As a business owner and marketing director, I’m always asking myself, is it worth it? Every time I launch a marketing campaign, I’m looking for it to produce certain results. I hope for a specific objective — more sales, more leads, lower cost of acquisition, etc.
And video is no exception. Due to the higher cost of video — at least compared to other marketing channels, like posting on Facebook, it’s critical to be able to answer the question, is video worth it?
Adding video to your marketing can help. There is a ton of research published by marketing companies that show the show the importance of video to your business. Customers want to watch videos from companies, according to research done by Hubspot.
But, in a small, local business, we need to be careful. While all of the data shows that video performs better than a lot of other marketing, most small, local businesses have a very fixed budget.
So, it’s important that all video marketing efforts are still held accountable to the results you’re hoping to achieve — like profits, sales, brand awareness.
In this article, I’m going to give you a framework for thinking about the effectiveness of your video efforts. This is based on my own personal experience running a Lansing-real estate agency and implementing video into my own company, The Dolinski Group.
This framework can be used whether you run a for-profit company or a non-profit. It applies if you’re a business owner, and it applies if you’re the marketing director for an organization.
It will help you evaluate each video project you complete or help you evaluate a potential video project. In a sense, it helps you run a cost-benefit analysis.
Let’s dive into how you can measure the effectiveness of your video efforts.
Determine Your Objective
When evaluating any of your marketing efforts, you need to be very clear about your objective.
What do you hope to achieve? Why do you want to add video to your marketing or why did you add video to your marketing?
Every business will have a different reason. Your organization is no exception.
Your goal when answering this question is to get to a specific metric. A number. It’s insufficient to add video because “it’s cool” or you have some money left over at the end of the year.
The companies that struggle to get positive results from video often don’t have a clear objective. They’re adding video just because.
Get to a number. It could be anything — brand awareness, increased profit margin, lower acquisition costs, faster sales cycle, increased average donation at an event. Anything that might be important to you or your organization.
Whatever your objective, it can be grouped into one of two categories – top funnel or bottom funnel.
Top funnel marketing is focused on building brand awareness, brand sentiment, lead generation, or educating leads.
This was the case for Strawesome:
Bottom funnel marketing is focused on generating revenue and converting leads. It’s getting more people to buy your services or product.
For example, that was the case when I hired UnoDeuce to create a series of testimonial and case study videos for me.
I believe most organizations should focus on the bottom of the funnel, which I will explain why in later parts of the article, but I’m also not naive.
Every organization has different objectives.
It’s up to you to choose which metrics are most relevant to your overall goal and only measure those.
How to Measure a Top Funnel Video
Top funnel videos are focused on building brand awareness, brand sentiment, or educating. This is where your video will sit when your main goal is for people to “know about you” or to learn about what you do.
A perfect example is the video by Arbor Inn.
So what metrics should you focus on when you have a top funnel goal? You should be looking at metrics like reach, video views, social shares, and even engagement (view time, social comments, etc).
Remember, pick one metric to gauge success.
To measure the effectiveness of a top funnel video, take your total costs, for marketing and the video, and divide it by your results (or expected results).
Let me give you a quick example. Assume you’re trying to build brand awareness. You want to take complete strangers and turn them into someone who is somewhat aware of your organization.
In setting this goal, I’ve determined that reach is going to be my key metric. In other words, how many unique people does my video get in front of (not necessarily watch)?
I will assume that I put in $600 for the video and another $100 for ads on Facebook. From my campaign, I reached 10,000 people. So my cost per person reached is $0.07, or $700/10,000 people reached.
For seven cents, I can expose someone to my brand.
Now, when you run this kind of calculation, the next thought that goes through the head of most small-business owners and marketing directors is this: is that good or bad?
That answer depends 100 percent on your business and other available marketing channels.
Take the Facebook video ad example and compare it to advertising on a billboard. Can your company reach more people for cheaper using a billboard? Would they have better luck building brand awareness by taking out a billboard?
Maybe. Maybe not. It’s possible, but would you build brand awareness among the right market?
You could also compare branded video ads against other branded ads on Facebook.
I ran an experiment like this in my own business.
For a property I had listed, I created a video walk-through with aerial shots. Then, I used Facebook ads to market the listing. The video cost me about $75 and my total ad spend was $135.45, and my reach was 8,505 people.
My reach was about $0.025 cost per person. Is this good or bad?
When I compare it to a similar post, without video, the overall cost was lower (since I didn’t have to account for video), but the cost per person jumped up to nearly $0.05. It basically doubled my cost.
