Everything you need to know about video analytics!

What is video analytics? Video analytics makes data understandable by returning it in the form of metrics. Find out more in the post!

video analytics
Marketing Team
Video Marketing Everything you need to know about video analytics!

Table of contents


What is video analytics? Video analytics makes data understandable by returning it in the form of metrics. Through video analytics, we measure, quantify, and give meaning, including operational meaning, to how our video performs. Find out more in the blogpost!

What is video analytics?

Video, as we have written about many times on this blog, is one of the most effective forms of content. Marketers can use it to intercept audience attention, increase conversions, and improve customer relationships.

Among the reasons that make video marketing an increasingly popular approach for companies of all industries and sizes is its ability to employ creativity and storytelling to convey brand messages and raise awareness of products and services. In the field of digital communication, all video marketing initiatives, even the most ambitious, inspired, and bold, now share a common foundation: they are based on the insights that are produced through video analytics.

By the term “video analytics” we refer both to data analysis activities and to the results of these analyses. In both cases, the data is made understandable because they are returned to us in the form of metrics, numbers by which we are able to measure, quantify, and give meaning, including operational meaning, to how our video is performing. In this sense, video analytics proves to be an invaluable source of resources in the service of companies because it gives marketing and sales teams a comprehensive view of how leads and customers interact with their videos. 

From video analytics activities come information on geolocation, preferences, usage patterns, bounce rates, length of viewing, a host of other aspects that help define-and improve, once this information is contextualized within a marketing strategy-the type of relationship the brand has established with the individual user.

In contexts where both businesses and consumers are literally invaded by the mighty streams of data embedded in video, video analytics contents are essential for bringing order to extremely chaotic environments, for optimizing business processes, and being able to design personalized customer experiences that are truly meaningful. 

To unleash the potential of data and extract insights for use in decision making, we must be clear about what we mean when we talk about video analytics

Video analytics means greater consumer insight

Video content, when included in a marketing strategy, can become an extremely powerful medium for increasing brand awareness, engagement, and lead generation. 

In addition, telling a story through video is one of the ways that brands have most frequently and consistently adopted to create valuable relationships with their customers. 

In the context of business communication, which is, by definition, functional for completing a transaction, video, more than any other medium, makes it possible to establish a relationship with recipients. This connection, even where it is ultimately aimed at a financial exchange, is all the more powerful the more the stories you tell draw on a shared experience in order to convey emotion. 

For these stories to resonate with viewers, you must get to know them. Even better, you need to have an in-depth knowledge of specific segments of viewers. Data analytics is the activity that–as never before, thanks to advances in AI and machine learning–makes available a type of knowledge that is both broad and timely and articulate. Video analytics makes a critical contribution to the maturation of this wealth of shared knowledge.

From video as a mystery object to the granularity of video analytics

Going into even more detail: thanks to video analytics, marketers have a direct view of how a certain video content “performs”, in terms of both the dynamic evolution of its fruition and the success of communication goals (e.g., engagement and conversions). Marketers can thus identify what works and what does not, with an accuracy and timeliness that is impossible for other types of formats, e.g., texts. 

To clarify this step, let’s compare a blog post with a video. If a reader fills out a form after reading an article, it’s impossible for us to trace the element– a paragraph, a call to action, an infographic, or image–that convinced him. Perhaps it was the call to action, perhaps a brilliant anecdote, perhaps it was the explanatory passage, the schematic image or the suggestive one: we just don’t know.

On the other hand, video analytics shows the exact point in the video sequence where the user paused. It tells us how long that pause lasted and whether the viewing was completed. It also pinpoints the point at which, if an action occurred, the viewer acted. No conjecture, hypothesis, or assumption. Video enjoyment can be broken down with remarkable granularity, assigning each unit of content a value that is both symbolic and economic.

This is one of the key points to consider when it comes to video analytics: the ability to link a clear ROI not only to the videos, but also to the individual components into which a video is structured, dynamically comparing them to the marketing objectives and results actually achieved.

Digital video marketing, which takes advantage of the opportunities of digital transformation, shifts the focus from the content itself (which in a pre-internet era was a kind of mysterious, almost impenetrable object) to the interaction with the content, which can instead be described, measured, and interpreted each time viewers experience the content. All of this information, which is gathered during different marketing campaigns and initiatives, can be easily extracted precisely because of video analytics.

Video analytics are therefore crucial within markets that are becoming more customer-centric every day and where companies need to carefully build their digital presence in order to calibrate messages against not only different audiences, but also different channels. 

Let’s pause for a moment and take a small step back. What is video analytics? What specific capability defines it, regardless of the industries where it’s used?

