Achieving video ROI

Posted on Friday, March 10th, 2017 by

Why oh why no video ROI?

How do you know if your agency has created you a winning video if you can’t clearly understand your return on investment (ROI)? You’d be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t), but judging success post-delivery is the biggest grey area for our clients.

On a stakeholder level, it comes down to whether they like it or if it fulfils their ideas. But how can you meaningfully measure that against any metric?

How do you know if the audience have taken the key messages into their hearts? If you don’t have that information or proof points, then how can you know if you have an ROI?

What actually IS success with video content?

Success can be measured in many ways if you go into any production understanding exactly, and ultimately, what you want to achieve. We help our clients develop their briefs, and we’ve not had any that list ‘satisfying stakeholders’ as a key objective. No, the outcomes they are almost always looking for is to encourage a change in the audience. So it’s always interesting to note that most clients don’t see the value of having an audience member as an influencer in the early development or final decision-making process – funny that! 

If you research and listen to the audience then you will see the true impact of what you have created. With this information you can assess how to move forward, how to continue to engage and how to make changes next time to improve.

What video IS vs what it DOES

When selecting video for internal or marketing strategies, there is generally a perception of high cost over ROI. By the nature of how it’s made, this is understandable. For example, it requires greater time and technologies than other communication mediums. However, the potential rewards of video far outweighs any other medium. This results in focusing on the cost of what we are buying rather than the impact it will have.

Too often, we get hung up on the aesthetic rather than the real meaning – what something IS, rather than the impact it delivers. Outlook also create live events and in this arena it’s only measured by the experience; the feeling that it generates and motivation that it breeds. When working with video, as a repeatable, controllable device, clients can become too focused on the video itself rather than what it needs to represent to the end audience. There can be times when too much energy and time is invested into solving challenges that are ultimately not relevant or even visible outside of the room of stakeholders.

If you focus on what the programme needs to achieve rather than what it IS, the process becomes simplified. The return on your own investment, with regards to time and energy, is easier to balance and personally justify.

Clicks – give me something that goes viral!

As video is so prolific today, a perception has formed that suggests to the suggestible that it should be easy to achieve thousands of video views (or in other words, engagement) for next to no effort; that it should be a simple process to get an idea to the screen quickly and effectively. We are surrounded by self-shot films going viral. Cheap, easy and with a million views – there’s no reason why I can’t have the same success, right?

The fact is sometimes you just get lucky! If the right person shoots the right content at the right time, and it lands in front of the right person that shares it, then yes, you could well have something that’ll go viral on your hands. But heck, it’s no different from people winning the Lottery. Compared to how many people are banking on winning as well, the odds are pretty stacked against you.

We’re in a digital age where an incredible amount of content is produced and delivered every day – millions of minutes of content every second hoping to ‘win’ the viewing battle. This is not a safe strategy to invest in!

Can I just measure my ROI on views?

Now if you want to plan for something to go viral then that’s going to take a lot of time, effort and money to get your content to a point where people will see it. A lot of planning needs to be invested, but you can do amazing things if you can plan ahead. Sometimes a better strategy is to be reactive when content (yours or someone else’s) does go viral. But, is the amount of views really a meaningful measurement or an example of being in the right place at the right time? 

The proof is in the pudding

Content is key, but it is only a single cog in the machine – albeit a very major one! No content, be it print or video, is going to be seen if you don’t take it to where people will see it. Yes, putting it on your website is a great shop window, but you need to tell people where your shop is!

The final film can tick all the boxes for the brief, but the proof of a well-delivered campaign or video is only relevant once it’s gone live and your audience have had the opportunity to react to it. The return on all your hard work comes at this point, not when you sign off the film. It’s these results that need to be brought into context with the cost of the production to achieve your goal.

Real measurements of an online video are:

  • Seeing more traffic to your website
  • An uplift in orders and sales
  • Improved and ongoing loyalty with your brand
  • Repeat purchases

Value beyond the price tag

So, start to think beyond delivering a video as a tick box exercise. See it as part of a more holistic approach to generating change in your target audience. Evaluate how well your agency have guided you through the process. They will be the measure of success and the motivation to keep engaging with them. Time to increase the actual value of your video beyond the price tag and into the results.

Outlook research, design and deliver the very best video content for measured social campaigns and internal comms. Get in touch to see how you can get started. 

It’s not just about recognising the measure of success that stops businesses taking their first step in video marketing. See our other blogs COST VS VALUE – BUYING VIDEO FOR THE UNINITIATED and TAKING YOUR FIRST STEPS IN COMMISSIONING VIDEO.