This series on video can be for all businesses and individuals and it applies to wine AND to all categories.
Ecology and cultivation are great biological terms to think about how a video collection should be viewed. Most, and just a guess, 90% of video producers upload and share their video content once and they are done–never to revisit or highlight again on any social media! Ten percent will take the time to cultivate–tend to the videos as a precious asset and optimize the performance of their video.
I have worked and consulted at many companies where “video” is a magic word and it opens up the kingdom of viewers (or it appears to do so). It is the built-it-and-they-will-come mindset. And real or virtual properties rarely do people flock to a video or site or in-person business just because it was built. I have never seen one company not only not leverage their video content but spend copious amounts of money and they are often perplexed on poor performance of their videos.
One consultancy I had, the firm was spending several hundred thousand dollars per year on video production. The click rate was minuscule and I compare to my YouTube channel I have several hundred percent more clicks and the same several hundred percentage of subscribers. I wanted to understand what this organization was doing and not doing to help them improve their performance. There was an overall disappointment by the people in the organization “staring” in that company’s videos with such a low performance rates; it became a “why should I be in another video and why should I waste my time doing this?” This particular marketing team, in general, was disappointed in their videos as they had felt they put a lot of time into video production and promotion.
I asked why there were no republishing of videos on social media; the culture there didn’t care to RT (retweet) even if there was something highly related or relevant in the daily news or even to a particular Twitter question. This particular team was fearful about getting compliance to sign off which was required; there was no desire to even attempt to advocate for more RTs and the business reasons to do so. More than angst there was an ambivalence. This team even thought they put “a lot of time” into video content creation and promotion they spent the same amount talking about sports and non-business at least a quarter a day. Amazing to see how their senior leadership team was incapable of dealing with their marketing team and even their internal stakeholders. It is ‘we are too busy to address anything right now’ mindset for that company. Change can only happen if the organization is demanding it and the function is open to do what it takes to make positive change.
And asked about their viewer characteristics via YouTube analytics; no one bothered to look at this not just quarterly not annually…. never! Analytics are much needed to validate assumptions and to ultimately understand your audience and to hone in on what your audience wants/needs.
At another consultancy, the problem was a similar problem to the above and creating too much video content, and the usual story of not cultivating it for continued growth. Everyone at this enterprise thought they were the star so over time what ended up happening is that many people at the organization started creating content. The content became muddled in appealing to the internal stakeholders and not to the much more important external larger audience. Coherency and relevancy was lost and it became solely about personality without the larger look at why they were doing video and how this added to the bottom line of impressions and engagement.
The problem are many fold–resources allocated to video come at the expensive of another marketing/social media and the poor audience engagement and retention. Content became so volumnious and indistinct!
People at a company can be the ‘Narcissus falling in love with their own image‘ at the expense of well crafted, thoughtful and relevant content that is not based solely on a personality but should be focused on the brand mission and vision. The company had diminishing returns insofar as the more video they produced it didn’t yield higher click rates or a growth in the channel in terms of subscribers. This company too did not RT any video once published. While a lot of it is evergreen… no company is too large that EVERYONE has seen that video. This firm too had a curious case of not peeking behind the proverbial curtain to see the rich aspects that YouTube analytics can provide. This is a theme where most companies might say they “look” at their analytics dashboard but asking key questions I find that not to be the case. Why would any enterprise be spending copious resource and do little to see what is working and what is not working? It happens not occasionally but often.
Cultivate also means communicating timely with questions in social media that are not just comments but relevant questions. Most enterprises do these two things that they should not be doing:
1) Don’t respond to a question
2) Have a long drawn out process on how to answer (days, weeks and in some cases if ever)
So most enterprises are not truly running a vlog–which as vlogs go don’t have a long shelf life and are rarely evergreen content. In the cultivation process, a lot of content created is evergreen–some content does have a shelf life but for many videos they are often evergreen. Cultivation is like trimming leaves on a shrub and this analogy is to see how a video can continue to grow through cultivating and caring for your content. Growth cannot happen unless there is a mindset change on why the enterprise is doing video and to support the business. And lastly taking an active management of video content to support the enterprises’ brand, expand customer base and instill the DNA of the company to customers, potential customers and stakeholders.
Where to start: The Video Marketing Charter and Annual Video Plan
The more complex the organization there may be a culture of writing charters–often but not always they centre around project or program management. A video marketing charter or simply a video charter is good for even smaller organizations. A charter is to describe and create a platform of transparency and noting roles and responsibilities, actions and so much more to make this endeavor a more efficient and capable function.
The charter with the sponsoring executive and team involved in video production and promotion are aware of the terms, requirements and roles and responsibilities so that everyone can work efficiency and effectively. This focus can help to dispel many uncertainties and questions if there was not a charter Charter development is a shared activity that does yield benefit for solving problems that always arise in teams.
