What’s the ROI of my video?

People use production companies because they know they make amazing, eye-catching videos. But as engaging as videos can be, how do we know what they are actually accomplishing? How do we know what the ROI of our videos are? Measuring views alone is very outdated. Luckily for all of us, video is one of the most trackable content marketing media outlets out there. Determining ROI is easy, and there are several tracking methods depending on what your revenue goals are. Here are the three basic steps:

Step 1: Track campaign costs

This part is pretty simple. It’s the cost of your video production, plus any internal costs you might have. Maybe you are writing the script yourself or using employees as actors. Just add your internal hours and costs to the video production fee to get your total.

Step 2: Measure the financial impact of your video

This is the step you’re likely looking to learn by reading this article, so we’ll spend a little more time here. Depending on the goal of your video, here are a few options of how to track the increase in revenue your video generates:

Goal: Increase revenue

When additional sales is your endgame, tracking ROI is very simple. This is especially easy for eCommerce sites, phone sales, and in store sales. While you won’t be able to capture every single sale that occurs due to your video, you can get a solid idea of the sales that it generates by using one or more of these methods:

    • Embed links to track sales that flow directly from your video to a conversion. Google’s URL builder is a great tool for this, and Animoto could be used to create buttons for these links.
    • If you are unable to track sales through links, you can use direct response methods such as a custom sales phone number or url and then look at total revenue from those leads.
    • You could also use a special promo code that is unique to each video, especially if you are trying to generate in store sales.
    • This method is the least accurate, but you could also compare sales to similar product pages without video to get an estimate of the difference in sales.

Goal: Generate new leads

If you have a firm understanding of your conversion rate, tracking new leads from your video will give you enough information to calculate a sales estimate. If you know you convert a certain percent of your leads and know your average revenue amount per new lead, you can estimate the total sales based on your video this way. Here are a few ways to track the leads generated from your video:

    • Track customer information and connect it with your CRM with software like GreenRope.
    • Capture an email after the video with a tool such as Wistia.

Goal: Engagement and Brand Awareness

While this is the most difficult goal to calculate an actual ROI for, it is still an important aspect to review. Or perhaps you want to track engagement and awareness on top of actual ROI. Either way, here are a few ways to track your success:

    • Use a heatmap, which is another feature included with Wistia software.
    • Use brand specific analytics tools like Brandwatch.
    • Track clicks, watch time, shares, and reach. Social sites like YouTube Analytics and Facebook Insights have most of the tools you could ever imagine, and you can get even more info from a third party app like SproutSocial.

Step 3: Do a little math

The equation to calculate your video ROI is (sales – cost) / cost, or in our case (Step 2 – Step 1 / Step 1). Take the revenue total you tracked in step two and subtract the total campaign costs from step one. Then, divide that number by the total campaign costs from step one. And voila, there is your video ROI!

How to improve your video’s ROI

Now that we know how to track ROI, what are some actions we can take to make sure we’re achieving the highest ROI possible? Here are a few quick tips to increase the effectiveness of your video:

  • Make sure your video is targeted to your core demographic.
  • Have a clear call-to-action in your video.
  • Adjust the length of your video based on your posting medium – shorter for social media than YouTube or your website. Analyze dropoff rate on different media and adjust as necessary.
  • Add titles on Facebook and YouTube so people can still understand your video if they are watching it on silent while at work or in public.
  • Test, test, and test some more. A/B test your video, analyze the results, and use this info to improve your future marketing.

8 rules for effective video content marketing

Video is becoming an increasingly popular addition to content marketing due it its shareable and engaging nature. In a Demand Metric study, a whopping 82 percent of companies using video for content marketing reported it to be successful. Whether you have a well-developed content marketing strategy or you’re just getting started, you need to make sure you are using video effectively in order to reach your goals. Here are some guidelines we recommend following so that your content marketing videos are as successful as possible:

1. Set goals first

Start with your end goal in mind, and then work backwards as you set your entire strategy. What do you want to achieve with the video? It could be new prospects, increased brand awareness, more sales, thought leadership, or something else entirely. Whatever it is, make sure your goals are clear before laying out your video plan.

2. Answer the right questions 

This rule holds true for content marketing across all mediums. You need to be relevant to your audience and answer questions that your customers are looking for answers (bonus points if the answers aren’t already out there). You can determine what questions you should be answering through direct conversations with your customers or through market research. Try to focus on offering a real solution to a real problem, rather than focusing on big picture ideas.

3. Budget wisely

You’ll want to make sure you get the max ROI out of your videos. And we know, sometimes it can be difficult to convince stakeholders that video is a good idea because it can get pricey. We always recommend filming multiple content marketing videos over a single-day shoot. If you are able to plan out multiple concepts at once, you can have have several scripts ready and film them all at the same time (we recommend 6-10 per day depending on the length). The costs to film will usually be based on a full day rate, so shooting multiple videos in one day will spread the cost out and make each video cost less.

4. Make the video the right length

To ensure you are keeping your viewers’ attention for the length of the video, you’ll need to make sure it’s the appropriate length. The timing will differ depending the content in your video, the platform you are posting your video on, and what action you want the viewers to take. You should be tracking and analyzing how long viewers are watching your videos to optimize their lengths (see step seven).

5. Use headlines and titles

Many viewers will be watching your videos silently on their computers at work, on their phones in public, etc. Make sure to use headlines and titles to emphasize key points to make your video effective with or without sound. For even more tips on how to optimize your video to be viewed silently, check out our 6 Steps to Video Success on Facebook Using Silent Videos blog.

6. Optimize for search

Even if you have a huge following, you should optimize your videos so that potential customers can find them. This includes adding strategic keywords to your video titles, descriptions, and tags, organizing videos so they are easy to browse, making sure your site has a video sitemap, and letting other people embed your videos, among other tips. SEO for your videos will be a huge piece of their success stories.

7. Measure your success

To make sure you’re getting the best results possible, you should measure the success, analyze, and then adjust your strategy accordingly. Metrics are included in most video players online, and you can also add a trackable CTA such as a landing page, custom phone number, or purchase promo code to track leads and purchases back to your video. You should also allow comments on your video so you can interact with viewers’ questions and opinions.

8. Have fun

People love to laugh and are more likely to share videos when they are funny and entertaining. Be creative and original with your content, and just have fun with it. It’ll show in what you create, and it’ll make the process much more enjoyable! For Sparkhouse’s video content marketing, we do a mix of informative videos and fun content to show off our capabilities. “What’s in Our Glass” is a great example of a fun video we made for content creation (and an excuse to drink whiskey during office hours). Check it out here!

Of course, there is more to a successful video than just these guidelines, but following these eight rules will get you started in the right direction. Below are some samples from Sparkhouse to ignite some ideas for content and style! And of course, we’re here to help with any questions on creating video content marketing you might have.

Sparkhouse – Thought Leader Video Reel

Sparkhouse – Studio Video Reel