Interview: Carnegie Mellon Professor Ari Lightman On How Students Are Empowered By Learning To Use Brandwatch Consumer Research
By Kara FinnertyJun 10
Presumably, and hopefully, I’m not the only producer of business videos regularly underwhelmed by the view counts garnered by what are, frankly, the masterpieces that I’ve created.
To others out there who have shared such pain, I’d like to offer my thoughts on how to cope with what psychologists worldwide are calling “view-envy”
YouTube’s ubiquity in online video means that, as producers and as viewers, our eyes are now instinctively drawn to that seemingly defining number at the bottom right of the player.
From a business perspective, we need to recalibrate this habit and recognise that video is a valuable medium for your marketing communications irrespective of the number of views it gets.
Believe me, I’m just as flummoxed as you by the relatively miniscule number of people indulging in my highly-polished, carefully orchestrated videos featuring cutting edge social media monitoring software compared to the billions gawping at clips of babies, cats and creepy sloths shot on iPhones, but tragic as it may be, that’s just how people are, and we have to learn to deal with it. [Edit: As I was writing this sentence, I was interrupted by my colleagues laughing at a cat dressed as a shark riding a Roomba.]
As a B2B video maker in particular, however upsetting it is that Psy gets more views a minute than all your videos combined will get in a lifetime, there’s no point comparing these videos – or anything *at all* like them – to your own material.
And, even on a smaller scale, be realistic when judging your company of a hundred people next to organisations with staff networks of many thousands.
At a SXSW panel this year, Jeanette Gibson from Cisco revealed that a piece of her *B2B* content was downloaded 10,000 times purely by staff … chances are, you will struggle competing with that kind of clout.
Try to make your benchmarks contextual. For us at Brandwatch, the average blog post gets about 400 views and often our video content is analogous to that on our blog, so we don’t expect any more just because it’s in video format.
A big part of the value for us is giving our audience multimedia content – and there are plenty of reasons beyond the number of views that video can be superior to or more suitable than written content.
Before you decide to give up on video content because you’re not getting the tens of thousands of views you were expecting, consider what you really want to achieve.
This arguably really does lie in the realms of view-counting; you’re making videos to try and make your company famous.
Well, in order to chase higher volumes, the usual method is to go a bit zanier and try something with broader appeal in the hope that it’ll get shared more.
Of course there are several oft-referenced examples, but for the most part it’s incredibly tough to make anything, especially something product-focused, go wildly viral, despite how scientific many scholars on the subject claim the phenomenon to be. No doubt there are commonalities and ingredients which can help, but that’s another discussion altogether.
So, suuuure, be bold and try something off the wall. Just don’t be too gutted or deterred if it doesn’t take off. Do you really think the Dollar Shave Club or Blendtec knew just how successful their famous pieces would turn out to be?
If you’re hoping to generate leads with your video content, you’ll probably need to take a slightly different angle to the content you’re hoping to maximise your views with.
Perhaps you’re trying to give a taste of your product to drive sales/enquiries or trying to tease people into giving up their details in order to download a piece of content or attend a webinar.
Either way, this kind of material isn’t necessarily going to get shared and viewed as much as the content with a broader appeal, but that’s ok.
Again, contextualise your measurements. For example, a key spot for these videos will be on static pages on your site (as opposed to just YouTube or your blog), the traffic and visitor behaviour around which you’ll have a pretty good handle on. So, to judge how this video is performing for you, evaluate it as a part of this whole.
On the topic of lead gen meets video performance evaluation, it’s worth mentioning Wistia again.
Whilst there are other ways to judge how many leads a video might be delivering you, platforms like Wistia give you the simple solution of closing your video embed with a form or CTA – nice and easy to analyse your success that way.
3. Brand validation
A challenge we face at Brandwatch is trying to maintain the fairly informal, light-hearted tone of voice we believe suits who we are as a company, while simultaneously being able to convince vast, traditional organisations that our product offering is robust, dependable and powerful enough to scale for their enterprise-needs. In short; we’re fun, but we’re serious too.
Whether the emphasis is on either one in isolation or a balance of both at the same time, video is a great way to get across the truth behind your business and products.
Simply having solid video content on your site says something in itself: that you are a substantial enough company to have the resources to dedicate to it and are smart enough to realise that it’s often what your audience want.
Although buyer behaviour is changing, most of us are still used to getting a feel for a brand based on assets such as TV ads, and your online video content is no different in that respect. It’s possibly the richest, most exposing and direct means of conveying your brand personality to a prospect.
So, I hope I’ve given you some fresh ways of thinking – or at least some third-party validation of your own opinions – about assessing the value of your video content which just isn’t getting the 100k views you were relying on
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