By 2017, online videos will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco. While brands big and small typically respond to this shift in user behaviour by investing more in big “viral” advertising campaigns, where and how content is shared is becoming just as important as the message itself.
To maximize reach in increasingly busy video traffic, you need to first define what your video is trying to achieve.
Is the goal to spread the word as widely and quickly as possible? Or, is the goal to educate and sell your product to a more focused group of potential customers?
Can you achieve all of your marketing goals with a single campaign? Or would you be better off trying to push different messages with different channels?
When it comes to marketing through videos, taking a one-size fits all approach may not translate all those eyes into more customers for your business.
For most businesses, the best approach here is to set a goal for your video and then think strategically about whether distributing, or publishing and housing it on your own site will have the most impact against your goal.
Context is king, and understanding who your potential customers are is an invaluable part of defining your context.
When on social media, audiences tend to operate without a highly contextual view. Often they’re just generally browsing, or looking for entertainment. Here your task is to engage the audience and shift their context, rather than serve an existing need.
Conversely, for videos on a Website, audiences are usually much more focused on a specific goal. If i’m browsing through a brand site, I probably want to find out information about a product, service or the company themselves. It’s for this reason that FAQ & product videos tend to be much more effective when viewed “on-site,” and entertaining or informative content orthogonal to a brand’s commercial offering tends to perform slightly better on social media.
Digital video marketing is not a one size fits all solution. Engaging your audience in different ways at various stages of the sales process will create momentum in your sales cycle by serving up appropriate content at the right time, and on the most relevant platform.
Short lived, wide reaching campaigns that are intended to build awareness and start a conversation are best served up on social media. Here, the goal of your video should be to entertain and educate your audience. Create a relatable, relatively short communication that is relevant to as many people as possible, and inspires them to like, share, or click to learn more.
B2C brands have seen early success with hosting videos on social media, as many of them already have a well established customer following.
In the US, Walmart has the largest number of Facebook fans, as a retailer, according to Socialbakers. They are also one of the nation’s largest retailers, responsible for eight cents of every one dollar spent, according to Statistic Brain. Wal-Mart’s video content on Facebook focuses on what’s new in stores, including new products, outreach initiatives, or limited time price breaks and deals. Most clips are less than 30 seconds long.
For B2B companies, it often takes more than one engagement to demonstrate value to a potential customer. Simply posting news in a 30-second sound bite on Facebook will not be enough to convince your audience that your brand can solve their business problem. If the goal of your video is to persuade someone to make a purchase, a captive audience is key.
Demos, testimonials, and ringing endorsements are better served to those who have already clicked to an owned-site to learn more. On-site content allows for a deeper dive into the nuances that would never make it into a six second Vine video, and provides full control over content, bringing your target audience into your branded environment.
In a noisy digital space, the key to growing your business is owning your context. Hyper-targeting your message to the right audience at just the right moment allows you to engage with both your existing customers and potential new ones at the same time.