The Problem(s) With Video Metrics

By Connor Holmes     |     August 29, 2017

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You don’t have to travel too far down your Facebook feed to see that video is king. In fact, Facebook is
actively encouraging publishers to post more video, both with Live broadcasts and natively posted videos. You may even see your video content performing better than photos or text. But if you’re measuring the success of your video content alongside static content, the results can be misleading if taken at face value.

The first potential problem is basic arithmetic, but worth noting. As an agency, we use engagement rate as a key performance indicator, since it does a good job of controlling for spend and reach to give a level reporting baseline. We calculate engagement rate as follows: (Reactions + Comments + Shares + Post Consumptions) / Reach. This tells you how many interactions there are with your post per user who sees it.

Now with video, you have another important metric that would need to go in the numerator: video views. But if you simply add that into your equation, you get a higher number of engagements for the same reach, which artificially inflates the engagement rate.

But video views ARE important, so you can’t just leave them out. Our approach is to calculate engagement rates differently for videos and static posts, but then dig in and look at the results qualitatively as well as quantitatively in order to determine top performers. The process isn’t perfect, but it’s better than just having every top performer be a video.

Another, arguably more significant, problem lies in how a ‘view’ is calculated. The default video ‘view’ is only three seconds, which is little more than the time you would hover over a video as you scroll through your newsfeed. This is not a valuable metric. To get a more useful report of how relevant and useful your video content is, track full or half video views, which can tell you if your content is actually being watched in its entirety, or if it’s just a momentary distraction.

Nothing is better than video for telling compelling stories for your brand: it’s engaging and rich and full of potential. But to understand whether it’s working as hard as it should for your brand, you have to pull back the curtain and dig into the analytics. We hope this brief column helps you get a handle on your video analytics so you can keep creating great content.

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About Connor Holmes

Connor Holmes graduated from the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver, with a background in photography, and digital marketing consulting, he has a passion for all things digital. Whether brainstorming creative content, or digging into analytics, he has a drive for creating and sustaining online conversations between brands and their fans.

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