|Video and Social Media Marketing: Getting C-Suite Executives To Lead
by David Murdico , Wednesday, May 4, 2011
I recently spoke at a social media marketing conference at my alma mater, The University of Southern California, on the topic of how social media and other marketing professionals can best get their C-level executives involved in, invested in, and taking leadership roles in video and social media marketing. I identified three areas that I feel are most important: education, integration and return on investment (ROI).
Many senior-level executives are reluctant to make the jump into video and social media marketing, and with good reason. Launched without proper planning, expectations, or without full support, social media campaigns can carry risks to the success of their brands, products, services and to their very jobs.
• Familiarization: Point out the strengths and weaknesses of social media, video and viral marketing, including what’s possible, what’s working, what hasn’t worked — and why.
• Trust: Teach executives to trust their teams and let them run with the responsibility. Allow them to experiment, share in the successes and failures and learn together. Encourage them to rely on the teams they have assembled and let them do what they do best.
• Perspective: Impress upon them that social media is another valuable tool in their marketing toolbox, not a complete paradigm shift. Marketing is still about influencing behavior and selling more stuff. Social media is yet another way of accomplishing that goal.
Social media marketing shouldn’t exist in a bubble. There should be a larger strategy at play. Including these points will help when presenting social media as an option to senior leadership.
• Mixing It Up: Mixing social media with existing advertising, PR, and sales initiatives increases the reach of each initiative. To a C-level executive, this may mean the difference between total buy-in or back-shelving social media for now. Also, the point of video marketing is to create conversation about video assets and spread the brand message in that space. If you are not working with a viral marketing agency, internal PR teams should be consulted during campaign conception and not alerted as an afterthought.
• Real-Time Interaction: Social media allows brands and businesses to interact in real time as an extension of other media initiatives. Reactive engagement is key in establishing and maintaining a consistent flow of communication between your brand and the influencers and consumers who support the brand. Social media is also invaluable in trouble-shooting and problem-solving.
• Manage Expectations: (Paid vs. Earned): Many C-level executives are still under the impression that social media is free. Clarify that paid placements including TV ads, video banners, blog and publication outreach and other initiatives should be at play to jump start social media success. The idea is to go from paid marketing to earned marketing as the campaign progresses. Earned is the free part.
• Purposed vs. Repurposed Video: Encourage executive buy-in for branded entertainment and original online video by planning ahead and producing content that can be repurposed as TV ads, outdoor advertising, banners and PR assets.
3. RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)
Social Media campaigns are all over the map in both return and measurement of return. That’s enough to make any executive nervous.
• Soft return vs. hard return: Soft measurables like hype, buzz, awareness and brand lift are important, but can often fall flat in front of a C-level executive staring down the barrel of a sales spreadsheet. Eventually, no matter how much brand awareness we can generate and measure, the bottom line is still about selling stuff. This point must be addressed before significant buy-in can be expected.
Predictive ROI: Establishing a favorable return on investment prior to approving, developing or launching a campaign is key. Once you have measurable goals in mind, back track to map out a social media strategy that will achieve these goals. If the cost of the social media initiative is less than the predicted rewards of achieving the goals, then launch away!
|Video Insider for Wednesday, May 4, 2011:
The explosion in syndicated content, easily embeddable code, and the torrents of clips coming to the Web are paying off in streaming media pretty much everywhere. According to the third annual survey of web media companies by D S Simon, 85% of them now carry video, representing an increase of a third from last year. Television media was already at peak penetration, with 96% of venues carrying clips, but the 2011 Web Influencers Study found that virtually every other category of news, especially newspapers and radio, now make video de rigueur. According to Doug Simon of D S Simon, the meaning here is clear. “The big news is that online media has now officially become a video programming network.”
All of which goes to show how much users bring an expectation of streaming media experiences to a site. In order to feed the need for full motion, 84% of site users says they use third party providers along with in-house media. While traditionally non-video media are embracing the trend, it doesn’t mean that all of them are going full-bore into production. Understandably, 93% of radio stations say they rely in some measure on external sources of media, with 86% of newspapers and 80% of web media. TV entities tend to rely much more on their own assets, but still 63% user third parties.
We have said it before in these pages; video is the new text, and the Web is a primary accelerant of that trend. Watching this evolution from the vantage point of an old digital fart (yeah it has been long enough to have them) has been fascinating. Back in the day of Time Warner’s Pathfinder, everyone thought the Web was going to be a newsstand, a cheap and fast way to distribute print. Still, hang times for web sites were disarmingly short, and there was nothing like the engagement with sites that most old media saw in print. “Lean-in” was the catch-phase of the moment. But in the end, it turns out that the Web had more to do with the triumph of video as a principle mode of communication.
And the acceleration will continue. D S Simon says four fifths of its respondents plan to use or much more video in 2011 than they did in 2010. Most venues prefer fully produced video wares (57%) and then b-rolls (49%) followed by sound bites (47%). Preference for third party footage varied by medium, however, with 98% of TV stations wanting b-rolls compared to 29% of newspapers.
And what would a report on the new ubiquity of video in media be unless it also came to us in video format. Doug Simon is featured in the Vlog entry outlining the top line of the report.