Measuring ROI from Online Video

Many companies are investing a lot of their marketing spend into online video. In fact, eMarketer reports online video ad spending will reach $4.14 billion by the end of 2013, an increase of 41.4% from 2012′s numbers; it’s expected to grow to an astounding $8 billion by 2016. Is all the money going in to video production really worth it? How do you measure your return on investment from online video?

Set up reasonable, manageable goals.
You have to define success before you can recognize it. Outline who your target audience is, how to reach them, and what it is you want them to do. Create a clear call-to-action so you can accurately measure how many times your target market follows your direction as indicated within the video. Your goal can be as simple as a website visit or a phone call; but, perhaps you want more. Maybe your goal is a purchase or a referral. Figure out what it is you want to achieve before ever creating a video.

Utilize analytics and data-measuring software.
All marketing campaigns require testing and variation. Video is no different. YouTube and many other video hosting platforms offer free information on the effectiveness on your video from an analytical perspective. Use these tools to determine how your video is being found, how often it’s being watched, and which parts of the video are driving your target market to act. From this data you can make changes to your video and optimization strategies to improve on the overall effectiveness of your online video marketing campaign. With Google Analytics and other data-measuring software, you can input specific goals like form fills, phone calls, webpage visits, etc. that can be easily monitored throughout the duration of your campaign. You can accurately trace back the source of these goals to your video, if managed properly.


Make mistakes and learn from them.
Don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside the box with your marketing videos. While you should always have your target demographic in mind when producing your videos, try to think of ways to surprise them. Drastic changes in marketing campaigns often lead to large, measurable activity and can really help raise the bar on your web video strategy. If something doesn’t work, check the numbers and adjust. You won’t know until you try. Constantly monitor data and online activity; social buzz and viral sharing can happen at any moment and you want to know what element of your video starts that fire.

Measuring ROI from online video is not as easy as measuring ROI from other web marketing strategies, like paid advertising. Goals are often more abstract and harder to accurately define. It is helpful to compare your online video marketing strategies with other aspects of your marketing campaign to determine the effectiveness of video versus the success of print, television commercials, radio, or other media. For instance, if you are generating twice as many leads from online video as you are from radio ads, and spending the same amount, you would be receiving a better return on investment from online video.

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