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://​twit​ter​.com/​O​m​n​i​_​man.

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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


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


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


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


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)