“If they earn awards but don’t sell, it doesn’t matter.” That advice came from Rob Davis, executive director of content marketing and advanced video practice for Ogilvy  speaking at today’s Reel Video Summit in San Francisco, California.
What Davis was talking about, of course, was online videos. For Ogilvy, online video needs to sell, and the company has a laser focus on achieving its goals. Davis shared the company’s mission statement on online video: “All marketing videos should lift the brand, create demand, increase sales, and diminish the impact of competitive voices.”
Looking around, Davis sees that many marketers are struggling to get results, and that most aren’t following the standard best practices, such as optimizing for search. Even worse, they’re creating videos that aren’t based on data.
For those floundering with poor online video campaigns, Davis offers solutions. First, start with the viewer.
“When we think about the viewer, we think about respect,” Davis says. Understand, know, and respect the viewer. What those viewers give back is data with every click. “Even when they don’t click, they’re giving us data.”
Use data to inform decisions, Davis says, adding that using data to start a campaign is like starting a marathon with a five-mile head start. Understand that viewers are always on a journey; learn how to find them.
On the topic of owned, paid, and earned media, Davis has strong opinions. “I don’t believe a responsible brand can start a video strategy based on paid media.” Create a foundation of owned, then earned, and only then paid. Build on a platform that the brand controls, and spend wisely to lift the value of the content as a whole, he says.
Follow journalism’s classic inverted pyramid when structuring a brand video. Journalists start with a lede with all the crucial information, then fill in important details, then lesser details. Treat the first five seconds as the most important. The abandon rate during those first five seconds indicates viewer decay for the full video, Davis says. Aim to motivate the viewer, and don’t worry about overall length. Finally, surround the video with useful links, so that people can easily watch more videos, get information, or share the video with a friend.
Next up, Cecelia Wogan-Silva, director of creative agency development for Google , shared her three core elements for a successful brand YouTube video. The current generation of young people is generation C, she says, for “connected.” They’re “an incredibly connected generation” and the future of advertising depends on knowing this generation well.
1. Purpose = purchase
Connecting with people on a higher plane has tremendous impact on purchase behavior. Think about what they target viewer loves and values when creating videos. When viewers are engaged on their passions, they’re 1.5x more likely to purchase the product.
2. Power of influence > power of time
Not all platforms have the same power, Wogan-Silva says, and the influence of a platform is greater than the amount of time that people spend on it. Media usage by itself doesn’t equal media influence.
3. Experience > exposure
When it comes to purchase influence what matters is effectiveness. The experience of getting a message is key for driving that effectiveness, and is all that matters in getting to a purchase. Young people, she noted are four times more likely to watch ads on YouTube than any other place.