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Deep-Dive: Views are a vanity metric ... or are they?
So the general consensus is that views are a vanity metric, but is that really true? And what does this misunderstood metric mean to marketing professionals?
Well, let’s take a look and see what impact a load of views on your content has on, well, your content.
Full Video Transcription
So the general consensus is that views are a vanity metric, but is that really true? And what does this misunderstood metric mean to marketing professionals? Well, let’s take a look and see what impact a load of views on your content has on, well, your content.
So, the first thing is, that views don’t necessarily mean a successful video. If you’re judging the impact that your video content is having, you want to be looking at watch time, click through rates and conversions. You can find out all about the different video metrics and what they mean in our video metrics video.
But, view count does have an impact on your content and also tells you a lot about the performance of the content that you have created.
For example, if you’re getting a huge amount of views, and you know that you are targeting the right audience, but your average watch time is low, completion rate is low, or click through rate is low, then you know that your content is not hitting the spot with your viewer and they’re not being engaged enough to take your desired action.
So that’s great. That tells us how well we’re engaging our audience once they’ve got into the video, but what I want to talk about is what a high view count on a video does in terms of getting more views on your video.
Let’s talk about social proof. So social proof is a term coined by Robert Cialdini in his 1984 book Influence, he describes a psychological and social phenomenon wherein people copy the actions of others in an attempt to undertake behaviour in a given situation. So the term has been around for a little while, but more recently is it hugely prevalent and has a dramatic effect on the way in which people engage with content on social media.
To put it simply, people are more inclined to watch a video that has a load of likes, shares, comments and, of course, views. It’s why view count is shown on videos across most platforms and watch-time is often hidden and only available to the creator.
So what does this mean to your video content, or your client’s video content? Buy a load of views from some random dodgy company online? Nope. Absolutely not. That type of trickery will get you banned. But what about putting a bit of ad spend behind the video to get the numbers up? Where does that sit on your moral compass?
There’s a brilliant book called One Million Followers by Brandan Kane. He basically talks you through how he built a million strong following on facebook within 30 days. Now, obviously to get the ball rolling he uses a bit of ad spend, but to get the best out of his spend, he targeted people (to start off with) in developing countries. So instead of a page like costing him 10c, it cost him a fraction of that. But, this was just to get the ball rolling and to get people liking the page, so when his actual audience persona visited the page, they were more inclined to like the page, because, well, others had, so it must be good, right?
Now I would love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments, but in my opinion, it’s a very powerful tactic when used correctly. A video that has views and engagement is far more likely to engage your target audience when they come across your content.
So where would I suggest that this strategy is applied for production companies and freelancers. Well, there is only one place that I would use this tactic and that is in the Awareness Stage. If you’re not sure what the awareness stage is, you can find out more in our other videos, but it’s basically before they are aware of your brand. Your content is designed to help them define an issue, or an opportunity, that they face and move them into engaging with more of your content or specifically for visiting your website. That’s a commitment and allows us to build custom audiences of people that we know are engaged with our content, so we can serve them more content that progresses them down the Buyer’s Journey.
So, whilst your content needs to be strong to get those people to comply with your call to action (watch our audience personas and ‘what should I be talking about to my prospects’ videos if you want to understand exactly how to get the right messaging), using a small amount of ad-spend to get a good amount of video views on that content is actually going to have a powerful effect on the viewing rate of your atual target audience.
And it’s all down to social proof.
So, there you go. The video views metric can be misleading and often gets a good bashing, but it’s a powerful metric that you can not only generate key insights from, but it always has a subliminal effect on other potential viewers.
Now, one of the challenges that marketing professionals face is how to track and report the ROI of your video content. And I want to give that knowledge for free. All you’ve got to do is click on the link below this video, or in the description, and you’ll be able to see and show how powerful your video content has been performing for you, your client or your business. You know video is powerful and this resource gives you everything that you need to confidently show just how powerful your content is.
And, as always, If you do have any questions, please drop them in the comments below and I’ll be sure to reply to you.
One final thing, each week, I run a free training session for people just like you who are wanting to drive the very best results from their video marketing. If that sounds like something that you’d be interested in, just click on the free training link below to find out more. It’s only an hour long, but you come away with a lot of clarity! Hopefully I’ll see you there.
That’s all for this week. Come back next week for another No Nonsense Content Strategy Deep Dive!