Agency: Brightcove

Greg Posten, Director of Digital Marketing and GM Symantec TV at Symantec, explains how the company worked with Brightcove to grow its video marketing by 650 per cent in three years, and presents some tips for maximising video ROI

Video is innately shareable, memorable, and emotional – which is why video accounts for 64 per cent of all web traffic, and is projected to reach 80 per cent by 2019, according to ReelSEO. Video can be easily implemented across social, email, web, and mobile. Marketers love this combination of flexibility, reach and impact, which is why 76 per cent of B2Bs are creating video for their customers, and 68 per cent believe video is the most effective content marketing format.

At Symantec, we have ‘cracked the code’ in developing a broad video marketing programme that drives real business impact. We produce 150 videos each quarter – up from only 20 videos three years ago. We have secured organisational buy-in at every level. And we reach our customers through video at every stage of the customer lifecycle. For marketers looking to get started with video marketing or who want to accelerate results, here are five ways to advance video marketing.

Demystify video

Video can scare organisations. Business units fear it is complex and expensive to create. IT teams worry it will bring down their networks.

At Symantec, we helped the organisation get comfortable with video by first using it for internal executive messages. As a geographically distributed company with a global customer base, we started with executives delivering corporate updates via live and on-demand video. This was easy to justify based on cost and time savings and allowed for more regular communication. Its success created credibility, familiarity, and comfort with video as a communication tool. It was the first step to putting Symantec on a path to become a video-centric culture.

While every company is different, the lesson is the same: find a use case for video that delivers clear, visible value in a way that gives business and technical leadership a chance to safely gain experience and comfort with the medium.

Give away the video budget!

When I arrived at Symantec I held the budget for all video production across the company. The first thing I did was give it away to the business units. Sounds crazy, right? It’s the smartest thing I did. Here’s why.

In a model where I held the video budget, video was a ‘free’ service to the business units, and I had to run up the corporate mountain every year at budget time to get more money. By putting the budget in the hands of the business units, I turned that model on its head; they were now my customers, and I could charge them for my production services. As the business units saw how successful video was at helping them achieve their goals, they became eager to make the budget case to management.

That said, we did get pushback from the business units early on when we gave them budget dollars with one hand and took it back with the other in the form of internal charge-backs. But once they experienced the impact of video on their marketing and internal communication initiatives they learned to appreciate the approach. Why? Because it gave them control. They no longer needed to beg or bribe the video production department to prioritize their projects over other business units. Instead, they can now allocate their own funds to deliver videos on their own schedules.

The proof is in the results. Today, we’re able to produce far more video at Symantec than I ever would have been able to justify on my own if I held the video budget.

Understand video technology requirements (and find a platform that makes it easy!) The technology was certainly a hurdle for us early on. I imagine it may be for you too. Today, advancements in online video platforms have helped close the technical gap for marketers. You don’t have to be a media outlet to publish a video every day.

Like many companies, we started with YouTube. As we gained more experience, however, we found ourselves outgrowing it. While we still use it for some activities, our marketers want greater control over branding and the user experience than YouTube allows, and our IT team wants greater security for the sensitive information conveyed in our internal video messages. We turned to Brightcove, one of the first online video platforms (OVPs), for our solution. The draws for us were social syndication, easy publishing options, simple versioning of video content, effective analytics, a robust partner ecosystem, and effective security.

Start by making a list of what is important to you today and while anticipating future growth. What will your needs be not just this year, but in three to five years? What barriers or knowledge gaps do you have? Research and choose a video platform that meets your needs today and can scale with you as your video marketing program evolves. And don’t underestimate the importance of ease of use!

Align video marketing with your customers’ journey to maximise ROI

Video plays a specific role at each stage of our customers’ buying journey. Brand and product videos support creating initial awareness, nurturing engagement, and promoting conversion. How-to and support videos drive loyalty, reduce support costs, and promote advocacy to other prospective customers. The integration of video with marketing automation platforms and other marketing technologies allows a level of measurement, targeting, and tracking that delivers a visible return on investment, which management demands.

At Symantec, we started by focusing on videos to create awareness. We initially measured the basic player metrics and page analytics (views, play rate, device type, referral source, bounce back). Today, we have shifted 40 per cent of our video efforts to drive higher retention and to reduce support costs. Because our Brightcove OVP integrates so easily with our Eloqua platform, we’re able to receive detailed data to guide our overall marketing efforts.

The takeaway from our experience is to first understand where you want to focus your marketing efforts, and then create the appropriate videos to achieve that goal. I would also advise you to integrate your VMP, MAP, and CRM systems from the start. And along the way be sure to measure, measure, measure the results.

Commit to building a flexible, stellar video team

We designed our video team around a highly flexible model. We have a small, core team of highly talented publishers and editors who are full-time Symantec employees. This core team is augmented by a strong network of freelancers, including producers, editors, camera operators, and audio engineers. This model allows us to keep our fixed costs low but scale as needed to meet the ever-changing demand.

This model works for us because we invest time and effort into creating and nurturing our video team. I dedicate about 20 per cent of my time to sourcing video talent. And we’re careful to pair the right talent with the right project. Our approach helps us attract the best freelance talent around because it gives team members tremendous flexibility and a wide range of projects to work on.

Today, video marketers should gear up for a fantastic ride! Implementing and growing a video marketing program delivers tremendous value to the business but it can be a trying process. Success requires patience. We didn’t start to see definitive results until about two years into our new processes. However, the results have been incredibly positive. We’ve grown from 20 videos per quarter to more than 150 per quarter today. We deliver a strong ROI for our business units. And we’ve greatly improved internal communications. Now it’s your turn – go for it!