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How to Measure the Performance of Your Video Campaigns

Measuring the results of your video campaigns can be a huge challenge, but it is critical to your success. By starting with clear objectives and committing to the idea that perfect should not prevent progress, you will maximize your video campaigns’ effectiveness. 

In this replay of an Engage 2021 GV University session, Kaitlan Arndt and Michael Hoffman from Gather Voices discussed the key performance indicators you should be monitoring for your video projects and measurement methodologies you can use to understand the incremental impact of your campaigns. They covered: 

  • The video marketing metrics that matter and how to set goals for your campaigns
  • Three simple steps to effectively measure the success of your video campaigns
  • Measurement best practices, including A/B testing and optimization

Video Transcript

Michael Hoffman (00:11):
Hello, everyone. Welcome to GV University, Gather Voices U. Hello, Alana. Hello, Terry. Hello, Linda. Hello, Chad. Hello, Kaitlan. For this Gathered Voices University, we are going to be talking about measurement, measuring the impact of video on your campaigns. I am very excited to be here today. Those of you don't know me, I am the CEO/co-founder of Gathered Voices, done a few other things here and there, and I am joined by our resident measuring expert among other things, Kaitlan Arndt. Kaitlan, will you introduce yourself and tell us how you ended up measuring video?

Kaitlan Arndt (01:07):
Sure. Yeah, absolutely. Hi, I'm Kaitlan. I'm the associate director of marketing here at Gather Voices, and I'm so excited to be a part of Engage 2021. Before I start, I just want to say thank you so much to all of our clients for being a part of it. I personally, as someone who focuses on content marketing and marketing analytics, have learned so much from your stories and your use cases and lots of things that I want to try myself as well, which is great, so thank you for that. Yeah, throughout my career, I've been really focused on both the art and the science of marketing, right? I believe that good marketing programs are programs that are data-driven and optimized based on performance and I believe that the best way to do that is to test and measure, so that's what we're going to talk about today.

Michael Hoffman (01:54):
Excellent. Yes. I will just say one thing off the bat and then we'll get into the details. This is hard stuff. The change in marketing and the marketing landscape has been quite dramatic and the addition of technology has been quite dramatic and that's created a lot of specialization, a lot of data, a lot of things that are not natural for people, and so I think the biggest takeaway that you should take from this session is don't let the perfect be the enemy of good, meaning do something. Anything along the lines of what we're talking about is going to be better than nothing and the more that you have vision and the more that you can see, the more that you can adjust and put your resources in the right way. Wouldn't you agree with that, Kaitlan?

Kaitlan Arndt (02:49):
Yeah, absolutely. This topic is very challenging, to your point. You cannot let perfect be the enemy of the good here. You have to be able to... A lot of times... Every marketer probably knows that measurement is important. Not everyone is doing it enough because it's hard. I believe that you need to be doing measurement, even if you're not doing everything perfectly, so don't be afraid to jump in and get started be because the more that you measure, the more sophisticated that you're going to get in the future.

Michael Hoffman (03:23):
Yeah. Excellent. There's not a lot of big steps to do this, right? I mean, it boils down to a few things. Obviously, there's a lot of depth in each one of these things, but this is a good framework to think about.

Kaitlan Arndt (03:38):
Yeah. I'm going to keep it real simple today. I want to walk through three steps with you guys that hopefully is going to leave you feeling empowered to begin measuring and reporting out on the impact of incorporating video into your campaigns. But I want to say before we get started that Michael and I, I love in the conversation series, Michael always says, "We don't have a monopoly on good ideas," and that is so true, so as we are walking through this content, please not only feel free to turn your camera on, ask questions at any time, ask us to expand on something, but also, share your own ideas, or your own approach because that'll add so much value for everyone here. Okay, so next slide is step one, which is getting really clear on your strategic objectives. Michael, can you flip the slide for me?

Michael Hoffman (04:31):

Kaitlan Arndt (04:32):
Thank you. Appreciate it. Getting really, really clear on your strategic objectives, right? We're not just talking about doing video or measuring video for the sake of doing video, right? Video itself isn't a strategy. Michael, you talk a lot about that. Your strategy is really your value proposition, your messaging, your targeting, your communications plan, right? How can you plug video into those different things? As we think about video measurement, I want to invite everybody to just take a step back and understand the strategic objectives of the campaign that you're using video to support. We have outlined on this page some of our clients' common campaigns and objectives that they're focused on, but this is by no means a comprehensive list, right? This is just to show you that these things, like watch time and click-through rates, they all ladder up to helping you achieve your objectives. Maybe it's registrations, new member acquisition, so focus at the high level.

