Analytics are statistics or measurements of customer behavior. Typically, businesses use this information to determine what it is people do on their websites. This data is a goldmine when it comes to objective assessments of a business’ strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. Specifically, this article examines video analytics provided by an OVP, or online video platform.
Knowing your viewers is a challenge, but your video analytics data can help you better know and understand your audience. This information can then be leveraged to create better outcomes across the board.
Data-driven business decisions to improve outcomes
Data gathering has been a big deal in the organizational world for a long time. Information about your target audience—age, location, sex, marital status, income, buying habits, employment, educational history—is all valuable from a marketing standpoint.
Website analytics typically measure who visits your website, how they arrived, what they did on your site, and where they went afterwards. There are countless other measures that various analytics tools gather. In the context of online and streaming video, this information can help you make better decisions.
Usually, improvements are small. Changing the time when you release content, for example, may boost your views by seven or eight percent. However, if you can repeat this pattern and improve your strategy across the board, you can have great success based on analytics.
In this article, we’ll provide more information about video analytics and how this can be leveraged for better business performance and intelligent decision-making. We’ll do this by examining four different methods for leveraging the video analytics provided by your OVP.
What type of data is gathered on the video analytics dashboard of an OVP?
Here are a few types of data gathered on the video analytics dashboard of a reliable online video platform:
- How many viewers are watching your videos
- Number of unique visitors
- Number of repeat visitors
- How many people view each video or stream (most popular content)
- Total live streaming viewers
- Total VOD (Video On-Demand) viewers
- Rate of visitors in a given time frame
- Country of origin (measured via IP address)
- Total bandwidth used
- Bandwidth used on a per video, per streaming channel, per package, or per playlist basis
- Revenue per video
The data gathered may vary by platform. Some external tools, such as the free and nearly ubiquitous Google Analytics, provide additional measures. Most analytics experts recommend setting up a separate video analytics account for video data only. This allows you to isolate the information gathering for your video efforts from the rest of your website.
Google Analytics for video can help you measure additional types of data once it has been linked to your streaming solutions provider, such as:
- Real time viewer count on live streams
- Type of device the viewer is using (desktop, mobile, or tablet)
- Average playtime per person
- Average playtime per video (most engaging videos)
- Traffic source (organic, paid, specific campaigns)
- Most popular video bit rates
- Most buffered videos
1. Track the best performing content
Now let’s take a look at how you can use this information. The first thing you should be doing with your video analytics data is the most obvious: tracking your best performing content. This data can be isolated to only include “unique views,” so that a small number of people re-watching content over and over again doesn’t skew your numbers.
You can measure this with two metrics. The first is total views per stream or video on-demand. This provides a raw measure of popularity. It’s the “clickbait” measure. If you’re able to drive this number up, it means your content hooks are working well. Your social media posts, video times, and SEO are performing well when this number is high. On the other hand, low total views means that you need to reassess these approaches or create better content.
Always share your videos on social media platforms so that viewers can watch directly in their news feeds. Social sharing can be very high in this context.
The second metric is total time viewed per stream or VOD. This is a more precise measure. Time viewed gives a better approximation of how much people like watching your content. You may have 100,000 views, but if the average viewing time is only 10 seconds, that’s not a very potent audience. On the other hand, 100 viewers who are willing to watch for an hour straight—that’s more valuable than the view count would imply.
Many users drop a video shortly after starting to watch. However, about 65 percent of viewers watch more than 3/4 of a video before navigating away.
This info can be used to help determine what types of online video content are popular and where improvements are needed.
2. Narrow down your viewer profiles
The next set of info you can gather with video analytics is user profile information. Generally, this is limited to data such as country of origin. However, there are other ways (such as a survey) to gather more complex user data, including age and financial status.
This information, even when imprecise, can be highly valuable. Country of origin data may help you discover a following in a region which you were not aware of. User profiles can be fleshed out with other information that we’ll cover next. This includes device preference and time of viewing. That data can help you craft a good understanding of who your customers are.
User origin can also help you identify potential areas for growth. For example, you may have a big following in a foreign nation. You could invest in this by translating content, working with local partners, creating a new marketing campaign, or even building a new office. Data helps drive growth and smart decision-making.
3. Perfect timing
Timing is an X-factor in any content marketing effort. Maybe you tend to launch new video streams at 7 p.m. Pacific Time. That may make a lot of sense if your audience is on the West Coast. But if you’ve got a following in Europe, that’s the middle of the night.
Video analytics allows you to conduct some A/B testing to determine the best timing for releasing content. While trying to control for other variables such as content type, marketing, and hype, try a few different live streams at different times of the day and during different days of the week.
Then, dig deep into the analytics for these periods. How many people watched, and from where? For how long did they watch? Did the most popular devices vary by time of day? All this data can help you refine and improve your strategy.
4. Gather technical data: OS, device, and more
The final type of data we’ll look at here is technical information. This includes the operating system your viewers use, what type of browser they use, device type, and so on. This data is useful because it helps determine your technical infrastructure and aesthetic style.
For example, if the vast majority of your users are accessing content via small-screen mobile devices, you may not want to invest a huge amount of money in a desktop website redesign. Or, maybe a preponderance of tablet users means you should focus your team on creating a new dedicated mobile app optimized for tablet screens.
If your users are mostly on mobile, you’ll also want to be sure you’re streaming with mobile-compatible formats such as HLS. Focus your resources where they are needed.
Similarly, browser preference allows you to test on the most popular browsers among your actual audience, rather than simply assuming you know what’s best because you use it already.
Data use in marketing and sales
Analytics data, and here the video analytics data, is a goldmine for your business. It allows you to make decisions based on hard data, not speculation, intuition, or fallible logic. Additionally, you can measure the effectiveness of certain media, messages, campaigns, and methods. Analytics can point towards information that increases sales, strengthens marketing, and much more.
Video analytics also enable greater engagement, higher customer retention, and logical self-criticism leading to better performance across the board.
The information provided here should allow you to assess the video analytics options provided by various OVPs. You can also click here for an updated 2018 comparison of streaming services provider. This provides a brief mention of analytics, as well as other core features. Remember that video analytics is only one feature of an OVP. It’s best to research your top picks in detail before selecting a platform.
It’s not an overstatement to say that analytics has taken the business world by storm. The ability to easily gather information on customers and their behavior has been a major boon for businesses and institutions of all sorts. We hope that this article has helped you to better understand how to use your video analytics to improve your online video content strategy. For a more detailed tutorial, click here.
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