Author’s Note: This post was written by Omniture Consulting’s video guru’s!

Over the past 12-18 months, video has quickly become one of the fastest growing and effective forms of rich media on the internet.  And just like all other online marketing opportunities, it should be monitored and optimized to maximize your return on investment.  In this post, we’ll provide insight not only into the importance of online videos but also how Omniture can help you extract maximum ROI.

Why Online Video Reporting?
Why is online video so important to your online business?  For content providers, such as media companies, video provides a lucrative monetization stream as well as a rich engaging tool for visitors.   Pre-roll advertisements, for example, command higher CPM’s than their static content counterparts.   Knowing how much video is consumed, what the optimum video length for your audience is, and which parts of your video are most watched allow you to optimize your ad sell space.

Retailers use video for product review or demonstration purposes, with the hope that customers who view videos will become more likely to purchase a product or service.  Service providers can use video to reduce support costs by providing an informative, highly engaging self service support tool.  The same can be said for any number of online businesses with goals including lead generation, micro-conversions, and brand awareness. Knowing which of your videos lead to the most online conversions can allow you to effectively allocate money and resources creating them.

Clearly video can be an important part of your online strategy, and Omniture can help you make the most of it. Though not an exhaustive list, here are a few critical questions that Omniture SiteCatalyst can help you answer:

Most Popular Videos/Video Categories
What are my most popular videos or categories?  The report below tells you at a glance which videos are your most popular for the specified time period.  You can also see that average view time and how many users watch 70-100% of your video (the reporting percentage displayed can easily be configured).  If you notice that a video is very popular but has a poor completion rate, then that video may need to be shortened or the video title may not match your user’s expectation what the video should be.

In addition to video views, other metrics like video visits tell you how many overall visits to the site included at least one video view. And like most other Site Catalyst Variables, you can classify on the video title so that you can report these metrics by relevant categories like topic, video creator, publish date etc.

Optimal Video Length
Are my videos the optimal length for my audience?  Continuing the example above, let’s say that you notice a popular video has a particularly low completion rate.  To determine why, you could pull a video segments viewed report to see where the drop off occurs.  In the report below, it looks like more than half of the audience drops off within first 30 seconds of the video.  Past the 30 second mark the remaining audience tends to stay to the end. What is it about the first 30 seconds of our video that could be contributing to this drop off? Are all the points of interest in the first 30 seconds of the video?  Perhaps there’s a technical issue that makes the video jerky or load slowly.  Is there a critical mid-roll commercial that contributes to abandonment?  These are all questions that we can investigate further for our key videos.

Video Contribution
Do my videos contribute in a positive way to my site success?  The report below shows which videos were viewed in the same visit as a purchase.  Site Catalyst allows you to attribute revenue anywhere from the last video viewed or up to the last 10 videos viewed before the purchase.

Viral Video Tracking
If I have videos that I put out on popular video sharing sites such as YouTube, Viddler, and Yahoo! Video, can I know how widely they are being viewed in an easy fashion?   SiteCatalyst can help here as well.  Omniture has just announced an exclusive new feature that is now available as a beta to the general Omniture customer base.  This new tool that allows you to monitor your videos across all the popular video sharing sites and, in one report, see the total number of views. You can also create custom video lists that you want to track.  If you are interested in joining this Beta program, please contact your Omniture Account Manager or Consultant for more details.

Getting Started
So how do you get started?  The answer to this depends on your media player and how custom you need your implementation to be.  Omniture code can be used to track any Quicktime, Windows Media, or Real Player videos.  Plus SiteCatalyst can be used to track flash based video players, including any third-party vendors (such as BrightCove and Maven) that allow their customers to add custom code their players.

To get started, log into Site Catalyst then go to Supporting Docs>> Manuals.  The first entry under the Implementation Guide column is the Media Tracking and Action Source manual.  This is a manual that will give you direction on tracking videos, using both JavaScript and Flash, in addition to tracking flash applications in general.   You can also search the knowledge base for any white papers that may be helpful.  See the Media Tracking manual for more details on what kind of effort would be involved for your particular player.

How custom does your video implementation need to be?   If you only need to see video data within the video reports of SiteCatalyst, then a basic implementation should be enough for you.  However, if you want to see more granular video data or that data in relation to your other custom eVars, props, and events, then a little more customization should be done.  You can learn more from the implementation guide.

Finally, how much will this cost?  Video tracking is based on the number of server calls being sent to Omniture.  There is no cost to enable the video reports in your report suite or to obtain the code from your Account Manager or Consultant.  The only incremental cost is the additional number of server calls sent during video play.  As part of the out-of-the-box tracking option, a server call is sent at video begin and end (2 server calls per complete video watched).  To get more granular viewing information, we recommend that you send update server calls throughout video play.  You can send as few or as many as you like.  The more frequent the updates, the more detailed that data and vice versa.  Omniture code allows you to send updates at custom percentage complete milestones (such as 25%, 50%, or 75%) or for number of seconds watched (every 30 seconds, for example).  So the number of server calls sent in per video is completely dependent on the cost benefit of additional server calls per video view.  Other factors such as video length, video content, and your audience will help determine the right number of server calls per video for your site.

As always, you can engage with an Omniture Consultant for more advanced help and to discuss options related to pros/cons of more granular video tracking.

Have a question about anything related to Omniture SiteCatalyst?  Is there something on your website that you would like to report on, but don’t know how?  Do you have any tips or best practices you want to share?  If so, please leave a comment here or send me an e-mail at insidesitecatalyst@omniture.com and I will do my best to answer it right here on the blog so everyone can learn! (Don’t worry – I won’t use your name or company name!).  If you are on Twitter, you can follow me at http://twitter.com/Omni_man.

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6 comments
Simon Jones
Simon Jones

As more and more people take up Internet plans by satellite broadband providers, more people will have an inclination to prefer rich media content like videos, and hence companies should explore video as a promotion tool in order to stay with the times

Nemara
Nemara

Can someone enlighten me on how to tag videos such a way, that we can see previous pages from which customers landed on the video and the next page they went to from there? We have run out of pathing options

mike
mike

I have one question though – does including pre-roll to a video player affect siteCatalyst measurements? e.g. the pre-roll begins on clicking the play button on the player. Previously "" in context data mapping, was set to fire an event to indicate the video had been played (but not how much, we include milestones for that). Do you know does including a pre-roll then to the player mess up our video view stats or does the plugin only come into effect when the pre-roll is finished? thank you, Mike

ashishk
ashishk

Hi, can anyone tell what is the procedure to create a new login account?

James
James

This looks like great functionality, but the manuals and white papers are really confusing - particular when it comes to tracking Flash video. Just can't seem to get it to work. Hopefully now Omniture is part of Adobe this can be made much easier to handle.

Ron Greenleaf
Ron Greenleaf

Very well written and interesting! I've learned something new today. Thanks Team Omniture ! ! ! Ron Greenleaf (Chad's Dad)