Michael Hoffman (05:38):
We're really drawing, right, so you start with those goals, and then we have to just figure out, "How do we draw lines from the activities that we're doing and that we can measure to get to those goals?" Sometimes, it's just got to be directional, that we don't have an exact attribution from the lowest step to the top step, but whatever parts of it we can fill in creates a picture for us, right?

Kaitlan Arndt (06:05):
Yes, absolutely. Okay, so then on this next slide, so then as you're thinking about, you understand, "Okay, these are the strategic objectives that not just my department, but that my organization is working toward," right, how can video help you win? How can video accelerate the impact of the things that you're already doing to support that campaign?
As a marketer, I think about it in a couple different ways. Messaging. It's like, what does your audience really need to know or learn before they take the desired action that you want them to take? Who do they need to learn it from? Who's the right person to share that information or those stories? Then the distribution: What channels are you already using to communicate those messages to your audience? Where do they want to hear from you? Where are they looking for the information that they need before they can take the next step? Make sure that you're plugging video into those places.

Michael Hoffman (06:57):
Video's really that enhancer. It's not a thing in of itself, it sits within those different buckets.

Kaitlan Arndt (07:05):
Right. To that point, we could have talked today about video marketing KPIs and all those things. We're not talking about that today. We're focusing on these different communications channels, where you're using video to maximize your results. What does success look like in those channels? The second step, very simple, define what success looks like for each channel where you plan to use video content so that you can set measurable metrics in advance so that you can know what you're going to achieve as you go out. We listed many of them up-

Michael Hoffman (07:48):
I think that's just a really good point, right, is not like, "Do all the things, and then decide to measure," it's like build that measurement framework upfront to say, "Well, in emails, I care about the clicks. I want people to click on those links, so what do I expect? What have I gotten before? What's that thing?" Doing that before is really important, right, to understand and be able to see whether you're successful or not.

Kaitlan Arndt (08:16):
... Yes, and it's all about choosing the right metrics for each channel, right? A lot of times, there's a lot of vanity metrics that are out there. You'll hear that a lot, people looking at, even open rates now, with the new changes that Apple has made. You can't look at open rates in exactly the same way anymore, so you really have to get really specific into what is the action that you're trying to take. What is that objective and then what metrics are going to help you achieve that?
Okay, so then going in the next slide, it's about establishing benchmarks. To define what success looks like, you really need to benchmark your current campaign performance. This is all about going on a fact-finding mission, right? You need to understand what each of your communications channels is already performing. If you're not in a marketing department and you aren't regularly tracking these KPIs as part of your work, don't be afraid to go ask questions because video and video marketing is not just for marketers, right? You are using video for your campaign, whatever department that you're in, and you need to understand these questions that are commonly on a marketing scorecard, right? Ask folks in your organization: What's the typical click-through rate that we see on our emails? What percent engagement are we getting on our social posts on average? What's the conversion rate on our landing pages? Those are questions that you need to know about your own channels. Then also, you should look at industry-specific benchmarks and averages.
There's a lot of great information out there. We have linked to some benchmarks websites that you can look at to start understanding benchmarks for some of these different channels across industries, so we will make sure to send out this presentation with those links, as well as a couple other resources afterwards. But definitely, look at that because you don't only want to know what you're doing, but also, how does your performance compare to others in the industry? That'll help you identify areas of opportunity and low-hanging fruit for your organization.

Michael Hoffman (10:18):
Yeah, I think it's a better time to be a practitioner of anything than it's ever been in history because of the willingness of people to share how to do things, share things like benchmarks, and all of that, so there's just tons of resources out there. Again, it's really about just following the steps, understanding those basics, right?

