Online video spurs engagement

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Jim Dicso, president & CRO, SundaySky
Jim Dicso, president & CRO, SundaySky

Many companies have begun to recognize the potential of online video for engaging customers and prospects. The challenge is identifying the best approach and measuring the business impact.

It's important for companies to 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 views can be measured over months or quarters.

Companies should also consider online video for each stage of the consumer's journey with the brand. When prospects search Google, it's possible for brands to be found on the first-page results through SEO-optimized videos. Consumers browsing and abandoning a brand's website could encounter unique video ads on YouTube. New customers might receive a welcome video recommending 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.

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

Brands must also 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 from 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 YouTube to guarantee a certain volume of video ad views via media buys. In both cases, leverage personalized video based on consumer characteristics and browsing behavior data.

Finally: 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.

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