How would it be to have an accurate forecast of where the digital video marketing business is headed in 2020? Among other things, an accurate forecast would help you:

  • Increase a business case for allocating more budget to video marketing.
  • Create a successful video marketing plan.
  • Improve by experimenting with new initiatives.

Where can you find the equivalent of Grays Sports Almanac for our industry & era? Well, the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Complete Forecast for 2015 to 2020 is a great place to start. Among other things, it predicts more than a billion new Internet users will take part in the global Internet community, growing from 3 billion in 2015 to an estimated 4.1 billion by 2020.

The Cisco VNI forecast predicts that internet video will account for 79% of Internet traffic by 2020 – up from 63% in 2015. It estimates the world will reach 3 trillion Internet video minutes per month by 2020, which is 5 million years of video per month, or about 1 million video minutes every second. And it estimates that HD & Ultra HD Internet video will make up 82% of Internet video traffic by 2020 – up from 53%.

The Cisco VNI forecast Internet forecasts video will increase four-fold between 2015 & 2020. It predicts that video traffic will be 82% of consumers Internet traffic by 2020 – up from 68% in 2015. It guesses business Internet video traffic will be 66% of business Internet traffic by 2020 – up from 44% in 2015. It notes that virtual reality traffic quadrupled in the past year & estimates it will increase 61-fold by 2020. This report shows the culmination of months of data gathering, due diligence, analysis, and crosschecking with syndicated & direct data sources. But, I can hear some of you saying, “Okay, so what do we do?” Well, as I indicated at the beginning of the column, having an accurate forecast of where the digital video marketing business is headed in 2020 could help you accomplish at least three things. I will explore the first one this week – and the next 2 in the coming weeks. Hopefully, this will support you with a roadmap for getting from here to 2020.

The Case for Increasing Video Marketing Budgets  

Even though you have an accurate forecast of where the digital video marketing business is headed, and you have taken the time to learn about the top trends and insights for video marketing in 2017, this does not mean that the members of the C-Suite in your organization will buy into your aim. Why? Well, it is complicated. Let’s avoid the stereotypical assumption that they are just dumber than the dinosaurs. Instead, let’s give them credit for being smart & experienced executives, who are probably Baby Boomers (ages from 51 to 69). This means that when they were your age 20 years ago, the online world was different.

As a Baby Boomer myself, I remember that the online world was like in January 1997. I was the director of corporate communications at Ziff-Davis & we had just launched The Site, hosted by Soledad O’Brien, with MSNBC. I had a Toshiba laptop with 166 MHz processor chip, 8 MB of RAM & possibly 1 GB of hard disk. I had the privilege of using a company-paid dial-in modem at 14.4 kbps – 28.8 kbps. I had an early-generation cell phone – that was more than three cm in thickness – so that I could be available for some urgent communications related to my business responsibilities.

Popular Internet applications were nonexistent. Almost every app I relied on was PC centric – the mystery of World Wide Web was in each early years of being woven. There was no streaming media – most of the apps were text driven & any rudimentary webpage animation showed an awe-striking contrast to the volumes of static content. Voice was the main application over cell phones. Television was delivered over analogue signal & rabbit ears.

Even if some of your corporation’s top senior executives are venturesome, I think that more members of the C-Suite are deliberate, as many are skeptical, and some are downright traditional. That means that even an idea as good as allocating more budget to video marketing should need a champion who has the admire of management to make this happen.

That is why one of the venturesome senior executive will ask you to make the business case so as to convince the other deliberate, skeptical, traditional members of the C-Suite that shifting money out of other budgets & into video marketing is a good idea. You need to learn how to think like they think & speak like they speak to get buy-in from the management team.

And, that means building your business case on objectives & key performance indicators (KPIs) that they value. Let’s explore four goals & metrics that might do the trick:

  • Brand awareness
  • Engagement
  • Lead generation
  • Sales

As I have said several times, some video marketers mistakenly think that the right metrics for measuring brand awareness is “impressions” / “views.” If you doubt me, than ask the question: “How many impressions / views do we need to develop brand awareness by 17%?” If you do not have an answer, then it is dangerous to use those metrics as KPIs. What happens if you claim that your video marketing initiative will generate a ton of eyeballs, skeptical, prompting a deliberate, or traditional member of the C-Suite to ask this question?

What’s the alternative? Well, as I’ve said several times, Google’s “brand lift” solution & Facebook’s “brand lift” offering support advertisers with a better set of metrics. I realize that the ad budget is different than the organic video marketing budget – except in small businesses. But, if there’re lessons that video marketers can learn from advertisers, then they could learn them.

For instance, video marketers can also use Google Surveys to get fast, reliable selections from consumers across the internet and on mobile devices — letting you to make more informed business decisions, and keep a pulse on the health of your brand. Here is how it works: You need to choose your target audiences, type your questions, and watch the results roll. Pricing is 30¢ per complete for 1 question surveys, and $3.00 per complete for 2 / more question surveys. Every respondent answers questions in a survey. When it comes to picking an customer, you have several targeting options like women & men ages 25-34; Android smartphone users with the Google Opinion Rewards app; audience panels, which are a method to target groups of respondents that are generally difficult to find, like students.

