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Why We Started Tracking (And Optimizing For) Total Time Watched

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Here at Wistia, we recently began tracking and optimizing for brand interactions — and it’s changed the way we think about our entire marketing and promotional strategy.

The concept is simple — the more someone interacts with the Wistia brand, the more likely they’ll be interested in trying our software or becoming a brand advocate. And because we use a ton of video in our marketing efforts, over time it became clear that looking to the “Total Time Watched” metric to understand success in this department was key.

For those who aren’t familiar, Total Time Watched is defined as the total amount of time an individual viewer has spent watching your content.

This indicator helped us quantify an otherwise somewhat ambiguous measure, making it super easy for us to spend more time optimizing for that metric and less time guessing about what’s working and what’s not.

But, things weren’t always this simple.

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We’ve always believed that building a strong brand experience would help Wistia grow, whether it’s on our website, social channels, or even in the emails we sent to our customers.

Conceptually, of course, this makes sense. But it isn’t just a hunch — we’ve seen this confirmed from a quantitative perspective time and time again. In fact, after doing extensive analysis to understand our highest quality traffic, we found that Wistia website visitors who visited more pages are more likely to become a Wistia customer, and the same was even true for social interactions and email engagement.

“We’ve always believed that building a strong brand experience would help Wistia grow, whether it’s on our website, social channels, or even in the emails we sent to our customers.”

At the end of the day, we uncovered that the tipping point for conversion was actually a total of nine page visits. If a website visitor views more than nine pages, they’re twice as likely to become a Wistia user than those who have visited less than nine. Pretty interesting, right?

So naturally, we started tracking what we called “high potential visitors” (aka people who visited more than nine pages). At one point, the Wistia Growth Team even ran a series of experiments with the goal of generating more of them. We tried different website designs and user flows to get website visitors to view more pages. We tried providing nine-pages-worth of value on one page. We tried page designs with nine “sliders.” But none of those ideas really worked — not super shocking.

timewatched

The truth is, these tactics were gimmicky. We were trying to shortcut the process of providing value versus just investing in it. We went back to our roots and started re-investing in our brand, creating more amazing content, and building slick software. But as marketers, we couldn’t help but still be intrigued by the idea of tracking, measuring, and iterating on our work. And that’s where the idea of measuring brand interactions came into the picture. We found our new best friend in one simple metric: Total Time Watched.

It’s one thing to just talk about reinvesting in our brand, and it’s another thing to invest $111,000 in it. This past year, we released our first-ever original series, One, Ten, One Hundred. And as part of the promotional planning process, we had several meetings to chat about which metrics to track that would be the biggest indicators of success. After all, we invested a ton of time, effort, and resources into creating this content and didn’t want to waste a single day optimizing for the wrong metric.

“After all, we invested a ton of time, effort, and resources into creating this content and didn’t want to waste a single day optimizing for the wrong metric.”

After all the chatter, we decided to plan the entire marketing campaign around maximizing for the “Total Time Watched” metric. Now, this was a first for most of the marketers on our team. Sure, we were used to promoting digital content, but we typically followed a more traditional playbook that went something like this:

  • User visits a landing page
  • User fills out a form
  • User gets redirected to a “Thank You” page with the content

When it came to promoting a video series, however, we needed a slightly different playbook. We wanted to reduce friction for the viewer, provide more content up front, and ultimately, promote our brand. That’s part of the reason why we decided to design a page that put the emphasis on showcasing the video content itself, rather than hiding it behind a form.

We researched design choices from companies who also optimize for play time, like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, and took notes on how to make the experience on our own website just as good.

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With our design team focused on creating an incredible experience that would showcase our brand and optimize for that “Total Time Watched” metric, our marketing efforts shifted gears to executing on the promotional plan.

Up until now, we’ve talked a lot about the paid promotional plan for Soapbox on the blog, but we haven’t shared as much about the series promotion itself and how surprised our advertising partners were when we shared that we weren’t optimizing for lead generation. Let’s dig in.

