After creating video content for brands, companies, and non-profits for the past 10 years, I have come across a number of common mistakes that really need to be addressed in order to maximize a company’s ROI, particularly when working with a creative agency or video production company. Let me start with the first mistake in the chain, which is really one of the biggest and most common. It is such a fundamental issue that it surprises me how frequently it happens and this is something that should be considered with every aspect of marketing, not just video or commercial production. This fundamental mistake is (drum roll please…) giving zero thought to the audience they are targeting. How to work with a creative agency.

When creating a brand video, commercial or documentary for a company, targeting your ideal audience might seem like a no-brainer, but what shocks most people is the fact that targeting a smaller audience actually doesn’t mean less exposure. Being ultra specific of your target market can yield surprisingly outstanding results, specifically if your goal is conversions (turning a prospect into a customer). Chances are, you are likely to have a higher conversion success rate within the small group rather than casting a large net. How deep you target, how specific you target will define how close you will get to your audience. There are so many segments within a market, and then deeper segments within that market until you reach your specific persona. This is something that Cable (HBO and Showtime) Netflix and Amazon have done very well. They create Niche programs and do extremely well, versus Broadcast which is trying to cast to the broader audience. It’s just harder to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one but yourself for trying to obtain the most opportunity and this doesn’t really help. 🙁

Let me clarify with an example: You have a healthy new hair product. You assume everyone that cares about their hair will be your target audience for the video. Well not exactly, some are easier conversions than others . You need to find your beachhead market. Beachhead markets are those people you know for sure will not only buy your product but also be the most amazing ambassadors for it and spread the amazingness of if. So let’s try and begin segmenting. There are those who like hair products because they are more health motivated and ingredient wise. Then there are others who only care about price and short term outcomes. So if we decide we are going with the health motivated persona, then let’s cut the deck again. Are we talking to a young mother who cares for multiple persons in a household or a young single yoga teacher? Keep cutting the deck, diving even deeper to segment those personas even further.

These different personas speak in completely different tones, almost different languages, shop in different stores, watch different TV shows, eat different food. Am I getting too deep? No! The more you understand your market the more you connect with them and connecting is what creates conversions. Conversions from the video mean it’s the type of traffic, not the volume. Once you understand exactly who the specific ultra target market is, then a creative agency and production company can create an awesome video that will kill it with conversions.

If you don’t know who your target market is and need help to figure it out and create a road map for marketing, then your creative agency should be able to work with you and do the necessary research to figure this out with you.

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Key Take Away
1 million views might be cool to show the unskilled eye, but the skilled marketers know that the real ROI on video and commercial production is better calculated through conversion rates than straight views. In other words, conversion ratio has a higher value than total views. Best practices are to create narrowly targeted videos and commercial spots, to the right personas staggered in segments which allow more control, analytics analysis and a deeper understanding of specific market space. This will not only ensure every dollar is well spent but also ensures the whole marketing team is on the same game plan and has enough execution time to do things properly. Hopefully, this has been helpful on how to work with a creative agency.

Happy New Year 2016

Unleashed Productions video production