How marketing pros measure success for videos

Are you focusing on the right metrics to measure success for videos? Learn how marketing experts at Descript, Storyblocks, and HubSpot set their north-star metrics and determine what data is important to focus on.

The data revolution has been a boon for video marketers. Today there are more ways than ever to measure success for videos. But with access to so much information, it can be difficult to determine the right metrics to focus on. And with a down economy reducing marketing budgets, it’s more important than ever to narrow down the most important information that will prove out the value of your videos. So video marketers are narrowing their focus to their north-star metrics: those which best demonstrate how their videos are helping advance business objectives.

But what is the right north-star metric to measure success for your videos? The short answer is it varies from creator to creator, and even platform to platform. Success is measured differently depending on variables like your target audience and specific goals for your videos. Figuring out which metrics to prioritize is a key component of proving their value to leadership teams and other stakeholders. The long answer is a bit more complex and, well, long. It’s a topic we detail extensively in our new video strategy guide “How to create a contemporary video strategy”.

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Expert advice on how to measure success for videos

In researching the guide, we spoke to several top marketing and video production leaders about all things video strategy. Those leaders included in-house experts at Storyblocks as well as from enterprise partners HubSpot and Descript. They spoke at length about how homing in on their own north-star metrics has helped them better show off their wins to stakeholders. Our line-up of experts included:

  • Kyle Denhoff, Director of Marketing, HubSpot  
  • Lara Unnerstall, Video Producer, Descript  
  • Ryan Vig, Marketing Leader, Descript 
  • Lauren Zoltick, Director of Performance Marketing, Storyblocks 
  • Kaitlyn Rossi, Senior Producer, Storyblocks

Download the free guide today to learn how these top marketing and video production professionals measure success for videos.

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Finding your north-star metric

Measuring your data is one of the most important parts of any video strategy. But the amount of information available can make it hard to separate what’s valuable versus what can be left on the cutting room floor. This is where the importance of accurately determining your north-star metric really shines. 

The first step toward choosing the right north-star metric is understanding how your videos tie in to your broader business goals. What specific strategy objectives are you trying to achieve with your videos? Which metrics illustrate your success most effectively? Once you answer those questions, you should have a clear path to your north-star metric.

As Descript Marketing Leader Ryan Vig emphasizes, “you can’t measure success without an agreed-upon definition of success.” It may seem obvious to establish that at the outset of a video project. But as Ryan points out, “the biggest breakdown I’ve ever seen in companies is just everyone agreeing on what was the goal of this thing.” Getting alignment on your goals from the very start is essential to avoid any miscommunications down the line.

Want more help choosing your north-star metric to measure videos for success? Download Storyblocks’ How to create a contemporary video strategy guide today.

Consider how stakeholders measure success for videos

Another important thing to factor in when considering your north-star metric is who you’re making your case to. Depending on who’s looking at your reporting, the most important metric may change. Whether it’s your team or leadership, you should know how each of your stakeholders define success. “You need to map your investment back to something that matters to that person and the business,” offers Kyle Denhoff, Director of Marketing at HubSpot.

Metrics like video views or social shares are useful for measuring things like brand awareness or audience growth. But they don’t show a direct return on investment if the key business objective for your videos is generating sales or driving revenue. Kyle gives an example scenario: “Imagine your business tells you ‘we need more sales in the next 30 days’. And you tell them ‘I drove 100,000 views to my video’. They’re going to say, ‘Thanks, but that doesn’t matter. How many leads did you get? How many leads turned into revenue?’”. Your north-star metric should always prove out your video’s goals and objectives.

Sometimes stakeholders will want to see every data point, whether or not it’s a north-star metric. “Obviously watch time is important, but it’s not the only thing to be looking at because it may not be relevant to your goal,” says Descript video producer Lara Unnerstall. “If people got what they needed out of the video and then took the conversion action, those are the things you want to be looking at versus just the raw metrics.” When you’re sharing data, always put your north-star metric at the top to highlight its importance. Then you can dive into other information.

For even more about how your stakeholders influence how to measure success for videos, download Storyblocks’ How to create a contemporary video strategy guide.

Don’t let your north-star metric limit you

Although your north-star metric may be the most important way you measure videos for success, it doesn’t always tell the whole story. Data points like engagement, conversions, shares, and views all provide valuable insights too. They show how your videos are being received and whether audiences are taking the actions you hoped they would. 

Also remember: you don’t want to get so wrapped up in your north-star metric that you disregard all other data points. “So even if your north-star metric is one thing, it doesn’t mean that every video that you’re producing has to do the exact same thing,” stresses Storyblocks Director of Performance Marketing Lauren Zoltick. Only publishing videos that are only aimed at driving conversion will more than likely take a toll on your audience. If you’re getting sales but the comments on your video are becoming increasingly negative, that’s a clear sign that you need to stop and evaluate your strategy. Not all engagement is good engagement.

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Click to download the guide for free. Cover art for "How to create a contemporary video strategy: The only guide you need to create videos better, faster, and cheaper in today's economy."

Production teams and video marketers across nearly every industry are working with reduced budgets this year. One way they’re proving the value of their content is by getting super precise in how they measure success for videos. If you want to read more from the experts we interviewed, download our How to create a contemporary video strategy guide for today.

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