How to measure the success of your video campaign

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Don't waste your efforts and measure the success of your video campaign

Probably your nonprofit is struggling to invest in video campaigns. The process of making a video tends to use a lot of human and material resources. Even if it’s a one man show, it will take him a lot of hours and experience to deliver a quality product. So how can a you make sure that these resources are well used? The only option to really measure the success of your video campaign is through a variety of key performance indicators (KPI).


Here are some basic steps that will help your nonprofit’s communication team to make this evaluation.

1. Identify the main goal of your video campaign

Before you can measure the success of your video campaign, you need to identify a core goal and it’s target audience. This doesn’t only benefit your videos content, but will also ensure you have access to all the data you need.

While your nonprofit stakeholders may not have a simple and linear experience, they tend to fit into one of three categories:

  • unaware of your cause, service or product;
  • aware, but wanting to learn more;
  • ready to act.

Let’s say for example that you are creating a video to improve the amount of donations for your nonprofit. As you imagine, the majority of donors will pass through each one of these stages. But in order to be effective in your message, you can focus the video in just one of those stages. For example, you need to decide whether you want to teach them about your cause, or show them how your nonprofit is tackling it and why it needs their support. Both videos might be necessary, but will be shown at different moments of the donors engagement journey (which might be long and will certainly mix different mediums).

So, back to the goals. Having clear if you want awareness, consideration or action, will allow you to tie specific metrics to the goals and begin measuring the success of your video campaign.

2. Select right KPI’s for your goal

Usually there are specific metrics that go hand in hand with each one of those stages. Here’s a chart Google made that will help you select the right KPIs for you video campaign:

KPIs to measure the success of your video campaign


3. Measure them with the right tools

Now it’s time to figure out how to find the right tools to measure your KPI’s.

Usually, the most comprehensive tool YouTube users have access is YouTube Analytics. This tool by it self is already enough to measure (directly and indirectly) some of the selected KPIs. For example, you can find out how long and from where did people watched the video and how did they arrive there. If you cross this information with your campaign’s one (for example, how did you contact the donors and made available the video to them), it can give you clues about who is actually seeing the video and their behavior towards it.

Youtube video Analytics

YouTube Analytics – Park Rangers in Chile

In a more general sense YouTube Analytics, AdWords and Google Analytics will help you to measure metrics like watch time, clicks, views through rate, and signups. But if you need help translating this data into lifts in awareness, consideration, or action intent, you might want to use Brand Lift.

I want to highlight the importance to know how you are going to measure the success of your video campaign, right in the planning stage. And one thing to avoid when evaluating each video, is to rely on your personal opinion. Instead focus on the selected KPI’s and measure the real numbers, analytics and also customer feedback.

More information on some important KPIs

  • Views – Representing the number of views accumulated, this is the most common way to evaluate your video’s success. Basically it indicates your video’s reach and it’s useful to measure the success of your video campaign on creating awareness. Be aware, though, that views are counted in different ways across internet – for example, while a Facebook view is counted once the video is watched for a minimum of 3 seconds, a YouTube view is counted based on a percentage of the length of the video (which can go up to a minimum of 30 seconds or more).
  • Watch Time – You can use metric to measure the success of your video campaign, if your are focusing in a target audience in the consideration stage. This metric is expressed as a percentage and it shows you how much of your video was watched. This can definitely help you understand the quality and usefulness of the video in the target audience eyes. Plus, it can tell you if the audience is reaching the Call-to-Action (CTA) you might have at the end of your video.
  • Clicks (follow through) – This metric is measured specially when you have a clear CTA in your video and are encouraging the viewers to take action. A good example might be a call for the audience to click on a link to your donations page. Here the KPI would be the number of page views that came from that video. This metric is a bit more tricky to track since implies using a different analytics software, like Google Analytics.
  • Social Sharing – This one is usually measured by the numbers of shares across social channels and shows you how much people are sharing your video content. It leads to a greater awareness of your cause as well as an opportunity to tap into a larger audience. This is also a good metric for videos that target audiences that are already engaged in your cause, as it helps you to measure their loyalty and advocacy.
  • Feedback – I saved for last a more qualitative KPI that is also worth to measure, when the opinion of your audience is important. To measure it, you should track how the viewers are reacting and commenting on your video. This KPI can be useful if your are pitching an idea for a crowdfunding project for your nonprofit. And even more if you have a CTA in your video asking the audience to give their opinion on whether they would support it or not. This type of pitching can save you a lot of work! And the only way to get a true feel for it’s reception, is to measure feedback.

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