Brand Building for Solar: A Video Marketing Case Study
Learn more about the effect that modular video marketing can have on your business with this in-depth case study from Energy Circle. Using actual data and metrics from an EC client’s recent campaign, we show you how video marketing can be used in a smart, cost-effective way.
Our goal was to take this original 90 second video and use it to reach a larger audience within the target area, build interest and awareness for solar products and solutions in general, and improve brand recall and consideration for our client, specifically.
How Do We Measure Brand Awareness?
In short: reach. The more people who see our messaging, the more awareness we’re likely to build. So, in this case study we’ll be focusing on two key performance indicators (or, KPIs in marketing jargon) that speak to the reach of our campaign: total impressions (how many times a video from our campaign was shown to someone) and total views (how many times someone actually watched a video).
What Challenges Do We Face in Meeting Our Goal?
We started with a well-produced video, but if we had just tried to promote and amplify that one video, we would have run into a number of obstacles. For starters, it’s long—a minute and a half—and so our options for running paid ad campaigns would have excluded YouTube completely.
So, we decided to edit the original 90 second video into shorter 20-30 second clips that each focused on one specific economic benefit:
The SMART solar incentive program
Clean, Renewable Energy
Save on Your Energy Bill
Thinking Outside the Frame: Modular Video Production
If you’re trying to run a successful video marketing campaign with only one video, you’re going to limit your impact and potential reach.
By varying the message (individual economic benefits of solar energy), format (editing the original material for variety in length and content), and delivery method (where your video is posted, as well as organic vs. paid advertising), you have the potential to resonate with a much wider audience. We call this modular video production, and we find it useful for:
Avoiding message fatigue and over saturation
Reaching and resonating with a broader audience
Running a cost-effective video marketing campaign that provides more bang for your buck
Using the concept of modular video, we created three shorter standalone videos from our 90 second original:
Now, instead of one piece of video content, we have four, including three “new” videos highlighting specific economic benefits of solar that we can use to target different audiences. Magic? Nope, just smart, resourceful digital marketing!
Our Video Marketing Campaign: Who, Where, and When
Platforms: YouTube (organic and paid advertising), Facebook (organic and paid advertising), Google My Business (organic)
Duration: 15 months between 2019-2020 (with a 4 month Facebook ad campaign)
Geographic targeting: Cities and towns across Massachusetts
Audience: Mix of remarketing, lookalike, and broad audience lists
Our Campaign Results:
From our campaign, we had lots and lots of data and KPIs to pull from. But if you remember our goal of building brand awareness, there were a few high level metrics we were particularly interested in:
Total Impressions (Paid + Organic)
Total Views (All Platforms)
Save on Energy Bill
Cheaper, Cleaner Energy
Economic Benefits of Solar (Full Length)
The first three videos listed are the shorter 20-30 second versions, specifically formatted for paid amplification on ad channels (YouTube and Facebook.) The full length (Economic Benefits of Solar) original video was not distributed on paid channels (which explains the much lower reach in terms of impressions and views)—its 90 second format is better suited for a more engaged audience interested in longer form storytelling content, and so it was leveraged on organic channels only.
Our Analysis: Was Our Video Marketing Campaign Successful?
Our videos were certainly shown to and viewed by a lot of people! But through looking at data gathered from Google Analytics and Google Search Console we can try to determine whether our campaign actually made more people aware of Boston Solar.
The evidence is in key performance indicators (KPIs) such as traffic to the website and organic search volume for branded terms. Here are some key metrics which demonstrate how effective video marketing was in helping to build brand awareness:
Boston Solar’s website saw a huge year-over-year increase in organic sessions (users coming to the website by click on organic / unpaid search results).
Organic sessions in June 2020 had increased by 186% compared to June 2019, and organic impressions (the number of times their website appeared in organic search results for relevant queries) were up by 281%.
Branded “boston solar” query impressions had a 30% increase YOY (June ’20 vs. June ’19) and a 37% increase in clicks (as reported in Google Search Console.)
Local GMB direct brand search impressions (the number of times their Google My Business profile appeared in search results for relevant local queries) were up in June by 11% YOY (even despite the negative impact that COVID-19 has likely had on search volume).
The data shows positive trends in both user behavior and overall traffic to the website, with more people searching for and clicking on branded search results—an indication that awareness and consideration for the Boston Solar brand is clearly growing.
As anyone who engages in digital marketing knows, successful campaign performance very rarely happens in a vacuum. Boston Solar’s video marketing campaign was just one component of a larger, integrated digital marketing strategy that included multiple tactics such as SEO, paid search, content marketing, email, and more—all of which likely contributed to the rise in sessions, impressions, and overall brand awareness.
In the case of Boston Solar, their cost-effective video marketing campaigns drew in nearly half a million impressions, reached over 200,000 individuals, and achieved an almost 44% view rate (which means, of all the impressions these videos received, 44% of them resulted in at least some of the video being watched by our target audience). And it all started with a single 90 second video!
Take Your Video Marketing to the Next Level with Energy Circle
There is a lot to take in here, but in the end, there are a couple of important things to remember:
Not all video is created equal, and not every video is perfectly suited for every digital channel. If you already have a great video production strategy and are looking to get the maximum exposure for your new videos, it will take some time and effort to make sure your videos are put in the right place.
The majority of video views in a well thought out campaign will not happen on your website — so use your video topics and stories to build awareness of your business, develop authority, and direct traffic back to your website.
If you are looking for a hand in getting your next video in the right places, or help getting your video strategy off the ground, we’re here to help. No matter where you are at in the process, we are here to take your digital marketing into the future of online lead generation.