Live video has become so huge that it’s hard to ignore. By 2022, global video traffic is expected to take up 82% of all internet traffic. If you’re making live videos, you’re not alone. You may be one of the 81% of business streamers who prioritized live streaming in 2021.
It’s no longer enough to simply make live videos and hope they get engagement. If you truly want to grow your audience and make live streaming an integral part of your content marketing plan, then you need to learn how to track live video performance on social media.
💬 Why track your live streaming and social media engagements?
Why should you bother with tracking your live streaming metrics? Isn’t it enough to get tons of views? Tracking metrics other than total views can help you see how your live video fits into your overall content marketing strategy. Looking at your videos’ metrics helps you see how to improve, which increases your ROI.
👉 Grow your audience
If you’re like most streamers or marketing teams, you want your viewing audience to grow. To get more people to tune in, you have to put out content consistently. That content should be engaging and speak to your viewers’ concerns. You can’t understand your audience without interacting with them, and engagement metrics show you how well your interactions pay off.
👉 Support your overall marketing strategy
When it comes to building your brand, live video is likely only one component of your content marketing strategy. Your strategy involves goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) that help you determine if you’ve met those goals. Tracking live streaming metrics helps you see if you’ve reached those KPIs and how live video helps you accomplish broader marketing goals.
👉 Meet your streaming goals
You might be a single streamer trying to build a brand, rather than a whole marketing team. Even independent content creators need to track metrics to see how they’re doing. Setting goals as a streamer is important for growth, and those goals don’t always have to be tied to getting bigger audiences.
Read later: 61 streaming stats you should know in 2021
📈 What metrics should you track?
You might understand why tracking live video engagement on social media matters, but which metrics should you track?
It depends on your goals.
Are you trying to increase brand awareness? Do you want to lead more people to your website? Are you convincing leads to choose to work with you? Figure out which stage of the customer journey you’re targeting and it’ll be easier to know what you’re looking for.
We’ve put together a list of the most important live streaming metrics to help you get started. They’re divided into metrics to watch during your stream and after.
👀 What to measure during the live video
Use the following metrics to gauge how well your live stream is doing while you’re still live. How you measure during the stream differs from how you measure after because you won’t have access to some numbers until after it’s over.
1. Current viewers
The ”current viewers” metric measures the number of non-unique visitors currently watching your live stream. One person watching the stream on two devices counts as two viewers, for example. Generally, this figure gives you a good sense of how many people are tuning in.
2. Audience retention
Audience retention is the percentage of viewers who watch and leave your video at every second. Live videos with high audience retention rates get higher placements in YouTube’s search rankings. This metric is obviously important for YouTube, but it’s a good way to know if your content is engaging, no matter which platform you’re using.
3. Demographics and location
If you’re streaming to YouTube, you’ll get a demographics report of your viewers. It shows segments like age, gender, and location. These metrics help you understand your viewer personas so you can better target your content. Seeing the geographical location of your viewers also lets you know if you need to create content in another language.
4. Duration of views
The duration of views measures how long viewers are watching your live stream. You might have a higher number of total viewers throughout the stream, but if people are only watching for a short amount of time, you may need to make your content more engaging.
🤓 What to measure after the live video is over
Once the live stream is over, you can post the video as a replay and start gathering the video on demand (VOD) metrics. Measuring the success of the VOD is just as important as tracking the live stream, especially if you want to see how well your video is doing on social media.
1. Peak views
Peak views are the highest number of concurrent viewers your stream received. When you see stats about record-breaking streams with “the most views,” those views typically refer to peak views for that stream.
2. Overall view count/impressions
The overall view count is the number of times your video has been viewed. View count is also known as impressions. Keep in mind that each platform has its own parameters for what constitutes a “view.” On YouTube, it’s thirty seconds, but on Facebook, it’s only three seconds. Impressions help you know if your content has reached as many people as possible.
3. Video completions
Unlike a view, a video completion is watching a video until the end. The number of completions might be more helpful for determining if you’ve hit your KPIs, because it shows you the total number of engaged viewers.
4. Video click-through rate
If you’ve added a call to action (CTA) to your video (or added one to the live stream), you want to track how many people clicked on it. The click-through rate is the number of clicks on your CTA divided by views. A low click-through rate means you should reconsider the design or placement of your CTA.
