Of all the forms of content marketing, video offers the greatest opportunity for digital marketers.
And yet the majority of us are blowing it.
Broadly, mistakes in this strategy manifest in three ways:
– Not creating a clear standard for ROI
– Publishing new videos and moving on without promotion
– Whiffing on the content itself, particularly the video topics
When the COO asks about the performance of video marketing, the reflex is to talk about views. But views don’t count as ROI; they’re a vanity metric. Only 35% of marketers report using “intermediate” analytics, i.e, anything beyond views.
Videos are often uploaded to YouTube without much thought for SEO optimization or distribution. Then it’s on to the next one.
It’s that old Field of Dreams mentality: build it and they will come. It doesn’t work like that.
Meanwhile, people are absolutely feasting on video. YouTube reaches more 18 – 49 year-olds (so a huge majority of the population) than any TV network. If you’re a content strategist, or have any stake in the success of your company’s content strategy, you should be thinking about how to excel at video marketing.
In this post, we’ll cover how to improve your video analytics, distribution, and engagement, so you can stop counting views and start delivering some real ROI.
Create specific goals. Use deeper analytics.
On better strategy
First things first: every successful video strategy has to have a goal.
Getting more views isn’t a great strategy, but it’s unclear how that benefits your organization. Here are better examples of goals:
– Increase traffic from video content by x%
– Generate x number of conversions from video
– Attribute x amount of revenue to video content
Of course, each of these depends on the needs, budget, and capabilities of your company. Personally, I would go with the second option: generating conversions and building a contact list.
Focusing on lead generation allows you to take a full funnel approach, which means you can produce top of funnel, mid funnel, and bottom funnel videos that each serve a distinct purpose. (More on that later.)
On better analytics
If you want to have better goals and realize a better return on video, you need better data.
The native analytics provided by Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram can tell you how people are interacting with your content on their platforms. But it won’t be that helpful when you’re trying to measure results.
You’re going to need to grab a video publishing platform like Vidyard or Wistia and hook it up to your marketing automation system. This not only unlocks a deeper set of analytics, but also connects the data from Facebook et al. to what’s happening on your website.
Think of video analytics as intention data. Once you have access to a more expansive dataset, you can see how many viewers watched your entire video, which parts they rewatched, and what percentage clicked through and converted.
Plus, you’ll be able to associate how many leads that originated from your video strategy convert into customers, giving you that all-important baseline for ROI.
Without these analytics, you’ll be adrift in the YouTube sea, wondering which videos actually perform and which just get meaningless views.
Expand your content strategy
Now that you’ve got a better plan — and a better means of measuring success — let’s talk about content strategy.
A lot of B2B brands struggle with video content strategy, because they tend to excel at mid and bottom of the funnel content, while writing off the top of the funnel. But video marketing is an entertainment game, so if you want to win, you need to get better at the top of the funnel.
There are a couple of ways to do this.
The first is to move your SEO up the funnel and focus on topics that are only mildly related to your product — if at all.
For example, at Soundstripe we doubled down on production assets for our video creator community. That means we wrote entire articles about these topics, built landing pages for them, and then made videos about each topic.
Check this video for our storyboard template to get an idea of what I’m talking about.
Does this topic have any direct application to Soundstripe’s YouTube royalty free music product? Not really. But we know that it’s important to our audience, and showing up for this keyword makes us relevant.
That’s the top of the funnel in a nutshell. There are probably tons of topics that your audience is interested in that are several degrees removed from your product.
On social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, people are not actively searching for anything to purchase. They’re just scrolling aimlessly. So you’re going to need to meet people where they are, and that means focusing on broad, entertaining topics.
That’s alright, because as long as you can get someone to engage with your video, you can retarget them later. (Or if they convert on the video, nurture them through email.)
Another important way to attack the top of the funnel is to go beyond keyword research. Yes, it’s possible. Social monitoring tools like Buzzsumo allow you to search for topics your audience is talking about on social media.
These ideas aren’t always represented in search volume, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t interested. So find some of those topics, make a few videos, and see if you can grab people’s attention. Bada bing, bada boom: you’re relevant to a whole new segment of your audience.
Get your distribution right
Now it’s time for the big finale, the third pillar of this video marketing temple: distribution.
Organic social reach is more or less a relic of a bygone era — except on LinkedIn, strangely. So if you want to really get a return on your video marketing, you’re going to need to put some dollars behind distribution on the big social networks.
Now, that doesn’t mean you should just start dumping money into the black hole of Facebook Business Manager. You need to be judicious. Start small and run some tests. And for the love of all that’s holy, don’t serve the same ads to every part of your funnel.
Since you’ve done all that work creating top of the funnel videos (you’re doing that, right?) follow those up with mid funnel and bottom funnel videos. These guys should have more of a conversion focus, because the audience you’re showing them to will be better acquainted with your brand.
Once you get some data from your initial campaign, analyze, tweak, and repeat.
Look, no one said video marketing was easy. It takes a lot of effort to get right. You have to set up your strategy, collect the right data, and optimize your content. But once you approach video marketing in a formalized way, you’ll start to make waves in the most popular content format in the history of mankind.
This guest article was written by Zach Watson, Content Marketing Manager for Soundstripe, a royalty free music company that helps creators and businesses with YouTube monetization, among other things.