Hooria Hassan

Burgoning Technologies - Managing Director
Princeton, NJ

    Video Marketing ROI: Here's How to Track Your Returns

    December 15, 2016

    Video marketing has been at the forefront of the industry, and it's not going away. You need to invest, but how much? Here's how to know and track that ROI.

    From Charlie Chapman in the 20s to Buzzfeed’s cooking shorts, video has always been an incredibly engaging medium.

    And with the increasing saturation of video content on our social media feeds, there’s no wonder that everyone from Microsoft to Dave down the road in his garage is interested in leveraging it for their marketing efforts.

    Of course, using video in marketing is more than just finding a film company and cranking out video content.

    This post will explain how you can calculate how much you should invest in video, and how to track and quantify your return on investment.

    1. Calculate your costs

    Before you do anything, you need to get a good idea of what your video is going to cost to make. This will inform everything about the campaign, including:

    Messaging – if it’s very expensive, then you want messaging that’s going to last a while to get your money’s worth.
    Scope – you might have an amazing idea that involves a car, a helicopter, and Bruce Willis. But if you only have $20 then it’s probably not going to happen.
    Platform and distribution – where is it going to be used? How many people are going to see it? The broader the appeal, then the more you can probably spend and still hit a desirable ROI.

    2. Articulate a goal for your video

    One of the biggest problems video marketers run into is that it’s not clear what the video is supposed to do.

    To get a clear picture of what you’re getting for your video efforts, you need to develop both a goal and a way to measure it (more on that in a bit).

    For your goal, think about why you want to use video, and where you want to use it.

    For example, if you want to use video on social media because you’ve noticed a lot of the competition doing that, your goal might be:

    ‘I want to build brand awareness and increase engagement on our social media platforms’

    Alternatively, if you want to use your video on a landing page because you think it would be a good medium to drive conversions, your goal might be:

    ‘I want to increase conversions on our landing page by X percent’

    3. Figure out how you’re going to measure your goal

    You’ve got your goal. Now you need to figure out how to measure it.  This is the crux of measuring your return on investment.

    Depending on your goal, there are a few different ways that are often used to measure the success of failure of a video. Naturally, your success metrics will be different depending on what you’re trying to achieve, so there’s no one size fits all for return on investment. There are, however, a few metrics that are used frequently.

     The bottom line ROI

    This is the most fundamental type of return on investment. It looks at how much revenue resulted from your video. All you need to do is take the value of all the sales that came in and minus the cost of your video, then divide by cost. That formula gives you your return on investment.

    For example, if you spend $10,000 on video production in Surrey and garner $10,500 in sales, your return on investment is:

    ROI = ($10,500 - $10,000)/$10,000 = 0.05, or 5% ROI

    Thus, that would be a 5% return on investment.  

    This sort of calculation is good for companies looking more at acquisition and who have lots of different channels all driving towards the same goal (rather than dedicated channels for acquisition and other channels for awareness).

    The benefit is that it allows you to compare different marketing channels for which one is the most effective. However, it does a poor job of attributing value without a final sale. For example, a customer might view your video but purchase through another channel and the video wouldn’t see that attribution.

    Leads Captured

    This is a great way of capturing ROI for top of funnel activity. Basically, you calculate your ROI based on how many leads come through your door via the video.

    For example, if you have a landing page and you do an A/B test  of the page with a video vs the page without, the difference in leads would be your return on investment.

    There are few ways you can quantify this information. One option is to make the video downloadable content and count the emails that come in. Another way is to put a tracking link wherever you post the video that counts leads and attributes them to the video. Then, you can use cookies to track those sales through your funnel.

    Of course, with software like Salesforce, you can track leads all the way through and compare things like:

    Conversion rate of those who viewed the video vs those who didn’t
    Average sale value of video watchers vs non-video watchers
    Retention rate of video vs non-video watchers

    This will give you a complete picture of what’s going on, and you track these sales all the way through your funnel and assign a dollar value to them.


    For videos where the primary goal is to build awareness of your company, engagement is the best way to look at return on investment. It’s also the most challenging for marketers to measure and quantify, but there are some metrics you can use:

    Views – how many times has your video been viewed?
    Shares – how many people share it on social media?
    Click throughs – how many people click through from your video to your page?
    Reach – how many eyeballs does it get in front of?
    Watch time – how much of your video is getting watched? Are people watching a few seconds or the whole thing?

    All these metrics are important and should be considered together as well as in conjunction with other metrics like a blended cost per acquisition (how much it costs per sale to bring in new business) so you can see the financial impact of improving engagement.

    4. Set an ROI objective

    Now that you have a goal and a way to measure it, the last thing you need to do is set an objective. Your minimum objective should be to break even on the video, so if you spend $10,000 making it, you need to get $10,000 back in benefits, whether it’s sales, engagement, or fresh leads. Tracking video viewers through to final sale is the easiest way to work out whether you’re hitting it or not.


    Video is an awesome way to help you hit your marketing objectives – but to do that, you need to track their success. With these techniques and metrics, you can build an accurate picture of what you videos are doing for your marketing, and will actually help you improve your video marketing over time.

    Read Hooria's other blog entries >