Don't squander your videos: How self-segmentation boosts ROI

by Erika Trautman |

This article was originally published on Wired's Innovations Insights blog on November 19, 2013. 

Online video is the single most powerful tool companies have to communicate with customers. Videos can grab attention instantly and forge an emotional connection in moments – something a website alone almost never achieves. Videos travel well and can be distributed across owned sites, ad networks, and social networks alike. And let’s face it; the average customer is much more likely to click on a video for additional information than they are to pick up a phone or even send an email.

And yet, as Forrester pointed out in a recent report, most companies fail to optimize their online videos for effective content delivery. Instead, they resort to the lowest common denominator: using video only to drive broad awareness.

The thing is, marketers already know the principles behind turning videos into effective tools for promotion because they use them every day on their own sites, giving viewers the ability to effectively self-segment.

Let’s take a page we’ve probably all visited before: Apple’s home page. Regardless of whatever the company’s promoting on the landing page (today, as we write this post, it happens to be the iPad Air), there is always a navigation bar at the top that quickly takes us to the reason we came to the site in the first place. Mac? No. iPod? No. iPhone? Yes, please! From there, the site has even more obvious and easy ways to drill down to what matters to the customer.

We take this for granted on websites. Content should be parsed into bite-sized nuggets. The visitor should be able to easily identify how to get to what he or she needs on the site.

Picture the mess if Apple tried to cram all of its website content into a single homepage. Or imagine the frustration if Apple’s homepage consisted of just the most general, high-level information targeting only the broadest part of the marketing funnel with no easy way to dig in? Sounds like a nightmare. And yet this is how we produce our online videos – and why self-segmentation is so important to the medium.

The value in allowing self-segmentation on websites is clear. It allows for targeted messaging that speaks directly to the visitor, regardless of his or her stage in the sales funnel. As a result, it provides marketers with control over conversion opportunities that address the challenges specific to each visitor at his or her point in the conversion funnel. And, most importantly, it provides the best user experience.

These same advantages of self-segmentation can be applied to videos. By adding interactivity with calls-to-action within promotional videos, marketers can turn online videos into conversion machines.

Let’s look at Gaiam TV as an example. As an online community dedicated to providing transformational media to those seeking a healthier lifestyle, Gaiam TV relies completely on monthly subscriptions to run its business.

Aiming to bring a more informed consumer through the checkout process, while also increasing conversions, Gaiam TV partnered with Rapt Media to create an Interactive Video (IV) landing page. With a creative concept, an implementation strategy, monitoring capabilities, and a fully optimized IV, Gaiam improved its ROI in less than four weeks.

This article was originally published on Wired's Innovations Insights blog on November 19, 2013. 

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