We’re living in a wonderful era of video where the barrier to entry is sitting at an all-time low. The large enterprise on the prime corner lot and the small shop down the street can both make a huge impact with video.

It’s an amazing time to market your business with this engaging tactic.

That said, just because something is easier than ever doesn’t mean that it’s the right fit or that it’s cost-effective for every business. It all comes down to ROI.

As with every form of marketing, smart business owners must make sure they’re seeing a positive return on investment (ROI) on their campaign costs. If you don’t, there’s a chance you’re wasting your budget (unless you happen to have thousands of dollars in discretionary funds on hand).

Luckily, there are a few easy steps you can take to measure the ROI of your video marketing campaign and determine whether or not this strategy is paying off for your business. Here’s how to get started:

Step #1 – Set Your Objectives

What action do you want people to take after viewing your video?

Never launch any type of campaign – video or otherwise – without having a clear understanding of your overall objectives. It truly is the most essential point in executing a successful campaign.

Objectives will vary from business to business. In fact, you’ll want to evaluate your goals for every campaign you launch. It’s possible to launch a campaign this month to drive sales for a new product launch, and then next month, launch an informational campaign that educates and builds brand strength.

Either way, if you don’t know your goals, you can’t measure your success.

Ultimately, a video campaign serves as just one piece in your conversion funnel. You’re probably using it as a small step in a larger strategy. Eric Fischgrund, owner of Fischtank, illuminated the importance of measurement goals best when he said:

“Sometimes the issue isn’t in the video or delivery, but in what happens next — such as having a poor conversion page or another issue with the website or call-to-action. Only by defining objectives and measuring them can companies improve their understanding of video marketing and its results.”

A true understanding of performance and ROI starts by knowing what to measure. It’s as simple as that.

Step #2 – Understand Distribution Methods

Before you spend time and money creating an amazing video, know how and where you’re going to distribute it. This will inform other decisions you’ll make in ROI measurement, such as how you analyze success across multiple channels.

Oprah Gives Everyone a Video!

There are a number of different places to share your video online. The challenge comes when you try to track and measure each place you distribute.

If you’re just starting out, I’d advise focusing on the following four places. With each video you create (or have created), you can build multiple assets tailored to the individual channel.

  • Your business’s YouTube channel
  • Your email newsletter
  • A page on your website (for example, a campaign-specific landing page)
  • Your social network profiles

You can always branch into new areas as your campaigns grow in complexity, but you’ll find that beginning with these four options will give you the best bang for your buck and will meet the needs of most small businesses.

Still not sure how big of an impact video will have for your company? At TAR Productions, we’ve been directly responsible for adding more than $1 million to the bottom line of several businesses – so don’t be afraid to dream big!

Step #3 – Choose Your Measurement Model

In my experience, you can measure your video campaign ROI using one of three models. Each has its own intricacies requiring various levels of depth. Let’s briefly review each of them together:

Absolute ROI

When your video marketing campaign stands on its own, use absolute measurement. Doing so will give you insight into the video’s performance, independent of other media spend. With this model, you’ll track metrics like:

  • Cost per subscriber
  • Cost per purchase
  • Cost per download

Relative ROI

Relative ROI focuses instead on your video marketing campaign’s performance compared to other media spend – for example, the success of a YouTube campaign compared to the TV ads you run on a regular basis.

Although this is a more complicated type of measurement, using it will give you deeper insight into where and how to allocate your budget in the future.

Attribution Modeling

This is the ultimate nirvana of ROI measuring. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most complicated models in analytics, which is why I won’t get into the depths of this complicated topic here.

(If you’re nerdy enough and really want to learn more about it, check out Avinash Kaushik’s brilliant article on the topic.)

Basically, attribution modeling involves measuring the impact of your video on every individual marketing channel you use, as well as every stage of your buying funnel. It’s fascinating data to see, but the payoff for gathering it rarely justifies the complexity required to do so for small businesses.

Step #4 – Strategize an Analytics System

Your overall marketing campaign objectives and target metrics should ultimately drive your choice of an analytics system. The market is full of tools that help small business owners evaluate the interaction of others with your video, allowing you to examine things like:

  • How many people watch your video to the very end.
  • At what point people stop watching your video (aka – your “drop off rate”), on average.
  • The demographics of your viewers.
  • The number of times your video gets shared.

Each of these aspects provides insight you can use to plan future campaign developments based on your current success.

That said, I think now is a good time to note that ROI doesn’t necessarily need a dollar figure attached to it. You can also measure the success of your campaigns through social interactions, downloads, shares, new followers, engagement from target demographic, and other metrics.

Step #5 – Consult on a Regular Basis

Once you’ve established the metrics you’ll be tracking and how you’ll tracking them, find someone that can assist you in the measurement process. This isn’t a requirement in measuring ROI, but it does make the process much easier.

We’re looking at simple steps in this article. And there’s nothing that makes complicated analytics simpler than a qualified professional who can work with you from initial setup to final review.

Even if you choose not to hire a professional consultant, it’s still important that you find ways to consult with your video production team on a regular basis. Reviewing the analytics may help you uncover changes and adjustments that need to be made to the campaign.

Spotting these early on can make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful video marketing effort.

Video Statistics

Step #6 – Make Necessary Adjustments

Unfortunately, nobody’s perfect. There’s always a chance that your first video marketing campaign will be more of a learning experience than an slam dunk (although big wins right off the bat aren’t totally out of the question).

As a result, it’s natural to find that, along the way, it may be necessary to make some adjustments. This may come from advice provided by your production team or from insight you pulled from A/B testing a specific video or messaging component.

Regardless, it’s not something to feel bad about. It’s all part of the campaign process.

When you do make changes, make sure to clearly mark it in the data. You want to have the ability to explain any sudden increase or decrease, especially if it can be directly attributed to an adjustment you made in the middle of a campaign.

Step #7 – Analyze the Finished Results

Once you’ve finished running your video marketing campaign, you’ll want to conduct a final analysis of the results. Review the goals you set forth back in Step #1. Then, measure them against the relative metrics that you chose at the start of this process.

Hopefully, you’ll see a positive return on investment for your video campaigns. But that’s not always the case. When you take a loss, don’t just give up. Keep digging into the data and try to find ways that you can improve for future campaigns. Look at what GoPro has been able to do with all their social media channels, especially YouTube.

It’s all about testing and learning what works with your audience. That’s the only real way to see a consistent positive ROI with video marketing over the long run.

How will you use these steps to measure the ROI of your video marketing campaign? Leave me a comment below describing the steps you’ll take:

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