This is part two in a two-part series of articles featured by the CMA about how brands can create effective and engaging video content. To read part one, ‘Video for Brands: Where do you start?’, click here.
So, you’ve created video content, but don’t know if it’s worked?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
If you have created video content and pushed it live onto your platforms, you’re probably feeling some, if not all, of the following:
“It didn’t work”
“It was really expensive”
“No one watched it”
“That was a waste of time and energy”
“Remind me, why did we create that video in the first place?”
Think about the end at the beginning.
On the whole, the reason we don’t know if video content has performed or not is due to the fact that we didn’t lay out a set of clearly defined objectives for it in the first place.
This applies as much to video content as to any other kind of content we produce. The concept is neatly summarised by the good folk at Contently who describe it as follows: “Embrace the idea of accountable content, so that everything maps to a high-level company objective.”
In order to understand if a piece or series of content has worked, we need to know the original business objective that the content set out to solve. Once goals (and accompanying success metrics) are defined, we can far easier measure if the content has worked.
Think long term.
Content takes time to work. The first few pieces of content you make should not be expected to answer all your business problems.
Look at the astonishing output of video content created by Red Bull or, to a higher quality, lesser volume extent, Volvo.
They’ve all spent years nurturing their audience, establishing a tone of voice and providing regular, high quality content for their audience to seek out engage with. A content strategy, if correctly executed, can allow for an audience to grow and become engaged in your message before being encouraged to take the desired actions.
Don’t scrimp on quality or budget.
Doing video properly is not a cheap business, either in cash terms, or in time and resource terms.
That doesn’t mean to say that economies of scale can’t be created by producing a suite of films for a variety of platforms out of each shoot, but if they’re not of a high enough quality, they run the risk of damaging the brand. So, examine the budget you’ve allocated to video and fight for more if needed!
Get your house in order.
In order for your content to perform as well as it possibly can, it needs to be optimised for the platforms on which it lives, starting with your own. Primarily, that means taking a good long look at the metadata surrounding your content to ensure that you are doing everything you possibly can so that your content is found and watched.
This will entail looking at everything from the thumbnail image you’re using to the way you title your content and the number of language subtitles you use.
There are many moving parts to this, that vary from platform to platform but that, if done right, consistently across all your content, can lead to a far higher chance of it working.
Paid media – you’ll need it.
So, you created your video content, posted it on your YouTube channel and buried it on your website and… no-one found it.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Without a dedicated paid media budget behind each piece of content, your videos won’t get the push off the top of the hill that they need.
After all, how many pieces of TV advertising were created without an accompanying media TV air time budget?
However, and this is the most important part of the paid media lesson: focus on quality not quantity. Whilst it might be great to be able to show your boss that your content was watched a million times, if none of those million viewers actually met your business objective, then it’s been a waste of money.
The power of the web is in its interactive nature.
Watching a piece of content should be only the start of your viewer’s journey with your brand, not the end. Ensure that you surround your content with the platform-appropriate interactive elements, to allow them to continue their journey. Again, always keeping your business objectives in mind.
Video isn’t always the answer.
Given a poor experience with video, or a distinct lack of information as to whether or not it performed, we’re often left wondering why we made the content in the first place and are sometimes left with a bitter aftertaste that doesn’t really encourage us to want to try again.
Remember, video, whilst being the new shiny toy of the moment (and set to be that way for the foreseeable future) may not always be the answer. It’s simply one element of a suite of tools available to today’s digital marketer.
But surely, if you are going to create video and embark on a video marketing strategy, it’s worth putting in the time and effort to make sure it really ‘works’.