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Three Ways for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) Companies to Turn Video into Value

Posted @ 3:37 pm by Tim Ross | Category: Community & Social Media, Rich Media & Video, Strategy | 0 Comments

This is part five of our series on how Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies can leverage web and mobile technologies to drive business results. View other articles in the series here: part one on increasing sales, part two on driving research and development, part three on improving customer service, part four on mobile innovations, part six on utilizing web content management tools, and part seven on video analytics.   

While CPG marketers have not historically embraced digital marketing strategies as quickly as marketers in other sectors, the growth of online video has definitely gotten them into the game big time. In the last few years, video content has become an essential part of any consumer marketing campaign, and the results are hard to ignore. comScore reports that 100 million Americans watch online video every day, up 43% since 2010. YouTube is still largely driving this traffic uptick, with Pew Research reporting that 71% of online adults reported watching videos on a video-sharing site, and it’s worth noting that numbers of minutes spent watching and number of ads viewed are both way up as well. In fact, Catapult/RPM’s Annual Digital Shopper Marketing Study reports that “watching a video” was the #1 digital activity shoppers engaged in at home as part of the pre-shop experience.

So it’s noteworthy that when it comes to advertising dollars, video advertising platform YuMe found that CPG brands have been leading the pack, spending more on advertising than any other group with 24% of all dollars spent on video advertising in 2011. (Fun fact: two-thirds were spent on non-gender-specific advertising.) In 2012, YuMe found that CPG brands are still the leading online video ad spenders, accounting for nearly 25% of all dollars spent. And it’s paying off. Even in just the last quarter, CPG video viewership rose sharply from Q2 according to research from 33Across. CPG category consumers are 1.5 times as likely to watch online videos than the average web user. In Q3, CPG consumers watched 44% more content. That’s a lot of eyeballs, and it’s been shown to pay off with increased CPG firm sales.

For CPG firms working with web video, direct advertising is only part of the equation. Instructional and educational videos can help inform viewers about how to best use products they’ve purchased and foster brand loyalty. Conversational videos can offer extra information about products that consumers can use at a later time, and some offer a clear call to action to encourage an almost immediate result—even something as simple as, “Don’t you want to try this?” Others use video to further cause marketing campaigns, like the recent Cesar Dog Food videos in support of therapy dogs. Tracking results of these types of videos is different than analyzing advertising revenue and requires a more nuanced view of analytics metrics, including video view length, interaction with video versus ads, and total number of videos watched by a viewer.

So how can CPG firms use video to better connect with shoppers? And how exactly should that be handled? We’ll come back to the more in-depth questions about pairing advertising with video content and how CPG brands can best leverage audience participation. For now, following are three easy ways for CPG companies to play the video game well:

1. Embedded videos

A number of software vendors, including Ooyala, thePlatform, Brightcove, and VMIX Media offer cross-device web video solutions complete with analytics and monetization options. Being able to track data patterns including unique and repeat site visitors, videos watched, time spent watching each, and click-throughs other site pages or products is invaluable to CPG firms that need to correlate increased revenue with online media campaigns. With standardized formats and aspect ratios on everything you host, web video software allows you to integrate video on your site without completely overhauling it. Unilever’s TRESemmé website hosts a variety of how-to and tutorial videos about hair styling and products. Hosting video on your own site also enables more robust tracking metrics for viewership, click-throughs to separate product pages, and ads served. Professional players can also show audiences that you’re serious about quality content and earning their trust. And unlike other video players, videos hosted by these vendors can often not be embedded elsewhere without special permission granted.

Sometimes even branching out to TV-web crossover can be effective, like the Pampers “A Parent Is Born” webisodes that ran on YouTube, the Pampers Village website, and on DIRECTV On Demand.

Last Spring, Pepsi went live with Pepsi Pulse, a social media-driven interactive dashboard for everything pop culture. Their streaming video functionality provided fans with a strong reason to share and go viral. “Pepsi Pulse is a cheat sheet for pop culture,” Shiv Singh, global head of digital for PepsiCo Beverages told Mashable. “It’s not enough anymore to have phenomenal TV ads—brands have to do more.”

And this past Halloween, Mars Inc. devoted a lot of attention to online video via shopper marketing efforts with retailer Walmart. For example, Mars and Walmart used the new Jingit mobile payment and engagement platform whereby participants earned cash for watching ads online, while Snickers featured a video as part of their sponsorship of’s Halloween microsite.

2. Video-sharing sites

YouTube is the most obvious and well-known example here, but other sites like Vimeo, Metacafe, Blip, and Crackle are standalone services where viewers navigate independently of CPG web properties. These types of platforms can make it easier to share content across types of mobile devices without altering or scaling mobile websites to fit video content. With the right tags and paid promotional slots on various landing pages within the video content sites, your content will also be discoverable in a way that content embedded directly into a CPG web property will not. Advertising can also link viewers of other videos to your content or channel page. Procter and Gamble link to their YouTube channel from their website front page.

It’s also possible to embed this content elsewhere, which means CPG sites can link to the videos and encourage embedding and sharing on forums, blogs, and other independent websites. They can even embed these videos on their own sites, like this Kimberly Clark Kotex YouTube video.

3. Let the Crowd Join In

When companies create videos that can be downloaded and remixed by fans and consumers, the possibilities for viral video exposure grow exponentially. When Cadbury’s 2009 Eyebrows video came out, a number of spoofs popped up almost immediately (including one featuring British pop star Lily Allen). Sometimes, firms can even learn from consumers that make their own fan videos—this Tide commercial based on what was first just a funny fan video is a great example. Tracking analytics on third-party sites can require some additional legwork, though, and they also tend to offer a less comprehensive viewership overview. While YouTube offers analytics, for example, their data is far less comprehensive than reports offered by Brightcove.

As online video watching plays an increasingly more important role in the shopping experience and the technology to support and measure the results of video campaigns improves, the possibilities for CPG brands to successfully integrate online video into their marketing plans are truly endless.


Authors: Tim Ross, President of SolutionSet and Stacey Rubin, VP of Client Services at CatapultRPM.

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