Video Killed the Content Marketing Star



Can you remember the Buggles hit that was the first song to be played on MTV back in 1979? “Video killed the radio star.” At the time, everyone thought video would kill radio. Video did not kill radio, but video may kill some marketing folk who ignore its power, or get it wrong.

Here are some interesting stats (source: Content Marketing Institute) about video content:

  • On-line video has increased eightfold in five years.
  • In 2016 the gigabyte equivalent of all the movies ever made in the history of film will move across networks every 3 minutes.
  • It will take 6 million years to watch all the video that will uploaded in one month, in 2016.
  • Video will be 55% of all internet traffic by 2016.
  • Video on demand will triple by 2016.
  • Mobile video traffic will increase by eighteen times by 2016 (from 2011).

So given the huge increase in video production and distribution what are implications for marketers? How can it kill you? What are video content considerations that can make or break you as a marketer?

1) Getting the right objectives:

Far too often we see brands rush to make video content without considering the objectives or strategy for it. What is the video content trying to achieve? Why? Why are you using video content to achieve this objective? Have you got the means to deliver the objective? Can you measure the effect of your video content strategy? Too often we see arbitrary objectives like ‘get 1,000,000 views’ as an objective, without any link to what this will achieve for the brand or business.

If you get the right objectives, you will get the right strategy, and are more likely to get the right content, for the right reasons! See our recent blog about the Five Whys that may be useful.

2) Sustainable resources:

Do you have the resources to manage your videos? The correct resources to create, seed, reseed, re-title and tag, to respond to comments, to “listen” and hop onto #hashtag trends, and PR the video across all platforms (both social and traditional)? There are millions of great videos that are not viewed as a consequence of not putting the appropriate people and correct amount of time against the video content strategy. Are you going to do the work in-house? How will you bring the web, eCRM, media, PR, SEO and social media experts together to deliver the best solution? Have you got the right agencies, engaged in the right process, tasked with the right objectives?

Video should sit alongside all other social media as a part of an integrated content strategy. It needs to be integrated with production strategies to allow the content to be produced at the highest quality and lowest cost. It needs to be integrated with measurement and evaluation. Furthermore, it needs to be integrated with a smart marketing procurement strategy to source the best resources.

We have worked with a client to integrate all aspects of their content marketing mix. This involves:

  • Writing a long term strategy that includes Defining Quality, Building Capability, Building Sustainable Processes, Delivery Systems (the Technology to be employed), and Measurement and Evaluation
  • Sourcing a new Video “Content Factory” production partner to make the video the client needs. (FYI: The selected resource has a Cost per video index of 10 versus the creative agency submission)
  • Reviewing and rescoping all agencies into one team with one set of KPIs etc.
  • We are bringing together all internal and external resources to co-create the creative strategy and detailed “Content Calendars” for the client.

3) Creativity:

Do you know, or do your creative teams know, what is required of your video content to engage your audiences? What are the differences between the creativity required for advertising and that for video? What does good look like? What benchmarks are you using for success? Have a look at How are you testing your video, is it an appropriate technique for on-line video?

For some reason when it comes to video content many brands seem to lose discipline. They forget, or allow their agencies to convince them, to forget the basics of good communication:

  • Will people watch it? All of it?
  • Will they remember it?
  • Will they participate in the communication (either rationally or emotionally)? Will it engage?
  • How will their behaviour change as a result of watching?
  • Will they share it?

Remember, you are competing with gazillions of other videos, so the content has to be pretty amazing, or do not bother. You may not need massive production budgets, but you do need massive IDEAS.  See this viral hit with over 100 million views in total across all platforms as an example.

4) Learning:

Tragically, very few brands learn from their successes or failures. We know of one large client who has only one video (that was heavily promoted with YouTube advertising) that has over 1 million views. That video is an ad. It would have been cheaper and better to run on-line advertising! And yet, they have not learnt “how to do on-line video” and they keep repeating mistakes. A director’s cut “Advert” is not necessarily on-line video. If it is not titled in the way consumers search for it, it will not be found. Try different strategies, and learn. Build “playpens” and “petting zoos” for your staff and teams where they can test, learn, repeat!

We think brand advertisers should invest in training, toolkits, and processes that build learning into their marketing excellence programs, and share successes and failures equally.

So, video may kill you or may make you a star, either way we wish you well with your “Adventures in modern recording” (another less well known Buggles song!)  And, do call us if you need any help!


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  1. Tiffiny on July 14, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    It works quite well for me

  2. Jackie on July 20, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Thank you for the terrific post

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