How To Check If Your Video Is Working

A photo by Steinar La Engeland., so you’ve made what you think is a pretty good online video.  Now the acid test comes: is it working?  Are you getting the engagement that you want?  What’s more, how do you know whether or not you’re getting the engagement that you want? And what on earth is “engagement” anyway?


“Engagement” refers to how people are responding to your video – what they’re doing with it. That’s the easy bit.  Measuring engagement can be a bit trickier.


The simplest method to find out if your videos are working is to have a look at the number of views it gets on YouTube. This is the most basic method of finding out how much exposure that your online video has had. Not having heaps of views is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if your business is more of a niche market and operates in the B2B segment of the market.  On the other hand, having had heaps of views isn’t necessarily a good thing for you, either.  YouTube clocks up a view even if a person clicks on it by mistake (easy to do with cellphones) or only watches for one second.


The next thing that you can use to see if your video is engaging with your audience is to see how many likes it gets (and, in the case of YouTube, dislikes).  Obviously, if a video gets tons of likes, then it’s obviously popular!  If you get a mixture of likes and dislikes, then look at the proportion of one to the other. Take this video (taken off today’s Trending list on YouTube):

This has managed (at the time of writing) to get 43,645 likes and 2490 dislikes. With a ratio of 1 dislike to 17.53 likes, that’s not too bad.  However, you’ve got to remember that a viewer has to have a Google account to use the likes and dislikes on YouTube (Google owns YouTube, remember?) and not every viewer bothers to click these buttons even if they do have a Google account.


If you post your videos to Facebook or some other social media platform, then you can also monitor how well your viewers are engaging with your online videos.  Are you getting plenty of likes?  What about other reactions courtesy of the recently introduced emoticons on Facebook.  Are they the reactions you wanted or expected to get? In other words, do you get  the “outraged” or “angry” reaction to a video highlighting a serious or controversial issue and plenty of “laughing” responses to something that’s intended to be funny… or do you get things the other way around (oops – back to the drawing board in that case!).  What do the comments say?  Has your video been shared?


Regarding the comments, have a careful look at them quality-wise rather than just quantity-wise. You can probably ignore some of those online comments arguments (especially if they’re nothing to do with your video!).  However, if there’s some that are calling for more, making suggestions, pointing out flaws, telling others that certain points are gold, saying that something isn’t all that funny – well, you’ve got some feedback you can work with.


What you may not know is that YouTube has a tool called YouTube Analytics.  This allows you to find out all the stats for your video(s).  You can find out who, where, when, what, how long and more.  Did people watch the whole video all the way through?  Did they stop watching?  If they stopped watching at a certain point, what was that point?  Did the video get shared and which platform was it shared on?  Do you get plenty of subscribers to your YouTube channel?  How did your viewers find out about your video?  These stats all help you tweak and refine your video content (and length) to make sure that you’re hitting the sweet spot.