Dialing in our optimizations

After committing to optimizing for Total Time Watched, we started thinking about how to drive the most views to our content. We decided to meet viewers where they are by sharing the trailer for the series on our social channels in full rather than trying to drive users back to our website. We also researched other places where people tend to consume a lot of videos and eventually syndicated the full series on Amazon Prime.

This is something we would have never done before had we been focused on optimizing for a metric like product conversions. Behind the scenes, every single decision we made was focused on driving our audience to watch the content.

“We decided to meet viewers where they are by sharing the trailer for the series on our social channels in full rather than trying to drive users back to our website.”

When we took a look at the initial results of the campaign, our team was super excited — Total Time Watched was through the roof. The design team had created a page that clearly encouraged binge-watching the series — 98% of the page visitors watched our content! Plus, those who watched the content, watched a lot of it, and that helped us validate just how high-quality the content really was.

It was looking pretty clear to us that our decision to optimize for Total Time Watched was the right one. The average viewer watched around 50 minutes of our video content, which ultimately added up to thousands of hours of video watched on our website and social channels, with thousands more on Amazon Prime.

It was a huge risk to not put a lead generation goal on our campaign, but it seemed like our gamble paid off. We saw tons of positive feedback everywhere we looked from forums cropping up on Reddit and discussions on Quora, to social threads that were full of chatter and positive vibes — all signs pointed to success.

Focusing on Total Time Watched as our key success metric challenged the way our team thought about promoting content. It impacted our design decisions, changed some of our promotional tactics, and made us question what success really meant.

If you’re like me — a data-driven marketer who’s starting to realize that not everything is about direct revenue attribution or conversion data — you’re probably wondering how we actually know this is a good metric to optimize for. To help validate our original hypothesis, we tracked three things:

  1. The correlation of someone watching a video and then trying our software.
  2. The correlation of someone watching a video and then downloading other content.
  3. The number of mentions and shares of the project on social media, direct emails to our team, questions during our live Q&A, and our ratings on Amazon Prime.

andrew

The data shared an interesting story. Tons of people who watched the content were already in our database, which was great, but we were thrilled to see that 1.7% of visitors that weren’t had created a free Wistia account since the series launched. Plus, another 2.3% of visitors had gone on to download other content on our website.

We had a bit of difficulty gathering a concrete number for total mentions and shares across platforms, but we have seen hundreds of comments across social media, tons of emails to our team, dozens of questions during our Q&A, and (at the time of this post being published) we have a 4.7 star rating on Amazon Prime. All of these factors combined are pretty powerful, and that helps us validate Total Time Watched as a metric we’re interested in tracking more in the future.

Now, it’s important to keep in mind that this is just one campaign — the data is still maturing as I write this very post. But, we’re confident that this metric can help put a more meaningful number to the goal of increasing brand interactions. Not only that, but optimizing for Total Time Watched challenges us to think differently about our overall promotion strategy, which is always a win.

Here at Wistia, we’ve even invested in developing an entirely new feature in our product that will dramatically change the way marketers showcase their brand and optimize for that Total Time Watched goal. We’ll share more details on that in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, we’d love to hear how you’re tracking this metric and how it’s been working for you!



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Video Marketing

What is Design and how it influences your company

Today there are thousands of companies in the most varied sectors competing for the same territory. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to gain some awareness and attract customers. To stand out from the competition you need assets

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Today there are thousands of companies in the most varied sectors competing for the same territory. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to gain some awareness and attract customers. To stand out from the competition you need assets. Aces. A good card. Let’s talk about one in particular. The design! Design as a holistic approach, capable of solving problems not only stylistic, but of all types. You can make your product unique, create a culture associated with your company and influence your investors and customers.

 

How Design Influences Your Company’s Brand and Culture

A company’s culture is based on beliefs and values. These are communicated through various points of contact. They change perceptions, behaviors and understandings. Contact points must be genuine, they must be exclusive to your company. The thinking and research behind design can help you create the story of your business. A competent designer plays a decisive role in planning your strategic decisions and in building that same culture. The sooner the results are defined, the faster it will grow in the right direction.

