SPOTLIGHT: Think before Leaping

Spotlights Video

Chief Marketer logoRight now, in some industries, paid-video search campaigns are hotter than the spark trail of a soaring Roman candle. Several factors are driving digital marketers to explore paid video – from the increase in competitiveness and cost of traditional paid search to the huge growth in mobile viewing.

There’s no question that savvy marketers can capitalize on the opportunity to capture new and larger audiences with video marketing campaigns.

But are they right for you and your business?

In an article on Chief Marketer, “Think Before You Leap Into Paid Video Search,” I suggested three ways you might proceed with paid video:

  • Wait for the right time for you and your customers
  • Proceed slowly and cautiously, at a pace that avoids major gaffes
  • Run campaigns as quickly as possible; the Internet moves so fast any mistakes will be behind you quickly

Without knowing more about your organization’s goals, I can’t advise you on which strategy is best for you right now. However, I can – and do – offer guidance on how you can evaluate which approach to take. Check out the article on Chief Marketer and leave a comment below with your thoughts on the value of paid video search.

Nuts & Bolts: How to Decide if Paid Video Search is Right for You

Nuts & Bolts Video

Look at any article or blog post on “hot marketing trends for 2016” and you’ll see “video” at or near the top. Do you have a strategy for implementing paid video search in your marketing plan?

The latest post in our “Nuts & Bolts” series delves into the what, why and how of paid video, based on a recent workshop I presented. For example, Forrester estimates that one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words of text in terms of the message being communicated. Can you afford to miss out on that opportunity?

View the slides below from our workshop to learn if a paid video program is right for you right now. If not, discover how to discern when it is the right time. You’ll also get useful tips and links to help you begin – once the time is right. More importantly, you will get advice on how to measure your program’s effectiveness with techniques like attribution marketing.

A Year of Analytics, Mobility and Video

Analytics Mobile Nuts & Bolts Video

As we prepare to say farewell to 2015, we’d like to use this final FirstWord post of the year to say thanks to all the editors who published our articles. We focused on three major themes during the last 12 months – Analytics, Mobility and Video – and some of the finest digital marketing publications on the web were gracious enough to share our work.

Here are five of our favorites:

Why Digital Marketing Analytics Is Important for Retail Sales” – a video interview with Eric Vidal, editor of The Marketing Scope

TargetMarketingHow to Use Analytics to Improve the Performance of Your Digital Marketing Campaigns” – from the Measurement & Metrics section of Target Marketing

MarketingProfsFive Ways Google Analytics Turns You Into the Sherlock of Paid Search” – a column in MarketingProfs

Before Shooting for Video Marketing Success, Learn to Hit a Moving (i.e., Mobile) Target” – featured in the Executive Briefing from biz

CMLogoThink Before You Leap Into Paid Video Search” – from the Consumer Marketing channel of Chief Marketer

If any of these headlines catches our attention, practice the power of the click. Click on the links we’ve provided and visit these pages in support of the publications that support us.

Why Mom’s Advice Applies to Video Marketing

Analytics Attribution Modeling Video

Think of mom's advice when doing video marketingMoms love to toss out quips to keep their kids in line. Funny thing is many of them apply to marketers just as much as to children. (And let’s not read too much into that!) One Mom-ism you’ve probably heard is “It’s not that I don’t trust you, it’s that I don’t trust everyone else.”

She might as well have been talking about marketers who are hanging out with all the “cool kids” running video marketing campaigns. You shouldn’t blindly jump in just because they are. Do they know what they’re doing? And if their marketing spending is making a difference?

We previously looked at the explosive growth of video search. With video accounting for 64% of all Web traffic – and growing – clearly there is a huge opportunity. But opportunity alone isn’t reason enough to leap into video.

To be effective, at least at present, you need to be sure your attribution modeling is in place so you can judge the success of your paid video search. Start there, especially if your product or service is more of a considered purchase. You will drive more value throughout your campaign if you spend time upfront to understand your buyers and build models that help you know what’s driving their actions.

It’s also important to be patient with your campaigns. The downside of consumers viewing content when and how they want is it could take a while for your videos to be discovered and viewed by your target audience. Again, this is another good reason to ensure your attribution models are in order, so you won’t pull the plug too soon.

Once you have your attribution models set, should you immediately press the “on” button and recline with a bowl of popcorn and your favorite beverage? Maybe… maybe not.

To video or not to video

Essentially, there are three ways you can proceed:

  • Wait for the right time for you and your customers
  • Proceed slowly and cautiously, at a pace that avoids major gaffes
  • As quickly as possible; the Internet moves so fast, any mistakes will be behind you quickly

Which is the right way to go? Mom would say “I don’t know” is not an answer. And she’s right. Actually, any of them could be correct.

If you are an industrial or B2B marketer, and video isn’t prevalent in your industry, you can probably afford to wait. Particularly if you don’t currently have any video assets and your customers aren’t demanding that you get some.

If you are a retailer, or sell products or services through direct response, right now is a great time to get involved — especially if you already have some video available. The market is primed and the competition level is relatively low. You can “own” video search for much less than it might cost for text-based search. Even if you don’t have video right now, however, there are specialty companies that can help you develop some quickly – and at low cost.

If your organization is risk-averse, proceeding slowly might be the best bet. Try video on your website and gauge the reaction. Use your Google analytics to monitor how often your videos are viewed, if visitors are staying through them and if they are going from one to the next. That will tell you whether your content has the potential to work on a broader scale so you can expand into channels such as YouTube. (See my previous posts on quantifying the effectiveness of campaigns and using session metrics to learn more about insights you can gain from your analytics.) Even if you make a few missteps, the learning effort will be worth it, and those errors likely will be forgotten quickly.

