Even the big guys struggle to measure ROI.
Almost every company puts much money and effort behind social media strategy, with goals ranging from enhanced brand awareness to direct leads or sales. But while 97 percent of those surveyed said they use some form of social media marketing, only 37 percent reported being able to measure ROI—and this problem extends to even the largest marketers, 78 percent of whom said they struggle with this measurement.
5 Types of Content Shared:
Here at DIGITAL EXPOSURE we thrive on providing our clients these 5 tenants for success.
1) The agency listens more than it speaks.
An agency is most often hired because of its expertise. However, expertise in a vacuum remains in the realm of theory and best practice. To be truly effective, an agency must immerse itself in the culture of the client and aim to understand exactly what that client's needs are—beyond the project itself. What that means for you, the client, is that your agency must listen to you. Its goal is to reach a level of understanding where the agency is free to explore the possibilities within a framework defined by the client.
To achieve a true level of understanding, the agency must involve the right people from the start. In the best circumstances, every agency employee working on the project—both behind the scenes and with the client—will be involved in the conversation.
With digital projects spanning many disciplines—design, technology, branding—team involvement is imperative in order to capture all the nuanced details. The problem with limiting interactions to, let's say an account manager, is that communication turns into a game of telephone—something invariably gets lost in translation, or more important, details are missed in the first place.
2) The agency questions everything.
A good agency will ask you questions before getting started on a project. A great agency will question everything throughout the project. Both client and agency must embrace these questions as a way to get on the same page. When agency employees don't know the reasons behind decisions, it is nearly impossible to do effective work.
To understand what really needs to be accomplished, an agency must first understand why. The question why paves the path to intention. I often tell my staff to keep asking why until there are no questions left. Only then can you construct a solution that has the desired outcome: Who will benefit from a specific feature? What effect will this benefit have? What business value will be derived from this effect?
It's obvious by now that something has gone wrong in the television advertising world--upfront dollar volume fell by 6.1 percent to $18.125 billion, including a 4.7 percent hit for cable, which dipped for the first time in four years to $9.675 billion. So, where are those dollars going?
More than one source has suggested that we're finally seeing the advent of digital advertising: With so much inventory on the market, it just makes sense that some TV dollars are shifting to digital video, where it's easy to buy cheaply and in bulk for an ad to run next week. But even digital video sellers caution against making such a blanket assertion.
Jason Krebs, head of sales at Maker Studios, has seen a "noticiable uptick" in marketer spending but isn't entirely sure where the dollars are coming from.
"You can never tell where the money is coming from specifically unless the client verbally tells you, 'I have taken this money from my TV spend,'" and of course, nobody says that out loud," Krebs said.
Krebs suggested that the shift may not be from a TV budget to a digital budget, but rather toward an overall video spend that includes everything on the market, given that many of the ads are the same on TV as online.
"Advertisers say, 'Now we have a general video budget and we address it across screens where we see fit,'" Krebs said. "More and more people are video planners and buyers and from what we see that’s healthy, because as a Disney company we have many different platforms and work across all of them."
Scatter prices may not go up
What's interesting about the overall spending shift is that it seems to be away not necessarily from TV advertising in general but from upfront buying specifically. The implied threat to buyers who bow out of the upfront bazaar is that scatter prices will be higher once hits are established. During the upfront, buyers purchase inventory on new broadcast shows mostly on the strength of their gut feelings and their faith in the network to promote new material.
But if everyone holds back cash from the ufpront at once—as appears to have happened this time around—there's not nearly as much scarcity when time comes to move the inventory in the fall.
And with a dismal hit rate among broadcast networks and a rapid turnaround for new, high-end analytics on both television and digital platforms, the opportunity to place your ad dollars where you can know beyond a gut check that you're reaching customers—well, that may be worth taking that step back from the upfront market.
Ad budgets down?
One thing that most in both digital and TV worlds have noticed is that those dollars from last year aren't all out there yet—not in either market. There wasn't as much cash committed during the upfront, and while the NewFronts boosted the profile of some companies, the digital advertising market (which is a fraction of the size of TV) didn't explode overnight.
As one buyer put it, "I think it’s more like they’re either a, going to a bottom line, b, going to digital or c, being held for flexibility to do anything with."
