I’m talking about something more fundamental – something that can help that good video work to have the impact every marketer and brand wants from their investment. Old model of video marketing A brand wants to produce a piece of video content. A good video strategy provides the guidance and a framework to create and distribute a powerful piece of content. Overreliance on YouTube Another shortcoming of the old model of video marketing is the failure to consider context. To take an action they must click to leave YouTube and get to your site – something only about 1% of viewers do on average. 5 new rules for video marketing success After having considered how the old model of video marketing doesn’t serve your best interests, what you need now is a clear way forward. You can only accurately answer this question if you know what the purpose of the video project is. Analyze the video content your audience is watching. With a critical mass of views (typically, at least 1,000 views or published three months) on a professional video hosting platform, you can go deeper in terms of how your viewers are watching your video content. But that thinking creates problems around strategy, promotion, measurement, and, fundamentally, the impact that piece of video will have on the audience (and ultimately, the brand).
Can you quantify the impact of your video content on your marketing goals?
The most common answer?
If you don’t understand the performance of your video assets, you’ll miss opportunities to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
Having been immersed in online video pre-YouTube, I don’t think marketers have pushed this wonderful medium as hard as they could over the last few years.
For the sake of marketing budgets, audience engagement and experience, and ROI, let’s push things forward.
Let me qualify that. I’m not talking about tactics (e.g., interactive, personalized, and social video are developing rapidly) or quality (there’s lots of stunning work).
I’m talking about something more fundamental – something that can help that good video work to have the impact every marketer and brand wants from their investment.
I’m talking about rethinking the model of video marketing itself.
As an agency owner, I’ve analyzed hundreds of YouTube channels and thousands of videos over the years that use the old model. I’ve seen it harm brands often without them realizing it.
Old model of video marketing
A brand wants to produce a piece of video content. If it doesn’t have internal capabilities, it hires an agency to make and deliver it. This video lives on YouTube and sometimes is embedded onto a web page.
Video promotion tactics include email shots and promotion via social media activity. Many videos are simply uploaded with no purposeful promotion.
If this old model sounds familiar, it is highly likely your investment in video isn’t optimal and won’t be easily (if at all) measurable.
How the old model fails
Let’s look at the main inefficiencies of the old model one by one and consider how each impacts a video marketing project and the brand itself.
No strategic approach
In the old model, no built-in mechanism exists to guide production of the right kind of content for a given goal. A good video strategy provides the guidance and a framework to create and distribute a powerful piece of content. It will also facilitate measuring the impact of that video.
Objectives like “educate our audience” or “raise awareness” sound valid. But the lack of specificity is harmful because those objectives are next to impossible to measure accurately.
If you can’t measure accurately, then you won’t know if the video was a success.
An ill-conceived strategy also can be no strategy at all. I’ve seen creative briefs that give little detail on audience or, worse, state the video is for multiple audiences. While on the surface this may seem efficient, the reality is that if you make a piece of content for several audiences it ends up engaging no one.
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Overreliance on YouTube
Another shortcoming of the old model of video marketing is the failure to consider context.
Context is the environment in which a piece of content exists. Getting the context right is utterly crucial for success. When a video is uploaded to YouTube, the context often isn’t optimal.
On YouTube, the viewers can’t immediately buy a product, sign up for a newsletter, or receive coded pixels for retargeting. To take an action they must click to leave YouTube and get to your site – something only about 1% of viewers do on average. Remember, YouTube want users to stay on its platform, but you likely want the traffic on your site.
Even if you use the YouTube embed code on your website you’ll still run into issues. Look at this screenshot:
The YouTube result stands out in the video results, which are likely to get 30% more clicks than the results around it. That would be fantastic if it was directing traffic to your site, but it isn’t.
I’m not saying don’t ever use YouTube. It has fantastic potential to serve your needs, especially if your goal is SEO, but only if the context is right.
The old model sees videos uploaded with minimal to no coordinated promotional activity around it.
Without a launch and strategic promotion, a video is unlikely to earn a critical mass of views. Although view count isn’t a metric of success, you need viewers with whom you connect your story – your brand. Without a critical mass of views, it is hard to use the analytics to learn any useful lessons about your video content.
Failure to build in regular analysis
The old model of video marketing doesn’t do much to support regular metric tracking, a key to long-term success. The model often forgoes the proactive inclusion of key performance indicators and regularly scheduled analyses.
Although videos may get a bunch of views on YouTube, view count isn’t a measurement of success. What matters is whether the right people are watching your video content for the right reasons and subsequently taking a desired action (i.e., a minimum viable conversion).
A follow-on from the last point is that, without proper measurements, you can’t accurately know how a video is performing. I’m talking about in-depth performance. As in, which parts of the video are working and where are viewers getting lost and dropping off.
Metrics like engagement rate (i.e., how much of the video is watched), play rate, shares, clicks, and conversions are more valuable metrics to track to better inform your video marketing strategy.
5 new rules for video marketing success
After having considered how the old model of video marketing doesn’t serve your best interests, what you need now is a clear way forward.
A new model should address the shortcomings of the old model and help you get the success you should demand from your investment in video. As a starting point, I propose five rules.
1. Use design thinking
Design thinking is a process where you work to understand an audience and how to tailor a solution for them. By answering a few potent questions, you can create something that’s going to resonate powerfully – get under…