Many brands are now realizing the value of content and specifically video content as part of the brand story and contribution to business success but many are still unsure how to really use content to engage and entertain whilst still bring the overall brand message. For content marketing success, content and content strategy needs to be at the heart of the marketing mix. Within this, video content strategy is becoming more important, driven by improvements in technology, video delivery and people’s consumption habits, video is now the key to content marketing success.
So when it comes to a social video content campaign strategy where do you start? There’s no silver bullet, no magic formula which guarantees success but here are some key considerations we have used which have provided the platform for campaign success:
1.Define both the overall business and marketing objectives for the campaign – This sounds simple but unless you have a really clear picture of what you are trying to achieve and the business impact you are trying to make it is easy to lose track of your goals and aspirations. Clearly set key performance indicators which are measurable and make sure they are consistent with the over-arching marketing and content strategy.
2.Take a people first approach – When creating social video content it is even more important that you think differently to the traditional interruption based approach – quite simply you need to put yourself in the shoes of the people you are trying to reach and ask “Will they WANT to watch this, will they be prepared to share it??”
3.Have a defined distribution strategy – establish how the content will be distributed across the social web and beyond, utilizing paid, owned and earned channels. Research is obviously critical to understanding the habits of the audience and how they are likely to consume, behave, interact and share content.
4.Make great content – This is important, this is what your audience are actually going to see, experience and engage with. If the content is not well produced and consistent with the audience expectations no amount of planning and distribution can save you. Have a clear understanding of what is required to make good quality content relevant to the audience and which people will share. Don’t lose sight of the fact that the video content is representing your brand and the values attributed to it.
5.Monitor performance and assess versus the KPIs – Digital provides many ways to monitor and analyse on-going campaign performance but with multiple sources of analytics it is important to have a plan for how you are going to receive data and make it easily digestible. There are many metrics by which a campaign can be judged – views, video completion rates, shares, paid reach, organic reach etc to name a few. It is important to know how the success of your campaign will be judged and monitor throughout your campaign to make sure you are on track to achieve your goals.
6.Be flexible – This is critical to campaign success, the ability to understand how your campaign is performing and modify the creative, content or distribution to enhance the campaign results.
7.Collaborate – Collaborating with multiple agencies and partners is the name of the game, the ability to work as a team to achieve a common goal. Clear communication and a willingness to collaborate with partners who can bring their own areas of expertise is important for campaign success.
Case Study: Toyota Corolla #WHATILOVE
This social-by-design, digitally integrated campaign targeted new customers enticing them into the consideration phase of the buying funnel, creating a level of excitement and authenticity with these consumers. Emotional engagement with the brand through content was the desired outcome. Importantly for the team at Toyota, the campaign was consistent with the overarching brand proposition of “A Lifetime of Good Times”.
At Captiv8 we took a people first approach to the content strategy and creative – we asked why people want to engage emotionally with, and are motivated enough to act on, brand driven digital content. The key insight for this was that people engage with and importantly interact with content they have a natural passion for. We used this insight as a starting point for developing content based on authentic stories and encourage them to share their own passions and become inspired by the passion of others.
To develop the content we started by researching the passion-points which people were searching and sharing across the social web and then ranked the key passion points relevant to the target audience. We then engaged 5 high profile ambassadors with a clear passion which has led them to success within the relevant passion points of Food, Sport and Fashion. Importantly the ambassadors also needed a high social-media footprint as part of the strategy to facilitate content seeding and sharing.
We then produced a series of beautifully shot short films and content pieces. We allowed each of the ambassadors to tell their own authentic story of how they have followed their passion, in their own words – it is this authenticity which contributed to the campaign success. Less about product placement and more about real world passion that people could relate to.
The basic access points for the films were simply windows into stories of passion which are relatable to all audiences, not just those interested in that specific field. With an emphasis on character and story we allowed viewers the chance to experience a truly moving personal experience which goes beyond the traditional boundaries of online content and becomes something much more; a genuine emotional connection.
To facilitate the social by design approach we creatively developed a hashtag with real meaning that would naturally speak to our audience – #WHATILOVE. This was used to create continuity for the campaign, tying the passions, ambassador stories and user generated content together. It was also used innovatively as a means to aggregate user generated content from different social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) into a purpose built #WHATILOVE online hub.
The consumer journey for the campaign focused on a combination of Paid, Owned and Earned digital channels (across desktop, mobile and tablet). Using our expertise as content specialists every piece of content created was designed to be spread through digital social networks whilst we collaborated closely with Toyota agencies One Green Bean and The Media Store to develop a distribution strategy which provided low barriers for content viewing and sharing.
Captiv8 achieved innovation through strategy by seamlessly connecting the dots between brand and consumer without overtly placing the product throughout to achieve higher campaign engagement and social sharing. We developed content that connected with people emotionally, creating multiple passion points along the user journey. This is something that Toyota had never really done before. By letting the ambassador stories stand on their own, and giving people an emotional context, while creating an authentic and meaningful experience, people naturally engaged more than any other social campaign Toyota had run in the past.
As an engagement campaign the KPIs we’re video views, user generated content submissions and post likes/shares. The success of the campaign was captured through measurable digital analytics.
The #WHATILOVE hub and YouTube playlist saw over 400,000 views of the short films with high engagement of almost 60% completion rate on average. On Facebook we reached over 3 million people via paid video posts and an average video completion rate of 60%.
We had over 6,000 submissions user generated content submissions using the #WHATILOVE hashtag alone and many of the submissions embraced the campaign ethos wholeheartedly.
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Social ambassador posts had huge results, with one campaign post by Laura Enever generating 11,900+ likes on Instagram.
#WHATILOVE was also one of the first campaigns in Australia to utilize native video across Facebook.
The user experience for the content was designed with a device agnostic approach and integrated within the Toyota Discover Content Hub. High importance on mobile engagement along with creating low barriers to entry using the right social networks meant that people could easily share what they loved. The #WHATILOVE hub was built responsive to enable ease of use across mobile, tablet and desktop. It was a destination to seamlessly link the ambassador stories, competition entry and user generated content.
Ultimately the key measure of effectiveness for the campaign was for Corolla to maintain it’s position as the number 1 selling car in Australia. This was at a time when their main competitor was releasing an updated model with heavy marketing – being the Mazda 3. On this measure the campaign proved it’s effectiveness as the Corolla maintained no 1 position throughout the campaign and beyond – http://www.toyota.com.au/news/toyota-corolla-five-times-a-winner
There are untold examples of brand funded video content languishing on YouTube or owned digital channels posted years ago with less than 100 views. In this context it is easy to understand why brands are reluctant to put in the necessary time and investment to reap the available rewards of a well thought out video content strategy which complements the overall business strategy. However, when done properly, the benefits and overall contribution to marketing and business success can be huge.
There are plenty of opinions and emerging authorities on this, and the truth is there are only a few brands out there who are doing this really well. Importantly though this is changing and many of the bigger brands are marching towards putting participation based at the very heart of their overall marketing.