Kaitlan Arndt (10:41):
Yep. Once you understand what those benchmarks are, then you need to set your SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Realistic, Attainable, Achievable. You need to take those SMART metrics and define them for the channel that you are going to communicate with your audience in. How do you do that? You can do that in a bunch of different ways. Maybe it's looking at the historical impact of previous tests that you've run when you changed something on social and you did post a different way. What kind of engagement did you see from that?
You can use historical data as one way, but you can also look at case studies of what other organizations are doing. Specifically, around video, we have a lot of great success stories from our clients of all the different things that they have achieved with video, so take a look at what other organizations have been doing, and you can use those to help send your benchmarks. Maybe you have ROI requirements from your leadership team, so you can back into the numbers that you need to hit that way. Then sometimes you just don't know. Sometimes you just have to use your best judgment. That's okay. If you can't do any of the other things that I just said, that's okay. First of all, I believe you can, but if you can't, then just use your best judgment. At least set a goal before you get started.
Okay, so I always think it's really helpful to illustrate concepts like these with examples. I like for my examples to include very simple numbers so that it's easy for everyone to understand. I want to do the Video Gathering Association, which is not a real association, but if you haven't seen the Video Gathering Association site, definitely check it out because it's got a lot of great use cases and examples for you to consider.
Okay, so let's say that the events team at the Video Gathering Association is getting ready to send out an email, inviting their list of 100,000 subscribers to join them at the event. They've been doing this event and these emails for several years and they have a really good benchmark on performance. They know that they typically get a 4.1% click-through rate to their event landing page from these emails, and that once visitors make it to that landing page, another 4% of them are converting and purchasing an event ticket. Okay, so if they were just going to do the exact same event email with maybe some modified dates and text, they could expect to achieve those rates and drive $16,400 in registration revenue from that email, right?
But the team at Video Gathering Association is super innovative, they're always trying new things, and so this year they want in their event email to include an animated video thumbnail that links out to a video for people to get more information about the event. They also want to include a video on the landing page of their event as well, and so they've seen case studies from organizations like ASTS that show that just by doing something as simple as embedding a thumbnail into a video, they can get 320% lift on click-through rates, which is great.
They've also seen third-party data that says you can increase convergence 80% just by having a video on your landing page, and so they know that this is really their first time with video, so they're probably not going to achieve those amazing results right away, maybe they will, but they're going to keep it simple and cut those goals in half, so they set what their lift goals would be, 160% increase in click-through rate and 40% in conversion rate. Then from there, they can calculate the number of event page visits that they can expect or that they hope to achieve using video, as well as the number of registrations that they expect to get as conversions on their landing page. That's how they can define that they think the potential incremental revenue that they can achieve is 60,000 minus 60. Yeah, go ahead.

Michael Hoffman (14:55):
This is really helpful for an exercise to do in advance of initiatives because it also lets you talk to your leadership teams and say, "Hey, here's why we want to do this. Here's why we want to experiment," or, "Here's why we want to change up," or, "Here's what we expect to happen with these new tools that we have," so being able to do this in advance, again, your mileage will vary. Nobody ever gets exactly the numbers that they expect, but when you use this educated way to think about what you're going to get, then you really have a sense of what that ROI could be.

Kaitlan Arndt (15:32):
Yep, absolutely. Then this is a paid add example. I'm not going to go all the way through it, right, but obviously, to Michael's point, your mileage will vary, right? But it's just about taking the first step, understanding the total number and impressions that you're going to get, and then going through the math exercise there.
Michael, if you go to the next slide, I think that one other thing that I really wanted to pull out here is that doing this work in advance is a great way to build a business case for why your organization should be doing more with video or why you should be testing and trying new things, right? Going through this exercise in advance, even before you've seen the results, is going to help articulate why you believe that this is the right decision for the business and why you think that it's something important for your organization [inaudible 00:16:23].

Michael Hoffman (16:22):
Yeah, and then you also have this framework that's already built, so when you get actual results, you can just plug it into the thing and you're not going, "What do I do with all this data?" Right? You already have the story part of it set up.

Kaitlan Arndt (16:36):
Yeah, absolutely. Okay, great. Okay, so step three, at least in my opinion, is the funnest part because once you've got a really good understanding of your strategic objectives and the metrics that you're going to use to measure, whether you're getting the job done, once you've done all that, it's time to experiment. What I really want to emphasize here is that this is a cycle. It's a continue over time, allowing you to continuously improve the performance of your marketing channels for whatever campaign that you're in. This is going to help you learn what really resonates with your audience, what formats that they want and where they want [inaudible 00:17:30], and then applying your key learnings and testing again.

