The top social platforms see upward of 22 billion video views per day. That number is expected to climb this year. PR pros who haven't yet integrated video into their campaign strategy are likely missing out on reaching significant portions of their audiences. But that doesn't mean they should jump into video without a solid game plan or expect to go viral on their first attempt.
"While we all like a good viral video and visuals to support a story, we need to start by asking ourselves what the business outcome we wish to drive is and how video can support that," says Sahana Jayaraman, SVP and head of the Digital Brand Lab at Hotwire PR.
Jayaraman, who will be sharing tactics for proving ROI on video, as well as successful client case studies, at PR News' Digital Summit, Feb. 24 in Huntington Beach, CA, shares four checkboxes for PR pros launching a video campaign:
☑️ Define what ROI means from the start. Depending upon your business, ROI on your video campaign could mean more leads to your website; it could mean donations, more investment dollars or much needed awareness about your product or service. Without a clear purpose, all videos will fail. Fortunately, there are many opportunities to create calls to action within video content. This is good news for those who define ROI via conversion metrics—using video, you can ask folks to share a link, visit your website or fund your project.
☑️ Pictures are worth a thousand words...but with video, words are worth a thousand views. Most social channels like YouTube measure the success of video content based on view length. It's important to develop strong descriptions for your content so that folks searching for that content will feel confident that it will end up being useful to them (keywords, captions, video description, etc.).
Ready to launch your next video campaign? Learn winning content strategies from brand communicators at TOMS, Yelp, eHarmony and more at PR News' Digital Summit, Feb. 24 in Huntington Beach, CA.
☑️ Test and analyze, and keep trying. I encourage clients to look at the video metrics. And I’m not just talking number of views. I’d recommend analyzing the time at which viewers dropped off on average and find out what didn't work by asking the tough questions. Did you have a strong distribution strategy? Did you have the most compelling talent? Did you focus on the audience, or yourself? The medium itself may not be wrong, but perhaps the execution was. The next time you produce a video, you'll be less likely to bury the lede, miss out on distribution opportunities or miscast your brand ambassador.
☑️ Leverage social networks with paid. In distribution, there is so much content out there today that it's imperative to push content to the audiences most likely to find it useful. This sometimes means leveraging paid media. What channels should you be pushing your content on, and what can those channels' metrics tell you? What time of day is most of your audience likely to watch video content? Be familiar with each social platform and statistics on when it sees the most active users. This will impact the number of views you get and improve the quality of the audience you reach. Peak hours on LinkedIn, for example, tend to be noon and 5-6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, while Fridays after 3 p.m. tend to do nothing for brands on Twitter.
Follow Sahana: @hellosahana
Follow Sophie: @SophieMaerowitz