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Rob Simone, President

06 June, 2016

Remember way back in the late 2000’s when the whirlwind of social media marketing was taking the world by storm?

When brands and marketers were chucking boulder-sized budgets at social campaigns that had no clear objective or even ways to measure success?

When a like was worth its weight in gold?

Well, if you’re a marketer who has launched a video content campaign recently, you might be feeling a sinking feeling of déjà vu right now, because what happened then is happening all over again. For some reason, brands have fallen into the same trap of jumping into a channel just for the sake of being there.

The good news is, for many brands, video content is the right thing to do and if you’ve seen Digiday or AdAge recently, you know the numbers overwhelmingly support it.

But how do you avoid investing in videos that are purely executional?

First off, you have to start with a strong conviction that video can and should be a strategic component of the digital portion of your customer journey. That’s the first step.

This is the sevenfold path to help your videos achieve strategic Zen.

Ask yourself: what’s the objective? What is this video supposed to accomplish? If you can’t answer this question simply then you need to pause until you can. That doesn’t mean the answer can’t be simple. Increasing time spent on a microsite is a perfect objective. Using video as an education vehicle is another one. Just remember that your objective should be clear and attainable.

Make your video collaborate with your other efforts. Unfurl the map of your customer journey and trace your customers’ path. Where does your video fit in? Maybe it belongs on your site’s homepage, or maybe on a dedicated YouTube channel. Make sure your video collaborates with your other marketing touchpoints along the customer journey, and your content becomes a tractor beam for your engagement funnel.

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Commit to quality execution. Almost everyone today has a high-powered camera in his or her pocket. That doesn’t mean we’re all photographers. The same is true of video. The quality bar is being set increasingly higher by full time YouTubers and your peers. Which means your audience can smell a low budget production a mile away. The production value of your content is a reflection of your brand. Invest in the cosmetics to make it look good.

Submit to the fact that views mean nothing. Remember when everyone was fighting tooth and nail for a like on Facebook? Same story with views. It may sound crazy for a video content guy, like me, to be tossing video’s bread and butter KPI in the garbage, but it’s the truth. Views are a weak engagement measurement that hide what’s really happening on the other side of the screen. Did the viewer mute the video? Did they switch tabs? Plus, on Facebook, it only takes a paltry three seconds to rack up a view. I rest my case.

Develop an obsession for measurement. The reason views are a bad measurement is because they hide all of the rich data that videos have to offer. What’s the metadata of your video telling you? How long are people watching? Treat your videos like a living, breathing being and measure all of its vital signs - not just the pulse.

Optimize, optimize, optimize. Your audience, whether or not you choose to acknowledge it, is made up of people with eyes and ears who have their own preferences, tastes and turn-offs. They’re also constantly dropping unconscious hints as to what’s working and what isn’t. Let the insights you glean from your measurements guide how you execute future content. You may find that some video titles work better than others. Or, that your videos shouldn’t exceed a certain length.

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Explore new technology. Riding the wave of cutting edge technology is one of the best ways to rise above content clutter. Advanced video measurement tools like Brightcove or Limbik can help uncover even more rich data about your video performance. Personalized video is another technology that can be used to boost relevance down to the name of the person viewing the video.

These are the pillars of a strategic video content campaign. Use them as a guideline, or to build a brief, or maybe as a reality check the next time that crazy little voice in your head starts telling you that you need a viral video. These are the principles that steer every project we do at HiccupNY. Without them, we’d be just like everyone else. Entertainment.