Press play: Digital video’s long-term brand building role

Andy Vale

By Andy Vale
13 Mar 2020

6 min read


According to Cisco, 82% of all web traffic will be video by 2022, and very few marketing teams don’t have it somewhere in their tactical plan.1 But why should you use it?

At this year’s Digital City Festival, we were intrigued by Jon Bezalel’s talk that focused on using video to help build a brand that stood the test of time. Jon is a Digital Strategist at Accord Marketing, and spends a lot of time looking at things that will make a long-term difference.

Search is great at harvesting demand, but it doesn’t create it. According to Google, only 4% of time is actually spent in search engines. The other 96% is spent on websites, on social channels, in emails, or doing other things. This 96% of the time is where you can build your brand and help create that demand.

Jon Bezalel | Digital Strategist, Accord Marketing

If you couldn’t make Jon’s talk, here are some of the key lessons we took away from it, and how you can start thinking about the position of video in your brand strategy.

Brand vs Activation: It’s an equation, not a fight

Activation marketing delivers information and incentive at the point of need, generating a direct response. Think special offers or limited-time deals. These give short term sales uplifts and instant ROI. However, when you turn it off decay happens fast.

Brand building activities such as TV, outdoors, display, digital video, and radio may nudge people towards a sale, but their primary goal is delivering a message that resonates and is hard to forget. The effects are not immediate, and tend to take a good six months before you see them. But how many famous ads can you recall from years gone by? These are a testament to brand building being done well.

Ideally, your strategy will make room for both approaches. The general wisdom is that 60% of your budget should be focused on brand and 40% on activation.

Digital killed the TV star

Well, they should work together so perhaps ‘killed’ is a bit strong, but here are some of the advantages that digital video has which should be utilised.

Digital video boosts your reach where TV can't

Depending on your audience, you may find that a lot of them don’t watch much traditional TV, or they may only watch certain shows on demand. But if they are getting most of their content online then there’s a good chance that you’ll be more able to target them with digital video.

Hollywood results, Borehamwood prices

Once you have filmed your content, it can be edited on a laptop, uploaded immediately, and you can begin promoting right away with the budget that suits you. This low commercial entry point gives great flexibility for tactical and creative opportunities.

More accuracy from better digital targeting, less waste

Jon is keen to stress that waste isn’t always a bad thing when building a large brand. If you want to make sure your audience is fully aware of your brand, then you’ll inevitably reach some people outside of that as collateral.

But accuracy is a key point here. If you want to reach people who have visited your website, or are following a particular influencer, then you can target them in good confidence that you are reaching those precise people. Reach and frequency can be boosted solely on the people you care most about.

Personalise and sequence messaging

We’ve all heard that getting the right message to someone at the right time is important. But the odds of it being the right time for three million Love Island viewers all at once is minimal. Digital channels enable you to be a little bit smarter.

“Digital channels allow you to greatly personalise your message to customers based on where they are in the journey. Has someone visited your website and followed you on a social platform? They probably need a different message in order to convert compared to somebody who hasn’t heard of you before.”

Dress Rehearsal: Test and learn your video content

Digital channels allow brands to test videos and ideas out quickly before spending significant amounts on TV spots. Once they’ve got something that resonates with their target audience, they can pull the trigger. Alternatively, if it’s not connecting then they can make tweaks swiftly and try a new version the next day.

Let’s look at an example. Offering free shipping can come at great cost to a retailer, but isn’t always the most exciting perk for a customer. K-Mart wanted to highlight this benefit in a fun, memorable way.

Their idea had the potential to miss the mark with some audiences (you will soon see why), but by testing it out online first they could see how it connected, and gave them the confidence to launch a bigger campaign. It led to a viral success that generated millions of views and a spike in search volume.

Putting it into practice

Let’s take a quick look at a classic to see how this all comes together

Old Spice was losing ground to new players in the male fragrance market. They needed to refresh their brand in the minds of the buyer, which led to questions about who was really buying their product.

Their research showed that 60% of body wash for men was actually purchased by one of the women in their life. So how could they provoke a conversation between couples? It’s time to meet the man your man could smell like.

This is clearly a great TV spot, but it actually went live online before its TV debut at the Superbowl. Its second phase was the one that many brands can learn a lot from, the response.

They collated the responses on social media and produced individual videos for many of them, creating a wealth of content with minimal resources and generated over six million views in the first day of it going live.

They became the most subscribed consumer brand channel on YouTube, for a body wash brand.

These are nice metrics, but the real upside was that sales doubled within six months, and it’s an aesthetic that people still associate with the brand to this day.

That’s not happening with a BOGOF campaign.

Who saw the show?

Once you have put together your exciting, video-rich campaigns, it becomes vitally important that you know how they performed throughout the buying journey. After all, if your brand work is intended to build long-term demand, you need to know what’s leading people to you when it’s time to harvest that demand.

The social platforms will have insights on views and reach, and according to Wyzowl 89% of marketers say video gives a good ROI.2 But without attribution of all journeys this cannot be proved, so knowing what led to clicks and purchases later is also crucial.

If phone calls represent an important part of your buying cycle then you need to ensure you can connect them to as many digital journeys as possible, this is where call tracking fills a gap. Start a conversation with Infinity to see how we can help. Send us a message here, give us a call, or talk to us via our live chat service on the right.


1) Video will account for 82% of all internet traffic by 2022, Fierce Video, (Nov 2018)
2) 155 Marketing Statistics to consider going into 2021, The Marketing Helpline, (Oct 2020)

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