Do you have a great product or service, but not enough people know about it?
Well… Join the club.
Your objective sounds simple enough… ‘get the word out’ about your product. The problem is that it’s more easily said that done. Advertising is expensive, SEO takes months and social media is ‘hit-or-miss.’
So what’s a cost-effective digital strategy to awareness? If the old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words” is true, a 30-second video (30 frames-per-second) is technically worth almost one million words!
“Of course,” you might say, “but advertising with video is expensive” That’s not necessarily true. Today, consumers are watching so much video that there aren’t enough advertisers to fully take advantage. Surely you’ve noticed that more and more Youtube videos have ads in front of them, but the vast majority still do not.
Consider this… On mobile devices alone, there are 1,000,000,000 Youtube videos viewed per day. (don’t bother counting the zero’s, that’s one billion – with a “b”) And according to Facebook, there are 100 million hours of video watched on facebook.com each and every day and these numbers are still growing rapidly.
Combine this with the fact that the vast majority of business owners have still not tried video ads. For publishers, this means there’s a lot of demand for video but still relatively few advertisers. In terms of supply and demand, this means low prices for you – the advertiser.
But how can you take advantage of this? That’s what we’re discussing today – we’ll cover 3 concepts:
- Your goal in advertising with video
- The costs of video advertising
- How to measure effectiveness
What’s the Goal?
The purpose of advertising with video is different from advertising with the other common method digital advertising – Paid Search.
People watching videos are less likely to make an immediate purchase. While watching videos, people are usually not in a ‘buying phase’ like they are when using Google. It’s true thy may be in a ‘research phase’ looking for reviews or explanations on video. Normally however, viewers not going to see a video ad and immediately buy the product, so your goals (and expectations) need to be different.
The objective with video is to create “awareness” of your product or brand. Think about what happens when you see a cool car commercial during the Super Bowl. No matter how much you like the car, you’re not going to jump off the couch and go buy it right then.
Your goal is similar – get people to see your brand and think, “that’s cool – I like that.”
It’s no secret that people buy things from businesses they know and like. The more familiar and comfortable a consumer is with your brand, the more likely they are to buy something from you. Video allows you to build this familiarity in a way not possible with other online formats so when users finally DO visit Google to search, they’re already familiar with your brand.
Now, let’s discuss the costs.
It’s true that videos are not simple to make. They do require some initial investment, but they’re not as difficult to make as you might think. Right now, the video cameria in your phone would have cost thousands of dollars just a few years ago, so technology is not a major barrier.
What about the cost of advertising? You might expect that getting a 30-second video in front of viewers is expensive – much more so that buying a click on Adwords.
As suggested above, that’s where you would be wrong. Video ‘views’ often cost 90% less than ‘clicks’ from Adwords.
A visitor coming from Adwords likely IS worth more than a user watching a video, but when your goal is awareness, video can be an AMAZING way to introduce your product to potential future customers.
Imagine a potential customer who watches your 30 second video. Compare that to a person who sees a simple web banner. Which do you think is more valuable? Would you pay $0.03 right now for a potential future customer?
It sounds good, but what kind of difference can video actually make to a business? Let’s take a look a well-known case study.
The Dollar Shave Club
The Dollar Shave Club is a pretty simple idea. Inexpensive shaving razors sent via mail as part of a monthly subsription. The CEO, Michael Dubin, started his business and shot a funny video, probably with near-zero budget. (check it out here, if you haven’t seen it already) The video was hugely popular and went viral. He made several more videos.
Fast forward a couple years …
Don’t expect to shoot a video and become a billionaire in 3 years, but you see the point – video is powerful.
How to measure the effectiveness
The metrics available to analyze the performance of your video are endless. Facebook offers a couple dozen metrics alone, based on several types of objectives including reach, impressions, clicks to website, conversions, cost per click, etc. (the list goes on and on…) Adwords provides fewer, but a more meaningful set of metrics.Assuming that we’re trying to improve brand awareness, we’re mainly concerned with the number of Impressions, Views and Cost per View. The average length of video viewed (do people typically watch 25% or 90% of your video?) is also good to consider, but really, we want to know how many people are watching past the 30-second mark. This is when a viewer is considered to be engaged and often referred to as a ‘view.’
You want to maximize the number of ‘views’ within your target audience, (don’t pay to show just anyone your video – your audience needs to be well-defined) while minimizing the average ‘cost per view.’
After that, we want to know if people who view your videos eventually become customers – whether it’s 1, 6 or 12 months later. This is where Google Analytics (GA) is important. GA offers tools specifically for this with metrics like ‘Assisted Conversions.’
For example, imagine a potential customer sees your video on Youtube. Then they see a ‘remarketing’ display ad, then visit your site, but do not make a purchase until a month later when they return to your site from Google search and finally – make a purchase.
To know the effectiveness of your marketing dollars, what is the “source” of this sale? Is it your video, your remarketing ad, or your search ad?
GA provides reports that illustrate these conversion funnels, so you know how to adjust your marketing spend and focus dollars where it makes the biggest difference.
Although your initial objective is simply getting your video in front of the right audience, it’s still (crucial!) to use Google Analytics so that you know if & when that audience produces future customers.
BONUS – IDEAS FOR VIDEO CONTENT
So hopefully, you can see the potential of video, but the question remains… “What kind of video should I make?” This is not an easy question to answer, and it’s different for every business. The possibilities however, are endless. Here are a few popular and relatively easy ideas to get your brainstorming started:
- Customer/Client Testimonials
- Answer Customer/Community Questions
- “Our Favorite Customer”
- Before & After
Company Story w/ Employee Interviews“Why We Love Our Job”“Thank You” Video
Animated Explainer VideosScreencastsWhiteboard Tutorials“How it’s Made”
PromotionalParody Current TopicsInappropriate Uses of Product
Suggestion: If you’re shooting your own video, or with your internal team, keep in mind that your very first video may not be the one you end up using. Like any new skill, there is a learning curve. In fact, we recommend planning your first video to be nothing more than practice. This will take the pressure off and you’ll learn more quickly if you can avoid stressing about the details.