How to Measure Video Content: A Guide to Facebook Video Insights (Part 3)

You know what’s better than a million views? A billion views. Though Facebook video is relatively nascent compared to big players like YouTube, Facebook is a pretty powerful platform, claiming over 1.5 billion monthly users. And it’s the number one threat to Google’s YouTube.

Many a marketer knows how important Facebook is to a marketing campaign. Some swear by the platform, others swear against it (including us, by the way—but only because of our unique goals). But even we cannot deny how video has become an inherent part of the Facebook stream experience and how it’s still growing.

Facebook is constantly tinkering with its product, but its analytics tools have become a mainstay for the average marketer. Here’s a simple guide to understanding Facebook Video Insights.

Facebook Insights: Posts

To understand how your videos are performing, you need to have a good grasp on Facebook Insights’ highlights and shortcomings, but we’ll assume that you are familiar with each. On the left panel, Facebook Insights breaks down data into reports like Likes, Reach, Page Views, Actions on Page, Posts, People and Video. In nearly every report, you can see how video is helping/hurting your Facebook strategy. The one most complementary to understanding videos is the Posts report.

Posts collects data from every Facebook post, together and separately, in one place. This means it’s easy to see how your videos are stacking against other types of posts, such as links, photos, etc.

facebook video insights

With this tool, you can compare basic Facebook metrics like Organic and Paid Reach, Post Clicks and Reactions/Comments/Shares; see when your audience is online; and check out top posts from your competitors via pages you watch. It’s the best way to gauge how well your Facebook videos are doing in comparison to other posts. This is essential to understanding how videos contribute to your overall reach and engagement. Any good marketer will use this data to inform their content and distribution efforts.

Facebook Video Insights offers engagement statistics. Clicking on a Video post in Posts will break down the likes, reactions, comments, shares, negative feedback (such as when people hide videos from their News Feeds or report it as inappropriate) and reshares.

By clicking on the post title for a video (conveniently marked with a video camera icon), you’ll see your video metrics.

Facebook Video Insights

Before we take a look at the reports, we should know what Facebook video metrics actually mean. Here’s a list of Facebook terminology for their metrics:

  • Video Views: a view of three seconds or more of a video, including video views driven by paid advertising.
  • Unique Video Views: the number of people who viewed your video for three seconds or more, including unique views driven by paid advertising.
  • Average Duration of Video Viewed: the average amount of time people spent viewing your video.
  • Audience Retention Graph: the percentage of views at various moments throughout your video.
  • Video Views to 25%, 50%, 75%, 95% and 100%: shows the specific number of views occurring at these points within your video. Note: only Video Views to 95% is available in Ads Reporting and Page Insights; the others are only available in Ads Reporting.
  • Clicks to Play Video: registers when the video starts after a person has actively clicked to play it.

Cool? Cool. Luckily for video marketers, the Video report page (Facebook > Insights > Video) is easily the most comprehensive page for insights and video metrics.

For one, it’s a lot easier to customize date ranges; you can choose to look at data from one week, month or quarter, or enter your own customized date. (Note that Facebook only analyzes data after May 1, 2015.)

facebook video insights

It’s also easy to toggle back and forth between three filters: Organic vs. Paid, Auto-Played vs. Click-to-Play and Unique vs. Repeat to further narrow your data and illuminate new information.

The Video page is comprised of three main data charts: Video Views, 30-Second Views and Top Videos. Video Views might as well be reach, as it collects the data of people who watched the video for at least three seconds. (You should thus pick the Unique vs. Repeat filter.)

facebook video insights

The 30-Second Views page is good for measuring session duration. Choosing the Auto-Played vs. Clicked-to-Play feature is a good way to see how a video performs for those who dislike the three-second Video Views metric.

facebook video insights

Top Videos will show you the videos that have performed the best over time based on reach, views or average completion over a desired date range. With this information, video creators can understand the top content that is reaching and engaging their audience.

facebook video insights

These are all great to get an overview of how your videos are performing. To really dig deep into the data, click on an individual video to see the stats. They often look something like this:

facebook video insights

The Post Details page breaks down simple metrics for your video, including audience retention, average duration of video viewed, video views (organic, total and paid) and the number of video views that were viewed to 95% of its length. But only for the first 28 days of your video’s life.

Most importantly, however, is the audience retention graph above your video frame. This is the graph that will show you when and how many people (by percentage) abandoned your video or stayed with it until the end, minute by minute and second by second.

Facebook suggests that filtering by Auto-Played vs. Clicked-to-Play “offers a better sense of the people that clicked your video to watch and whether the two groups behaved differently while watching your video.” Spikes or dips in the percentage of views may be due to the fact that people rewatched that specific section of your video or jumped ship.

Facebook Video Insights may not be as advanced or customizable as YouTube Analytics, but it’s a great tool for video marketers to measure how well they are doing on the platform.

Stay tuned for more in our video series, “How to Measure Video Content.” In the meantime, check out other articles from the series:

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