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How to Show Sales Attribution with Marketing Videos

“How much profit did we generate from that video?” 

“Was that video actually worth the $5K investment?”

“How much should we put into video marketing for the next year?”

Fielding questions like these from the key stakeholders in your business can be tough for any marketer, particularly if you don’t have the answers. Those answering to the CEO, or CFO, as well as to stakeholders such as investors know the importance of knowing how to show sales attribution with marketing videos, but as a new marketer that’s just getting started, you might find yourself struggling to deliver the answers that those higher up the ladder are looking for. What do you do?

Certainly, all of the answers to the above questions fall under the same category of attribution, but what does that even mean? Attribution represents the visibility into exactly what is being spent on a project as well as what is being received in return as a direct result of the spend. For a lower level marketer, attribution might not come up frequently, but you can bet it’s a key topic for the CMO and others up the corporate ladder. But what exactly does attribution mean?

What is Attribution?

Consider it this way, attribution is the transparent visibility into the value of a project. For marketing, particularly video marketing, attribution is the transparency of what was spent on a marketing video in relation to what was gained as a result of the video. For instance, if you spend $10,000 on a marketing video, and you can attribution $25,000 in sales to that video, then you know that your return on investment into video marketing is 150% or you made a 150% profit on what you spent. That’s attribution, but it’s not always cut and dry or easy to figure out and allocate.

Why is Sales Attribution Hard to Allocate?

As a head marketer that is utilizing video as part of your sale marketing campaigns, you might not have all of the figures you’re looking for when it comes time to attribute dollar for dollar what’s going on with your campaign. This is because sales attribution isn’t always cut and dry, nor is it easy to figure out. Why?

Many reasons, actually! When you create video content, how do you attribute what amount of sales resulted from that video? This of course would be simple if you were only selling one product through the video, and you were not selling that product through any other marketing initiatives and there was no other advertising for that product. Naturally, sales attribution would all be from that video, and you could attest that any sales which occurred for that product were the direct result of that particular advertising campaign.

However, we pretty much never have campaigns so specifically laid out like that. Most of the time, we’re offering products on a website, for which we’re doing SEO and SEM for, and running video campaigns for. We also promote the website and the products through email and direct sales outreach and a variety of other sources which can make attribution tough. With so many potential sources of a sale, and so many marketing initiatives, how can you allocate a sale to a specific initiative?

This is where attribution gets tricky, and also where it’s vital! Think of it this way, if you’re spending 100K on SEO, and you’re spending 10K on video marketing, wouldn’t you want to know if your video was generating more sales than your SEO? Of course you would, because you’re spending 1/10th on video, and If you were in fact generating more sales that way, it would make sense to cut back your SEO, and put that investment into video! (the same would be true if it were the other way around, you would want to know)

How to Show Sales Attribution with Marketing Videos

Learning how to show sales attribution with marketing videos, therefore is incredibly important. But how is this done? Of course you want to go tell your boss that the video is the key factor in an increase in sales, but how can you show sales attribution with marketing videos to prove your point?

You can’t measure views, because views along don’t equate to sales. So what do you measure?

  • Measure the number of video views that come from the same person.
  • Track the audience, so that you know who watched your video and who didn’t when they make a purchase.
  • Track how long your audience is watching the video, are they making it to the call-to-action?
  • Track how many times the video is watched by each audience member, do more video views equal more sales?
  • Track when your audience is watching the video, when video views go up did your sales go up too?

Learning all of this information about those who engage in your video content will help you to attribute sales data based on video views and engagement, but it’s still not cut and dry. Measuring the impact of video as it results in sales is absolutely vital to your campaigns. Without clear figures and transparency as to how effective your videos are and the return on investment that you’re gaining directly as a result of your video marketing, you risk putting marketing dollars into the wrong types of advertising and investing into marketing that isn’t as effective as you might think or might need it to be.

As you figure out how to show sales attribution with marketing videos, you’re going to find yourself embarking on more tracking and performance metrics than just video views. Remarketing campaigns, targeting those who have already watched certain videos with secondary advertisements, and additional promotional segments will help you to narrow down the impact of video campaigns and dive further into what’s working with various marketing segments and what’s not.

Ultimately, determining sales impact is one of the most advanced methods of proving the overall value of video. In order to show sales attribution with marketing videos you’re going to have to invest into the creation of a purchase funnel in which analytics are installed and tracking of video impressions, audiences, and display ads are just a few of the conversion optimizations that are covered. While it is certainly possible to define the sales attribution from video, it takes highly calculated marketing campaigns with sophisticated tracking metrics that go far beyond the typical “video views” in determining the effectiveness and power of your video advertising campaigns.