Happy New Year! A new year of business and a new year of marketing has now commenced. Kim Larson, Global Director at Google BrandLab, breaks down how breaking of New Years resolutions inspired her to analyze how marketers fail to break down their media campaign metrics properly. Instead she offers a few tips:
#1: Measure progress with the right metric
Body weight. Body mass index. Body fat percentage. There’s a whole body of metrics we use to measure our bodies. It’s strange to me, then, when marketers measure their body of work in online video based on just one metric: views.
Views may be the proverbial public scorecard, but they’re not always the best way to track progress against a brand’s unique goals. Last year, we broke out how your brand goal (e.g., awareness or consideration) can help you land on a more relevant metric or KPI than just “views”
#2: Start with short-term solutions
If your resolution is to run seven miles without stopping, but right now you can barely run seven blocks, your first goal out of the gate isn’t a seven-minute mile. Instead, successful resolutions start with realistic, short-term goals and solutions. First, you walk a mile. Then you run a mile, then two, and so on.
And yet I meet countless brand advertisers who think they’ve failed if they haven’t created the next Old Spice Guy. Instead of this “all or nothing” philosophy, start with a short-term solution. Consider using your existing TV ads on YouTube: Many of the top YouTube ads on the 2016 Year-End YouTube Ads Leaderboard are also TV ads. Then, when you’re ready to build more of a YouTube-centric content strategy, check out our very first Lesson from Google BrandLab on that topic.
#3: Pick a long-term trend—not a fad
January is peak season for unsustainable diet trends and fitness fads. We’ve all tried one. You see incredible results for a week or two and then suddenly you’ve fallen off the wagon. This year, I used a simple filter as I considered health trends: the test of time. The trend that will actually support your resolution is the one that’s been around for years.
Online video is no different. The best investment may not be the hottest trend, but the longest one. Rather than trying to capture lightning in a bottle, a lot of brands stand to benefit by embracing ongoing trends on YouTube. For example, instead of hurrying to make a “running man challenge” video at exactly the right moment, a brand might capitalize on the evergreen trend of “how to dance” videos.
#4: Be realistic about how much time you (and your consumers) have
In my resolutions research, one tip I ran into again and again was to schedule regular “appointments” to accomplish your resolutions. If you resolve to reduce clutter but never have an afternoon to tackle the garage, set aside 10 minutes every morning before you get in the car to put something away. If we don’t change how we do things, how can we expect to get those things done?
Just like us, our consumers have limited time. When it comes to video, sometimes they’re in a rush. In consumers’ shorter video sessions, we’ve seen short ads—like YouTube’s six-second bumper ads—often work best. Later in the day, if they’re binging on Carpool Karaoke at home for an hour, they might be more receptive to something longer, like a 30-second TrueView ad.
Online video uniquely offers advertisers the opportunity to respect consumers’ time and match ad length to consumer attention. In a world where two-thirds of people aren’t paying attention to TV ads, we have to change how we ask consumers to watch. Otherwise, how can we expect them to watch at all?
#5: Celebrate meaningful milestones
Many of us are using wearables, like smartwatches, to help us achieve our New Year’s resolutions. There’s a reason these devices don’t reward us for how long we’ve owned them, but for how far we’ve walked. One result is brand-centric, the other is user-centric: Consumers want to celebrate milestones that make them look good, not milestones that make brands look good.
Too often, brands base major milestones on themselves, not their consumers. At the BrandLab, when we ask brand teams for calendars, we typically get a list of product and campaign launches. That’s not meaningful for consumers. When you think about your calendar year, plan to the consumer moments rather than to your own launches.
Talk to your Digital Media Producer and see how your video marketing strategy is being executed with proper attention to the right metrics.