Jim Dicso Thu Jul 26, 2012

Many companies are recognizing the potential of online video for engaging customers and prospects. Yet the challenge for many is identifying the optimal approach and measuring the business impact. Here are five tips for ensuring successful engagement with online video:

1. Institute a goals-oriented program with target metrics.

Define short-term goals – increased conversion rate, site traffic or customer satisfaction – where the impact can be measured in days or weeks from the video view. Look at long-term goals such as repeat order rate, churn reduction, increased revenue per user and increased brand engagement, where the impact of the video view can be measured over months or quarters. Also ensure you are measuring video impact by controlling for volume of video views and the effects of self-selection bias, or the actual ROI results will be inaccurate.

2. Consider online video for each stage in the consumer’s journey with your brand.

When prospects search Google, they could find you on first-page results through SEO-optimized videos. Consumers browsing and abandoning your site could encounter unique video ads on sites such as YouTube. New customers might receive a welcoming video that recommends products and services. Engage existing customers with video that proactively addresses support issues and recommends services to maximize the length and value of the relationship.

3. Deliver a personalized experience.

Personalization can be based on consumer attributes (e.g., gender, historic product purchases, contract status) and behavior attributes (e.g., number of site visits, pages viewed). A smart video can include or exclude customized scenes based on these attributes.

4. Engage on a proactive and reactive basis.

Placing videos on product detail pages maximizes visitor engagement, especially when the click-to-play is prominently displayed above the fold, overlaid on the product image, or shown on a video tab to the upper left of the image. Videos can also be pushed to consumers through triggered emails (order confirmations, newsletters, daily deals). Show videos as pre-roll ads on sites such as YouTube or Hulu to guarantee a certain volume of video ad views via media buy. In both cases, leverage personalized video based on consumer characteristics and browsing behavior data.

5. Optimize. Optimize. Optimize.

Based on the performance metrics of the program, the video should be optimized for consumer experience and success by testing different versions. Using a control group and champion-challenger approach, you can establish the best-performing version of the video (champion), introduce a new version of the same video (challenger) and measure the performance difference. Over time, optimization efforts should result in consistent, favorable impact on the video program performance.

These tips assume a comprehensive online video strategy and programmatic approach to customer engagement. A more traditional video approach tends to be tactical without business impact analysis.

Which approach are you using and why? Would love to hear your comments below.


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