 

When you know what your company stands for, it’s simpler to build your brand. This goes beyond the logo, the look of the website or the products: the brand is the value that your customers and investors get with you.

 

How Design Influences the Product Experience

In the past, it was possible to achieve success almost by chance. But luck has been losing ground in the business scenario. The democratization of the internet has opened the door to creativity. We have people capable of getting a product up and running faster than ever. Competition is fierce. The standards for what is considered a successful product have also changed over time. Currently, customers expect a great user experience on the first click, on the first contact. As smartphones and tablets spread – with people searching for everything on these devices – potential customers’ expectations soar. Tolerance levels have also changed.

 

If your website is not visually appealing, if your application has a complex and buggy interface, you can be sure that you will lose customers in a matter of seconds. People want simple technological experiences. And design plays an extremely important role in ensuring the satisfaction of its customers. At pixelinmotion the designer understands market standards and is already familiar with what the customer wants. With this knowledge, you will be able to create a solution from scratch, which will make your product more valuable compared to the competition.

At pixelinmotion, we believe in this philosophy of proximity. Our approach to design is attentive to trends and will be able to boost your company to stardom. Get to work!

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Video Marketing

How to Use Video Data in Your Next Retargeting Campaign

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Retargeting is a common marketing technique that serves ads to people who have visited your site or specific sections of your site. This tactic is a great way to remain top of mind with people who have already expressed interest in your brand. Many people treat every visitor to their site the same way, serving the same ads to everyone. Retargeting is a more nuanced approach that serves more relevant ad content based on behavior — thus providing a better experience.

With Wistia, we’ve made it super easy for you to hone in on your niche audiences by using Facebook, Instagram, Google, and YouTube to create different user segments based on actions that people take on your video.

Many businesses still haven’t taken advantage of the ability to segment visitors based on video behavior. Videos help potential customers build emotional connections with your brand, and people who have that connection are more likely to purchase in the future. In other words, when someone is willing to watch your 2–3-minute product video, there is a better chance that they’ll sign up for an account when prompted.

We’ve found that, on average, viewers who complete our product video are 15–20% more likely to convert than passive visitors.

“Viewers who complete our product video are 15–20% more likely to convert than passive visitors.”

Implementing segments like this within your retargeting campaigns allows you to reduce spend on less effective segments (like our homepage segment) while focusing on visitors who are farther along in your sales funnel and more connected to your brand.

Wistia allows you to keep track of key events like video engagement, video form conversions, channel subscriptions, and more. Once you connect these events with your retargeting provider, you’ll be efficiently serving up ads in no time!

The first thing you need to do is set up your integrations and then start creating segments in your retargeting provider. We’ll review how to do this across our four integration partners — Facebook, Instagram, Google, and YouTube.

Facebook & Instagram

Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, and since then, the two have become one, making it super easy to advertise across both platforms.

First, we’ll quickly walk through how to set up the integration with FacebookAds. You can do this in your Wistia account under the account drop-down — you’ll see “integrations” as one of the options from this screen. Under the “promotion integrations” section, you’ll find “Facebook Ads.” Select the “connect” button to begin the process.

It’s important to note — you’ll need to log in with a Facebook account that has access to your Facebook Ads account and accept the user permissions. That’s it! Voila — easy peasy.

With the integration live, Wistia will begin to send viewer event data for any video you have embedded on your website to Facebook. Now you can get started targeting your ads with Reach & Retarget!

Facebook and Instagram give you several options for video-related “events,” including:

  • Percent watched
  • Seconds watched
  • Played Video
  • Subscribed

Once audiences are enabled, they will appear in the Audiences section of your Facebook Ads account. You can also log back in and create new audiences any time after the integration is live. You’ll do this by creating a “custom audience” and using “website traffic” as the data source.

On the Wistia side, we’ll also provide a few recommended audience segments in the “promote” section of your channel. If a segment feels relevant, simply select “enable” to set up the list.

