What Google Analytics 4 (GA4) Brings to Video Marketing

t is no secret that video is a popular choice where brands may promote their products or services. Properly planned and produced, an effective video has the power to engage prospective customers like no other medium. With this in mind, marketers need to be aware of how their video campaigns will be impacted upon the migration to Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Yes, that will happen. And it’s all good.

The power and popularity of video

Online video is versatile in branding. Video ads appear everywhere and every place—on television, social media, and via instream on websites. And to emphasize the importance of why it is important to be “GA4-savvy” where video is concerned, consider this statistic reported by Oberlo: 82 percent of global Internet traffic is projected to come from streaming videos and downloads by the end of 2022. If you are a marketer or own a business, will you be able to gauge the effectiveness of video campaign performance by July 1, 2023, when GA4 is fully in place? Here is what to be aware of…

GA4: Enhanced Measurement and Google Tag Manager

There has been a lot of coverage (not to mention many outcries) over the process of adapting from Google’s Universal Analytics (UA) to GA4. From data between the two systems not being directly comparable to differences in the interfaces, there has been an overall feeling of frustration as marketers struggle to make this adjustment. As far as video goes, there are two methods of tracking to choose from: Enhanced Measurement or Google Tag Manager (GTM).

Enhanced Measurement: To make life easier, GA4 has built-in video tracking. Thanks to the Video engagement option in “Enhanced Measurement,” all events—which include embedded YouTube players—are tracked once a new property in GA4 is created. While this may be a convenient option, keep in mind that easier does not mean better.

Google Tag Manager: While “Enhanced Measurement” may be easier, experts recommend for marketers to manually configure video tracking through Google Tag Manager (GTM) as this will give them more control over their data. Detail and specifics are important in measuring video performance, and Google Tag Manger helps ensure this.

The tracking of video in GA4

In GA4, points such as when a user starts to view a video, the progress, and completion are all tracked. Additionally, identifiers such as time duration, percentage, provider (YouTube), title, and URLs are tracked as well. In fact, what can be called “the event to play a video” in GA4 can be tracked with 50 different parameters. All of these parameters are helpful for a number of factors in video campaigns, one of which is identifying user behavior.

GA4 narrows down users to the most specific audiences

A difference (dare we say ‘advantage’?) of GA4 is that it provides a greater narrowing down of online users to very specific audiences. As explained in Social Media Examiner, here’s how it works:

Suppose a certain number of people visited a site, and performed the exact same actions—such as checking a video for a product two times in the course of one week and then adding it to their carts on the following visit. All of these users would be grouped into a specific audience labeled: “People who watched a product video twice in 1 week, then added an item to cart in their next session.” The marketing team for this product now has the most exact possible data on a specific type of prospect. This means that marketers can target this audience honestly and directly. Additionally, these audience members receive more detailed information about a product they expressed interest in, which may increase the chances of changing them from prospects to customers.

Everybody wins.

GA4 and successful video performance

So, for all of the trouble and strain that have come with the learning curve of moving from UA to GA4, the benefits of the new and improved video tracking capabilities may indeed make all of the effort worthwhile. And remember that statistic mentioned earlier: 82 percent of Internet traffic currently comes from video. That statistic will only increase over time, which means that accurately gauging and tracking video performance is vital to a campaign’s success.

If you are having trouble with the changes from UA to GA4, the EGC Group can provide help and guidance to make this transition.

Contact us today to schedule a personalized consultation with our analytics team, whose expertise will make this migration smoother and easy to understand.