Jumpstart Your Video Marketing with a Pilot Program

People need proof for some things, and video marketing is often one of those things.

I met with a potential client yesterday, who told me,

“I can see that what you’re proposing is one of those cool digital things, but I just don’t get it.”

He then went on to focus on a lesser benefit of what we were proposing, ignoring the much more beneficial brand play that was at the center of our proposal.

People often struggle with video marketing, because it’s beyond their experience. (By the way, you can get help with your video marketing strategy for free, here.)

Movies and advertising are the model that many people conjure up in their minds, when they think of video marketing, and it can be hard to get them to shift gears, to focus on the very particular benefits of including video in their marketing mix.

A Pilot Program as Video Marketing Proof of Concept

If you’ve done your homework, you already know which videos you will need, and how they will be deployed, over the next year.

Depending on your findings, your proposed program may be substantial enough to give members of your executive team cause for concern.

Answer specific concerns as best you can.

On the other hand, if the resistance you encounter stems from an undefined lack of comfort with the whole video marketing concept, a pilot program may be just what it takes to give everyone enough feel for the video marketing process and its benefits, to assure them of its effectiveness.

Over the years, I have seen many customers reach a higher level of understanding, as they see the various stages of the video marketing process play out.

Table reads of draft scripts often provide such “ah, ha!” moments, allowing the customer to finally get a feel for how a video might look and feel.

Run an A/B Test to Assess Value

If you think a pilot program is the way to go, you must then decide what goes into the program.

Keep in mind that video marketing is never a one-shot deal. Video marketing works as part of your marketing strategy, and relies on your other marketing systems (i.e., website, email, social, etc.) for its success.

So, your proof of concept should include the other systems that you would normally use to produce and deploy your video assets, in order to provide a real-world example of how you would use video to improve marketing and/or sales results.

Start by identifying an upcoming campaign that would benefit from the inclusion of video, and test for its success.

Run an A/B test on versions of the campaign – one with video, and one without – to prove its effectiveness. (As an example, you might want to direct half of your traffic to a landing page that does not have a video, and the other half to a landing page that does have a video.)

Once the campaign has concluded, determine how much or how little the addition of video helped your returns.

If the marketing value of the returns, less the cost of the video assets, support the inclusion of video, you should have enough evidence to prove your point, at least within the limited parameters of your test.

Overcoming Generic Resistance to Video Marketing

Some organizations rely more heavily on number than others.

If your organization isn’t a numbers organization, it’s possible that positive returns from an A/B test won’t be enough to alleviate the resistance you’re experiencing.

If that’s the case, it’s possible that the uneasiness with video stems from a simple inability to see your organization’s brand, products, and services reflected in the medium itself.

Again, people have all sorts of pre-conceived notions of what “video” means, looks like, and accomplishes.

Sometimes the simple act of creating your first corporate video does the trick. Light bulbs go off, eyes widen, and executives proclaim, “now I get it.”

If you think that may be the case with your organization, you might try producing the one video that you think will help people finally visualize how their brand will benefit from the inclusion of video.

And, in our experience, that video is likely to be a testimonial video.

Testimonial videos hit on all cylinders. They’re relatively easy to produce. Everyone loves hearing customer gush about your company.

They’re popular with sales people, account representative, customer services and support people, and the folks in the executive suite.

Even if you have no numbers to back up the effectiveness of your one customer testimonial, it’s likely that you can overcome much of the generic resistance you’re experiencing, by reflecting your brand in that single video asset.

So, whether it’s a finely crafted A/B test or the simple act of producing your first marketing video, it’s often helpful to ease your colleagues into video marketing with a pilot program, that demonstrates how video can enhance your brand, and enhance your marketing returns.

Before piloting your first video marketing campaign, take the self-assessment and find the video marketing production strategy that’s right for you!