Traditionally, clients give media agencies a certain amount of money and say, "Spend it, or else." In a lot of ways, consolidation has been good for those buyers, because they can go to Linda Yaccarino at NBCUniversal, for example, and buy multiple broadcast networks and dozens of cable channels at once. But given the fluctuation in TV ratings, marketers may be considering if it's worthwhile to spend.
"I think it’s just coming down to more real time decisions," the buyer said. "Clients get away with it in digital and want to try to think about it more in TV."
By Sam Thielman
#1: Inspire Curiosity
Want your readers to share your killer content? Open that email? Read your blog?
#2: Good News Travels Faster
Social media has generated new rules of engagement. Neuroscientists and psychologists are finding that online readers share positive, feel-good posts over tales of destruction and woe, and that includes the sharing of customer service experiences.
The same finding applies to online video. When senior research associate Karen Nelson-Field of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing studied video sharing habits, she found that a strong positive reaction is 30 percent more likely to get a share than negative responses like anger or shock.
Of special note to marketers: posts that exhilarate also make viewers better remember your brand.
#3: Tell Tales
Stories are in a class of triggers all their own. They activate the subconscious, emotional area of the brain, which is where we decide to buy or not to buy.
Because stories stimulate areas in our brains that are connected with our senses, they have the magical quality of creating bodily responses, as if what we read is happening in real time.
Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman, who wrote “How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market,” says the subconscious brain is where 95 percent of cognition occurs. So by all means, move us by telling a riveting buzzworthy story that motivates the desired action.
#4: Something New
Don’t forget to brand your video well. Nelson-Field’s study also showed that when comparing the average social video to a 30-second TV ad, social videos had significantly less branding, about a third.
As long as your video makes an emotional impact, branding won’t get in the way of sharing, even if it’s overt.
by Jordan Kasteler
Erika Morphy of Forbes recently asked our opinion on YouTube’s redesign. In answering her questions, it occurred to me that there’s always been confusion around how a retailer can best use YouTube, and how that overlaps with their other video marketing efforts.
So below are some thoughts on how YouTube fits into a broader video marketing strategy for a retailer or major brand.
Does that mean you should avoid YouTube? No. There are plenty of tools YouTube provides to keep your audience engaged in a way that makes sense for retailers.
You’d be foolish to leave YouTube out of your video strategy. You’d be equally foolish to place it at the center. YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine. It is a destination where consumers come to watch video, and it does a great job of making video social. YouTube’s place in a video strategy is as a high-traffic outpost to facilitate discovery, moving consumers into the consideration phase and helping them decide to purchase.
A YouTube player embedded on your site is free…so is a puppy. Remember YouTube’s get-them-on-YouTube-and-keep-them-there goal?
Free puppies grow up. The little puppy shown above is now 120 pounds and small children try to ride him like a horse. Your video program will scale up too. If you’re a retailer you may have thousands or tens of thousands of products and corresponding product pages…with video to manage.
YouTube wasn’t a substitute for a video strategy before, and these new changes don’t alter that at all. Are you using YouTube successfully? If so, what’s working for you? Let me know in the comments.
If content marketing is king, then video is its trusted knight. According to this CopyPress research recently featured in eMarketer, 52% of marketing professionals worldwide call out video as the type of content with the highest ROI.
Video as a content strategy generates greater returns than pictures, infographics, and even whitepapers.
Though the majority of marketers see the value of video, many struggle with the details of putting together a video strategy. The pervasive perception seems to be that video is both difficult and costly to create. But it doesn’t have to be.
It all depends on how you think about video. If video is viewed as a project, a one-time effort that’s just another piece of the marketing or merchandising puzzle, things can get complicated. Creating and implementing video requires tools and expertise, including equipment and staff for shooting as well as for technical implementations, involving significant costs.
The management of all this falls on an internal stakeholder. Keeping track of everything and everyone involved, from equipment to deciding what to shoot and when, is not easy. And all this is just for creating video – how will everything be managed after the initial implementation? Who will keep track of results, and what do you do when products change?
However, when video is viewed as a program, the efficiencies (and therefore reduced stress and costs for you) begin.
Video is not a one-shot effort, but an investment at the core of your marketing strategy. To make the most of this, bring in an experienced partner to help with all the details of a solid video strategy and execution. We here at DIGITAL EXPOSURE can help.
With this train of thought, it’s more important for the stakeholder to define goals and set the overall direction than to manage day-to-day tasks, leaving plenty of time to manage and optimize results. Shifting the responsibilities from yourself to your partner grants you access to expertise and equipment from the earliest stages of production to measuring and calculating results.
