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How to make better decisions using video analytics

How to make better decisions using video analytics

By Will Grant, Technology Director,

Web analytics have been around for years and have grown steadily more sophisticated. Video analytics, on the other hand, have been relatively basic: limited to "view counts" and “ratings” by most sites. YouTube is great as a destination site, but they keep most of their juicy analytics to themselves, to inform their advertising sales systems.

Online video platforms with integrated analytics are becoming more widespread and Buto (our video platform) has some great ways of getting results from statistics. If you read this sort of data carefully and regularly you can make changes to see massive improvements in the results you get from your online video.

Here are five ways you can measure the performance of your video, and five actions you could take on the basis of the data:


The most obvious - how many views do your videos get, across your whole asset library, and per video?

Track the view count of individual videos and you can report back on the cost per engagement of the content you produce. This could lead to more investment in popular content, and avoiding wasting money producing things no-one wants to watch.

But how about tagging all your content to see what sort of videos people tend to watch most? Even per individual publishes of a video - if you use the same media on different sites you can compare which content is proving the most popular across different sites.

2. Duration monitoring

Duration monitoring will tell you how far through a video people have watched. Use this data to move calls to action to points in the film where they’ll get higher visibility. If the drop-off is steep, re-edit your content so it’s shorter. If there’s a sudden spike, look back at the content and try removing the shot or section that’s causing the drop off.

If you’re using in-player adverts that you can control, use duration monitoring to make sure you’re putting them in the right place in the video. Or try swapping-out a different version (especially if you’re in retail and you’ve got lots of different clips of a product to choose from).
After time you’ll build up a picture of what the optimum length is for your type of content and your target audience. Across our system we’ve observed 91 seconds to be the optimum length for a web video in terms of engagement duration.

3. Host sites reports

Host sites reports give you an accurate, daily breakdown of every location where your content is being played – our system records every view on every site.

As well as the pages you’ve embedded your video on, you'll see other sites in these reports: blogs, forums, Twitter pages and Facebook groups. The more your content is spreading, the better.

If your content is proving popular on a particular blog or social network, you can use host site reporting data to focus your investment in time, money or pay per click campaigns on those sites where your content is already getting an audience.

Host site reporting lets you see exactly where your video is travelling which is great for online PR, reputation management and where the goal is to drive traffic back to your site.

4. Geographic

With geographic reports per video, you can see which content is more popular in which markets. Just like host site reporting, this can be a really helpful way of tailoring your approach to local needs. You can even go down to city level within a country if you like.

Looking at geographic reporting on, say, an English language version of a video could help you choose whether to invest in foreign language translations and if so, which languages to cater for.

5. Bandwidth

Your data usage reports can be split down per video, this lets you see which items are using the most of your data allowance. If you wish, you can reduce the quality levels on certain clips so that they still serve your needs but without a large data cost - then 'un-throttle' them later on with a click.

Carefully monitoring your per-video bandwidth consumption will help you get more for your money – and switching off pre-buffering (where the video loads in the background before playing) on certain videos will avoid wasting data, especially in those situations where your analytics data indicate a high page view count but low video view levels.

6. Conversion

Any conversion or A/B testing project will require integration with your content management or e-commerce system, but it could give you the very best insight of all: which products or parts of your site perform better with the addition of video.

The Buto player can be configured to add a tag to the URL string when a viewer visits a page, so that if they reach a goal in your site such as a landing page or checkout, your e-commerce system can report on whether a video has been part of their journey.

If you create two routes to the same point by A/B testing a page with and without video you can calculate the exact uplift in conversion that the addition of video is having to each page you test it on.

These principles aren’t exclusive to Buto, but we have designed our system with exactly this sort of measurability and insight in mind. We’d love to offer you a free trial and see how you could get more out of your online video – check out if you want to find out more.

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