Beyond the Website: Putting Video to Work to Drive Leads
There is no question about it — video is all around us. I’ll use one of my recent travel days, for example: I watched a movie during my flight, which included a pre-roll ad. Then as I waited to de-plane, I was served up video ads on my Instagram and Facebook feed. When I left the plane and entered the terminal, I was greeted with multiple screens serving local ads in-between CNN clips. The taxi I took from the airport? Yup, there were screens there too, on the headrest of the seat in front of me. And even if I had rented a car, chances are the gas station where I filled up would have a screen at the pump.
Last week, we covered the idea of taking an existing video, and using a comprehensive digital marketing strategy to drive leads for your solar, HVAC or home performance business. And how did we deliver the message? I’ll give you one guess… video! (You can watch it here.) Here are the takeaways from our crash course on video marketing, and amplifying your video collateral with a video marketing strategy.
What Is Video Marketing?
Let's first distinguish video production from video marketing:
Video Production: The planning, shooting, and editing of a video product.
Video Marketing: Creating and sharing video content with the goal of attracting, retaining, and converting a defined audience of viewers.*
*this is an accepted definition from our friends at Wistia, the video hosting company we trust to embed a custom video player on our website and the sites of our clients.
Video marketing is much more than just “lights, camera, action!” We are talking about what to do with a video once it is finished, and how you can get the most mileage out of your video.
A Comprehensive Video Marketing Strategy
What is the first place you would think to put a video for your solar, HVAC or home performance business? Probably your website, or maybe YouTube. But what next? As I mentioned before, video is everywhere, which means there are plenty of places you can put your video to work:
Looking for a good starting point when it comes to video topics? We covered a wide variety of video topics back in December of 2018.
Video Serves Multiple Marketing Objectives
So what is the purpose of video for our industries? A comprehensive video marketing strategy begins with defining the goal. Lead generation is, of course, the first one that comes to mind for many, but let's think about video in relation to the entire sales funnel:
Matching the objectives of each part of your sales funnel with relevant messaging in your video is at the heart of good video marketing strategy, from lead generation to closing in on the sale.
As the funnel gets smaller and smaller, the videos should get more and more specific. We start with brand awareness. Longer form, education style videos tend to fall in the middle, and we move towards individual proposals and explainer videos to close the deal.
Similar to other forms of display advertising, video marketing begins with brand awareness messaging, and moves towards educational and customer-specific video scripts.
Thinking “Modularly” with Your Videos
Now seeing that list of topics may have you thinking you’ll need to front the cash to produce seven different videos in order to execute a comprehensive video marketing strategy. If you think about taking one longer form video, let's say an educational “Epic Masterpiece” totaling all of 90 seconds, and split it up into modular sections, the reach can get rather impressive.
In this example, one 90 second video can be divided into individual, bite-sized messaging, extending its reach far beyond just the website.
Post your video to your Facebook channel, and run audience building brand awareness ads through both Facebook and Instagram (from the same dashboard!). Then upload all of your video versions to your search optimized YouTube channel for use as pre-roll, midroll, and in-stream ads via Google Ads PPC campaigns. And finally, consider amplifying your video’s reach further through zip code and genre targeted placements with third-party streaming services like Pandora, Spotify, and Hulu.
Video “In the Wild”
Now, let's explore what this might actually look like when it comes to bringing in leads. We’ve collected the following data based on one Facebook video campaign on behalf of an Energy Circle client. We began with a custom audience in Facebook, which means we uploaded a list of 75,000 emails and asked Facebook to give us a “lookalike” audience.
In this example, a Facebook audience is thinned down into qualified leads who we can reasonably assume now understand the importance of an indoor air quality test.
We then targeted that audience with a “Is Your House Making You Sick?” video — and 10,271 of that lookalike audience watched the video long enough for us to then capture them and add them to yet another, more filtered lookalike audience. We then targeted this smaller audience set with a “Why Whole House Ventilation?” video, whittling the field down to roughly 2,500.
This is the audience with whom we’re aiming to close the deal, by serving a “Why You Should Test Your Home” video. Based on the funnel used to generate this particular audience set, we can now reasonably assume that they understand their home may be making them sick, the solution would be installing whole home ventilation, and the best way to find out is with an indoor air quality test.
A Little Video Goes A Long Way
As you look at the different objectives that video can serve, your sales funnel, and the available channels, it can get overwhelming. But what if you could get all of that video marketing mileage out of one video? Take the above Facebook example. There were three messages used in that campaign — all of which could have fit within a single 90 second video. Using proper video editing software and thoughtful video production techniques, you could provide the content for that entire video marketing strategy by carefully slicing that 90-second “Epic Masterpiece” into three 30 second ads. And that's just Facebook! Imagine the reach when amplified throughout the other available channels.
But one last thing before we close the curtain — beware of vanity metrics! Views and impressions will not always give you a clear picture of how effective your video marketing campaign is. Pay attention to engagement where you can (Wistia and Facebook offer second-by-second engagement analytics) and optimize your messaging to keep your audience as interested as possible.