Keep in mind that these pre-populated audiences are just suggestions — you’ll be able to set up many more variations of these in the Facebook Ads platform. This flexibility is really where the integration is most useful; it allows marketers to easily define and create custom audiences based on viewer behavior.

Google and YouTube

Similarly, Google acquired YouTube in 2006, so you’ll be able to easily manage ads across both platforms within Google Ads.

To set up this integration, you’ll need to connect Wistia to your Google Analytics account. Navigate to the account tab and select “integrations” (just like you did for the Facebook connection). Remember, you’ll need to be an account owner or manager to connect the accounts. From there, select “Google Analytics” and follow the prompts to connect the two platforms.

To feed this data into other Google properties, you’ll need to do a little work in your Google Analytics account — but we’ve got you covered!

In your Google Analytics account, head over to the admin panel. From there, you’ll see the main screen with several options; select “Google Ads Linking.” This workflow will allow you to send analytics data over to the Google Ads platform. And, since YouTube ads are managed through the Google Ads platform, you’ll be able to leverage this data across both platforms without any additional work.

If you’re curious about how a specific segment is performing, you can set up custom audiences in Google Analytics, which can also be sent over to Google Ads for retargeting. Alternatively, you can set up unique custom audiences directly within Google Ads.

Once the integration is live, we can start to send event data to the Google Analytics account that you’ve connected. The following events will be tracked:

  • Plays
  • % Watched
  • Conversions (i.e., Turnstile submissions)
  • Clicked Links (i.e., CTAs or annotations)
  • Subscribed
  • Time Watched

You’ll see a few suggested audiences in Wistia and can turn those on or off at any time. But remember — these are just a few ideas to help you get started. Get creative with your audiences and segments to really unlock the power of retargeting!


Ok, great, you have your integrations set up, and the data is rolling in. Now what?

Connecting your accounts is the easy part. The next step is to roll up your sleeves and start creating your custom audiences. Here are a few specific examples of how you can use video retargeting throughout the conversion funnel.

Build brand affinity with video series

Are you promoting a new show or video series? If so, nurturing folks to finish an episode and the series is a great way to keep viewers engaged and build brand affinity.

You can take two approaches to this. First, retarget folks who started but did not finish an episode. To do this, set up a list on each episode for viewers that did not complete a defined percentage of a video (<75%, as an example). Then, serve this segment ads reminding them to finish. The best part? With Wistia’s resumable video feature, viewers will be able to pick the video back up right where they left off. Pretty cool, huh?

The second approach is to retarget folks who did finish an episode to encourage them to continue their journey with the next episode. To do this, set up a segment based on video completions, and serve these viewers ads for your next episode.

Nudge prospects with helpful resources

Video can do so much more than simply drive awareness for your brand; it can be a powerful tool to help nurture folks through your sales funnel. An example of this would be to use retargeting to provide helpful and timely resources related to the problem that your product or service solves.

This segment could be folks who convert on a video (fill out a Turnstile form). For example, you might gate a webinar or robust video asset on your website and then retarget those viewers to take the next step in your conversion funnel, perhaps downloading a related asset or viewing a product demo.

Drive leads for super engaged viewers

Are you looking to drive qualified leads from your videos? If so, Wistia has you covered. The exact equation for how you qualify leads will vary — but the same logic still applies. To do this, decide on what specific actions you view as “qualified.”

Let’s take folks who watched a high percentage of a high-intent video. For example, if viewers complete more than 75% of a product demo video, you could retarget them to set up a call with a solutions consultant for a personalized walk-through.

These are just a few examples of how you can get creative and set up custom audiences for retargeting. The options are only limited to your imagination. Meet with your team to decide on a few key segments that make sense for your business, and start building your lists today!

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Video Marketing

Best Video Marketing Ideas For Festive Season 2020

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Video marketing

The way content was created earlier has now changed completely, and innovation is now becoming the key in today’s content creation.

About 78% of people are watching online videos on a weekly basis and 55% daily, it is a big opportunity for brands and corporations to focus their marketing strategies more towards creating videos. 

