One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to video performance
Too often, video content is disconnected from the rest of a campaign – handed off to a separate production team and director. But, as AgencyUK’s head of digital Adam Connett (with art director Nix Boulton) argues, there’s huge value to be gained from integrating video content into broader performance-driven strategies.
Video marketing is the use of video content to promote and market products or services; increase social or digital engagements; and educate or reach target audiences. That’s a lot of potential uses, which is why video marketing is becoming ever more prevalent with the brands of today. Audiences are watching more online video content than ever before; this growing appetite in viewership and engagement has made it an ideal channel for performance marketing.
AgencyUK considers the best way to optimize video performance
Video is now truly measurable, like more established performance channels. Marketers and brands can feel more assured by ROI and ROAS results offered by video. We’re able to effectively see its influence on traffic, leads, sales and audience impact. Video is a tried-and-tested way of driving high-performance ads and generating results across metrics.
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Performance-driven creative and creative-driven performance
Traditionally, campaigns have been led by innovative creative ideas, which may lack value if they don’t lead to tangible actions or results. At the other end of the spectrum, campaigns are led by KPIs, but lack creativity. We believe in finding a sweet spot. Brands need to shift their focus from one or the other, and merge the two.
Rethinking how we optimize creative for performance is not about being less creative or restricting big ideas; it’s about using data to inform decisions and learnings. Re-prioritizing creative with data-led insights upfront helps ideas reach audiences effectively, resonating emotionally with their needs and driving outcomes.
By no means should data mean ‘do the same as everyone else.’ It should give you the ground to understand what resonates and how to differentiate yourself. Performance-driven creative is focused on the result; the desired action. For the concept to work, it needs to deliver results.
With an ever-changing landscape of video trends and platform capabilities, creative intuitions of how to capture attention can be subjective, emotionally-led and narrow. Data helps to steer our vision toward what is proven to be most effective, ensuring that ideas are backed by more than instinct. As well as steering the idea, it’s important to be aware of platforms’ best practices, with a generic view and specifically for your audience. Is the majority of your audience watching on a mobile device or desktop? Do they perform better with or without sound? What length is most effective? Each of these data points can inform how to optimize your video content.
When it comes to optimizing channel-specific content, look at Mercedes-Benz. This YouTube pre-roll concept has embraced the requirements of the format and engaged the audience in a creative way that directly links to its specs. The ad creative makes clever use of quick video cuts and the great sound design of a roaring engine to engage viewers’ senses. Viewers can see and hear the intensity of reaching 60mph in 3.8 seconds.
This also works on a much smaller scale, with more agile budgets. Take one of our consumer brands – independent, family-run company Cotswold RAW. Video was a new consideration for it: something we were keen to grow to differentiate it in the pet market and demonstrate its expertise, unique offering and quality of product. Working with a limited budget from a one-day shoot, we created two master ads (one consumer-focused and one for retailers); social cuts (for Facebook and Instagram); and cut-downs for YouTube pre-roll ads. On a limited ad spend over a highlighted month period, this led to a conversion rate of up to 46.6%. We’re now in the production process of a new video series.
On the other side of our client roster, Cytel – a provider of statistical software and advanced analytics for clinical trial design and execution – looked to us to develop and support its new brand messaging. For this we took a multi-channel approach to video, using LinkedIn to ensure we could reach the target audience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. We created additional uplift in awareness by integrating YouTube, allowing us to target specific relevant video content to generate engagement and retention.
Finally, test and learn, test and learn. A huge part of the success of our campaigns relies heavily on optimizations and an integrated approach to reporting. Feeding back learnings to evolve existing campaigns, as well as using them to inform new development of visuals and messaging, is a huge part of creative performance. Testing and analyzing efficiently is the best way to be effective.
The right approach
Historically, video has been approached by the industry as ‘part of a wider campaign,’ often handed to a one-off production team and director who haven’t been involved in the same brand journey and strategy as the creative agency.
Being fully integrated ensures video is ingrained at the heart of a brand journey and considered as part of a wider marketing strategy, not just a singular campaign activation. Think beyond just making amazing content; consider how and where to use it for maximum impact and results.
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