YouTube can effectively shift a number of your most important branding metrics. The key is to decide what success looks like and then translate that into metrics that are relevant for your brand. Now, there are a number of metrics that might work for your business. Whichever ones you end up focusing on, you should look beyond “views.”
For the past seven weeks, we’ve been looking at different ways to improve your video marketing strategy. In the final part of this series, we’ll look at measurement, which is the key to defining success and then optimizing toward it.
There was a time when the only metric that mattered to senior marketers was seeing the YouTube view count ticking up. But those days are long gone. Marketers are increasingly challenging the value of a view and instead are focusing on creating content and distribution strategies which drive deeper levels of engagement, such as video sharing, lead generation, or online purchases.
The Power Of Recommended Videos
For example, recent research has found that social video recommendations significantly impact traditional brand metrics.
A study conducted by Decipher Research surveyed online video viewers aged 18–34 across four social video campaigns from Guinness, Coca-Cola, Unilever’s Cornetto, and Energizer Batteries. It sought to determine the impact of peer recommendations. And this social ad effectiveness study found that recommendations dramatically increased ad performance.
Viewers enjoyed recommended videos more than non-recommended videos: there was a 14 percent increase in the number of people who enjoyed the video following a recommendation versus those who had discovered it by browsing. Moreover, a recommendation reduced the number of people who didn’t enjoy the video by 41 percent.
Viewer enjoyment of branded video was important because it had a direct impact on key brand metrics. Viewers who enjoyed the video they watched demonstrated 139 percent higher brand association, 97 percent higher purchase intent, 35 percent higher brand favorability, and 14 percent higher brand recall than their counterparts who didn’t enjoy the video.
Sixty-eight percent of viewers who had browsed to the video correctly recalled the brand when prompted, compared to 73 percent of viewers who had arrived at the video following a recommendation. This 7 percent uplift suggests that video viewers are in a more receptive and attentive frame of mind following a recommendation, allowing brands that produce and distribute social content to benefit from closer communication with their audiences.
Recommendations caused a 7 percent increase in brand association: agreement with key brand statements increased from 41 percent among viewers who had browsed to the video to 44 percent among viewers who seen the video following a recommendation. This result reinforces the above suggestion that recommendations make viewers more receptive to brand messaging.
There was also a drop of more than one-fifth in the number of respondents that disagreed with key brand statements. Recommendations have a large role to play for brands in changing off-message perceptions amongst their audiences as well as in actively cultivating on-message perceptions.
Viewers of the social videos tested went on to perform a multitude of brand or video related actions, notably 49 percent of viewers purchased the advertised product within three days of the view. Thirty-eight percent of viewers spoke to someone in person about the video, showing a social video view to stimulate real life conversation: what starts online becomes interchangeable with real life in the minds of today’s consumers.
Interestingly, online sharing and emailing of the link are immediate reactions, highlighting the need for sharing functionality within a video player – users don’t come back and share a video later, it is a spontaneous exercise. Nine percent of users searched for the brand, and 4 percent of users searched for products of that type: social video viewing is having an effect across all aspects of the purchase funnel.
Social Video Significantly Increases Brand Attention
This research demonstrates that the power of social video lies in the recommendation to view content. This recommendation comes not only from peers in social media environments, but also from authoritative blogs and news sources covering advertiser content editorially. The impact of the recommendation on consumers is considerable:
- Viewers are more likely to enjoy a video when it has been recommended than when encountered through browsing (14 percent higher enjoyment).
- Viewers are more likely to recall a brand name when the social video has been recommended than when encountered through browsing (7 percent higher recall).
- Viewers are more likely to engage with an ad’s messages when the social has been recommended than when encountered through browsing (10 percent higher brand association).
Ultimately, enjoyment of the video correlated positively with all tested brand metrics in the sales funnel, including brand favorability and final purchase intent.
Go Beyond ‘Views’ To Measure Video Marketing Strategy Success
Nevertheless, some marketers will want to look beyond video sharing and measure results using metrics like lead generation or online purchases. That means they will also want to look at custom video players which enhance the native player of YouTube or other video hosts.
For example, Vinja Video recently released the public beta of its cloud-based software. Using Vinja makes online videos easy for visitors to browse (i.e., quickly scan and randomly access the most interesting parts – just like any web page), share deep-links to specific chapters/clips and for businesses to track those actions so that they can optimize their video presentation to maximize their business objectives (e.g., drive more product sales).
TheCUBE, the leading live interview show covering enterprise technology and innovation, is using Vinja in B2B Tech. Vinja is a simple, but powerful, mechanism to expose the content within relatively long-form videos, but ultimately the exposed content needs to relevant and valuable, or better/deeper exposure is moot.
ULTA Beauty, the largest beauty retailer of prestige, mass, and salon products in the United States, is using Vinja to brand and enhance existing “haul videos.” These videos feature a series of products in 5–12 minute videos which Vinja enables ULTA to segment and link to respective product purchase pages.
In short, marketers can and should go beyond “views” to measure the success of their video marketing strategy.