4 Must-Haves For Launching A Video Marketing Campaign

Multiple companies reach out to millions of users with a video content. So can you!

This article is to share my and my team’s experience with a video campaign we’ve done for Setapp. It’s pretty hard to describe the whole campaign and all the lessons learnt in a single article, but I’ll try to outline the top must-haves, and share our story:

1. Define the target markets and your target audience

First and foremost, I would suggest not to start a single action without a clear definition of the market you are going to chase, and the audience you want to reach out to. Treat it as a “must-have”, not a “nice-to-have” deliverable. You “buyer personas” and their journey through the marketing funnel will influence everything in the video campaign: type of video(s), tone, script, characters, CTAs, landing pages…..everything.


Setapp Case:

We spent lots of time learning about Setapp’s buyer personas (researches, surveys, interviews). The strategy was focused on audiences with the following characteristics:

  • (new) Mac users
  • Tech savvy individuals
  • Between 21 and 49 years old
  • Employed or self-employed (not targeting students, unemployed or retired people
  • Small and medium enterprises

Geo: we decided to start this campaign in the US market for two reasons: we have already had a success track record there and USA tops the list of countries with the highest number of Mac users, who the Setapp was built for. For an insight in how many people in the U.S. use macOS we look at the following:

  • There are around 324 million people in the U.S. in 2016
  • Of whom 88.5% uses internet: around 287 million people
  • Of the top operating systems (all devices) in the U.S., 10.3% is in OS X in 2016
  • Based on these statistics we roughly estimate around 29.5 million OS X users in the U.S. in 2016

2. Grab your audience’s attention with the right content at the right moment

Think of what and when you want them to know about, to feel, to understand.

  • by what I mean what kind of video content needs to be created for this or that buyer persona (i.e demo videos can educate the audience on how your product works, entertaining video content can address users’ challenges and pain points in a very human manner, etc)
  • by when I mean a step of the marketing funnel

Setapp Case:

We decided to tell the story about the product and its value via a series of videos, and each of the them would be featuring the campaign idea. Below is an overview of the campaign idea and its assets:

The Product

Here is what we wanted our target audience to know about Setapp: The first subscription service for Mac apps. For $9.99 per month you get access to all of the apps available in Setapp that make your life easier. No trials, no upsells, no in-app purchases.

Creative Strategy

Here is what we wanted to communicate to our target audience: Having Setapp is the easiest way to be more productive, as if someone took all the right decisions for you. It’s curated software; you don’t have to worry about quality. There’s no hassle of going through a clutter of unknown apps, no frustration about in app purchases, updates or future purchases. You’re done in one install, and back to your life and work. Back to what’s really fun or important. With Setapp you can be anyone you want in life and business. You have all the apps you need and all the time to be more productive. In other words… YOU ARE ALL SET!

Campaign Idea: “Take the shortcut”

The campaign idea and all the video content was designed and developed in cooperation with an agency, named SuperHeroes. The campaign would never be a success without these guys.

Setapp is a shortcut to be more productive, giving you time to enjoy the better things in life. It’s the easier solution to get the best apps on your Mac.

In every medium we decided to execute this by always offering a shortcut as a better solution or answer.

Content and User Journey:

Like I said, we decided to reach out to our target audience via a series of videos, and the main reason for this choice was that we wanted to make sure we are telling our story on 3 main stages of the marketing funnel: Awareness >>> Consideration >>> Conversion.

  • For the awareness stage we decided to create exciting, entertaining and engaging brand focused videos that would get all eyeballs on Setapp during the campaign period.
  • For consideration and conversion the choice was show the feature focused video content

As to the actual content, the tone for all the videos was aimed to make each piece funny and compelling enough to be shared by viewers. Our main focus was dialing in the humor and clarity of each spot.

So, the films were the following:

1. The Fishermen (brand focused video, awareness stage)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugrHqHwKMvA

The agency suggested the video to be a perfect analogy to the product benefit of Setapp — that it offers the shortcut you’re looking for. Just like we struggle to find what we need in a “sea of apps”, heroes of the video couldn’t find a fish in a lake.

The plan was to show humorous scenes that would show these hapless fishermen actively sucking at fishing. At the end of the ad (the end of their day), a shortcut would appear to them. A boat with a large sign on it that reads “FRESH CAUGHT FISH”.

Casting

Casting is the point when you need to once again carefully think of your target audience. I mentioned already that it influences everything. The actors and the way they perform should always resonate with those who you want to watch the video.

Our heroes were the urban dwellers. They were out for the weekend, looking to cast a line and maybe catch a fish. With hope, they might have a nice dinner, possibly even a photo op for their Instagrams.

Both guys were between 30 and 40. Guys with asymmetrical facial features. Not hideous, just not perfect. People you’d expect to find out in the world. We wanted to root for these guys to succeed. Because if they’re too handsome, we’ll be rooting for them to fall in the water. The agency was looking for actors capable of delivering a subtle performance. And great at physical comedy. Ones that had a great resting bored faces. You can see the results in the video — aren’t they perfect for this role? :-)

Fishermen Video Tone

Since YouTube was one of the core channels to distribute the video, where Skippable TrueView in-stream format was a major one, it meant we had to give our viewers something that would grab their attention before SKIP AD button appeared.

So, the challenge for the creative was to have something exciting or visually appealing happen out the gate. It was difficult, but we did have great results there: the video had good portion of humor, which was achieved with physical comedy in combination with dry, but genuine performances.

