Setting fluid video marketing goals is easy, achieving them on the other hand, isn’t quite as simple. To help with this, every aspect of your strategy should have clearly defined SMART goals.
Your video marketing strategy is no different, setting targets for your films is one of the most crucial stages of production. Without clear-cut goals, it is impossible to track your successes and failures, and without this, how can you possibly correct or improve your content?
We have found that the most effective way to set goals and manage expectations when it comes to video content creation is to use the SMART strategy.
The SMART acronym stands for:
Why is SMART the most effective way of setting goals? And how can it be used to get the most out of your marketing videos? I am going to explore these questions throughout this article as I introduce you to the individual components that make up the SMART goal-setting strategy.
The process of setting goals is one of the most important tasks in the pre-production stage of video creation. They can be used to clarify information, clear focus, and increase motivation – altogether owing to the creation of a tight, persuasive, and well-informed piece of content.
Whilst there are other ways of setting goals, we have firmly concluded that the SMART method is the most effective, and with over 10 years of industry experience, you can rest assured that we know our stuff!
Creating your SMART goals
Before starting to create your SMART goals, it is essential to understand what it means to be SMART. Let’s get into it…
Specificity is all about the, well, specifics. Forget the bigger picture, and get down into the nitty-gritty, what do you really want to achieve?
Which goal do you think is better?
‘We want to increase sales of product A’
‘We want an increase of 2000 sales of product A’
According to the SMART system, the more unambiguous target is always best as it will be easier for you to determine the success of your creation.
At first, setting super specific goals can seem daunting, but through research and data, they should soon become clear and offer themselves to you. Think back to your brand objectives and marketing KPIs. If one of your most important aims is to increase brand affinity and engagement in your target audience your goals should reflect this:
‘This video will use emotional marketing to grow brand affinity and engagement in our target audience’
So, now you know how to set specific goals that can be measured, how do you go about measuring them? Time for our smooth segue into the ‘M’ of our SMART acronym: measurable.
To measure the success of your goals, they must be measurable. For a goal to be measurable it must have a quantifiable factor.
The goal ‘We want our video to get attention’ does not include a quantifiable factor, what does ‘get attention’ mean? If the video attracts the attention of one person, technically it has received attention, but surely this does not automatically mark it as a success?
To form a measurable goal, it is important not to hide behind vague terms like ‘more’, ‘increase’, ‘boost’, ‘get’ and ‘stop’.
‘We want this video to stop drop offs’ and ‘we want this video to boost views’ are examples of unmeasurable goals that create more work for your team in the long run. How do you define what ‘boost’ means?
Be specific in your measurements. A goal that says ‘we want our video to generate 10 leads per month’ allows the video to be easily identified as successful or unsuccessful. To gather and track measurable results, it is important to use metrics.
Data analytics delivers a wealth of digital data and information on each video and it is an important part of your content strategy. Most video hosting services will provide a range of basic data tools that let you track metrics. They will enable you to see how many times your audience has viewed and shared your video, along with some additional information like the types of people the content has attracted.
A hosting service designed for business users, like Wistia, can provide you with detailed data. Kartoffel Films has found Wistia to be the best all round third-party solution for data analytics. It provides all of the feedback needed to improve a video marketing strategy.
I will introduce you to a few tracking tools below but to explore metrics further please take a look at our 2022 Ultimate Marketing Guide.
The most basic metric for any video content is the view count. This doesn’t mean however that it is not important, in fact, it’s quite the contrary. After all, it doesn’t matter how brilliant, witty, informative, or emotional your video is if nobody is pressing play.
View count gauges how well something is being ‘sold’ over the quality of the content itself. This is why the number can be so variable across your strategy. View count is impacted by factors such as headings, titles, thumbnails, and video length.
Engagement tracks the performance of the video content itself. The metric records how long a viewer watches a video before they stop it or scroll on.
As the engagement rate tracks the percentage of a video that has been watched, you should be aiming for a higher percentage as this means people have been glued to it for longer.
