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Running a Video Campaign? Max out ROI with Paid Distribution.

There are a few things that get me really excited. One is coffee, particularly the holiday-flavored kinds that are everywhere now! Another is when my team and I are handed great content to distribute online. What can I say, it’s fun to watch something we created start to get likes, shares, clicks and all those good things clients want to see.

In case you’re a little confused as to what online distribution is, here’s a quick primer:

What is it?

It’s publishing and sharing your content (videos, images, blogs, etc.) across owned media channels.

What is paid distribution?

That is when you support the publishing and reach of your content with money.

Is that like buying a commercial?

It’s a little more complicated (and effective) than that. We use each platform’s targeting capabilities to put your content in front of a target audience when they’re online.

How is success determined?

If you know who your audience is, we can find them and target ads to them. That way you not only get views, but the right ones too. If you aren’t sure who your audience is then we can help with that too.

Does it always work?

Well, you’ll always get some views – so if that is all you’re looking for then yes, it is like a commercial. We help you find the right views based on your goals.

In my position overseeing social and distribution efforts at Raidious, I have a front row seat to what works and what doesn’t online. And what’s really making the needle move right now is video – especially for certain target markets. Males under 25? You betcha.

So the question that is brought up often in meetings is “I get that I should be creating video, but what can I expect in terms of ROI?” That. ladies and gentlemen, is what I’m going to help explain now.

Step 1: Establish What Kind of Campaign You’re Running

KPIs reflect your marketing funnel. Impressions are at the top, then you move down to engagement, captures, lead submissions, attributed sales and actual sales. Depending on where you are in your campaign, you’re going to be more interested in certain metrics.

Video Campaign KPIs You Should Track
Product Launch/Announcement
  • Impressions (and honestly, this is probably the only time you should care about impressions).
  • Total number of views
  • Video completion rates
  • Minutes watched
  • Conversions into new owned media audience
  • Acquisitions
  • Clicks
Lead Gen
  • Nurtured Leads
  • Clicks
  • Form submissions
Sales Assist
  • Purchases
  • Qualifying Leads

Understanding the type of campaign you’re running helps to set the expectations on what the video you’re producing will do. A Product Launch / Announcement campaign shouldn’t be expected to close new business. It should be designed to generate awareness. You may have customer testimonials, endorsements, or how-to videos that further help qualify a sale and work prospects further down the funnel. It’s rare that a single video will accomplish all of these goals at once. Unicorn rare.

Step 2: Budget for Production

Now we talk about the big elephant in the room – how much to spend on the quality of video.

If I had to break it down into four simple words, I’d say “Good video, multiple cuts.” It needs to be good quality, though that doesn’t always mean enormous budgets. Though in my experience, the better the creative and the better the production talent behind a video, the better it will perform. Multiple cuts or versions of a video will help us optimize during your campaign – but more on that in step four.

Step 3: Reverse Engineer Sales To Get Paid Distribution Budget

The biggest challenge to successful video ROI is upfront legwork. This requires you or the sales team to know truly what and who represents a good sales opportunity. This is particularly true, and difficult, in B2B sales.

Answer these questions to determine how much you should be spending on video and paid distribution to achieve a desired ROI. Again, this is where a strategic partner like Raidious can help you determine answers if you are unsure about any of these.

What does an ideal customer look like?

This will tell you who they are, who they work for, where the live, where are they spending their time online, etc.

Rate of impressions/views to clicks?

This gives you your paid distribution budget. (i.e. a .45% CTR and cost per view of $.02 on average)

How likely is a website visitor to give you an email address or phone number to become prospect?

You now know how many website visitors your need. (i.e. Google Analytics / Omniture tells me my conversion forms run at an average of 2.2% visitor to qualified prospect conversion ratio)

How likely is your sales team or website to convert a prospect who comes through the door and how long does this process take?

With this you know how many prospects we need to fill the funnel.  (i.e. your Salesforce instance tells you your sales team has a 35% close rate with qualified web prospects)

How many customers do you need to acquire to hit your sales and growth targets?

This will tell you how many sales we must attribute. (i.e. I need to activate 100 new accounts which have an annual value of $1.5MM)

Add this to your production budget and you can pretty much know the minimum ROI will be at this point. Given our examples, we’d need a budget of about $58,000 to predictably hit our goal. Granted, this is relying totally on paid budget. Organic pickup and other owned media elements of your campaign are sure to contribute to the

Step 4: Real-time Optimization of Your Campaign

To understand the role of optimization you must first know that you shouldn’t launch a paid campaign online and sit back and wait for your budget to dry up. You should always be monitoring what is working and put more money behind that.

Let’s take a look at a paid distribution case study for Schlage Locks to explain this further. They were running an impressions campaign around keyless entry systems and had eight high quality videos to work with. We started by promoting all eight and over the course of the campaign stopped promoting the ones that had the lowest engagement and the lowest view time. By the end we were running just one video and paying pennies for each view. This is how we were able to deliver 800% over client expectations of 100,000 views in 45 days. Optimization makes your budget go further, and this ROI was made possible by monitoring the campaign in real time and adjusting as necessary.

The End Is Just The Beginning

Having a finished piece of video content is great to have. It can be blog material as well as shared on social channels where video sees much higher organic (non-paid) engagement. But to take your video efforts to the next level, the level where you’re not just going through the motions but have real campaign ROI expectations, you need paid distribution. It isn’t a magic bullet, but it’s the best thing going right now.

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