Marketing Strategy

5 Key Video Marketing Metrics Your School Should Be Tracking

August 3, 2020

We know just how much time and energy goes into producing video content! You've put the hours in to film, edit, and upload your video, so now it's time to sit back and watch those views roll in, right? Well, not quite...

You're almost there (we promise!), but there's still one crucial step in the process to complete: optimization. There are many insights to be gained by diving into the analytics, and thanks to platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, understanding your results and measuring your video's performance has never been easier!

But, with so much information readily available, knowing where to start can be tricky. Do you know which metrics actually help you to measure the success of your video? In this post, we'll help you cut through the noise and hone in on the metrics that matter. From maximizing views to measuring retention, let's dive into the top five metrics your school should be paying attention to.


Image: social media metrics


1. Start with your click-through rate (CTR)

To get started, let's take a look at your video’s click-through rate. This measures how many viewers were so engaged by your video they decided to click on your call to action button, and take up your offer. This is a key metric for any paid advertising campaign on social media, where your main goal is gain website conversions. 

If your video has a lot of  impressions (views on the video), but a low CTR, there are a couple of ways you can try to improve this. With just a quick research, you’ll find that nearly every platform provides its own guidelines for how long a video should be for best results. For example, Facebook suggests keeping the length of in-stream videos no longer than 1 minute – any longer and you risk losing your audience's attention.

And who could blame them? Over the last decade, our attention spans have dramatically dropped from 20 seconds to just eight, so it’s important to keep video content short, punchy, and to the point. If the length of your video isn't the problem, try playing with the wording on your call to action. Trust us, your audience wants to be given a strong directive, so use action words like ‘Book a Tour’ or ‘Enrol Now.’ Don’t worry about sounding too pushy – this language is expected from a call to action.


2. Check your audience watch time

This metric looks at the total amount of time viewers have spent watching your video and measures how long they engage with the video before they stop watching. Your average 'watch time' will provide you with a better understanding of when your audience is most engaged with your video and give you an idea of how long your videos should be.

A video's 'watch time' can also play an important role in SEO. Take YouTube for example, this platform loves to recommend content to its audience with  that keeps them on the site for as long as possible. This is why videos that have a high watch time are prioritized by YouTube's suggested videos algorithm, which can even appear in Google search results.


Want to level-up your digital marketing skills? 

Check out our guide, Upskilling for School Marketers Handbook


3. Measure your audience retention

Retention is all about the percentage of viewers who watch your video from beginning to end. Again, this metric will help you to understand what videos your audience loves, and on the contrary, those they don't! Depending on the platform you're analyzing you might see a variety of graphed results – here are some of the most common ones you'll encounter:

  • Flat Line: Your viewers are highly engaged with your content and watch start to finish, you may want to consider making that type of video regularly and add a call to action.
  • Gradual decline: Over time your audience is losing interest in your content. If your videos are showing a constant decline, they may be too long, try shortening future content and re access. 
  • Bumps: Your audience is rewatching or sharing your content from specific areas. Investigate the areas, because your audience is highly engaged you may want to create more content like that.
  • Dips: Your viewers are skipping over certain areas of your video. You should investigate all dips, what could have caused this, are certain parts in your video uninteresting or unnecessary. 
  • Sudden Drops: Your viewers are losing interest in a specific area and leaving the video. The first 15 seconds of a video is when a viewer is most likely to drop off. If you’re noticing a big drop you need to make some optimizations to your video. Your first 15 seconds should grab their attention quickly and confirm what the video is about. You should also check your title and thumbnail, make sure it is relevant to the video and not clickbait.


4. Watch your video play rate

Moving onto video play rate now, this metric tracks the number of video plays and divides it by the number of impressions. It's an effective metric to track click-to-play ads and if your video is actually being watched on your webpage. It’s also a good measurement of how visible and relevant your video is where it is placed on a webpage. Play rate is all about getting your viewer to choose to hit the play button, so it's all about your video's first impression.

Let’s look at some easy ways to improve your video play rate. 

Add a thumbnail 

An effective thumbnail should spark immediate interest without sounding like clickbait. According to YouTube, best practice for creating compelling thumbnails are images that are framed closely, high resolution, look good small or large and accurately represent your video.

Choose the right size

Size and positioning has a big impact on your videos play rate. A study by Wistia shows that videos positioned higher up a webpage had an average play rate of 56% compared to 18% for videos lower down a page. Videos also sized between 401px and 600px had the highest play rate, as they are easier to engage with and can’t be missed.


Which video platform is best? 

Check out our YouTube vs. Vimeo comparison for schools


5. Track your viewer demographics

Finally, viewer demographics is the last all-important-metric you need to pay attention to. Here, you can get detailed demographic information about your viewers, including things like; geography and age. With over 2 billion monthly active users on Youtube alone, it’s important to know who is actually watching your content. For every video marketing campaign it’s important to have a specific target audience in mind. So for example, if your local video ads are drawing traffic from other countries, you may need to retarget and properly set your audience demographics. 


To wrap up

Always continue to optimize and learn from your analytics – they can tell you a lot about your video content and what works for your school community. By keeping these 5 key metrics in mind, you'll be able to boost the performance of your next video marketing campaign. If you're just getting started with video marketing at your school, get stuck into these resources to help you get on the right track.