A low percentage engagement rate largely suggests that a video is failing to connect with its viewers, but it can also mean that you are attracting an audience that is not suited to your content. An example of this is so-called ‘clickbait’ tactics in which content lures viewers into clicking on something which often isn’t what they thought it was.
This keeps track of how many viewers are ‘converting’ as a result of having watched your video. Converting could mean subscribing to a service, signing up for a mailing list, or purchasing a product. For promotional content, this is the most important metric there is.
Comments left by video viewers are a priceless and often undervalued form of feedback. They provide qualitative feedback on the video content. What type of engagements does it provoke? What kind of conversations are the commenters having? How does it elicit emotions or spark discussion?
While it’s not nice to receive negative comments, they are just as important as positive reactions. They can help to identify problematic aspects of your content or adjust the tone of your content to better please its audience.
Meaningful goals should be challenging but not impossible. Goals that are impossible or unrealistic will likely prove to be a huge waste of time for your business. I am going to split ‘achievability’ into two types of goals.
Of course the goal ‘we want to outsell Apple’ is measurable, simply find out Apple’s sales figures and compare them to your own, but is it achievable? Highly unlikely.
Ensure that your goals are grounded in reality, this will reduce the likelihood of disappointment and the risk of looking ridiculous. At the same time, it is important to avoid selling yourself short, if you have the ability to create successful content, don’t dismantle your dreams with insecure goals.
Use past data and industry standards to ensure that your goals are challenging enough to provoke determination, but achievable enough to give you a chance at success.
Practical goals are goals set for your actual video production. This includes budget, talent, filming locations, video length, and permits.
Analyse your finances to understand how much you can spend on a video production, shooting with a lower budget is likely to impact the quality of your production. For instance, with a lower budget, it is unlikely that you can shoot in 4K, hire an A-list actor or fly your crew to Bali to do a beach shot. Setting achievable goals that align with your budget will make the production run much more smoothly. Compromises ensure that budget goals will be kept to, like using animation instead of live-action or shooting in HD instead of 4K.
If you are hoping to shoot on location, there is a vast array of practicalities to consider. If you are hoping to shoot in a school, are you allowed to film the children? Or if you are wanting to shoot in the sea, can you source the underwater equipment?
It is also important to consider how much information it is possible to include in your production. If you want to tell the intricate story of your brand, sell a product and present a testimonial review in 2 minutes, you may want to rethink your goals. The story of your brand alone is likely to take 2 minutes to convey effectively, so set your goals accordingly to avoid overloading information.
Relevant goal setting is one of the most important aspects of your video content strategy. Why put your money, time, and energy into something that is going to misrepresent the aims of your business.
To ensure your video isn’t going to be a redundant, or even harmful venture, ensure that you consider the following questions:
- Will this video represent our brand’s personality
- Will it fit into your overall business marketing strategy
- Does the video align with your other current projects
- Is the video going to be relevant to its intended audience
Make sure to identify when you want to start and finish pre-production, production, post-production, and the date of your content launch. Something as simple as a mark on a calendar is a goal.
It is also important to think about how long you want your video to be relevant for. Will it expire a few days after its release or does it have a 10-year life ahead of it? If a piece of content does have a longer shelf life, it may be worth considering how you can make the content ‘evergreen’. This is content that stays fresh and relevant over an extended period. Ideally, it should hold the ability to draw sales or prospects for as long as it is displayed. Animation is suited to evergreen content as it does not date as quickly as live-action content and can be easily edited over time.
SMART goals are a tool to give you direction and a framework for you to measure progress against. Set some time aside when creating your video marketing strategy to set out your goals and have a meeting with other individuals in your team to gather opinions.
Remember to reward yourself and your team at smaller milestones along the way, halfway to reaching one of your SMART goals? Celebrate it! This will keep you motivated and even more determined to reach the final goal.
Developing SMART goals can be tricky and time-consuming, you’ll likely want pros on your side to streamline the process. With over 2000 videos worth of experience, both animated and live-action, we can sort out all of the difficulties and logistics associated with the planning and execution of your video marketing strategy.
Forget any hassle or stress on your part, you can simply sit back, relax and watch the video magic happen. Interested? Contact Kartoffel Films today to get our creative partnership started.