Video Engagement: How to Measure, Improve & Succeed
Millions of hours of video content are being watched daily, making video the biggest winner yet among online content formats. But the level of video engagement is significant as well–it’s not enough just to produce video content that no one is watching or interacting with! Especially if you’re in the marketing game, being able to gauge the level of audience engagement is key in a forward-looking marketing strategy. Being able to tell what your audience is responding to will clarify what you can do to measure, improve, and succeed based on the performance of your video content. For a more in-depth look at engagement and how to make the most of it, continue below.
- Video Engagement Definition & Stats
- Do Videos Increase Overall Engagement?
- Top Parameters Affecting Video Engagement
- How to Measure & Calculate Engagement in Videos
- Video Engagement Differences by Platform
- Best Tips & Hacks to Improve Video Engagement
- How to Choose the Best Video Engagement Solution
- Final Thoughts
Video Engagement Definition & Stats
Video engagement is not just watching or speaking to another person through a screen. Video engagement means using your video platform to hold viewer attention, increase interest, and assess strengths and weaknesses to improve. Statistically speaking, over 87% of businesses are using video to communicate internally and externally (more on that stat below), up from 63% in 2017. Furthermore, 74% of marketers in some recent surveys have said that videos are more effective at generating leads than blog posts. And other surveys have shown that people are likely to stay on a website at least two minutes longer and are over 60% more likely to make a purchase presented with video.
In short, “engagement” is considered the main factor determining how much viewers will retain from videos they watch: how many viewers both stick around to watch your content from the beginning and don’t drip out or tune out in the middle of the presentation. A higher engagement level indicates a more effective video.
Speaking of statistics, video engagement can in some ways also be a measurable quantity. You can look at various metrics and statistics of how viewers have interacted with your video and use data and analytics to build your video strategy and improve the quality and performance of future videos.
Two of the most basic measures of a video’s impact and viewer engagement are:
Views- The most basic metric attached to your video content: “Did anyone watch it?” However, as we’ll lay out further below, what constitutes a “view” may vary by video platform! Not all views are alike.
Shares- When people watch your video, are they sharing it with others? If so, it’s a sure sign the video provided something of value to the viewer.
However, this is only scratching the surface. It’s possible to get much more granular in observing and analyzing engagement.
Do Videos Increase Overall Engagement?
In 2018, Forbes reported on a study indicating that 83% of consumers would share video content with friends if it were relevant to their interests. That study has been updated through 2022 and seems to bear out the trend (this is also the source the statistic of “87% video use” comes from).
So, in short, yes; while it might seem video could hit a saturation point, the actual signs point to a continuing trend. Additionally, in 2021, nine out of ten people surveyed said they would like to see more video content from brands. An added bonus is that people seem highly likely to be influenced towards purchases through video, particularly explainers and educational videos featuring products. Finally, if your product or service is well-covered by other video content creators, it could also have the side effect of improving your sales overall through brand awareness.
Top Parameters Affecting Video Engagement
How people interact with your video depends on the type of video, content, and platform, but here are a few major factors.
Quality: Online video quality can be a real grab bag, and you can never tell what viewers will be willing to ignore, but generally the rule of thumb, if you’re representing a brand, is you want to present the highest video quality possible. Make sure you’re working with the best quality camera and highest resolution that’s appropriate when producing the content and consider adding some polish like light graphics and titles. Viewers are more likely to take you seriously.
While in some cases viewers will watch up to an hour of online content unless you’re producing some sort of entertainment, talk show, or analysis, it’s best to respect your viewers’ time. There are also more than a few indicators that videos over 5 minutes in duration average at about 60% engagement, whereas 1–4-minute videos average around 71-72%.
Audio can turn out to be a significant engagement factor in videos. It’s often pointed out that while online audiences will forgive a lot in the area of video quality, poor-quality audio is a top reason people stop watching or listening to content …and also a primary reason to drop out of a video call, virtual event or similar activity. Or, on the other hand, it’s possible that viewers will not be able to watch a video alongside the audio, so if the video can’t provide value while on “mute”, that might also be a factor. It’s important to contextualize your audience to understand which way audio will influence them.
Relevance to Viewer
One reason for quick engagement drops at the beginning of a video is that the viewer was looking for something else, and they quickly stop watching after the title screen. But remember you can also lose your viewers. Key offenses are taking too long to get to your main point (especially in instructional videos, etc.) Other possibilities include calls to action that happen at the wrong time and take the viewer away from the video or confusingly worded scripts that might indicate the video is ending early.