Video analytics: the ability to determine temporal and spatial events 

To recount the origins of video analytics, we have to step away from marketing for a moment. In fact, the notion of video analytics is formed in a different, very circumscribed field, namely that of video filming, recording, and surveillance. 

Video analysis or video analytics (VA), also known as video content analytics (VCA), can help us automatically analyze video to detect and determinate temporal and/or spatial event. This technical capability is being used in a wide range of domains and applications, within purely recreational or web browsing activities (web search and selection of video content, with the goal of meeting informational needs or interactively verifying the relevance of the content itself) and sectors such as health care, retail, automotive, transportation, home automation, fire detection, safety and security (for people and place), and marketing, to name a few.

There are different types of video analytics. One of the simplest forms, for example, is video motion detection, where motion is detected in relation to a fixed background scene. More advanced capabilities include video monitoring and egomotion (the 3D movement of a camera within an environment), video synthesis, object recognition, behavior analysis, and other forms of situational awareness (the perception of environmental elements and events with respect to time or space, understanding their meaning and projecting their future state).

These newer applications of video analysis, which pave the way for virtual and augmented reality, are being looked at by marketers with increasing interest– video marketing in e-commerce deserves a separate discussion–because they are consistent with the trend favoring immersive and phygital experiences.

The world’s most valuable resource

The engines of video analytics are algorithms, which can be implemented as software on general-purpose machines or as hardware in specialized video processing units or customizable platforms. In any case, the “fuel” that enables the triggering of increasingly advanced analytics processes is data.

Data has always been mission-critical for decision making, but with mass digitization it has become, in the words of The Economist back in 2017, “the world’s most valuable resource”, whose exponential growth shows no signs of slowing down.

According to IDC, the amount of digital data created in the next five years will be more than double the amount of data produced since the advent of digital storage. This means that in the next five years, marketers will have to analyze and make sense of twice the amount of data created in the past 22 years.

Digital marketers are challenged to master those tools that enable them to quickly extract, structure, and visualize data to achieve mission-critical business results. Video analytics plays an absolutely central role in this regard because it makes it possible to correlate the data embedded in video and the assessment of business performance. 

Put another way: video analytics allows you to stop guessing and instead start making informed decisions based on hard facts. 

The role of video analytics in defining the success of a video (and a video marketing strategy)

Producing snapshots of the present to direct future courses of action is critical for marketers. Video analytics are used to define the success of an individual video, video marketing initiatives, and even long-term strategies.

Let’s start with an indisputable fact: for a video to be effective, it must support the brand’s marketing objectives. 

If the expectation is to increase awareness, gaining a large number of shares over a short period of time is probably an indication that you’ve taken the right path. But while virality is perhaps something positive in an absolute sense, it is certainly not enough to declare that a video (let alone a marketing initiative) is successful or not.

In the case of video marketing, there is no universally applicable definition of success; rather, there are infinite options depending on the specific situation of a brand at a given moment in time. In other words, it depends on the expected goal. This is where video analytics and metrics come into play to track the video’s journey through the established touchpoints and to provide the elements by which to understand how (and whether) the video’s performance meets the set goals.

Predicting the future with video analytics and video marketing metrics

According to biteable’s guide to video analytics, there are at least 10 metrics that every marketer should pay attention to, regardless of their business goals:

  1. Number of impressions: the number of times the video was loaded in the user’s browser or app. The number of impressions does not mean that a user actually watched the video. It could have happened, for example, that the video was played in the background without anyone watching it.
  2. Total number of views: the number of times someone clicked on the video or the number of times someone accidentally stopped on the video, triggering automatic playback.
  3. Play rate: the number of views divided by the number of impressions.
  4. View length: how long the user watched the video before abandoning it.
  5. Engagement rate: the number of people who are still watching the video at any given time, divided by the number of people who started watching it.
  6. Device type: the type of device used to watch the video.
  7. Operating system type: the operating system used to watch the video.
  8. Viewer location: the country or geographical area where the viewer is located.
  9. Referral source: the source that referred the user to the video (e.g., social media or a landing page).
  10. Conversions: the number of viewers who followed up on the CTA.

According to Forbes, while video is confirmed as one of the best ways to connect emotionally with consumers, data will drive video content strategy across every digital channel. Data and analytics will be the foundation of content optimization efforts, which will increasingly leverage artificial intelligence to support brands in their efforts to maximize their return on investment. 

Brands, digital channels (from social networks to websites), and the user-consumers who buy from brands and populate these same channels all demonstrate a preference for video content. Knowing how qualified audience segments interact with video content then becomes a matter of great strategic importance: that is why the future of video–and video marketing–is already inextricably intertwined with that of video analytics.

Tell us about you