How to Measure ROI for Online Video

You work with video, but  is it working for you? Is your video initiative delivering the results needed to justify itself?

No matter what kind of video initiative your company has planned—whether it’s internal communications, B2B, or marketing—you’ve got to show that it’s delivering results.

Measuring those results, the return on investment (ROI) for your video project, can be tricky. To help you out we spoke to Steve Vonder Haar, an expert on video ROI. Vonder Haar is the research director for Interactive Media Strategies, a company he founded in 2002 to look at the business communications market space. He’s been examining video ROI for years.

“if video doesn’t pay for itself, then nobody’s going to use it,” says Vonder Haar.

Here are Vonder Haar’s top five ways for measuring the ROI of your video campaign.

1. Identify Your Objectives
The simplest way to measure ROI is to decide what you want your video to accomplish and see if that’s being done. Who are you trying to reach? What message are you trying to deliver?

“Only when you identify your communications objectives can you identify the returns you’re likely to get from the implementation of video,” says Vonder Haar.

For organizations that are new to video, it’s best to look for the simplest ROI calculation possible. It might be as simple as saving on travel costs. Does using video mean that more people can attend an event at a lower cost?

“This is the classic mode of generating ROI: by keeping people off of planes and out of hotel rooms,” says Vonder Haar. That’s all you need to justify the implementation and get your organization started embracing video.

2. Look for Benefits
You’ll have to get creative in how you search out ROI, says Vonder Haar. Can you get your sales team information more quickly? And does having information faster translate to more sales or increase the selling time of a product?

You’re getting into intangible benefits here, and knowledge is difficult to measure.

“What’s the impact of a sales person who knows a piece of information two to three weeks earlier than would have been the case?” asks Vonder Haar. “You have to have faith that enhanced communications enhances the effectiveness of your workforce.”

Keep in mind that no one asks the ROI of the long distance phone bill, Vonder Haar says. That’s seen as an essential communication tool and it’s not new technology. Streaming video is a next generation tool that can make people more effective.

3. Look at the Analytics
If you go with the right video platform, you can get detailed analytics data that will show you how people interact with your video. If you do a webcast, see what people watch to the end. Those could be clients who have taken the time to learn about a new product or service and are due for a sales call.

Some analytics tools can let you know as soon as a potential client has finished watching a video, so a sales person can call them while they still have it in mind. Video can be the first step in building engagement with an interested prospect, says Vonder Haar.

4. Examine Customer Support Savings
Support and tutorial videos on your website can help employees or customers learn things by themselves. A video can take the place of a glossy four-color brochure, providing more engagement for less money.

“Any way an organization communicates today can be improved or augmented by the implementation of outbound video,” says Vonder Haar.

5. Look for Work Hours Saved
Repetitive tasks are often good choices for video. It you have trainers who teach new hires the same information every week, consider putting that training on video. This frees your corporate trainers to teach more advanced topics. Work hours that you saved by using video count toward the ROI equation, says Vonder Haar.

That’s all the ROI talk for now, but check back next month when we’re talk to Vonder Haar about business video analytics and the tools available to make business video more measurable.


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  1. This post is a real help for small biz owners in understanding how videos can help with their sales and cost efficiency.

    Your theme of ‘keeping it simple’ will also help business owners overcome their reluctance and uncertainty about using videos.

    Most importantly, this post will enable more businesses with fewer staffs and lower budgets become more competitive.

    Posted by Video Marketing Australia | November 19, 2010, 2:02 am
  2. Great article with some interesting pointers.

    We’re a UK based video production company and we’ve come up with our own article about how to measure video ROI. Link >

    Posted by Matthew | September 8, 2011, 6:39 am
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