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Turning Viewers into Customers: How Video is Changing the Game for Marketers

Turning Viewers into Customers: How Video is Changing the Game for Marketers

One of today's strategy sessions at the PLAY conference revolved around video for marketers. Our own Steve Rotter, vice president of digital marketing solutions, moderated a panel discussion featuring:

  • Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute
  • Linda Crowe, director of digital media marketing at Oracle
  • Chris Gorell Barnes, CEO of Adjust Your Set

Joe, Linda and Chris each presented their unique perspective on video and the value of content marketing for effective brand storytelling.

Content Marketing: Past and Present
Joe Pulizzi began his presentation with an eye toward the past--referencing some of the earliest forms of content marketing: John Deere's Furrow Magazine, the original Michelin guides, the Jell-o recipe book, Marvel's G.I. Joe coloring book. These useful, engaging and entertaining pieces of content represent the first purposeful shift from advertising to content marketing. Fast forward to 2001 and $20 billion was spent on content marketing annually, according to the Content Marketing Institute; by 2009, the average company spent $1.8 million on content marketing each year. So, while content marketing has been around for a long time, and budgets and attention have become more focused on the area, Joe noted that most brands are still not very good storytellers. While brands might be good at talking about themselves, more effort needs to be placed into creating useful and entertaining content. Joe also offered some data from a recent CMI and MarketingProfs report, which Brightcove sponsored. Here are some of the highlights:

  • 91 percent of respondents use content marketing
  • Social media is now the most popular content marketing tactic
  • 85 percent of corporate blogs have five or less posts (corporate marketing departments are often good at starting content marketing initiatives, but might not be good at consistently maintaining them)
  • Less than 10 percent of companies have a formal content marketing strategy, even though 36 percent believe content is effective

Joe noted that storytelling must be integral to content marketing to create any sort of influence. And what's the most powerful form of storytelling (in our view, at least)? Video.

Enterprise Video
Oracle's Linda Crowe offered some tremendous insight into how a major enterprise plans for and manages video assets. What was most interesting is that even though Oracle as a company has been producing video for 15 years, only recently did it embark on true storytelling as well as take a holistic approach to video's relationship to marketing and sales, marrying video production and strategy. Here are some data points about Oracle's video production that I found very interesting:

  • Oracle has three video studios around the world
  • The company produces roughly 2,500 video assets annually
  • The company produces 140 live video webcasts a year
  • Oracle's video content receives 8 million video views via both Brightcove Video Cloud and YouTube

Linda noted that it is imperative for brands to think about video as one driver toward campaign engagement--a catchy way to bring people into the marketing funnel and get them to take action that will ultimately result in sales and further brand engagement.

Linda also shared some of the video-driven challenges that she works to address with her team:

  • Balancing employee-generated, "self-serve" video with content management and standards--a delicate dance.
  • Syndication. Because not every platform allows for syndication, it creates a huge management challenge for reusing assets.
  • Performance measurement and engagement metrics. Is video accomplishing the goals set forth for it at the outset?

Speaking of metrics, Linda noted:

  • Decide what metrics you are going to measure as you begin the content creation process (i.e. video views, sales, etc.)
  • Plan for scale and for redundancy
  • Be really clear about what your workflow is and keep asset management as a priority
  • Ensure that your organization has enough storage to manage your growing collection of video assets

The Agency View
Chris Gorell Barnes, CEO and founder of content marketing agency Adjust Your Set offered his perspective that video is complicated, but it's incredibly powerful if you "get it right." He referenced iconic brands that his agency works with--such as U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer--that have been able to drive sales through video portals and highly targeted video content. Chris noted that "Content is king, but context is queen." And through a reliance on video, brands can blend both content and context for powerful messaging. Here's Chris' advice for brands just starting a video content marketing journey:

  • Create content that is useful, informative and engaging.
  • You can create content that people want to watch that also supports your brand principles (consider Red Bull as an example).
  • Plan what you want to do with content before it’s even created. Should it drive conversion, shares or sales? If so, create it with these purposes in mind.
  • Work with specialists who understand the power of video and how to use it to best advantage.

In Chris' view, brands should think more like a media company and publishers should think more like a marketer: always remember that the second click is the most important--what do they do after they press play?

This session was filmed and will appear on our blog and website in the near future. Stay tuned!