Out of Focus: The Digital Gap Between Online Video and Sales
By Ian Scott
Compelling evidence suggests that video is playing an increasingly pivotal role in consumer decision-making – and hence online video marketing should be a major focus of our advertising and marketing budgets.
Among the tsunami of data is a recent report demonstrating how shoppers are 73% more likely to buy a product featured in a video. Work by Forrester Research reinforces this trend, highlighting how one minute of video equates to 1.8 million words — that’s the equivalent of 3,600 typical web pages.
While few would argue that video is a powerful marketing tool, the challenge is accurately recording and measuring its impact.
We’re all familiar with the cycle of creating a brilliant video, uploading it on YouTube, adding lots of relevant tag words, then sharing it across Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ — hoping it will go viral.
We tend to justify and quantify our success by the number of views, likes, and shares — but shouldn’t we be doing more? What is the true return on investment? Do we know how many of these viewers actually visit or purchase something from our website?
With email marketing we have ‘call to actions’ and measure click-through rates. With websites we measure the number of pages viewed, the length of time a visitor stays and bounce rates.
By contrast with video we seem to just hit and hope. Instead, we need to start analyzing how viewers watch and engage with videos. The focus shouldn’t be on ‘bigger-picture’ issues like an average of minutes viewed — but analysis of the data of every view.
Imagine the benefits if we could access data about drop-off points — the stage in the video where we start to lose our audience. Are viewers muting the video and at what time? What referrer is working better for us? Do we get more views from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, or from own own website or blog?
But to achieve this we need to start making videos interactive and engaging.
How many potential customers are we losing because after watching our fabulous piece of content, they can can’t find our website? Or they forget to search for us because they’re distracted by something else on the phone or tablet they’re watching our video on.
In today’s digital age, viewers are hungry for instant information — but their impatience means they’ll quickly move on if they can’t easily find answers.
We need to make it easy by adding on-screen, clickable links to videos — and tracking these clicks right through to a sales conversion. Until we do this we aren’t getting a true picture of how effective our work is — and we’re making life difficult for potential customers. The key is to make our videos into mini-websites that can provide the viewer with more information, directly from the screen, no matter where it’s being watched.
Once we have the ability to capture and analyze the data, we can make it work for us and help improve our ROI.
A good starting place is conducting split-tests, comparing different videos — or possibly even the same video — on different web-page layouts and analyzing how they perform against each other. After analyzing real-time viewing data, it’s possible to boost a video’s engagement by up to 40% by doing something as simple — yet significant — as changing its location on a webpage.
We all want to use videos to drive sales — but the best way to kick-start the process is to bridge the digital disconnect between an information-hungry public and your website.
Ian Scott is the founder and CEO of Taggled. Based in Northern Ireland, Scott has nearly 20 years of commercial experience in the software development industry and is passionate about R&D and turning ideas into reality. Taggled was born in 2012, based on the principle that more video creators can learn from their audience through interactive data, the higher the return on their investment.
Tags: Digital Marketing, guest column, Ian Scott, measurement, Taggled, Video Advertising, voices