Category Archives: Viral Videos

Web Views and Traffic Mean Nothing

Just because something is easy to measure doesn’t make it the most important thing to measure.

Both Ron and Fleet Street PR have interesting rants on the overreaction to views of viral video campaigns, questioning if the views really mean that much. And if they don’t, what does?

Here’s my take: Views mean something only in that they are a prerequisite to what you’re really wanting. That might seem like an overly simple statement, but it’s true. It’s a step in the right direction, but in and of itself, views and traffic mean nothing.

Exposure can only expose. It’s what’s revealed thereafter that prompts a response.

The thing to measure is what people do with that view. Do they click for more info? Do they make a purchase? Do they email it on to friends? Do they post it on a blog? Do the people they share it with seem like likely candidates to purchase? Do they leave a comment proclaiming how much they disliked it? Do they watch the whole video, or do they close it down 7 seconds into it?
All of that is a lot harder and more tedious to track than views. That’s probably why it doesn’t happen much. But it’s not impossible. Drill down into your analytics and see what you can figure out.

More importantly, figure out what really determines success to begin with. Popularity meant something in high school; it means a lot less in business. What’s going to actually make a difference for your business? Referrals? Purchases? Comments? Then measure that. Too often, those involved don’t remember what it is that matters; they just start making a big deal out of what is happening (like high traffic) and start talking up its importance. Bad move.

Quality will always outperform quantity. Always. Which means you’ve got a lot more to measure than traffic. Start asking if it’s the right traffic. Then ask if you’re getting the right reactions. And when you’re not, do something about it other than just getting more traffic.