Four core video metrics, part II: improving upon each one

As I discussed in part one of our rundown of video metrics, there are four key measurements that everyone should pay attention to – but some are more prized than others, depending on which industry you’re working in and the target market you’re creating your videos for. But how do you improve upon them? Sometimes, it’s a little easier than you may think.

Play rate

As I explained, play rate is the number of times the play button’s clicked on a video. Now, put yourself in a situation where you’re presented with a video… what makes you click?

There are a few pretty obvious factors, notably the size of the video embed, the thumbnail used as the chosen still, and where you can find a video on the page. My tips to you:

  • Size it up properly. Bear in mind the different platforms that access a video page; keep the X-axis pixel constraints to between 400 and 650 pixels.That way, you don’t push other content out of the browser frame, and you don’t have to scroll or mess about looking for the full-screen option (or, sometimes, the play button itself).
  • Get your thumbnail in order. The common rule is that using pictures containing people is pretty enticing, but a selection of snapshots in a 2×2 layout can also break down what you can expect.
  • Keep it above the fold.Sometimes, you may not even realise a video’s there unless you scroll.
  • Get your copy sorted. People won’t click if your associated content doesn’t sell it, too. Even if it’s just a title, keep it on-point and interesting.

Social shares

This one speaks for itself. Sure, there’s no silver bullet for upping social shares, but here are some decent tips:

  • Make it conversation-worthy.Give your viewers something to talk about. Direct them to a vote on Facebook, or a hashtag on Twitter. Mix it up with other popular trends for good effect.
  • Don’t be backwards in coming forward. Ask people to share your video to prompt discussion or opinions. Even if it’s bad feedback, at least you can have that on board for next time.
  • Daft as it sounds: make sharing options easy and obvious.Your sharing buttons or links should be easy-to-find and immediately visible – simple as that.

Watch rate

Want people to watch your videos all the way through? Well, there are all kinds of ways you can do that, but here’s three good places to start.

  • Do a test run with those not in the know. You’ll be surprised at how many companies only test their final video on their own members of staff, where niche phrases and topics become commonplace in a matter of days. Ask your friends what they think. Hell, ask your mum. You know when they’re trying not to hurt your feelings, so that’s a bonus if you don’t like criticism. They can let you down gently.
  • Not too quick, not too long, and certainly not too much waste. If there’s a silence, why is there? If there’s nothing on screen of note, why not? If the narrator takes ten words to say something that only needs four, is there a reason?
  • Get to the point. Leaving the amazing bits to the end of a video is a mistake however well you make it. Consider instead leaving that for a final flourish – but only to complement what you’ve already said. Even people who love your video may not watch it all the way to the end.

Conversion rate

Finally, there’s the simple task of turning your video into sales leads – or direct sales in general. We all like to think we can link the two together, but don’t overlook these factors:

  • Keep it snappy. If you’re asking someone to take you up on a product, service or even just getting them to call you, don’t take 20 seconds to do it – or more than ten words. “Call now!” is a bit too short and very Barry Scott, but it’s a nice base to work from in terms of simplicity.
  • Use the right language. Don’t use words that are too direct (like “now”… yeah, I know what I literally just said, too). Consider more approachable calls-to-action like “discover”, “find”, “learn” and so on. You’ll sound much friendlier that way.
  • Finally, if the video doesn’t work, try to keep them on site. If your video doesn’t hit the mark, link to something else related that they might be interested in. Don’t adopt a “go big or go home” attitude!

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