Remember Mom

“Everyone else is doing it” wasn’t a good reason when you were a kid, and it’s not a good reason now. Having a solid business reason for launching a video search campaign – and the mechanisms to manage its effectiveness – will drive greater success in the short- and long-term. And make your mother proud.

Taking Measure of Paid Video Search

Analytics Attribution Modeling Video

chart bustingVideo is rapidly becoming the preferred method for consuming content on the Internet. From Netflix to Facebook to the video “granddaddy” YouTube, video already accounts for 64 percent of all Web traffic, and that figure is expected to rise to 80% by 2019. Video presents a wide range of opportunities for savvy marketers. But like anything else, you need to be sure you have a reason for getting into paid video search.

Just like mobile marketing, you still need to get people to find your videos, then measure the effectiveness of each click. Tools are being introduced that make it easier to measure the effectiveness of paid video search. For example, Google is making a real effort to integrate the YouTube advertising platform into AdWords. They also have a product in beta called TrueView for Shopping that combines video with shopping feeds. Consumers can watch a video, click on a product image and shop right there.

That should help overcome one of the biggest objections, which is the lack of ability to directly attribute a purchase to a consumer watching a video. Currently, Google recommends using attribution modeling to measure the effectiveness of a video. With TrueView for Shopping, however, marketers will be able to use last-click conversion measurements much more effectively. Finally, you will be able to see hard data on which videos work and which fall flat. Do you need more explainer videos, or does your audience prefer humor? Is 30 seconds the ideal length, or are your prospects seeking long-form content?

Change in the way video is consumed

Perhaps one of the biggest factors contributing to the growth of video is the change in the way it’s consumed. Video viewing (think television) used to be controlled by the content providers.

Now anyone can watch what they want, when they want. YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and their ilk have seen to that. Measuring the audience has been challenging, although Nielsen may have cracked the code on Netflix. On other sites, Google TrueView will ensure you’re paying only for actual views, rather than estimated viewership.

The net takeaway is consumers are not spending as much time flopping on their couch watching whatever is pushed to them. Instead, they are seeking out content on their own terms, and on a variety of devices. YouTube claims that advertisers have seen click-through rates for these more targeted ad videos that are 3-4 times higher than other video ad formats.

There’s always a “but…”

With all that going for it, why shouldn’t marketers just jump whole-hog into video? To be effective, at least at present, you need to be sure your attribution modeling is in place so you can judge the success of your paid video search. If it isn’t, you need to get that house in order first. Especially if your product or service is more of a considered purchase. Taking time to understand your audience and build the models will help you drive more value throughout your campaign.

Having a deeper understanding into which video ads work is, of course, a tremendous boon for marketers using that medium. But before you get to the point of placing video ads, you must produce the actual videos. While that doesn’t have to bust your budget, it isn’t always cheap. Are video ads right for your marketing plan?

As I said in my previous post, this is the time to recall the wise words of your mother: “If your friends were jumping off the roof, would you do it too?” Just like back in those days, you need to carefully consider the risks and measure them against the thrill of the leap. In my next post, I will give you some pointers to help you make that determination – “To video, or not to video?”

When It Comes to Paid Video Search, Listen to Mom

Analytics Attribution Modeling Video

In Video Search - Listen to your mom's adviceBy now you’ve probably heard the declaration that 2015 is the “year of video marketing.” The pundits declared it, the headlines have screamed and the actual numbers are certainly making a good case for it. Of course, all this talk is making marketers nervous as they fear they’re being left behind.

That’s why in times like these it’s important to remember the wise words of your mother.

Nearly all of us at one time or another begged to be allowed to do something or see something or go somewhere because all the other kids were doing it. And what was the universal response of all mothers everywhere? “If your friends were jumping off the roof, would you do it too?”

Yes, video is growing and presents a wide range of opportunities for savvy marketers. But like anything else, you still need to be sure you have a reason for getting into paid video search. Here’s a look at what’s driving the trend, as well as the factors that will help you decide whether it makes sense for your organization, and provide some ideas on what to do if it does.

Explosive growth

There is no dispute that video is rapidly overtaking text and images as the preferred method for consuming content on the Internet. Video already accounts for 64 percent of all Web traffic, and that figure is expected to rise to 80 percent by 2019.

Part of the reason for this growth is the continued use of mobile to watch video. For example, YouTube says half of all views of its content are on mobile devices. As more videos become mobile-friendly, and wireless connections get faster, you can expect that figure to continue to rise.

But it’s not just about greater availability. Forrester estimates that one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words of text as far as the message communicated. That’s pretty attractive to marketers in their ever-present quest to break through the clutter.

The big attraction of video to marketers, though, is that it is currently the road less traveled. Traditional paid search has become ultra-competitive (and expensive), in part as a result of developments such as close variant matching (CVM). As search results are broadened to the “close enough” level, more marketers are jumping in. Since fewer organizations are taking advantage of video search, eyeballs can be acquired for a relative bargain. Mom would appreciate that thriftiness.

While these numbers may make your eyes bulge, remember – it’s not as simple as posting a clever cat video to attract your audience. (Though cat videos, inexplicably, always seem to do well.) Just like with mobile marketing, you still need to get people to your videos, then measure the effectiveness of each one. If you know the tools to use – and how to use them – you can track the path from a video view all the way through to a purchase.

In my next post, we will look at some of those tools and how savvy marketers are using them for last-click conversion measurements. This is one instance where Mom would encourage you to do what the other kids are doing.