Michael Hoffman (17:33):
Yeah, and one thing I'll just add is that there is no one right answer. Every audience, every type of content, everything is going to act differently out in the wild, in the real world, and if you look at the highest performing-organizations with digital engagement and marketing, they're the ones who test and learn and do as many of these cycles as possible. That's it, that's the answer. It's not that there's one answer of, "Oh, it's this platform," or, "It's this thing," or, "It's this video," or "It's this story," no, it's actually building a culture that lets you do this cycle as much as you possibly can because those are the winners out there.

Kaitlan Arndt (18:11):
Awesome. Okay, so how do you actually do that? What does measuring and testing and measuring actually look like, right? We are going to talk about A/B testing. What A/B testing is for those of you that don't know, it's one of the most common methodologies that's used for helping to understand the delta in some of these metrics that we talked about. It's also known as "split testing." While it's not possible for every communication channel, like you can't A/B test a organic Facebook post, it's possible for a lot of channels, right? You can very easily A/B test paid advertising, for example.
What you're looking to do with this is, I'm going to give a little bit of a high-level overview on A/B testing, but we're going to really recommend that you check out this resource that's here listed on the screen because HubSpot is absolutely, they make this very easy. We use HubSpot for our CRM, and so they make it very turnkey to do A/B testing. But even if you don't use HubSpot, this is still a great resource because they have a lot of toolkits and different things that you can use that work out of Sheets, so definitely, definitely give that a look.
But basically, what you're looking to do, right, is you need to split your audience randomly into two different groups. Now, how you do that is going to vary depending on a lot of different things, namely the size of your audience, right? But basically, it doesn't matter how you do it. You're just going to want to randomly put your audience into two separate groups and then keep everything else in the piece.
Let's say we're A/B testing an email. We only want to change one variable at a time. That's why A/B testing is so good because if you don't use A/B testing for something like this, if you instead look at benchmarks alone, maybe you look at just what your emails have done over past six months, or you look at last year's event email alone, it's not going to be the cleanest measurement because you've added an additional variable, which is time. Sending an email last month is not the same as sending an email today. Your audience is in a different headspace and they're getting different messages and they're focused on different things, so time really matters, and A/B testing allows you to take the variable of time out so you can focus on just one variable.
Then what you're going to do once you have that one variable that you're testing, you're going to go ahead and run that test so that you can measure the difference. Then we'll go through some examples again here. What you're looking at on the screen is actually HubSpot's A/B test functionality for email. I just used it as an example here so that we can see. In this case, we're going to send an email to... 10% of our audience is going to get one version and 10% of our audience is going to get the other version. We're going to give that A/B test a time. You need to give it time for results to come in. In this case, that's four hours. HubSpot generally recommends four hours at least, which is great. What that allows you to do is see, "Okay to this small subset of my list, I'm going to measure their click-through rates over a period of four hours."
Okay, for Video Gathering Association, right, they did a call-to-action button that was text and a version that was an animated thumbnail, and so they saw some pretty dramatic performance there as well as... Sorry, Michael, I'm still on the slide before. All the way up to 17.2%, which is great. What that means is that their email drove more visits to the event landing page, which then if you go to the next one, Google Optimize is a great place to A/B test different things on your website. We have a link there for y'all to check out, but basically, once people got to that event landing page, there was also an A/B test going on on their website about, "Well, what does it actually look like for a page that has just an image, and what does it look like for a page that has a video?" You can see in this example, that version B was higher, and then they achieved a 7.2% click-through rate, which is higher.
Okay, if you go to the next one, then we get into math, which math is always very fun. Basically, what you've got here is your benchmarks that you've set up, that you defined upfront, your goals, which is what you were hoping that you would be able to achieve, and then the actual that they experienced. In this case, I use those numbers that I talked about from ASTS for the click-through rate and was able to calculate an incremental revenue lift of 107,000, which is the difference between the actual revenue that they saw come in and the benchmark, which is what they would've expected to achieve if they had done everything exactly the same and not made any improvements.