Charter development creation should not be a a science project and should be written in simplest form possible with enough information for team to execute this function with greater ease.
Charter Elements – (add or reduce elements for the most robust and optimized charter for your team. Design the charter so that it is used and it is a road map and a reference guide for you and your team):
- Scope of Work
- Team Members
- Roles & Responsibility
- Desired Outcomes/Objectives
- Meeting Formats
- Sponsor and Leads
- Communication to Stakeholders
- Scope Commitment/Quality of Work
- Change requests
Charters should be periodically updated as team member enter or exit the organization. Also a charter walk through to all new stakeholders/team member as they board the organization.
Annual Video Plan
Every organization should have an annual video plan so that you have your guide on what you will be producing – number of videos, video types/categories, update to background music, graphics, intro and outro and specific goals. This is where you want to build in specific analytics/metrics to accomplish and specifically how you will do that.
Annual Video Plan Elements
- What videos will you produce?
- How many will you produce?
- What is your publication frequency?
- What are you goals for click rate, engagement and subscriber base? (Be specific)
- What are incremental improvements:
- New intro and/or outro
- Updated graphics
- New background music
- Sharper editing
- Matching analytics to video run time – what is your average view rate and how might you adjust video length
- Equipment: camera, microphone, lighting
- How will you monitor and how you will make any course corrections?
This plan should be created each previous year in concert with stakeholder and also you should review and update throughout the year and also to track your performance and that it is transparent and available to your stakeholders. The plan should also be integrated with the yearly marketing plan. These documents are to stand up the function and are created, developed and read and understood with all team members to execute with the least amount of confusion and uncertainty. This is an important annual document to create with stakeholders and to not just manage expectation but to also keeping a careful and transparent eye on marketing resources and allocation of those resources.
Cultivating your Video Assets: Be an Active Manager of Your Community and Promoter of your Content
- Don’t just hit upload and publish and promote once. Don’t have the mindset – ‘build it and they will come’ is not a successful posture. People don’t just “discover it” they need to sometimes be reminded of video content
- Examine analytics of your entire channel and also give closer inspect especially on videos that do not perform to plan
- Find opportunities to retweet (RT) or publish your content on your social medias more than once.
- If there are organizational barriers–some organizations have rules against RT – believe it or not? Remove barriers, educate stakeholders and your compliance team to be a partner. If you organization is limiting promotion of video I would question why even have a video program?
- Speak to your audience in future videos “I hear you are seeking this…” “Many of you have asked that.” It is a great way to give a response and that you take their ideas, suggestions, comments seriously
- Look at past videos for any incremental improvements:
- Hashtags for easier searchability
- Make sure each video has information in description field
- Use your content as a conversation starter on social media
- Make sure you like your past videos–YouTube allows for you to like your own video–people look for signs of life–clicks, likes, comments
- Bring up your videos in your team meeting–and ask for team to view it-they probably already do and ask them for a like if they feel compelled to do so – you’d be surprised how few team members ‘like’ a video they just produced. If you don’t like it why should anyone else?
- Be sure to respond to questions and comments that need an answering–give a ‘like’ to the question or comment being asked–there is some hope for an answer on a channel–rarely do they get answered–imagine your audience getting a response can certainly lead to ongoing engagement and even having this audience member being a net promoter of your work
- Make your evergreen content evergreen by using it!
Much Ado About Something
Many organizations that have a video program are unsuccessful in many ways–spending hundreds of thousand of dollars if not millions in uninteresting video content or video content that makes the internal audience happy but does nothing for the much larger external audience.
I have seen organizations in chaos in every aspect of their marketing focus and execution and video is no exception. Pairing down difficult processes, reducing chaos and focusing on not good but great content can build your audience organically and make your video team more satisfied in this focus area. Success is never by accident but by planning and intention in development and execution is essential. If you do not think methodically about what you are doing in the video function you could be missing out on opportunities and incurring pain along the way. Also many organizations are in a paralysis of decision making–and I see organizations not making a decision which is a decision itself! Look for pathways of improvement and EVERY organization can and should be focused in on continuous improvement. If you don’t your competition will overtake any share of market you might have.
First article: Manage Your Video Content Actively – Plan & Promote – One of 4 Part Series
Second article: Essential Elements in Each Video – Two of 4 Part Series
Fourth Article: Minimum Requirements of Uploading a Video & Bringing Your Video Program Together – Four of 4 Part Series
© 2020 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original content, drawings, art work, graphs, photographs, logo, brand name, rating, rating, taxonomy, graphic and award, and design and all designs of James the Wine Guy. James the Wine Guy is also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.
Follow, subscribe, like, browse: