Making Video Marketing Work for You

By Richard Parkin

Video marketing is one of the most profitable forms of advertising today, and is still growing exponentially. In 2019, digital video ads were linked to over $21 billion in revenue (up over a third from 2018), while mobile video ads increased by 43.9% across the same period. 

With the barrier to entry at an all-time low, it’s understandable that just about everyone wants to expand into video. That said, when businesses start to develop their digital video marketing campaigns, they often find themselves unable to gain much real traction and engagement, no matter how many views their videos appear to bring in.

The most obvious problem – trusting the wrong metrics.

Why Video Marketing Metrics are Wrong

If you stay up to date with digital marketing news, you may have heard about a 2016 lawsuit filed against Facebook. This lawsuit alleges that the social media giant knowingly misled advertisers about how effective their videos were.

As in many large-scale suits (particularly in the digital field), details have been slow to emerge. Initially, Facebook claimed that a programming error had led to view counts being overestimated by 60-80%, and that the issue had been quickly fixed.

According to the suit (and unsealed internal Facebook documents), the scale of the issue was actually far greater. It’s been alleged that the problem was allowed to continue for well over a year, with overall view counts inflated by anywhere between 150% and 900%.  

View count inflation made video marketing seem far more engaging than it actually was, occurring right at the height of the ‘pivot to video’ trend. It’s believed that several companies (particularly news sites) that made the pivot did so because of the inflated stats being reported through Facebook, leaving several in a precarious position.

Why Autoplay Statistics Go Wrong

That said, the issues with video marketing metrics don’t start and end with Facebook. With autoplaying videos an increasingly standard web design feature, advertisers are still reporting unbelievably high view counts.

Those counts are unbelievable for a reason – the reality isn’t anywhere near as impressive. Brandwatch estimates that 74% of people react negatively to autoplaying videos, with many turning to adblockers to stop the videos.

Essentially, most people do not want to see autoplaying videos outside of specific contexts (video landing pages, for example), undermining any marketing messages in those videos.

In other words, a reported view is not necessarily a real, useful view, and can be extremely misleading. Making the most of video marketing requires actual knowledge about what metrics can be trusted – and what they really mean.

Understanding How Video Marketing Works

Making your video marketing more effective means building a clearer picture of how you currently perform. Here are three powerful (and often overlooked) ways you can transform your perspective on video marketing, understanding your next step forward.

Using Better Metrics: As we’ve seen, the number of views a video gets doesn’t necessarily have that much to do with how it performs. As well as tracking video-linked conversions, take advantage of in-depth analytics to build a genuine understanding of video engagement.

These will let you get closer to understanding how your audience views your content – check out Youtube’s audience retention report for a second-by-second breakdown of your viewership, as an example.  

Clear Action Points: I’ve seen far too many video marketing campaigns that exist as just a video, with no next step for an interested viewer to take. If you’re not running an exclusively awareness-focused campaign, you need to have a straightforward customer journey – what should the viewer do next?

Build effective CTAs to take your users through to the next step, then ensure that your landing pages are effectively designed and develop your message, rather than just reiterating points from the video.

Checking Placements: Do you know where your video ads are running? If you’re receiving (and paying for) high view counts on sites that don’t lead to conversions, you may be running into the autoplay issue we’ve discussed. Take some time to review your placements, blocking any that aren’t benefiting you.

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