Why include video strategy in the annual marketing plan?
Most businesses tinker with a little video around the edges, paying lip service to the 5 billion videos watched on YouTube every day, but if you asked the majority how the video is integrated into their overall marketing, few would have an answer.
This at least is our experience.
We’ve been producing online video as a commercial communications tool for over a decade and find that when it comes to commissioning video, companies tend to silo their decision-making. This means new video output remains peripheral to the rest of the marketing operations, which in turn leads to poor viewing figures and questions over the validity of video as a marketing tool.
It cannot be stressed enough that video is a primary communications tool, especially in the brand narrative. The audience for online video is simply staggering and the figures are even more stratospheric for video viewed on mobile.
But video alone will not entice the viewer; it has to be a combination of factors such as context, platform, supporting material, integration, visibility and content quality to get people watching and sharing.
It stands to reason that an appropriate video stategy is a key component to making video shareable in social media to get viewers to engage.
Heineken’s ‘World’s Apart’ exemplifies a campaign where video is at the centre of a well-planned and well-resourced marketing push. The subject matter is determinedly controversial – and brave in the wake of the failed Pepsi ‘Live For Now’ Kendall Jenner fiasco.
A long form video is in itself rare for a brand engaging on social media. At 4-minutes it is conceived specifically for the online viewer and its launch is carefully planned with supporting hashtag #OpenYourWorld as well as limited edition product packaging.
Content-wise, whilst being somewhat contrived, the video’s provenance is squeaky clean working in partnership with The Human Library, a worldwide movement for social change. The video attempts to address the question “Can two strangers with opposing views prove that there’s more than united than divides us?”
With 13m views since April and generally positive feedback, the video has made an impact.
It is visible, is being shared by a lot of people globally and is helping to position Heineken as a brand that ‘promotes openness as a value that helps break down the barriers between us’
It may be argued that Heineken has the resources to craft an integrated campaign centred on video, whilst drawing on other areas of marketing expertise – from social media support on Twitter, packaging design, press PR and great scheduling.
But the model is and should be one that is transferable to all businesses no matter what size.
It all comes down to planning.
In so many cases video content, which is delivered with great care on the producer’s part and with time, effort and budget invested by a committed client, simply disappears.
Where does it go?
One can only hazard a guess that because it was never part of the central marketing strategy the video remains on a hard drive until it is no longer relevant (there was no plan for its output into social media platforms) or it is finally tucked away into an obscure page of the company website to justify its production in the first place.
Those businesses that use video as a core tool in the marketing of goods and services, with a fully scheduled and costed plan of the content, the platform and the analytics – in other words plan their video strategy – will find out exactly why the medium gives such strong payback on investment.
Video works for business when it is accepted and incorporated into the long term planning of marketing content and production.
By Nicky Robertson, Director