Getting Video To Work For You: Distribution Methods
Updated: Dec 5, 2019
This month we’d like to chat about video distribution. Too often we’ve heard this problem come up, so it’s our hope to offer some anecdotal solutions. You’ve done your research, and discovered video marketing is where you’d like to place your campaign’s budgetary focus. You’ve found the production company that you’d like to go with. Their style, image, and approach align perfectly within your own brand. The synergy immediately springs to life. It’s digital jazz, and you’ve created a killer video together. I’m talking this advert has it all; it’s visually engaging, on message, emotionally captivating, and most importantly has a strong call to action to theoretically funnel your designated conversions. So what's next?
The production company takes a couple of passes at revisions, submits the final edit, and hands it off to you for download to implement into your platform of choice. Well here goes nothing. You blast it out to social, throw a couple of bucks at the paid advert, and cross your fingers. Your video is performing “okay”, but it’s not what you expected. You now you have a bit of a sour taste left in your mouth regarding the worth of the project. What happened? Well, there are a million reasons why your performance is suffering, but mainly you’ve been handed a tool that you don’t entirely know how to use on your own.
It’s like if I sold you a really expensive sports car. Does that car go as fast as advertised? Absolutely. The bigger question is, do you know how to properly drive the sports car? Probably not.
While creating good content is half the battle, distributing that content in a way that can exploit your target audience is a bit of an “art” on it’s own. It’s like if I sold you a really expensive sports car. Does that car go as fast as advertised? Absolutely. The bigger question is, do you know how to properly drive the sports car? Probably not. You could go back to the dealership who will likely shrug their shoulders, and up charge you for an additional service. The problem is, you’ve already lost your first race. That doesn’t inspire a ton of faith in their practice, or at the very least leave you wanting to throw more money at something that now has your trust on shaky grounds. Is it the dealership’s fault though? Not really… it’s sort of a grey area, but at a minimum the “dealership” (production company) should have consulted you on it’s intended use. From there they could have offered to help you with these learning curves up front, or at the very least have pointed you to a third party that could help you with this process.
Hypothetical’s aside, now a day some companies have a dedicated social media manager. If you’re one of those companies, well we’d say you’re ahead of the curve. Knowing the ins & outs of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snap Chat, Pinterest etc. is really a full time job. Unfortunately, many companies out there do not have a social media manager, and even if they do, it’s not their primary focus, having their job responsibilities rolled into a number of duties. To make matters worse, a lot of production companies out there will create video content for trusting buyers, only to leave them stranded with a tool they do not know how to leverage. To be perfectly honest, until recently we did not feel entirely comfortable providing, or even consulting on distribution methods, but it is now most certainly in our wheel house. It really came out of necessity that we had a paradigm shift, and decided to pair these two services together, offering a total turnkey solution.
Once we know who our audience is, our message is, and what our desirable conversion may be, only then can we determine what platform this video advert may live on.
So what are some things that we can do differently that can enable you to get the most out of your new video advert? At first, we need to identify our message in pre-production, and who our audience may be. From there, we need to declare what actions we want our audience to take, and what constitutes as a Conversion. A conversion is a specific task that our audience completes upon viewing our advert. Generally speaking, this conversion can be a click to a specific landing page, filling out a form, making a purchase, or inquiring more information about your service, or product. Once we know who our audience is, our message, and what our desirable conversion may be, only then can we determine what platform this video advert may live on.
Once we have mapped out our strategic plan, we need to build our video and move into the distribution phase. If you have a really strong, and engaging social media presence with a decent following, it might appear easy to acquire your desired conversion results. Something we find a lot in the distribution phase though, is that while our particular following might serve as a catalyst to distribute our message organically, our current following might not directly convert to our desired goals. There are many reasons as to why this might be the case, but what we have found with small, or medium sized businesses is that our current following could be more friends, family, colleagues, and employees of our establishment, than actual consumers, business buyers, or repeat customers.
