Demo videos are one of the best ways to engage and motivate buyers who are researching a business purchase. Ask any B2B sales or marketing team and they’ll tell you that video is one of their most effective tools for generating leads and closing deals.
But, as with all digital B2B marketing tactics, truly maximizing your investment relies on measuring audience response to your demo videos and optimizing your efforts based on what you learn. By monitoring key demo video metrics, you can put your marketing dollars behind the most effective campaigns and leverage your video content for channels and audiences that mean business.
In this post, I’ll look at some key demo video metrics and how they can help you manage your marketing budget and grow revenue.
Demo video metrics are all about context
To understand how metrics illustrate the true effectiveness of demo videos, you first have to appreciate the distinct role that demos play in the B2B purchase process.
Demo videos focus on the differentiators, or “wow factors,” that set your solution apart from the competition. Your most desirable audience for demo videos already understands the essential value of your solution, and has already spent some time researching a potential purchase. They are already engaged and eager to learn, even if viewing your demo video is your first interaction with them. It’s part of their job.
You’ll see a lot of articles that spell out basic metrics for marketing videos (this primer by HubSpot is particularly helpful as a starting point). This is all useful information, but it most often focuses on high-funnel or branding videos that target very broad audiences, usually on global platforms like YouTube.
Demo videos are different. Because B2B marketing tends to target specific industries and clearly identified buying personas, getting the highest gross response numbers isn’t the primary goal. Typically, engagement rates for B2B videos, particularly demos, tend to be higher than B2C videos. But you want to make sure the right people are watching your demo video, and that the view is followed up by action that leads to revenue.
Demo video metrics that fit your business
Most of the basic metrics I’ll discuss here are available via any video hosting platform, and all offer valuable insights into how your demo videos are performing. To track these metrics at an account or even individual level, you may choose to invest in a more advanced hosting platform or a marketing automation system. And if you are really data-driven, you can connect the dots between these base metrics to create key performance indicators (KPIs) that clearly illustrate how a video view translates into revenue.
With that said, here are seven metrics that you should be tracking to make sure you are getting the most benefit from your demo videos.
Many of our clients here at Autodemo tell us this is the number-one demo video metric they watch. Play rate is the number of people who actually view your video, divided by the number of people who see the page where it is presented. In other words, it’s the metric that lets you know that people who are given the chance are actually choosing to watch your video.
Play rates for B2B demo videos will vary widely, depending on the channel where you are presenting them. Demo videos that appear in search results are not as likely to get a view as those that live on email campaign landing pages, where the prospect has actively chosen to come for more information. It’s really about the competition you have for the page viewers’ attention. But, as always, B2B play rates will tend to be higher than those for B2C videos, since you are speaking to a motivated audience.
Pro Tip: The best way to increase your play rate, regardless of the channel where the video is hosted, is to have a great custom thumbnail that tells the viewer how watching your demo will help grow their business.
Total Views / Watch Time
In B2C, you’ll typically want your brand-centric videos to be watched by the most viewers possible. The more minutes they watch, the better.
In B2B, getting views definitely matters. But, what you really want is for it to be seen by prospects within the actual market for your solution or product. So total views should be evaluated as a percentage of your total addressable market (TAM) – not from a “more is better” perspective. There’s nothing wrong with a demo video “going viral,” of course, but that’s not their real purpose. The same is largely true of watch time. Demo videos in particular need to be precise and to the point (we suggest to our customers here at Autodemo that they are no more than 90 seconds long), so they are not likely to pile up huge watch time numbers.
Pro tip: If you want to include total views and watch time in your KPIs for demo videos, that’s great. But they should be factored with resulting conversions and progress toward a sale. Otherwise, they can present a misleading picture of how your demo video is helping your business.
Average View Duration / Completion Rate
This metric tracks what percentage of your video a typical user completes before clicking away. It’s among the most cited and important measures of the quality of your video content – a well-paced, engaging video will keep viewers’ attention.
For B2B demo videos, you can expect view / complete rates to be very high, when compared to B2C benchmarks. Many surveys say that well over half of business users (60 percent or more, in fact) will watch a video until the end if it is about a minute long or less. This metric skew higher in campaigns where you target highly qualified audiences who are active in purchase research. Again, with demo videos, we are talking about viewers who are actually doing their jobs by watching your videos. If your content is good, they will keep watching.
Pro Tips: Keep your demo videos brief and on-topic Also, be sure to set play time / completion rate benchmarks against your own best campaigns, since these numbers will vary so much from audience to audience.
Rewatches reflect the percentage of your audience that is re-watching your entire video, or more significantly, a specific portion of your video. These rewatches indicate that a topic is really resonating with viewers. With demo videos, this typically translates into a “wow factor” feature or capability that’s a real attention-getter or addresses a significant pain point for the viewer.
A high rewatch rate on your demo video indicates that viewers are actually doing purchase research and taking careful note of what you are saying. It may well indicate that it’s time to escalate an engaged account to high-touch offers like webinars, or advance the account to inside sales. A lot of rewatches in a specific section is a great signal that you may want to create a shorter optimized version of that video content to target a specific audience segment with programmatic ad campaigns or email.
Tip: Be sure to organize your demo video into sections built around each key differentiator you are emphasizing. You can also use section title cards, as you can see in the example below, to make it easy for viewers to find and rewatch the specific sections that are important to them.
Of all the so-called “engagement” metrics, this one is probably the most difficult to pin down for demo videos. It’s certainly important – studies show that more than half of video views, and as much as 90 percent of mobile views, come from sharing. But, again, these reports typically focus on B2C or high-funnel explainer videos, which often use humor or other entertainment elements to drive those shares. Demos are all about business.
Essentially, you want to ensure that the share numbers on your demo videos continue to increase among your desired audience. This means creating easy-to-digest, 15-second videos for platforms like LinkedIn that focus on business.
Pro Tip: If social is a big part of your marketing strategy, try to engage a key influencer in your industry to share a quick demo clip.
One of the most commonly-cited stats about the benefits of marketing videos is that they raise conversion rates on web pages by as much as 80 percent. That data point focuses on both explainer and demo videos’ roles in converting anonymous traffic to opt-in leads. But the general wisdom holds true across all transactional pages. Video convinces an engaged prospect to find your landing page to share a little information with you.
Basic conversion rates infer from the rate at which a page with a video present results in a transaction. By expanding that math to include other metrics, including video play rate and view time on sessions that result in a conversion, you can create powerful KPIs that help determine the most effective uses of your demo video content.
Pro Tip: Since demos are active late in the purchase cycle, mapping a resulting conversion to booked revenue creates absolutely compelling KPIs for investing in demo videos.
My last point is not technically a “metric,” in so much as you can’t boil it down to a simple percentage. But the comments and questions viewers leave on social and public platforms can be every bit as valuable as a focus group or informal survey.
This is particularly true of demo videos, since any viewer interested enough to leave a detailed comment about a key feature of your solution would likely be a good candidate for a more formal feedback process. Track likes and dislikes, where appropriate, but also be sure to note good ideas and constructive criticisms that don’t fit neatly into a thumbs up / thumbs down model.
Data-driven demo video marketing begins with metrics
In this post, I’ve covered some of the key demo video metrics you can use to optimize your marketing investment. Depending on the complexity of your B2B marketing operation, you may want to take your data-driven approach to demo videos further. For example, if you are using demo videos as assets in a highly-targeted paid social campaign, you’ll definitely want to track click-through rates for your target audience segments.
The possibilities are endless. And they all start with understanding and measuring how demo videos help your best, most-engaged prospects become loyal customers.