Michael Hoffman (23:27):
Just for those of you who don't know, ASTS is the American Site of Transplant Surgeons. They actually got a 320% lift from adding that video thumbnail, and that obviously cascades through the whole process in terms of the value benefit that you get from that.

Kaitlan Arndt (23:46):
Yeah, it seems like a really simple thing, but you can see it here really clearly in the data that changing your click-through rate in your email is going to get more traffic to that event page. Even if they wouldn't have done anything different on their event landing page, just by increasing that click-through rate, if they keep the same conversion, it would still get a great impact.

Michael Hoffman (24:06):
Right, right. I'll just mention that A/B testing, you should be thinking about how you can do it. Again, there's other ways to think about measurement if you can't, but there's also even really sophisticated tools that do what are called "multivariate testing," where the computer is switching things in a way that you could never do the math of, but then they'll tell you which combination of those things works the best. There's things like Optimizely and others for webpages where you can do that. If you have, if you work with vendors who are your content management systems and other things, or marketing firms, you should be asking about these things, right, like, "Tell us what you do to measure these things. How do we test this?" See what they say. Those are things that you can get some outside support in as well.

Kaitlan Arndt (24:59):
Yeah, absolutely. I'm glad that we're back at this slide again because what I want to say here is that I was talking about time and how A/B testing is so important because of that time value, but I'm going to say again, don't let perfect be the enemy of the good. If you ran an email campaign and you used video, you should still be doing the calculations before, and you should be measuring based on similar emails that you've done in the past to the send that you just did. It's not going to be perfect. You're going to have to take it with a grain of salt. You may even see results that don't make a whole lot of sense, but I still want you to measure it because the more that you do it, the more successful that you're going to be with measuring in the future.

Michael Hoffman (25:42):
Yeah, and we say this internally all the time, don't we, Kaitlan, which is, "It's directional," we say.

Kaitlan Arndt (25:48):

Michael Hoffman (25:49):
That's kind of the way to say, "Well, it's not a scientific experiment where we were able to have control groups and do all that, but when we look at our last six months of emails, we were able to increase the lift here when we put video in." It's not exact science, but it's very directional, right? It's like you're onto something, keep doing it, and I think that's, again, where you can't worry about it being perfect because that directional thing is actually what's going to push you forward so that's really important.

Kaitlan Arndt (26:26):
Yep. Absolutely. All right, so we are back at the start, but what I just wanted to let everybody know is a reminder that we are going to be sending over an infographic as well as these slides and this content will be available on-demand as well. We're always happy to continue the conversation around these topics. I know I personally am. I know everyone on the Gather Voices team is, so reach out to us, your customer success team. Let's continue the conversation and have some of these conversations about, "What are you having trouble measuring?" Let's think through it together.

Michael Hoffman (27:07):
Yeah. Let me also just say as we think about the product development at Gather Voices, this is one of the things we're thinking about is how do we make this easier for you? What can we build into Gather Voices to be able to help you track the impact of video? Does that mean pulling data from your social channels to show you performance? Does it mean giving you these benchmarks inside the product, so you go, "Oh, if I'm going to email something, here's maybe what I could expect," some of these calculations? We're thinking about that, so if you have ideas about that, we want to hear those, too. Really, our whole goal is to make this easier for you to do, and as much as we can do to build that in, that's what we're going for.
Excellent. Well, thank you all so much for being part of Gather Voices University. We appreciate it. This is a topic that we will revisit again and again, I think, Kaitlan.

Kaitlan Arndt (28:18):
Yeah, absolutely. I'm excited to do more on it, for sure. I want to let everybody know, don't forget to go check out our sponsor tiles. We have just a few minutes before we're going to close and do some fun games for our happy hour, so please join us there, but check out our sponsor booths because these are great organizations that have a lot of products and services to offer to really help drive engagement and build stronger communities, and we're giving away $10 Starbucks gift cards to the first 25 people who drop a business card, so check it out.

Michael Hoffman (28:48):
Fantastic. Awesome. All right, Kaitlan, thank you so much.

Kaitlan Arndt (28:52):
Thank you.

Michael Hoffman (28:53):
Thank you all for joining us today and we'll see you at our closing networking thing in a few minutes.

Kaitlan Arndt (29:01):
Awesome. All right, bye-bye.