We made several variations to test the duration and what to show during the first 5 seconds:

2. The Birdhouse (brand focused video, awareness stage)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79Hcl6dSIBc

The strategy for the Birdhouse video was close to what was done for the Fishermen. We wanted to grab the viewers within a few seconds — so they’ll get multiple laughs out of a very simple situation

Casting:

Having discussed Setapp target audience with the agency yet once again, we agreed to show a serious man. In a profession that commands a certain amount of respect, like an accountant or a psychologist. He’s a smart man. But he’s been a little stressed lately. And he thinks a birdhouse will be nice and soothing for him, when he’s cooking breakfast and looking out the window. Problem is, he’s terrible with tools. But he is still a serious man. He’s a man who, when he gets frustrated, boils with silent rage. The twitches. The breathing. The clenching. You can feel that he’s at his wits end.

They found an actor in his late 30’s or early 40’s. Serious face. Who could deliver a subtle performance, while exuding quiet but boiling frustration.

Birdhouse Video Tone

The comedy came from the conflict of his genuine determination with his supreme lack of skills. In this spot, there was a determined man who tried and failed over and over. While it was a physical comedy, we didn’t want it to be too broad. Subtlety was key. We avoided hammy facial expressions, favoring subtle, believable ones. He’s alone. He believes in himself. He’s extremely focused. It’s become a mission. It’s bigger than the birdhouse. And just when he’s at his wit’s end, in walks his daughter with the birdhouse. That’s the joke. That’s where the comedy has to hit. We want the viewer to feel this guy’s pain. So that when his daughter walks in, all hope seems lost, and his realization that he can just use her doll house is all the more rewarding.

3. Product Video (feature focused video, consideration/conversion stage)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=va0HVMgUkIw

We wanted this product video to be as funny as it is informative — so that people understand the product, like it, and appreciate the sense of humor behind the brand, too.

Acting: no matter how ridiculous it gets, our hero plays everything straight. As if it’s just another day in the life of a small business owner who believes they own and can rent out anything in their field of vision (or beyond).

Casting:

For this video, we agreed that the agency would be looking for an improv actor who had a natural charisma. The spokesperson couldn’t be sell-y, but had to really draw the viewer in. We looked for our spokesperson to have a dry, confident delivery — someone you trust even when you see them behaving crazily. It was important actress had good sense of humor and come off as natural.

Product Video Tone

Overall, this spot had a dry, witty humor to it. We were not going for broad comedy vibe here. It was important to communicate information about Setapp in this one.

4. Shareable/Viral film: The Fishermen Prank (brand focused video, awareness stage)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUdH5F5o1jw

As a stunt on a fishing lake, we gave people a shortcut to fishing by sending them fish via a drone. Our “Shortcut Drone” was finding fishermen that were having trouble catching fish and then lower a fish for them. They didn’t know what was coming and we surprised them with the fish delivery. We filmed the reactions of the subjects — to the interesting use of technology and the shortcut to getting fresh fish.

This one was my favorite. And I think this is the best video created by SuperHeroes team for us. It was even featured on AdWeek.

5. A series of 6-seconds non-skippable Ads (feature focused video, consideration/conversion stage).

We created 3 YouTube bumper ads. Each one run six seconds and highlighted a different product benefit.

  1. Easy access to Mac apps

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKecGHf1qlM

2. Easy way to discover new Mac apps

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mu17zFeGLOs

3. A collection of prime Mac apps with a free trial available

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09gqAh9b0bA

Main purpose of those 3 was to convert users who watched all the videos already but did not start using Setapp.


3. Build a launch plan

Be smart about when, where, and which users will watch your video content.

It makes sense to show videos on YouTube, Facebook, and your website. Typically, website is a great place to host the product, feature focused video content, while YT and Facebook serve well when you need to reach out to specific audience first.

The good news is that the opportunities are endless on the web, even if the budget is an issue. The bad news is that there is no “silver bullet” type of plan that you can read and implement, it is your job to build a detailed strategy for every stage of the marketing funnel to make the campaign a success.


Setapp Case:

You’ve seen the videos we created. Now, I would like to share our approach on how we decided to distribute them. Our go-to-market strategy for Setapp included user beta (pre-launch phase) before the public release, so we tailored video campaign to these stages, making sure the message was tailored to where in a marketing funnel a user was when watching the video:


4. Define a very clear KPI based on campaign goals and measure the results.

Running a video campaign is not about uploading your video on YouTube and Facebook or having it on your homepage. It is essential to understand its goals and to know what metrics you need to track to achieve these goals. Having defined those you are to prioritize analytics which will helps you measure the success.

Typical video campaign goals and the key metrics to analyze are the following:

  • Increase brand awareness: # of video views & reach
  • Get more traffic to sell via a website: clicks to site and # of conversions/conversion rate
  • Launch a new product or service: # of video views

In our case, with all the video creatives described above, we wanted to introduce a new product to the market, increase its awareness, and drive conversion through the website and landing pages designed for certain types of the target audience we defined.

Each of the video had its own KPI depending on the user journey phase and type of the user. The key metrics were the following:

  • Reach = Awareness of Setapp
  • Beta access requests = Email leads
  • Setapp trial registrations = Email leads
  • Setapp paid subscriptions = Paid users

Measuring the results may sound like a lot of work, but seeing the success is definitely worth it!


I hope this article helped you better understand how to launch and run online video campaigns. I am sure that there are many professionals who run multiple video campaigns and have more experience to share.

I would also like to hear your thoughts! Thank you.