Have you seen what’s been dubbed “the greatest car commercial ever?” If you haven’t, don’t bother looking for it on TV. It’s online . . . and it’s racking up millions of viewers. Audi’s latest spot pits the “Old Spock” (Leonard Nimoy) vs. the “New Spock” (Zachary Quinto) in a promotion for the new Audi S7. (Watch the video below.) It’s engaging. It’s persuasive. It’s relevant. And it’s a great example of the impact and reach of video marketing.
Marketers recognize videos like these play an increasingly important role in the marketing mix, yet many of us have questions about producing effective video campaigns –regardless of whether we have Audi-sized budgets or not. How can you squeeze every ounce of value from your investment, and use video not only to inform and entertain, but also to capture leads and drive revenue?
Recently, I had an opportunity to get more info from an expert, Michael Litt, CEO and co-founder of Vidyard, a video marketing platform that is transforming how companies grow their business with video. I asked him for insights about developing a strategy to deliver ROI for video content. According to Michael, it’s essential for marketers to:
1. Get Feedback – track and analyze video engagement and performance.
Every marketer knows that if you can measure it, you can manage it. However, we also know that data around video content is usually isolated and disjointed from other marketing metrics. That means measurement has been the most frustrating roadblock for building a path to video marketing ROI.
“The good news is that we’ve broken open that black box of video. Marketers can now see which video assets are being watched and how well each is engaging viewers,” Michael said. “For instance, if viewers are dropping off after 10 seconds, you have a problem; if they are hanging around to the end you’re golden. This data allows you to finally get a baseline read on how each video in your library is performing. It’s going to tell you what you’ve got right, and wrong. Given that marketers currently have no visibility here, both results are a win. Now you know what to amplify and what to modify.”
This feedback can lead to “narrowcasting” – producing regular and engaging content for a narrow audience. Ultimately, narrowcasting opens the floodgates for you to develop a sustainable video content strategy that engages and performs better and better with each iterative execution.
2. Create customized experiences – build a user-centric view of your video content.
We’ve seen a massive shift in the B2B space to one-to-one marketing, the most powerful way to engage leads and bring them through the buying cycle. As Michael explained, video is no exception and having the ability to build a customer-centric view around your video content is where marketing truly gets innovative . . . and effective.
“Visibility into how each video is performing is powerful, but it can’t end there. The next level up in driving ROI is understanding how each individual viewer is engaging with all of your content. It is a shift from a video perspective to a user perspective,” he said. “I’m talking about the ability to see which pieces of video content each individual watched, how long they watched and what they found engaging. This tells you in certain terms, what they are interested in and how deeply. This is where video content and data shines. With copy on a web page or white paper, you aren’t able to identify which content is actually being read, but with video, you get the full picture.”
Building a customer-centric profile opens the door for massive learning about what interests each viewer –and after all, we’re selling to individuals, not the aggregate. Marketers can use this user-level knowledge to lead them to even more relevant content, such as webinars or email campaigns that hone in on the viewer’s engagement sweet spot.
3. Operationalize – pull video data into your sales and marketing tools.
Video has become critical to marketing efforts but typically, it has been disjointed from the tools we use daily to drive those efforts. For example, as much as YouTube can provide a platform for content and provide a great source of traffic, it lacks the flexibility and customization for hosting content on your own websites. It also doesn’t talk to your tools such as marking automation platforms (MAPs) and customer relationship management platforms (CRMs).
“Being able to feed this user-level video engagement data into your core sales and marketing tools is the ultimate enabler for marketers and sales-people,” Michael told me. “By pumping key video analytics –what videos were viewed, for how long were they viewed, etc. –directly into lead or contact records in your MAP or CRM, you’re able to seamlessly integrate your video content executions right into your sales and marketing wheelhouse. Now video data can be used like every other piece of data in your system: for segmentation, nurturing, scoring and passing on to your sales team.”
In addition, a recent study found that 70 percent of the buying process is now complete before the buyer engages with sales. “This means you need to be adamant about building in lead capture tools right into your video player,” Michael advised. “If you aren’t implementing lead generation techniques into your content you won’t be able to engage buyers at the early and extremely formative stages of the purchasing cycle.”
Even so, Michael certainly does not discount the relationship between YouTube and Google and the power of YouTube as a customer acquisition channel.
“People looking for your product and/or service are going to end up on YouTube, it’s important to have a targeted presence on YouTube and use those videos to drive traffic to your website,” he concluded. “You can use a verbal call-to-action in your video, annotations over the content and/or links in the description field.”
Gather feedback. Create customized experiences. Operationalize. That sure sounds like a logical approach to video marketing –and I’m sure both the “old” and the “new” Spock would agree.
This article was originally posted on Forbes.com.
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