The Candy Store--Two Ways to Show ROI for Video Content

By Liz Denning

The Disconnect

At least a few times a week, I hear the same disconnect: On one side, there's a growing preference for video. On the other, many brands don’t know how to put video content creation into their regular publishing cycle. Because video is more time consuming and, therefore, more costly than taking a photo, or writing a tweet, there’s a real need to show strong ROI, revenue that can be tracked directly back to the video content.

Process for Showing ROI

So how do you bridge this gap? As with everything, there isn’t a one-size fits all solution for everyone, but by looking at a few different options, you can create a results tracking framework that will show sweet, magical, trackable revenue growth to validate the worth of your video campaign.

I hate to say the word, but it boils down to your brand’s goals. (Yes, I said it, even though I’m really sick of people talking about goal setting). By knowing your brand's goals and budget, you can create a workable video content tracking solution. Through our strategic partnership with digital analytics company, Semantic Path, we set KPIs with clients and measure our video content creation work against them. Of course, video content, like any content, isn’t working unless it’s converting.

There’s a lot of material to cover so we’ve broken it into two parts – data collection and analysis and digital marketing. First up, two solutions for data collection and analysis.

Session Path Analysis

As a start, conduct session path analysis on your video content, whether you work with a vendor, or handle the process internally. Session path analysis tracks the paths of viewers to understand the steps consumers take after viewing your site’s content or campaign landing page and whether they deepen their relationship with your company. Begin by setting up 2-3 conversion goals for your video content by thinking of the macro goals for the site. Is it getting people to sign-up for a newsletter? Make a purchase? Give their e-mail?

As part of those macro goals, outline the micro conversions that get people to your eventual promised land. You can set this up in the Conversion area of your Google analytics. By tracking against your goals, or outsourcing this service, soon you’ll be able to see the number of conversions, conversion rate and compare your marketing campaigns against each other. Here’s an example of the flow that people take within page destinations that you determine. You will know what those steps are worth your brand, which will get you to your customized ROI.

Session Pathing graphic Timothy.png

Video Tracking Programs

The next option is a little Big Brother, but, as marketers, we love it. It’s a service that allows you to see the views of the individual. One that we particularly like is Wistia. (We're not getting a dime for recommending them). If you send out your video content to your in-house e-mail list, Wistia will show how long, how many times and where that specific Joe or Jane dropped off while watching.

Without the link to e-mail, you can also see how long people in specific areas are watching and the rate to which people click the video once they load the webpage, in addition to other helpful stats.

We’ve had clients who coordinate their marketing and sales departments so that sales handles follow-up communication with folks who show interest by watching an entire video or videos, or who watch parts multiple times. You'll have perspective on ROI when folks at your company think about what a new project is worth from that individual user.

  An example of Wistia tracking down to the individual user.

An example of Wistia tracking down to the individual user.

Whatever results tracking framework you use for video content, you’ll be implementing a system that will show results for your video content work and bridge the current disconnect. Certainly, it will be a little bit of effort on the front end, but will be a dividends candy store later down the road.

Next up this week, Part 2 Digital Marketing. If you’d like to subscribe to our e-mail list to make sure you don’t miss any updates, click the red box to the right at the top of the page. Thanks.

Liz Denning is the Co-Owner and Marketing Geek for Gamma Blast Media, a video content creation company in Nashville. @gammaliz,,