Let's face it, video is hot—and everyone knows it. Video gets people more excited and engaged with the message we marketers are trying to convey than do paragraphs of text. But one major problem most of marketers have with video is this: How the heck do you measure the success of a video?

Most of us look at the play count to measure the success of our work. But is that really the best way?

Let's say a million people watched a video, but on average they watched the first 10 seconds of it before leaving the site it's on. Is that really a successful video? What if a million people came to the page where you hosted the video but only 10,000 actually clicked to watch it, are you doing a good job? The answer isn't clear: You got a lot of people to watch it, but they were not very engaged.

We've been attacking this very pain point of video success measurement ever since we started our company, Wistia, which aims to help small businesses figure out whether their videos are successful. Recently we analyzed millions of videos we host, and we found three main metrics that marketers should use to measure the success of their videos.

1. The 'Engagement' Metric

Engagement is the metric we salivate over every day at Wistia: How long are viewers spending on watching your video. Are they watching the entire video? When do they drop off?

On our blog we publish a lot of how-to tutorials on how to film, edit, and market video content, and we judge the success of our videos first and foremost by the engagement metric. For example we created the following video and published it on our blog:

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Ezra Fishman is the director of marketing at Wistia, which helps businesses host their videos, track how viewers watch the videos, and discover what in those videos engages their audience.