There is a good chance that your company is advertising on other websites, social networks, or search engines and that you are already tracking visits generated by these campaigns using our campaign tracking tools. With the addition of video measurement, you can now see which ad campaigns drove the most video consumption. Simply bring up a campaign report and then bring in your video metrics. For this example I’m using the visits metrics because I want to see the influence of campaigns at the visit level, and I’m using a classification of my campaign ID that tells me what marketing channel the campaign is in. As you can see, email and paid search drove the most video consumption, and paid search showed a little higher average video time than email.

Natural traffic patterns, beyond campaigns, provide insight into what brought users to your site and can indicate where to spend future marketing dollars. With the addition of video metrics, a simple referring domains report can point towards referrers that yield more valuable video visits. For the next sample report, I am again using the visits metrics because I want to see the influence of the referring domain over the course of each visit. As you can see below, even though direct referrers generate the most video views, Google and Yahoo visits had a much higher average video view per visit, indicating that visits from those search engines drove more video consumption and thus more value.

If you’ve implemented video measurement on a mobile website or a mobile app, examining the mobile device type report with the video metrics can indicate which devices lend themselves to more engaged video visitors. For this sample report I’m using the visitor metrics because I want to see the lifetime engagement for visitors on each device. This data shows that mobile phones and tablets drive a slightly higher video time watched value than other devices; however, all mobile devices yield a similar average videos viewed, which may mean that the mobile experience is pretty consistent across device types.

My final sample report looks at visitor demographics by bringing in the GeoSegmentation data. This report will work the same for other demographic data you may be collecting. Again I’m bringing in the visitor metrics because I want that lifetime view of user behavior. This sample report shows very flat consumption across geo region, though with your data you may find that certain regions show a preference towards videos. This may lead you to further analysis, teasing out the reasons for the differences across regions.

Video Segmentation

Creating video segments within SiteCatalyst15 can help you further explore the influence of video and the value of video visits and visitors. Using the Segment Definition Builder, I suggest building four segments: Video Visits, Non-Video Visits, Video Visitors, and Non-Video Visitors. The graphic below shows how I built out these four segments, utilizing the Include and Exclude functionality of the Segment Builder.

SiteCatalyst Dashboards support multiple segments within one dashboard. Using the segments above, you can build a comparison report which explores how site behavior differs between video visitors and non-video visitors. For example, in my sample dashboard you can see that video visitors spent more time on the site overall than non-video visitors.

Video Measurement Summary

Over the course of these five posts, I hope that I’ve brought more clarity to video measurement from planning through analysis and that I’ve shown some of the value of adding video measurement to your sites and apps. In my future posts I will continue to write about video measurement, sharing details on specific implementations and discussing advanced measurement strategies.