In Part 3 of our series on the Orabrush YouTube marketing story, I interviewed Orabrush Spokesperson Austin Craig to talk about how his company measures success with their video marketing strategy through ascribing values to the social activity around those videos – which we refer to here as “social video return on investment, or ROI (You can read Part 1 and Part 2 here). 

Why “Viral Video” is Still a Misunderstood Marketing Strategy

Either this is A) An advance photo of the 2011 Orabrush Christmas Special video production, or B) A risky move into the adult video market?

With the Orabrush panel ‘Screw Viral Videos’ at Search Engine Strategies Chicago – Austin said that what they were trying to communicate from the title is that you don’t want to try to have some “smash-hit, out-of-the-park, one-time, one-hit wonder video.”

Austin also mentioned in this video interview that unlike companies that are fixated on hopes of their video “going viral,” they’re focused on the qualitative as well as the quantitative of feedback from their videos. That means one very important thing (which I find is also overlooked by these same viral-fixated companies): plan for good customer service.

“We’re not just looking at the quantitative feedback on our social media –you know, how many likes or how many comments we got – but the qualitative,” said Austin. “Social media is supposed to be about having a conversation. So, what we’ve done there is we’ve used it to interface with our audience, and do customer service, and do polls, and do surveys, and find out what people want from our product and from our company, when they’re having problems, and what we can do to help them overcome those problems.”

Austin advises companies doing social video and really want to engage with their customers should plan for more person-to-person contact as well. “We get a lot of questions that are pretty easy to answer, but people just want to ask a person, like, where can I find it in a store? Even though you can go to the site and find a map, it’s important to be responsive to those and say, hey, did you check out the map? You should see the map on our site – that will direct you straight to our store that has our product. So of course, there are the social metrics, but there’s also the conversation – quantitative and qualitative; regardless of whatever you have (with either your video or your product or service), there’s going to be those kind of things that you can keep an eye on that are going to drive forward your bottom line.”

A Social Video Strategy Needs it’s Own ROI Metrics

“Video is just a communication medium; and if you can do something that speaks to your audience, and speaks to your potential buyers, that’s going to be a big deal,” said Austin. “But you need to be able to measure that. You need to have platform upon which you have metrics; and you know when it’s working and when it’s not, so you can turn the knobs and adjust little things here and there to make sure that it is going to work for you. Video doesn’t do anything if you don’t have that kind of foundation and that kind of basis.”

Here’s a good way to go about establishing a Social ROI strategy for your video:

  • First, have clear marketing objectives with your video campaign.
  • Next, decide what you want to measure (that’s most valuable for gauging social activity and sentiment you decide is most important for your business goals)
  • Next, have a video platform that can provide you with those metrics you’re going to measure.
  • Measure consistently across where your video can be shared – on social media channels, video sharing sites, even e-mail, and;
  • Decide what hub (your final destination point) will be for bringing people to with your video. This is typically a website or landing page, but it can also be a community site or other online location where your consumers are having ongoing conversations and sharing content.

A Social Video ROI Strategy Needs to Be Organized by Stakeholders

Once you have these things in place, you can start focusing on how to have a sustainable video strategy to communicate with the people who are your stakeholders. Here are some of the ways you can categories your stakeholders around a Social Video ROI strategy:

  • Customers/Clients (the people who are going to be buying from you or hiring you.)
  • Consumers (people who haven’t yet become customers but are consuming your video content and are in various stages and abilities to promote your video content.
  • Influentials – these can be popular and/or authoritative media people, business leaders, and other thought leaders who can drive people to your video and influence sentiment.

Also keep this in mind: Being a B2B company can also mean that while the quantity of your audience may likely be much lower than a B2C company, the quality of each audience member may have a higher stake of influence and purchasing power.

What Social ROI Metrics You Can Measure with Online Video

Here’s a sampling of my own suggested metrics that lend themselves well for most companies doing online video today for combining social activity:

Passive Social Video Metrics

By “passive,” I mean where it only needs to involve consumption of the video experience by the end recipient – i.e., the viewer. (I call this simply, “viewership.”)

  • Number of views
  • Length of views
  • Average length of views / drop-off rates
  • Frequency of views
  • Calendar of views (month/week/day, morning/midday/evening/night)
  • Total time spent viewing

“Active” Social Video Metrics

By “active,” I am referring to where the recipient takes an responsive action that is shared with an audience and/or the video owner. (I also refer to this as “engagement.”)

  • Shares
  • Comments
  • Clicks (to another URL)
  • Clicks-to-conversion (whatever you set up your conversion funnel to be)
  • Backlinks (people linking back to your video, or page with your video)
  • Sentiment – measuring the general feeling or opinion of your video through the conversations that are being carried on – both in the crowed and with you and your company, directly.
  • Influence – what is the popularity and authority of those who are participating in the conversation originating with your video?
  • Content – what type of content are people doing as a response to your video? Text, images, audio, or even video responses?
  • Customer and other stakeholder feedback – does your video inspire these groups to want to learn more about your business and talk with you directly? (I.e., without having an audience?
  • Online/Offline media – Are they choosing to engage with you and your company through email, phone, or even in person at your office or one of your stores (or wherever your products and services are available?)
  • Incentive – What times of promotions, contents surveys, or platforms for user-submitted content are you doing or supporting that will generate such responses to your video content?

Photo courtesy of, © yayayoyo # 13821627