5. Device viewership
Device viewership shows you on which devices viewers watch your stream. The three possibilities are usually desktop, mobile, or an over-the-top (OTT) media service like Apple TV, Chromecast, and other streaming devices. Knowing what your viewers watch your streams on can help you focus your resources in the right place. If most viewers watch on mobile, it will be hard for them to engage in a live Twitter discussion at the same time, so you can shift your engagement activities to the live stream chat instead.
6. Play rate
Thousands of people might see your video, but only one hundred of those may have played it. The play rate is the number of people who played your video divided by the impressions. Play rates tell you if you need to optimize your content, such as updating the video’s thumbnail or writing a more enticing title and description.
⚙️ Tools to track engagements
Tracking your live video’s engagements on social media is easier when you use the right tools. We’ve got a list of some of the best tools to help you track, understand, and use the metrics from your live streams.
👉 YouTube Analytics
If you’re broadcasting on YouTube, then you’ll want to become familiar with the platform’s analytics tool. When you’re live, you can see stats like stream status, concurrent viewers, duration, likes, chat rate, playbacks, and average watch time. YouTube also provides robust post-stream stats like playbacks, new subscribers, and total watch time. YouTube Analytics lets you sort videos by live, on-demand, or both, so you can generate reports with exactly the info you need.
👉 Facebook Live Creator Studio
The Creator Studio lets you go live on Facebook, and it contains Performance Insights to let you know how well your stream is doing. Facebook will show you a detailed breakdown of your video views, including one-minute views, three-second views, and total minutes viewed including replays. If you stream to a social network like Facebook, tracking your social engagement stats is much easier as well. You can see reactions and comments on your videos and check out net followers for a set time period.
👉 Restream Analytics
Restream Analytics is a robust live streaming metrics solution, providing data on your live broadcasts across multiple platforms. You get all the important info you need to strategize your live videos, including average viewers, max viewers, stream duration, and chat analytics. Restream Analytics stands out from other live streaming tracking tools because it aggregates information from multiple platforms. So, if you stream to YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook at the same time, you don’t have to look at separate sets of data for each one.
👉 Sprout Social
Sprout Social is a social media management tool that helps you plan, publish, manage, and track the content you post on social media. When you stream to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, Sprout Social can provide stats on follower growth, content performance, engagement, demographics, and more.
The B2B-focused video hosting platform Wistia offers marketing and promotion solutions for companies using live and on-demand video as part of their content marketing strategies. Wistia’s analytics tools help you track audience behaviors with viewer-based tracking, rewatches, drop-offs, and interactions. In addition to video data, you also get social stats like shares, likes, and comments from all the networks you post on. Wistia integrates with other analytics tools like Google Analytics and marketing automation tools like HubSpot.
Vidyard’s video marketing tool gives you tons of insight into your videos, showing you who’s watching, ROI insights, clickthroughs, viewer location, which devices and browsers viewers are using, and more. If you use Vidyard to host your videos, you’ll also get a transcript automatically with your upload, making it easier for search engines and human users to find.
HubSpot lets you measure the performance of all your marketing campaigns, not just live streams on social media. The powerful analytics dashboard provides detailed reports for each of your marketing channels, including social media accounts. With HubSpot, you can easily monitor brand mentions, relevant conversations, and engagements and schedule social media posts to get the largest audience.
BuzzSumo is a social media management tool that provides social analytics. With BuzzSumo, you can track reach, positive feedback, content shares, conversations, and conversions on social media. The tool also lets you run a competitor analysis to see what’s working for your competition and how you can adapt it for your live video content.
Hootsuite is a social media tool that helps you plan, publish, and manage your social accounts. With it, you can get robust reports on the performance of your posts, including your live videos. You can see key metrics for each post, including clicks, comments, shares, video views, and video reach. You also get stats for your account’s performance over time.
Let’s wrap up
Examining your live streaming metrics on social media helps you set benchmarks and then reach them. You don’t want to waste valuable time and resources creating content that doesn’t meet your KPIs. Know how well your content performs, so you can make it even better, and get more engagement on social media.