Here is the fresh new list of 7 things every marketer should know about online video. This will be on the final exam, and it’s not “open book.” Remember folks, I’m not the greatest marketing director in history. And I’m certainly not the best online-video creator (even though I’m the second Google result when you search “fart”). But I don’t know many other people that have a leg firmly placed in each world… marketing and online video.
This list can save you months of research, reduce your risks, impress your colleagues and help you lost 20 pounds in 2 weeks.
- They’re Here. Your customers are watching exponentially more videos online than they were 6-12 months ago. Don’t pull a Bud.tv, but recognize that “watching and experimenting” can be as dangerous as making calculated investments in the space and measuring them.
- Buyer’s Market. The ROI of reaching customers via online-video is better today than ever before because it’s a buyer’s market. Assess your options, run tests, measure and scale. But if you spend the next six months on the first step, you’ll lose revenue potential and find the space shifted while you were stuck in “ready, aim” mode.
- Find a Sherpa. A calculated investment means you’ve done 3 things- you’ve been prudent about your spending, followed the rules of social media, and analytical on results. The best way to be prudent and stay within social media is to find a “sherpa” who has learned the mountain. Someone who already knows the taste of success, and the pain of making a mistake.
- Analyze Impact: Every stupid list has a “measure and improve” step, but let’s get specific. Very few brands will measure online-video’s direct impact on sales. Likewise, I can’t tell you that paid search is selling my product, but I’ve doubled its budget every year because have good assumption-based ROI models. If you can’t track sales, simply do a test/control or pre/post using the next realistic proxy measure/driver of sales (enrollment, site visit, intent, awareness).
- Measure Persuasiveness Not Impressions. If you read the third tip, then we agree that impressions is the worst proxy ever. A video view is different from the fraction of a percent of banner impressions that actually get registered by the human eye. We know that, and we accept that if we engage a prospect in an entertaining and persuasive manner for 30-90 seconds, than we’ve increased intent to purchase. Just like a good salesperson is more effective than a brochure, video is the most visceral, engaging and persuasive form of mainstream media… especially if the audience connects with the star. If impressions are exciting to your boss, then stick with nickel CPMs via ad networks. There’s a reason they’re a nickel.
- Please Don’t Just Advertise. You’re going to use this channel to advertise- brands will always advertise. But think beyond the ad play– it’s public relations, sponsorship and product placement too. An online-video star is like a small network or publication. He or she has a loyal audience, and you want to be more than an ad. You want to be a giveaway on Oprah or a Coke cup on the American Idol judges table.
- Find Existing Crowds, Don’t Try Gathering Them. Please don’t invest in your own content or building a brand-focused entertainment channel (bud.tv). Nobody cares about your brand but you. Find people that have spent the past two years growing audiences who have “asses in seats.” Don’t put on a broadway show about your product- participate in the show that’s already “standing room only.”