How to Measure & Calculate Engagement in Videos
Measuring video engagement depends on the type of data and metrics that are important to you. We’ll outline a few ways user data is analyzed via different platforms below.
You can also apply the concept of “Video Engagement Rate” where there’s a formula that can be followed. Video engagement rate means “the percentage of impressions that have resulted in some form of engagement”, including views, likes, shares, etc.
A simple video engagement rate formula is:
ƒ Count(Video Engagements) / Count(Video Impressions)
So, for example, if your video gets 1000 views and 300 engagements, you have a 30% engagement rate.
Video Engagement Differences by Platform
Measuring video engagement varies over the platform, as there tend to be different expectations for content, and that content’s performance.
Here are some examples using popular consumer apps:
- YouTube: YouTube counts views at 30 seconds or more, not surprising for a platform that has suited itself to longer viewing. Its video engagement metrics include such things as watch time, audience retention, and traffic sources (i.e., where videos are discovered). Its metrics are available to creators on the profile dashboard under “Creator Studio.”
- Facebook: Facebook video counts views at 3 seconds or more, and its metrics include categories such as Reach (number of views), Engagement (in this case, user interaction with the video), and Peak Live Viewers (for live videos), and unique viewers. Facebook keeps its video metrics under the “Insights” tab.
- Instagram: Like Facebook, Instagram clocks in views at 3 seconds or more. You might not realize that video has higher engagement rates on Insta than photos. Instagram’s metrics include video views, likes, comments, subsequent visits to the creator profile, etc. The metrics appear under “View Insights” at the bottom of your videos.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is often overlooked but it carries long-form B2B video content that can be a huge plus for brand engagement and awareness. Views count as 2 seconds or more with the LinkedIn video at least 50% of the video on screen. Metrics include Views, Plays (if the video is played at all regardless of counting as a “view”), Completions/Completion Rate (a completion is a 97% watch through), and Full-Screen Plays. Analytics are available to LinkedIn users underneath the “Posts & Activity” tab.
- TikTok: In a completely different direction, the preferred social video platform of Gen Z (at least, currently) is still mostly focused on entertainment and short attention spans, but it can nonetheless be great for brand awareness. To get analytics on TikTok you have to sign up for a Pro account. TikTok’s analytics provide you with metrics like Views (presumably any hit), Followers (who signed up after views), Profile Views, Trending Videos, and more. In a TikTok Pro Account, metrics are found in the “Account” menu under “Analytics”.
There are numerous other platforms to choose from, but this should give you a sense of how video engagement metrics skew by platform.
Best Tips & Hacks to Improve Video Engagement
Viewer data is going to arm you with the insights you need to elevate your content to something that keeps viewers more engaged. After getting a sense of where interest drops, you can try any of the following to boost engagement:
- Re-edit your video; get to the main points sooner or cut inessential parts
- Change the placement of any calls-to-action
- Update the script
- Create a new intro or outro
Or maybe you want to move on from old content and apply your insights to completely new work. Consider:
- Focus on those subjects you’ve determined to be relevant to your audience.
- Revisiting the issue of audio mentioned above, try adding subtitles!
- Get creative with your video format; maybe a fresh approach is required.
How to Choose the Best Video Engagement Solution
A real video engagement strategy will involve using your video platform itself to increase viewer interest, hold attention, and assess the strengths and weaknesses of your content. Essentially, a centralized environment is required to both deliver content and measure key performance indicators. As such you’ll want to evaluate any prospective platform for these key features:
Live engagement features are made to involve audience members directly in the conversation: chat boxes, Q&A tabs, polls, emoji reactions, and other features keep engagement high during a presentation.
Reporting features are less exciting to look at, but they are the backbone of your data and insights, especially if you’re using prerecorded content. These are the tools that give you moment-to-moment analysis. From there you can fine-tune your strategy and zero in on subjects and topics that will interest your audience. In some cases, it’s a feedback loop for your product or content as well, helping you adjust to better accommodate the audience.
Platform choice will be a strong inroad to engagement as well, as we demonstrated above. Here at Kaltura, we offer a top-tier video platform, though audience engagement lies at the core of ALL our products. We’re both aficionados of data and believe in including a host of quality interactive tools and features to keep viewers invested and engaged with content!
In conclusion, there’s no magic solution to creating engaging video or boosting the engagement levels of existing content–there’ll always be some trial and error and adjustments. But the key takeaway is about delivering your message to the viewer and bringing them along for the ride. We hope that the above tips and breakdowns help you on your journey to creating more engaging videos for your brand and audience!
Looking to maximize your video engagement? Try Kaltura Video Portal for free, today!