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Using Metrics to Justify Your Video Marketing Budget

Video is everywhere. In just the last few years, the rise of Blab, Meerkat, Vine, Periscope and other game-changing platforms has moved us far beyond the days of YouTube and demo videos on corporate websites.

Now more than ever, your brand’s video productions don’t have to break the bank to be effective. In fact, it’s often the case that the less produced and polished your video outreach appears to be, the more authentic it comes across to the consumer.

Still, many marketers struggle to swallow the costs of creating and distributing video—let alone justifying the spend to the resident CEO or CFO who has a skeptical eye and a hand on the purse strings.

The next time you’re asked to defend your video marketing budget, start by trotting out the following forecast:

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 7.33.13 PM

If that statistic alone doesn’t make your case, here are five convincing metrics you can lean on.

1. Your Recurring Brand Audit
Videos get views, and those views are easy to measure and track. As long as your video content supports your brand messages, every one of those views equals a proportional increase in brand lift.

As a marketer, you already understand this, but that doesn’t mean your CFO does. You could get 2.3 million views on a video and still get asked, “Yeah, but what did that do for sales?”

Answer back by flashing the results of your most recent brand audit, performed annually or semi-annually. In this recurring audit, you should be asking current and potential customers questions like:

* Are you familiar with Acme Brand?
* What are the leading brands in anvil manufacturing?
* Where have you seen Acme Brand? Check all that apply: social, video, print, etc.

Your goal is to prove, by the numbers, that your overall brand recognition is rising, that people are checking the video box, and that your increased brand recognition is supporting your demand gen efforts.

2. Direct Website Traffic
Unless your goal is for pure branding and nothing else, the last thing you want is for people to watch your video, think it was funny or heartwarming for 30 seconds, and then move on to the next video. Whether it’s posted on YouTube or a popular industry blog, make sure there’s a clickable CTA embedded into the video that drives people back to your website. It’s easy to map where traffic is coming from, and if your videos are bringing enough quality leads back to your site, your video budget is less likely to be questioned.

3. Customer Conversions
Some videos are created purely for brand recognition and top-of-the-funnel awareness. Others are hoping to drive a direct purchase. No matter what your objective is, you should be able to define and measure it in terms of conversions, realizing that “conversion” could mean something different from one campaign to the next. In a b2b technology company with a 6-month sales cycle, filling out a form to download a free eBook or whitepaper could count as a conversion. For a b2c company, “click here to buy” might be the goal.

Just make sure you know up front what you want your viewers to do, then measure the response, and continually tweak future content based on what you learn. The powers that be are more apt to get on board if they can see the practical method behind your creative video madness.

4. Demographic Targeting
Once you’ve determined your video’s objective—whether it’s brand awareness, conversions, revenue, or a combination of the three—analyze the demographics of your available distribution methods and share the results. You should be able to show the CFO that you’re not following the “spray and pray” model of video distribution, but you’re actually getting this message in front of people with specific demographics and buying patterns. This type of data makes your budget a much easier sell.

5. Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI)
Return on marketing investment is a beneficial metric to track and to tout—for certain kinds of marketing activities. If your goal with a video campaign is direct conversions, ROMI is relevant. Branding efforts, on the other hand, aren’t quite so black and white. Not every campaign will result in a measurable financial return.

For example, it’s nearly impossible to measure the impact of brand awareness on future purchasing decisions without spending a fortune on primary research. How do you prove with metrics that the “Nike” SuperBowl ad is what made the customer pull the trigger on that particular shoe? You can’t, unless you have a Nike-size brand budget for surveys and analysis. Do your best to impart this fact to those above you on the org chart, so you can gain approval to allocate a portion of your video budget to brand building campaigns that might not be measured in strict ROMI terms. Or you could campaign for a Nike-size brand budget. Either way.

When we marketers discuss demand gen, we often inadvertently train non-marketing executives to tie dollars to every minuscule thing we do. To combat this kind of metric overreach, make sure you’re proactively measuring what can be measured and proving the efficacy of your efforts in certain areas. In return, you can often gain enough leeway in your video budget to experiment with pure brand awareness campaigns, untried platforms and new distribution channels—all of which are essential in today’s rapidly evolving world of video marketing.

About the Author: Joe Staples is the CMO for Workfront, which is a cloud-based Enterprise Work & Project Management solution designed to help enterprise teams — from IT to Marketing, to company leadership — eliminate the typical chaos of work and gain greater visibility company wide.