Video is the hottest buzzword in marketing today. As much as it is a means to distribute content, the audiences that video amasses on social media pose a highly rewarding opportunity for ‘social listening.’ More than 75% of all internet traffic today is video streaming, according to a recent CISCO report. And all those video views provide brands with a treasure trove of consumer insights, through the data. This explains why more and more brands that understand data have jumped onto the online video bandwagon.
But as budgets are increasingly poured into digital video, it is important to ask some pertinent questions.
First: Does video marketing really work, and what’s the ROI?
The simple answer to this is, yes, it does work and can deliver substantially increased ROI. But for online video to achieve high ROI, it needs to be done correctly. So naturally, the second question follows: How do we do it correctly?
There is a simple way of answering that. And that is social intelligence. The harder part of it is assimilating and analyzing that data to create an effective strategy and that is one of the most potent advantages of online video over traditional media. Unlike traditional media, these datasets unlock a gateway to track valuable insights. This intelligence is vital to shape your strategy for maximum effectiveness, thereby increasing ROI.
There are two main ‘datasets’ that are relevant; one, Audience Data, and the other being Video Data. Both are critical to the ultimate success of any video marketing campaign. We shall break down Audience Data in this article.
If your brand has a Facebook page (and which brand doesn’t!), a few clicks can tell you more about your audience than all your traditional market research reports put together. In today’s digital age, not only has social media enabled us to reach massive audiences at a scale never imagined before, but it has also provided an unprecedented amount of data about these audiences.
The more you learn about your audience and their needs, the more relevant and ROI-effective you can make your video content. In an 8-video series that we had worked on with Maybelline New York, we saw that a very large part of our audience were first-time makeup users, predominantly interested in basic makeup techniques. So we created a content plan accordingly and that is why the series crossed 40 million views across Facebook and YouTube, with extremely high engagement.
Almost everything you need to know about your audience can be gleaned from digital data, using some easily available tools. And once you really get to know your audience, its needs, and what it is looking for, you can shape your video content strategy accordingly, which is the harder part.
Is your audience equally split between men and women, or is it predominantly women? Tier 2 & 3 cities or mainly the metros? Are they engaging more on Facebook, or YouTube, or Instagram? More married, or more single? What other brands do they like? What kind of videos are they watching? What kind of information are they looking for? How many of them are parents? Working women or housewives? The list is, quite literally, endless. These answers will give you a more detailed and accurate appraisal of your audience than simply guessing or relying on inadequate and outdated traditional research methods.
Here are four ways you can use data and audience insights can be used to your advantage:
Attach a cultural context to your content
While working with Flipkart on a fashion series, our audience insights showed an overwhelming bias towards Indian-wear content. Further, we also found that there was a need for “non-English language content” to account for more relevance to our audience. This called for a culturally relevant context to play with. So, all content in the entire video series was tailored around sarees, kurtas and kurtis. The videos were produced in combinations of English, Hindi, Tamil and Gujarati while integrating all the contextual learning gathered from the Glamrs audience. The result: Over 20 million video views, with high retention.
Listen to your audience – Dig deeper
Identifying your audience preferences, dislikes, and needs is not enough. But helping them solve something that is really important to them guarantees a significant boost in engagement; or providing them with information that they really care about or is extremely valuable to them and would not easily find elsewhere.
At Glamrs, most of our video content topics are influenced by what our audience’s real problems are. Not only are we constantly looking at the digital demographic and behavioral data, but the content teams are constantly extracting valuable insights from all the comments, messages, and email exchanges we have with our audience. When our Beauty team plans a skin care video series, they sift through all the messages and queries dealing with skin problems. Getting to the bottom of our audience’s concerns helps in strategizing a skincare video series that provides the most sought-after skin solutions, ensuring that the content is of immense value to our audience.
Look for insights that are NOT obvious
It is particularly satisfying when we come across data that supports our intuition, or corroborates a theory that we have held to be true. But quite often, data will reveal an insight that is counter-intuitive or tells you something that goes against the grain. Those insights are the most valuable because they often provide the solutions to unanswered questions. Here’s an example that amply illustrates this point:
When we were conceptualizing a branded video series for Garnier Color Naturals, we started by studying the preferences and attitudes of Indian women towards coloring their hair — an obvious place to begin. The brand had already given us their own insight: The main barrier to women coloring their hair was the perception that it causes hairfall, graying and damage. We decided to ask the Glamrs audience, to find out ourselves what their concerns really were, through a live video poll which we ran on our Facebook page.
Two hours and over 9,000 respondents later, the data showed that the leading reason preventing Indian women from coloring their hair is simply their innate love for their natural hair. Over 40% of the respondents cited this as the main barrier, with fear of hairfall, damage and graying all at under 20%. So we got the brief, thought on it, and executed it using this insight to construct the Garnier Color Naturals branded series; which included two “Hairstyles for Colored Hair” videos specifically to inspire women and help change their strongly held belief, and another – Myths & Facts about Hair Colour that helped dispel the perceptions around hairfall, damage and graying. This video series crossed 17 million views, across 6 million unique viewers, and was a great success for the brand.
The three keys to distribution: Target, Target and Target
Maximizing three main metrics for video, represented by Video Views (how many people watched your video), Retention (how much of the video did they watch) and Engagement (Reactions, Comments, Shares, Clicks) is the final barometer of a successful campaign. And after publishing over 2,000 videos across YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, at Glamrs we are able to unequivocally confirm that there is an extremely strong correlation between these three metrics and targeting.
The more value a video delivers to people who watched it, the more likely they are to like it, comment on it, and share it with their social circle. If your video is really that good, they will share it with other people they know would benefit from watching it, and the cycle perpetuates itself, fuelled by the fabled power of social media’s networking effect.
Summing it Up
Ten years ago, we were at the mercy of market research surveys as the primary means of collecting and analyzing consumer data. Today, with the right tools, you can spend ten minutes on Google and Facebook, and unearth a treasure trove of data on your consumers’ likes and dislikes, behaviors, affinities, connections and activities. If you really want to, you can literally find out what your female consumers ate for dinner last night. And this is possible not for 100 users, but across hundreds of millions of users, across the world, whenever you want.
That is an extremely powerful tool to have at your disposal. And very few marketers are using it to their maximum advantage for the right purposes. The rest are merely standing and staring at the data rainbow, admiring its beauty from afar, while completely missing the pot of gold that is lying right below it.