Product managers, listen up: It’s time to start worrying less about having conversations with your customers. There. I said it. Putting your efforts into creating a larger volume of quality content that stands the test of time will give your customer base what they’re really looking for. In production terms, this means the more you have a director saying, “Action!” the more you’ll be getting your message out into the marketplace.
Don’t stress out if your social page doesn’t have thousands of followers, or if the ones you do have don’t comment on every post you make. In many cases, customers want to talk about a brand, but they don’t necessarily care to have the brand speak back to them. What consumers need is content that they can react to in the first place.
Take the example of the Hot Wheels Custom Motors Cup, a project I directed for Mattel in 2010. 30 months after launch, the videos in that campaign have amassed more than 20 million combined views.
The stat of note is not 20 million views, but rather 30 months. Rather than build an experience that was tied to any one campaign, Mattel chose to create an evergreen bit of interactivity that continues to perform strongly in aggregate almost three years after its release.
Or take the now-classic Old Spice “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign, which continues to build views more than two and a half years after its original upload to YouTube. As of the writing of this article, there were more than 20 new comments posted to the original video in the last three days alone, which means this video and the dozens of others related to its campaign continue to draw traffic.
Leaving the viewer with this sort of lasting impression (aka: “a brand”) should be the long-term focus of product managers. Where video is concerned, this means a focus on creating more overall content, and positioning it to run for a long time.
It’s time to think in years, not hours.
Take into consideration a recent bitly article about the best time to post content on various social outlets, which tells us to post on Facebook between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., and to post on Twitter from 1 to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday. It also reminds us that the half-life of a Twitter link is about three hours. In this climate of Twitter links being referred to as having a half-life, video producers need to think about distributing for the long run.
Videos are expensive to produce, and content that has a longer lifespan stands a better chance of making a lasting impression with current and future customers. (For those of you who like buzzwords, this means better ROI!)
Consider launching each video to as many outlets as possible rather than trying to drive traffic to a particular version of a video. When coupled with appropriately written descriptions and keywords, the result can be a wide distribution of content that will build organic search rankings over time.
Yes, there are situations where conversation is appropriate. If you need to solve a negative backlash issue, need feedback for product development, or want to build and strengthen a loyal base of online evangelists, then you must converse with your customers. Otherwise, keep your focus on building the quantity of your message over time, and the authority of your brand will build itself.