Video is one of the most engaging mediums that a business or marketer has at their disposal.
But, where to begin? Let’s take a look at some of the initial steps in kicking off a great Video Marketing campaign.
Let’s focus the discussion on three things that are integral to a successful video strategy: target audience, creative, and placement.
The first step in any marketing activity is determining what target audience represents an opportunity for success. Some questions to ask here might sound like ‘what are common characteristics that my customers share?’ or ‘what stage of life do my customers typically find themselves in when they interact with my business?’. The answers to these questions will give us a basic demographic framework to start with, but you don’t have to stop there. With the advances of programmatic media you can ask more in-depth questions like ‘what are my customers searching for online before purchasing?’ or ‘what life events are my customers typically going through?’.
Transcending demographics and defining the more intricate characteristics of your target audience is key to a full-funnel video marketing strategy. With different cable networks and programs on broadcast stations, you can target broad demographics, sure, but as mentioned above we now can hone in on audiences that are based on more detailed factors in the digital space. It’s important to consider these additional factors so that portions of your audience do not remain overlooked. In fact, by facing yourself with these types of abstract inquiries you may even uncover an opportunity to improve your business beyond just the addition of a video marketing campaign. It’s possible that you could expose a pain point your customers feel that they don’t typically share with you, or discover a new product that you can offer in addition to your current offering.
It’s equally important to serve this target audience with a viable marketing message in your video creative. Let’s dive into that.
So we’ve got an idea of who we need to reach with your video campaign…but now what? How are we going to get these people to come to your website, or set up an appointment, complete a purchase, etc.? Try this out, imagine there is a room with 100 chairs in it, and in those 100 chairs are people who are in-market for what you sell or are otherwise the people you wish to speak to. This group is fully engaged with what you are saying and you have as much time to speak to them as you wish.
What would you say to them?
Actually imagine yourself speaking to this group of people, and write down what you come up with. This collection of thoughts will eventually embody your unique selling proposition, or what makes your business stand out amongst your competitors. Then, begin imagining the portrayal of these traits within a video medium. Should you use actors to display these advantages directly on-screen? Or would it make more sense for you or a member of your staff on camera speaking about the business?
Another approach you might take to formulating your video creative is to consider the problems that your product or service solves. This can be especially useful when you have a complex product or service that can’t be properly portrayed in a short piece of video creative. Sometimes it’s best to use the audience’s curiosity to your advantage and simply entice them with a message that shows how your product or service could possibly impact them positively. One example of this approach would be one of Paycom’s latest TV spots:
Here we see not just a listing of all things Paycom’s software can do for a business, but rather a cheeky look at the common business woes that the solution allows businesses to avoid.
One other very important thing to keep in mind is where your video or videos will be used. Video length is a limiting factor for many ad placements and most platforms allow for either a 6 second, 15-second, 30-second, or 60-second ad. Of course, if you want to use a long-form ad, there are solutions for that as well such as Youtube’s TrueView ads. We will save that for another blog post. For today’s discussion, we will be focusing on the typical ad lengths.
Let’s take a look at the different placements for video ads and how they serve an overall campaign.
There are a myriad of different placements for you to choose from when launching your video campaign. Let’s break down the most common:
Traditional TV: Most people don’t know that there are two different types of traditional and/or legacy TV advertising. Broadcast offers a large audience with limited targeting capabilities and high reach, while cable offers the ability to hone in on small geographic areas and focus on refined audiences by selecting specific networks.
Broadcast – Broadcast placements are great for reaching a large group of people very quickly. These networks are typically the ones who deliver your local news, football games, and syndicated national content from networks they are affiliated with such as NBC and CBS. These networks offer commercial advertising space to local and national clients. The benefits of broadcast are closely tied to the large amount of exposure one commercial can get you. The drawback is that the audience in many cases includes individuals who are unlikely to become customers of local clients. With broadcast, you cannot select specific geographic areas and the demographic that consumes broadcast media (excluding sports) is typically 35+. So if your target audience is contained in a specific geographic area, and includes younger folks, broadcast may not be the place for your video ad.
Cable – Cable advertising offers a TV solution with a little better targeting capabilities, but limited reach. With Cable, you can select specific networks based on your target audience. For instance, if you are looking to reach Women 35-54, you can more effectively build frequency among that group by buying spots on networks like the Food Channel, HGTV, and Lifetime than you could by buying those spots on say, ESPN.
Furthermore, with cable, you can select which geographic area your ad runs in. If your business is looking to reach consumers on television within a specific radius of a physical location, a cable buy may be worth looking into. The hiccup that we sometimes run into here is that the regions or cable “zones” typically don’t cover a business’ target geography exactly. You may have a very lucrative area that isn’t included in the cable zone that you want to buy or your budget allows.
Digital TV: With the rise of streaming services, comes a new opportunity for advertisers. OTT refers to Over the Top and can be used to describe these services (because they go over the top of the cable box to deliver your content). The majority of all streaming is within the top five platforms: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, Hulu, and YouTube with the latter two being fully ad-supported. Below, I’ll dive into how we place ads on these and other platforms.
Hulu: Hulu is a dominant force in the OTT space, with over 30 million subscribers. Advertisers now can place ads within long-format content on Hulu and leverage this massive audience. The real benefits of Hulu come into play when you segment that audience, however. With Hulu, you can target consumers based on traits that transcend the simple demographics that are offered by cable advertising. Because the devices that bring Hulu into the home are connected to the internet, we can look at things like household income, career status, or mosaics and personas. The real benefit here is that you can hone in on these specific audiences, and then be sure you’re reaching them because view-through rates on OTT platforms are exceptionally high when compared to other digital video ads. The balancing factor is that these impressions typically require a premium rate that narrowly eclipses other platforms.
YouTube: I’m going to mention YouTube once in this section, and then again below. Here, I am specifically referring to YouTube impressions served on television. That’s what makes OTT what it is.
The great thing about advertising on YouTube is that you are able to target specific audiences and select which devices your ads appear on. In the case that you want to use YouTube as an OTT solution, we would simply tell the platform to only serve the ad on TV’s.
Programmatic OTT: The third method of purchasing OTT advertising inventory that we will be discussing today is programmatic OTT. With the use of an advertising platform, advertisers can purchase OTT inventory the same way they purchase programmatic media (we’ll be getting into that further in the next section). When purchasing OTT programmatically, advertisers define an audience first, and then the ad platform matches that audience with the advertiser’s TV ad in an OTT environment. The benefit of using a programmatic approach for OTT is that you can more precisely target a specific audience, but you have less control over the platform on which your ad is placed.
Learn more about the difference between digital TV or OTT and traditional TV.
Programmatic Video: Often referred to as digital video, pre-roll, or mid-roll, programmatic video offers the same approach as programmatic OTT but within a web environment. This type of video would include, but not be limited to, the video ads on YouTube. Programmatic video ads can reach a multitude of websites that host brand-safe, ad-supported content. The benefits of programmatic video are largely tied to its versatility when targeting an audience. You can use this type of placement for a retargeting audience, or hone in on specific attributes such as purchase intent. The one drawback, however, is that some video ads can be skipped. This means that you won’t see those 90+% view-through rates that you do with OTT. To balance this, video is typically offered at a lower CPM.
To learn more about how you can use video to support your marketing efforts. Contact our team!