Video Marketing vs. Storytelling - A Recap

How to Balance Creativity and Business Objectives

Recap by Premiere Gal

Your team or client has presented their marketing plan for 2017, and guess what? It’s jam packed with video. But with so much video online how are your going to make a beautiful video that cuts through the noise and achieves crucial business objectives? And once it is published, how are you going to effectively measure your video’s success?

Rollo Wenlock, CEO of Wipster, and Anjali Sud, Creative Platform Lead at Vimeo, walked us through their best practices for measuring video success in their latest webinar, “Video Marketing vs. Storytelling.”

You can watch the full hour-long webinar for free (see below) but first here are some of the highlights:

First and foremost, you have to CHANNEL THE FUNNEL!

What is the funnel? The funnel is a “fun” and easy way for you to map out and follow your user’s journey with your brand or business. The video sales funnel has three core components; awareness, consideration, and retention. 

 

Each video you create should serve to achieve a business objective within the funnel, how each video performs can be measured against three key metrics for success:  

ESTABLISH YOUR VIDEO'S OBJECTIVE BEFORE YOU START

When your team or client gives you a video brief it should highlight what they want to achieve with the video and what action they want the viewers to take. Rollo noted quite eloquently:

Briefs should never be prescriptive of how you are going to tell a message. It should only be prescriptive of what the outcome needs to be.
— Rollo Wenlock, Wipster CEO / Co-founder

In other words, it should not detail what visual and storytelling strategies the artist will take, but detail specific business objectives or goals the video should achieve. The creative team can then run with the brief and find a creative way to get the objective to come across in the video. Thus, contrary to common thought, creativity bound by goals or objectives can be a good thing. Practicing this approach will make your video more focused and ultimately more impactful.

To illustrate this idea, Rollo and Anjali showed a video called “Made in Detroit” by Shinola, a company that makes wrist-band watches. The video itself is not about “selling the product,” instead, it is about the people who make the watches and the community around the product. Rather than trying to get viewers to buy the watch, the CTA of this video was to get more people to share the video and to have a conversation about Detroit. While this may not translate and convert people into immediate buyers (remember to channel the funnel!), it helps create awareness, trust, and a positive, communal vibe around the Shinola brand.

MEASURE KEY METRICS 

While collecting stats on the number of views, likes and comments is a starting point of understanding a video’s success, sometimes the numbers can become overbearing and it can be hard to make sense of the data. Especially if the video is uploaded to multiple social media platforms. It can start to feel like an endless, apocalyptic data-diaspora.

Also, even if a video has impressive reach, such as millions of views, it doesn't necessarily mean that viewers are engaging with the video's objective. So rather than focusing on just one particular metric (e.g. # of views and # of likes), Anjali suggests that we look at how all three of the following key metrics, together, contribute to the overall success of the video and whether it achieves its core business objective.

  1. REACH

    Reach has to do with consumption of the video product. Are people watching it? Are they sharing it? This is measured by traffic to the page and often by the number of plays or views the video gets.
  2. ENGAGEMENT

    Engagement is a reflection of how people are interacting with the video. Has the reach resulted in quality traffic? Are people only watching half the video rather than the full thing? What is the audience retention rate? How many likes or comments is the video getting? Are people clicking on the video?
  3. CONVERSION

    Conversion is about whether or not the user completes the video’s call to action (CTA). The CTA asks the audience to do something that delivers on your video’s business objective, such as ‘share’, ‘sign up to the newsletter’ or ‘buy now’, etc.

ALWAYS INCLUDE A CALL TO ACTION

A call to action (CTA) is an interactive way for your viewer to engage with your product or service. There are many different types of CTA tools for videos that you can measure, some common ones include:

  • Share buttons

  • Email capture before viewing

  • Buttons/hyperlinks at the end of the video

  • End card elements on YouTube

  • Clickable annotations

Sometimes a CTA can be as simple as leading a user to watch a full video on your company’s website. Each month Vimeo curates a list of their favorite videos called “Vimeo Staff Picks.” Rather than just sharing a link to the full length video on Facebook, they produce short  20-second teasers of “Vimeo Staff Picks” videos to post on Facebook. These short teasers include just enough info to incite interest to get the viewer to click. The CTA here is quite basic: for the viewer to watch the full video on Vimeo. This strategy of creating derivatives or renditions of longer videos is a simple and great way to reach and engage your audience.  


A CTA does not have to be at the end of the video, such as “Watch the full video here:...”, which is the traditional approach, but can also be weaved within the story of your video itself. This is a more interesting and creative approach to delivering your CTA which can make people take note and can achieve a rate of response.

OPTIMIZE YOUR VIDEO

You can measure, test, and improve the performance of a video by looking more closely at the different elements that influence the viewer's journey. In other words, the strategies you used to get them to like, comment, share or click on your call to action.

Here are some of the different levers you can pull to help improve and optimize the performance of your video campaign:

  • Create catchy thumbnails

  • Hook your viewer in the first 5 seconds (especially important on autoplay platforms such as Facebook)

  • Create content to suit the platform (where are they watching your video?). Videos displayed on Instagram will have different objectives to those on your website so your content should reflect that  

  • Have accurate titles that build trust by delivering on your promise

  • Include closed captions so they can watch with the sound off

  • Always have a CTA

Remember to learn and iterate! Look at past videos and compare their performance. If one did better than another try to identify the differences and use this knowledge to help inform the marketing decisions of your next video.

RECAP of the RECAP

In conclusion, remembering the following can help you measure and achieve video success:

  1. Know your videos business objectives from the beginning

  2. Understand how and where your video fits into the customers journey (channel the funnel!)

  3. Measure key metrics and understand their role in delivering successful outcomes

  4. Always include a CTA (sometimes within the stories narrative) 

  5. Learn and iterate - Compare and contrast your video success and failures to make informed decisions. Modern video marketing tools and publish platforms let you make changes in real-time, so exercise that power.


I hope you found this recap useful as much as I enjoyed the webinar (make sure to check out the full webinar via the form below). Thank you Wipster and Vimeo!

 

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