How to Work with Analytics from Video Hosting Services

YouTube isn’t the only way to distribute video. Most video marketers use video extensively on their company websites, and you must know how to measure this part of the video analytics puzzle as well.

If you use YouTube to publish videos on your site, you’re already set up with YouTube Analytics — though it doesn’t give you all the information you may need and want. Hiring a video hosting service and using specialized video marketing tools can give you additional details to help you make the right marketing decisions.

Know what to expect from a premium video hosting service

You can use a video hosting service to put videos in optimal technical quality on your website and with a higher degree of control over the user experience than you would experience when using a YouTube player.

Hosting services typically provide their own analytics, and vendors have different strengths, so if you know exactly what you’re looking for in your video analytics, consider this information before selecting a hosting provider.

Larger hosting services such as Brightcove and Ooyala often cater primarily to media companies. These larger content creators focus on monetization, or on making money from videos directly, by selling advertising on top of their videos.

The analytics that these companies demand must therefore suggest how much of the ad sales pie their videos have earned (though this aspect isn’t relevant to most marketers, who see video as a marketing tool, not as an end in itself).

Still, the larger hosting services provide all or most of the analytics information that you can get for videos that you host on YouTube. Some are a bit more granular and let you access more detailed information. In some cases, you can even integrate your video analytics with your other web analytics tools, such as Google Analytics. That’s very helpful if you want to see how much traffic or conversions your video content really drives.

Hosting services that are more focused on business users provide granular data at the level of the individual viewer. For example, Wistia provides heat maps that show how much of a video a particular user watches, skips, or rewinds. These services break down users’ geographical locations and, if your video is part of your e-mail marketing campaign, for example, even tell you which people viewed the video and for how long.

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Stick to the goals you’ve defined, and reflect primarily on the data that helps you reach these goals. You can easily become lost in all the analytics bells and whistles that certain video hosting services provide.

Use specialized video marketing tools

Because video marketing is still a complex discipline, several software providers sell tools that simplify a marketer’s life by integrating multiple video marketing channels across several video platforms:

  • Caffeine: Provides an all-in-one solution for video marketing and covers publishing to YouTube, Facebook, and other platforms, comprehensive analytics, video SEO, and playlist management, among others. Caffeine even matches your YouTube statistics with your Google Analytics data. This Pixability product is optimized for marketers who want to save time and realize the highest level of return on their videos.

  • OneLoad: Designed to publish videos to a large number of video platforms. OneLoad (from TubeMogul) also collects analytics from these platforms to provide a unified view of a video’s success.

  • Visible Measures for Publishers: Targets large brands, agencies, and video publishers with a high-end analytics solution. Its broad coverage of different video technologies and platforms provides interesting video industry statistics.

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