Crafting and implementing video is no walk in the park, but teaming up with a specialist can certainly generate that coveted ROI with less stress and greater impact.
10 LESSONS FROM SILVERPOP’S DIGITAL MARKETING UNIVERSITY NYC:
If you’re a manufacturer or brand, no one knows your products better than you do. It’s clear that video is an important asset for your business, but do your videos position you as the authoritative source for your products, maximize customer engagement, and contribute to increased sales?
1. Go to Market With a Plan – Creating a video strategy can take your video’s effectiveness to the next level. Among attendees of our webinar, 80% felt that their video plan had room for improvement or lacked a plan altogether. Going from a “let’s try it out” approach to video to a strategy with carefully planned video goals generates improved results and continual optimization.
2. Diversify Video Content – How do your customers interact with content? Shoppers in different stages of the buying journey come in contact with your brand in different ways. Consider content types (highly branded and visually engaging vs. highly detailed and informational) and cover your customer’s shopping journey with video. In addition, make your video content available to your retail partners to maximize the impact of video anywhere your products are sold.
3. Optimize for SEO – Video’s impact on SEO continues to grow – in this eye-tracking study, video results capture significant attention. Make sure search engines can find your videos to boost results (check out the recording for specifics). While having your videos on social sites like YouTube is beneficial, it’s important to map videos to your domain. This drives traffic back to your own website where you control the messaging and a shopper can make a purchase.
YouTube can be a great tool for video marketing, but too often marketers make the mistake of putting it at the center of their video strategy.
Using YouTube the wrong way may cost your company credibility, lost traffic and sales. Using it the right way, as a key piece in your holistic, multichannel video strategy, can achieve great results for your business.
Many retailers struggle in deciding between whether to host videos on their site or whether to upload them on a social sharing site like YouTube. My suggestion is this: use both, but for different purposes.
You have different goals when hosting videos on-site as opposed to YouTube. On your web site, you’re trying to convince shoppers to make a purchase. On YouTube, the goal is to create awareness and have viewers connect with your brand in a way that resonates.
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Video is easier than text.
Steve Jobs had a vision that Apple products should be so easy to use that an instruction manual would not be needed. This vision has created an expectation that consumers shouldn't have to work so hard, and that reading an instruction manual is work. You can cater to this learning style by providing clarity with informative videos about your business or its products. Enhancing the pre-sales experience can help deflect calls that would normally be made to your customer service representatives.
Video shows more than static images.
You can show your customers up-close images about how a baby stroller works, but only video can show clearly how that baby stroller folds up, or how the seat reclines. Video can be the solution that helps solve a problem of consumers returning items they didn't understand because a static image didn't tell the whole story.
Video can reduce repeat calls and post-sale support costs.
Oracle's "Best Practices for Improving First-Contact Resolution in the Contact Center" report (April 2012) estimates that, industrywide, about 35 percent of calls to contact centers are repeat calls. Customers tend to call a contact center more than once when they find a product too complex to understand. Offering them a video that shows how to assemble a product, or helps them better understand a product prior to purchasing it, will reduce those repeat calls.
Video can convey trust and transparency.
Research consistently shows that consumers will filter out a one-sided message, such as a TV commercial. On the Web especially, they are looking for content that has a trustworthy, authoritative tone. Offering video content from an expert (rather than a celebrity) is more likely to create a strong connection with your customers.
Video enables a higher quality experience.
When a customer has to slog through an endless set of voice options just to "get a human," it's a frustrating experience that may reflect poorly on your business. The same goes for when a cellphone call to a customer support center drops, or if there is a long wait on hold to reach someone. Offering video tutorials on how to pay a bill or manage accounts online, for example, keeps your customers more informed and makes it less likely they will suffer any of the inconveniences of a bad customer service experience.
The Web has become a video medium.
In 2013, 90 percent of Internet traffic will be in video format, according to Cisco projections, and 163 million viewers will stream more than 26 billion videos. The way people are sharing and disseminating information on the Web is becoming more and more video-driven. If your business offers compelling video content, your customer is getting the following message: "This business understands my needs and wants to proactively make my experience a good one." As a result, you'll increase your chances of developing a positive relationship with that customer.
The proliferation of video is fundamentally changing the way your company will conduct business with its customers. The sooner your business embraces video as an essential part of your service strategy, the better positioned you'll be for the oncoming video wave.