Video engages your audience more effectively than text content, and they can understand the message you want to deliver in a much easier way. 

With videos, your audience can learn about what your business is doing in their daily life rather than reading blogs. 

Your audience prefers to watch the video over text content as it takes less time than reading text content, and the flow of engaging with content remains constant. Thus, focusing on video is crucial for marketers in 2020. 

Are you planning to jump to create video content for your brand? Learn these best video marketing ideas to do wonders in 2020. 

Best Video Marketing Ideas For Festive Season 2020

1. Get Sales With Shoppable Videos

Sales are the most important aspect for any business especially when it is the festive season. This season brings an opportunity for the brands to leverage the consumer intent to make more purchases and gifts.

Shoppable videos are the videos where users can buy the products in real-time directly from the video.

As a brand, you can create shoppable videos using a visual marketing tactic called visual commerce platforms that allows you to curate video content, tag products, and publish the shoppable video gallery on website or online store.

2. Engage Audience With Storytelling

In 2020, marketing strategies are more focused on storytelling as it connects business with real-life emotions. 

Storytelling delivers the purpose of business and what value they are giving to their customers. Whether it is text content or video, storytelling is an effective way to gain the loyalty of your customers and build their trust in a brand. 

However, reading text is a tedious task; video with storytelling has a greater impact on your audience. Not only your customers will engage with your content, but they also comprehend the message easily. 

3. Create Short Videos With Message

Nobody wants to waste their time, especially when they are engaging with a brand’s marketing content. Keeping your video for a short duration for all platforms, whether social media, website or any place where your customers interact with you has a great impact on your business.  

Shorter videos also increase the possibility that the audience will watch an entire video rather than leaving in-between. 

When people see a video is too long, they even don’t like to click on it or if it is an ad they skip and do not watch it.

In order to connect with your audience in 2020, you have to focus on creating shorter videos about 5 seconds to 2 minutes. 

Also, remember that lengthiness of video depends on the platform where you are sharing the content.

Thus, it is found that shorter videos help in boosting brand awareness and engagement among online audiences by 30%.

4. Make Mobile-Friendly Videos With Vertical Watch Option

As people are watching more videos and using mobile phones instead of computer screens, demand for vertical videos that can be watched directly from mobile phones has increased.

75% of mobile users say they like to watch vertical videos instead of horizontally on the mobile experience. It is because, in vertical videos, the audience gets a full picture on their screen, and there is no extra content. 

Thus, make sure to create videos for your brand promotion and marketing that is responsive to any screen and can be played vertically. 

5. Make An Engaging Video With UGC

User-generated content is the essential component of the marketing strategy in 2020. It is helpful in building trust by letting know your new customers about what your existing customers are saying about your brand. 

User-generated content is effective because it is created by your customers themselves, and you do not pay them a single penny to create it. 

You can curate user-generated content using social media aggregators and make a video that tells your new customers about your happy customers. 

People talk about your brand over social media in various forms of content, whether images, text, or videos, you can collect these UGC videos and compile them to make a single compelling video to promote your business.

6. Create Video That Convert Audience

As a marketer, you have to make sure that the video content you create brings conversions. Not that it just delivers the message, but it should be compelling enough to drive traffic to buy your product. 

Create value in the content so that your audience feels connected and like to take the next step to make purchase decisions. 

Video is the essential component of the marketing funnel and makes your customer journey effective to make a purchase decision. 

Make sure the video should not be promotional but contrary a value that your audience needs to buy your product and solve their problems.  

7. Don’t Forget To Create Stories On Social Media.

As you publish your brand’s marketing video on various platforms, social media is the crucial network that you should focus on. These days social media platforms have added features in which you can add stories which are small videos that your followers can watch. 

These stories are effective in telling your audience about the daily activities and create entertaining content to engage with them. 

Instagram has 500 million active users who interact with social media content regularly. Now other platforms also have story features that make possible that you connect with your audience wherever they are. Thus it is a great opportunity to post stories on social media to interact with your followers regularly and tell them about your presence. 

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