In this example, I can see that using video helps me build my brand awareness at a much cheaper cost. Despite the fact that I had to pay for the video to be made.
Side note: the initial cost for a video can be expensive, or at least feel like it when you’re small business operating on a very-limited income.
So when you do invest in video, it’s important to think about the longevity of a video. Try to use it over and over again.
For example, there is no reason you couldn’t take a video and post it every single quarter. There is a good chance you will get in front of new people.
Or, test different markets and segment them until you build your brand awareness for a low cost when compared to other channels.
The biggest mistake I see from businesses that fail to get any benefit from video marketing is that they use their video only once.
The video should be everywhere — YouTube, Facebook, your email signature, and anywhere you can think of. Use it in more of your marketing campaigns.
That was a bit of a tangent. But I wanted to share it in case you ran the calculation and found that your costs are actually higher, despite the fact that you’re using video.
The more use the video, the more you will offset the initial expense and increase your return on investment.
Okay, now let’s turn our focus to the bottom funnel. My favorite part.
Measuring a Bottom Funnel Video
Bottom funnel videos are focused on driving revenue to the business through donations, sales, or converting leads into paying customers.
It includes videos like customer testimonials, case studies, or video sales pages. Here’s an example of a home buyer case study video I hired UnoDeuce to do.
I think every business should start here if they are new to video and looking to add some video into their business.
First, it’s easier to measure the effectiveness and impact of video on your sales process — assuming you currently know your conversions.
Second, there is usually a better return on investment as you’re trying to incentivize and create sales.
When you focus on a top funnel video, you might achieve your objective of brand awareness, but most small-businesses want more money in the bank. They are usually after the money side of things.
It can be complicated and difficult to turn brand awareness into a sale unless you’re a mature organization with tracking systems. From experience, most small businesses lack systems for turning brand awareness into customers.
Third, your business will stand out when you create bottom funnel focused videos.
Look around in your industry. I’m willing to bet a majority of them don’t use video at all. And if they do, it’s likely top-funnel focused.
It’s that way in my industry, real estate.
Few agents collect testimonials in the form of reviews. And almost none have case study videos of their clients.
That’s why I feature three case study videos, testimonials, and case study articles right on my home page, The Dolinski Group.
A case study or testimonial video is a HUGE form of social proof and will help you sell your services or products.
Video carries a lot of perceived value. More than a simple review. Not to say reviews are unimportant. But, think about it…
… your customer must really love you if they are willing to get in front of camera — something most people are uncomfortable with — and tell their story about your business.
Measuring the bottom of the funnel is similar to measuring the top of the funnel. Take your key metric and divide it by your cost. Only this time, your key metric is going to be based off sales, revenues, conversion rates, etc.
Your goal may also be to recruit board members like the Arts Council of Lansing did.
What Happens If I Can’t Measure Video?
Measuring the results of your video project can be tough.
For most organizations, tracking metrics can be difficult. It’s a herculean task.
Let me give you an example. Ingham County DHHS created a video to help inform the public about the opioid epidemic and how to lower overdose situations.
This video, I imagine, was one small piece to their overall initiative to reduce the use of opioids and opioid drug addiction.
Measuring the video’s impact on this initiative is difficult.
First, you have to decide on the key metric and how you will collect the data. MDHHS, for example, could partner with regional hospitals to collect data about hospital admissions due to the use of opioids. Or, they could look at rehab centers.
There are cases where measuring the effectiveness of a video are too difficult.
Does that mean video is useless or shouldn’t be used?
Video is almost always worth it, according to research. Video will have a large impact on every organization. Especially if they aren’t currently using business.
Thanks to UnoDeuce, I was able to add video to my sales process, leading to more conversions. But I also uploaded these videos on YouTube – they are typically ranked in the search engines when people Google the brand of my company, The Dolinski Group.
The investment in video has returned more than the cost of the initial project.
If you are thinking about adding video to your business, and need help reaching your objectives, use this framework. Have a discussion with UnoDeuce on how they can help you achieve these results.
Tell your story. Tell it effectively.
All thanks to UnoDeuce.
Alex Craig, the founder of the Dolinski Group, a real estate agency team part of Coldwell Banker Hubbell-BriarWood in Lansing, Michigan (at the time of this writing) has been using his marketing skills and knowledge to help homeowners get more exposure for their home, more showings, more offers, and ultimately, get their home sold for more and faster than other real estate agents. He has used his skills to market clients homes in every available marketing channel possible — from direct-mail, to Facebook Ads, to Google AdWords.