Imagine your agency is executing a direct mail campaign for you next month and the only measure of success will be the number of packages sent out. Not response. Not qualified leads. Not conversions. It wouldn’t make sense, right? But that is exactly what more than 75 percent of brands are doing right now with their video content campaigns.
Measuring the performance of video by views alone fails to consider the result that you are trying to achieve. Engagement and active engagement response are what you are really after. If you aren’t measuring those, your videos could be massively underperforming — and you would never know it.
Video-specific analytic tools help shine a light on missing engagement metrics, but the only way to fully capitalize on the engagement power of video is to put more emphasis on strategy and optimization in your video creation process.
Here’s how to make your video campaigns work for you.
Implement Powerful Analytics to Measure Results
There are a multitude of tools out there to help you get a grip on what your videos are actually doing. Limbik, Tubular and Vidyard are good places to start. The best way to tap into the power of video analytics is to use a little bit of foreshadowing. What are the primary metrics that are going to drive results, and what can you do to drive them?
Video producers know that a minute of pre-production is worth an hour of post-production, so these variables should be active parts of your idea generation, storyboarding, script writing and shooting. It’s much more difficult — and expensive — to change them after the fact.
Like most marketing campaigns, videos do not represent one-and-done linear paths. They are touchpoints in a complex web of the buyer journey. That means that, while measuring the performance of each video is good, what you really want to measure is how they perform alongside one another, working together to create the behaviors that you seek. Those insights allow for both improving active video campaigns in real-time, as well as informing the production of the next set of content.
Balance Creative Execution With Strategy
Another bit of wisdom from Hollywood that applies to marketing videos is the saying, “It’s show business, not show art.” That does not undermine the value of creative. Obviously, boring videos will not drive engagement. However, a fantastic video that has the power to catch fire does not necessarily have the power to generate meaningful results.
According to Google, customers in the B-to-B space are increasingly watching video during the entire path to purchase, with 48 percent consuming more than 30 minutes worth of video content.
Hunger for engagement is there, but getting the right message in front of the right people at the right time is key. Only about 15 percent of marketers are taking advantage of optimization metrics that help determine if the video is actually working. Once you have the creative nailed down, it is imperative to devise an execution strategy that ensures that prospects are able to easily locate — and actually want to view — the ideal video content that is going to move them along the journey to conversion.
Optimize Your Videos Once They Go Live
Despite even the best planning efforts, most videos are not going to be perfect at launch. What is working and what isn’t? In the old days of one-way video viewing, it was impossible to know.
Digital video gives us tools that uncover ways that video can be optimized even after it has been produced. With digital video, we can identify drop-off rates, audio issues, multiple browser tabs in play and other indicators that signal an engagement issue. Attacking those issues is partially related to making sure that the right target is viewing the content.
Outside of targeting, we have a developing set of new tactics in the video space, like dynamic calls to action (CTAs), gates, question forms and hot spots that allow for us to test performance changes in real-time.
Employing these tactics wisely provides the opportunity to optimize video performance without going through complex edits, new uploads and swapping-out video content.
Build on your most successful video campaigns with similar content “Rogue One” recently smashed Disney’s expectations and enjoyed a hugely successful worldwide launch. How did Disney do it?
The company knew that there was an insatiable desire for “Star Wars” content in the market and it learned from the legacy of the first set of prequels against the reception of “The Force Awakens” precisely what fans and critics love. Disney perfected the “Star Wars” model, and it will duplicate this success again and again each year with a new entry in the series.
You can do the same thing by isolating which videos are achieving the best results and then deconstructing exactly why they are doing so well. Then you will have the fuel to replicate that success with subsequent videos and create a larger campaign where each video enhances the results of companion content.
Disney paid $4 billion for the “Star Wars” franchise and had to be smart to make that investment worthwhile. You must also consider what level of success you need to mine positive returns from your investment in video campaigns.
Even though YouTube has been around since 2005, video content for marketing is still going through growing pains. The struggle to keep up with technology and the evolution of the customer journey means that it will always be an ever-evolving process, but that’s exactly the process that helps improve performance and ROI by channel.
People demand content, so we have to get better at providing it. With these tools and the engagement potential that video provides, every marketer should be planning to add and optimize video content during 2017.
Learn even more about the convergence of technology and branded content at the FUSE Enterprise summit. Artificial intelligence and personalization will be featured among many other techniques and technologies.
As Chief Development Officer of unified.agency, Rob Simone focuses on delivering clients effective strategies and creative that not only fits within brand guidelines, but also exceeds business goals. Simone leveraged a film school degree into a career in advertising as an agency producer. He made stops at Grey Worldwide and later at BBDO NY where he worked on award-winning ad campaigns for some the world’s most recognizable brands, including: Panasonic, Pringles, Febreze, Captain Morgan and others. Simone launched Hiccup NY, a unified.agency partner, in 2006 with partner Michael Cruz.