In order to overcome this hurdle, we need to build target audiences in our selective outlet. Take Facebook as a prime example. At a quick glance, their advertisement platform seems relatively simple, but upon closer inspection, it’s pretty involved. That complexity is only amplified when you are creating video advertisements as opposed to traditional paid photo pushes. When building an audience from the ground up, it might be helpful to utilize Facebook’s Audience Insight Tool. This will enable us to quickly identify like-minded individuals, who share commonalities between your brand, and already established brands of similar likeness. For instance, if we were creating a video advert on selling your company’s new frazzled cookie sheet, common sense might dictate a certain age, gender, and interest criteria. Though we shouldn’t stop there. We need to find brands with very large, established followings, so we may point to them based off what we know. If we plug in our general interest of “baking”, the Audience Insight Tools might populate additional audience followings for those that like William and Sonoma, Martha Stewart, and The Food Network. The Audience Insight Tool will then tell us how large those respective interest categories may be, and what each selection will yield for our campaign reach. It’s important to be broader when building audiences, than really defined, as this will maximize our impact.
When marketing your brand, product, or service you have to be on your toes, managing this daily with a willingness to change your audience parameters on a moments notice.
So it’s worth noting, there is no real science to this, and it might take several shots to discover your target audience per piece of creative content. As you work to develop your audience, you might want to push different presets you’ve built, and try new things with different pieces of creative. One piece of creative content showcasing your cookie sheet might speak really well to women ages 40 – 65+ in the rural areas of South Eastern Massachusetts such as Dartmouth, Fall River, or New Bedford. Conversely, this creative might not play well with the same demographic in the inner city of Boston, or Springfield Massachusetts. This is where creating multiple audiences, with multiple likes, interests, brands, and different creative content comes into play. While it may initially feel tough to stomach the budget on multiple paid adverts, it really does take a bit of experimenting to get things right. When marketing your brand, product, or service you have to be on your toes, managing this daily with a willingness to change your audience parameters on a moments notice.
The other thing to be cognizant of is timing. When building audiences, and setting up a paid advert, certain height seasons can impact your Reach, which in turn will have an impact on all of your other data points such as views, engagement, or link clicks. Recently we have been running a campaign for a client from the beginning of October, all the way into mid December. The client’s budget is modest at $50 per paid advertisement. While our budget, and audience have remained widely the same, our reach has effectively dwindled down to nothing. Starting off at an impressive distribution reach of 20k individual’s new feeds in a seven-day run per advert, that same audience and $50 budget has slowly ramped down to a measly 4k reach figure for the same seven day run. So what happened? Supply and demand had a profound, yet silent impact on ad space moving from October into December (Black Friday & Christmas).
As the season moved into the holidays, so does the demand for that same ad space. Companies are blanketing digital with paid advertisements, effectively clogging up your target audience’s new feeds. That same $50 that you have been spending, is now becoming stifled from more aggressive, higher budget ad buys. To be honest, we’ve found Facebook’s platform will embellish on it’s projected reach, and that it should be taken with a grain of salt. Only in hindsight after the ad has completed its run do we get a better picture of how our budget is contributing to our advert’s performance week to week. The best practices to combat this is proper advert timing, offer a scaling budget that increases in dollar spending per ad as time progresses, widening your audience further with experimentation, and distributing your ad budget across less conventional platforms that might not be receiving as much ad volume in a given season (so long as your audience is present on that platform).
Here’s a quick recap of what we discussed:
· When constructing a video advert, make sure to have a strategic distribution plan.
· Hire a production company that can handle the ad setup / ad buy or have a knowledgeable social media manager on hand.
· Determine your desired Conversion, and discover a method to track this conversion so you can analyze your return on investment per video advert.
· Identify your social platform of choice to advertise on. Build your audience using features such as the Facebook Audience Insight Tool.
· Experiment with your target audience demographics. Create several presets that can be swapped in and out at as moments notice to change the trajectory of your video’s performance.
· Make sure to be cognizant of seasonal advertising and its direct impact on your Reach.
· Have a scalable budget that can be pumped into adverts if Reach is being adversely affected by aggressive seasonal ad buys.
With all of this taken into account, peace of mind is key when rolling out your next marketing campaign. So what do we do that’s different from the average production company, or marketing agency? Well for starters, at Capion we have a primary focus on video content creation and campaign distribution. Unlike a lot of production companies or marketing agencies that are generalists in this field, we live, breathe and sweat video. Even if you have a social media manager on your team, it’s best to hire a production company that can at least speak the language to offer you some pointers that you might have not previously considered. With our new turnkey services, a project life cycle with Capion can take you from the starting points of general consulting, all the way through pre / post production, and round out your campaign with our full online distribution methods.
Have a project where you need to build a multi-tiered video advert campaign? Consider Capion Studio for your next project and let our new age approaches help you leverage and capitalize on your target audience. Feel free to contact us today to discuss your next project!