Next, you can ask up to ten questions at a time & select from a variety of question formats, like single answer, 2 choices with an image, multiple-answers, and multiple answers with an image, which can be used to screen respondents. You can select other question formats, including: rating scale, rating scale with an image, rating scale with text, numeric open ended, open ended with an image, open ended, side-by-side images, and a menu with an image. Finally, you could get real answers from real person. Google Surveys determines the age, gender, and location of online respondents based on their browsing history & IP address. While on mobile, app users answer demographic questions up front. You could use Google Surveys before your video marketing initiative is launched to establish a benchmark & then conduct follow-up surveys on a quarterly basis. If the C-Suite says your organization will concentrate brand awareness over the next 12 months, then they should put their metrics where their mouth is. That is the right way to measure brand awareness

Smart Ways to Measure Video Engagement

What is a better way to measure video engagement? I have also mentioned before that “conversation, amplification, and applause rates” are better measures of “engagement” than “social media sharing”. And Avinash Kaushik, the Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google suggests using these metrics as KPIs for the top of the sales funnel – the early stage of the customer journey – because they measure the “See” audience intent cluster, which is the biggest addressable qualified audience. That is a better way to measure the real reach engagement of users with your video content.

What is a better way to measure lead generation? Google Analytics does a pretty good job of measuring micro conversions. There are activities that users frequently engage in before purchasing. Websites commonly have some kinds of micro conversions, so it is likely that you will want to set up at least 2 or 3 goals, including:

  • Email signup: Make a URL Destination goal & define your “Thank you for signing up” page as the goal page. Establish a value for the goal. This value would be used to calculate Average Session Value in the reports. To determine a value, evaluate how the users who reach the goal become customers. For instance, if 10% of email signups result in a purchase, and your average transaction is $50, you might assign $5 to your “Signed up for email” goal.
  • Browsed site extensively: Create a Pages/Session aim. The number of pages that you set as a threshold for the goal will depend upon your site & what you consider to be extensive browsing.
  • PDF Download: You will need to track each download as a Google Analytics event. Edit your site code & add an onClick event to the download link. The onClick event should send a Google Analytics event. Then, make an Event goal which refers to the Google Analytics event category or action that was triggered by the link.

In my presentation at VidSummit, which updated the best practices and plans for “Schmooze Optimization,” I shared an additional way for you to develop performance over time by giving credit where it is due. You should use the Campaign URL Builder tool to add campaign parameters to URLs to track Custom Campaigns in Google Analytics. Whole your video production team has to do is enter the website URL & campaign information into the form & a URL will be automatically generated for them. Though only the campaign source is required, I would recommend using the campaign medium & campaign name, as well. I’d recommend using Bitly or the Google URL Shortener to make those links more sharable in social media.

Then, the results of a new video marketing initiative / an influencer marketing campaign do not get blended / buried somewhere in your organization’s Google Analytics Reports. Using the Campaign URL Builder will allow you to measure each of the channels & tactics that are part of your new video marketing initiative – which could combine existing storytelling assets as well as new ones – using the KPIs:

  • Acquisition – aka website traffic,
  • Behavior – aka time spent on website,
  • Conversions – aka micro conversions.

Is there a great way to measure sales than completed purchases? Well, sales – / completed purchases – is a great idea to measure sales. But most marketers are not expected to generate sales; they are expected to generate leads that the sales department will close. Meanwhile, most marketers are expected to concentrate “higher conversion rates” & “sales lead quality” – even though this puts them in a lose-lose scenario: If their leads convert, then sales will get the credit; if their leads do not convert, then marketing will get all the blame. I have been the VP of marketing in this kind of organization, so been there, got the t-shirt.

The Link Between Sales & Marketing

I do not know what the relationship between marketing & sales is like within your organization, so I cannot provide you with some useful advice about office politics. But, I do know a method that you can earn some credit for a KPI that is even more necessary than sales: The return on investment in marketing (ROMI). ROMI is not like return-on-investment (ROI) metrics. Instead of money that is “tied” up in plants and inventories, marketing is typically expensed in the current period (operational expenditure or OPEX). But, here is the formula for calculating your ROMI: Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) = Marketing Spending ($).

Marketing spending will be deemed as justified if the ROMI is positive. For instance, if you spend $48,000 on a new video marketing initiative & it delivers $240,000 in incremental revenue, the contribution margin for that $240,000 in revenue is 60%, then the ROMI is ($240,000 * 60% – $48,000 / $48,000), 2.0. In other words, every dollar expended on the video marketing initiative translates into an additional $2 in profit on the organization’s bottom line.

Is this even doable? In my book, YouTube and Video Marketing, I share a case study about a plan by DigiNovations, which launched the PiperSport for Piper Aircraft. Their budget – which covered making a Facebook page & Twitter feed as well as a YouTube channel – was under $50,000. Their social media marketing plan generated 16 orders for a $140,000 product in the first 90 days, with a value of $2.1 million. To account their ROMI, let’s do the math ($2,100,000 * 30% – $50,000 / $50,000), or 11.6. In other hands, each dollar spent on the social media marketing initiative generated $11.60 in profit for Piper Aircraft. That is a better idea to measure sales than completed purchases.

If this seems like a foreign language, then may show why the members of the C-Suite in your organization appear to be dumber than dinosaurs. But, they are not, are they? And if you want them to buy into your aim, then you need to learn how to think like they think & speak like they speak. And that will be good for your career as well as for developing the odds that the C-Suite would allocate more budget to video marketing.


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