Tim Jarvis
Tim Jarvis on 7 June 2021

Why video is vital in a cookie-less future

If you’re in the digital marketing space, you would have heard about the changes that are afoot when it comes to third party cookies and tracking on your website.

Apple has already updated their privacy policy - giving users the chance to opt-out of tracking pixels within apps from the App Store. And the rest of the world’s biggest tech firms such as Google Chrome, Android Devices and many other consumption platforms and devices are set to follow suit. This is a big change for marketing professionals and, understandably, it has caused a lot of panic. But it’s not all bad news. Yes, things are changing, but with the right strategy in place, you can take full advantage of this change as we enter the unknown!

But, before we look at the opportunities and the route forward, let’s take a look at what has happened and how we’ve got to this place.

I mean, it’s been coming. Privacy - and not just tracking pixels or cookies - have been a hot topic for some time. Facebook were up to no good with their relationship with Cambridge Analytica creating an app that harvested the data of up to 87 million Facebook profiles to aid political advertising. Apparently. Allegedly. This is not legal advice!

That brought to the forefront the way in which social sites, brands and, I’m sorry to say, marketers, know too much about too many people. Ultimately, we’re all to blame for this - kind of. But this data has undoubtedly helped us to market to our audiences with crystal clear clarity and focus.

Then, we’ve had multiple data leaks from hundreds of the world’s leading brands. Again, calling into question just how much these big brands know about us, our activity and, ultimately, our lives. It’s got a bit too intrusive and public opinion, or attitudes, have now grown to resent the collection of what many consumers believe is unnecessarily intrusive.

To cut a long story short, the fightback is underway. Brands with a better conscience, or will to please the many, are starting to fight back. And this has culminated in the biggest change to digital marketing since, well, cookies and pixels were introduced.

So, what can’t we do now that we could do before? Well, the biggest impact is going to be understanding who has visited our websites and not being able to remarket to them back on social media. There are many other implications, but this is the big one for marketing professionals - particularly when it comes to content marketing.

Previously, we’d look to attract our target audience to our brand through the use of strategically created and delivered content that enabled us to build what are called custom audiences. The concept here is that if we can hook our audience in with content that relates to them - their drivers, their goals, their aspirations, their challenges, worries, fears - then serve far more relevant content to this targeted audience.

That’s in the awareness stage and typically, we’d look to direct them back to our website, so they could engage further with consideration and decision stage content. But, because they were on our site, we were able to track what pages they viewed, content they consumed, products they researched, and even items they added-to-cart for the e-commerce brands. If they dropped off the site for whatever reason, we were able to very confidently market to them back on social media knowing exactly what they were interested in. This allowed us to dramatically cut our cost per lead, cost per acquisition and return on investment. That’s all changed.

So, referring back to the title of this blog, why is that such a good thing for video? Well, let me explain.

Now that we are not able to track what is happening on our site, we need to find another way to build custom audiences of engaged prospects. We could just serve our Consideration Stage or Decision Stage content to a massive cold audience, but that’s going to be ridiculously expensive and I can pretty much guarantee that it’s going to be hugely unprofitable. We still do need to send people back to our site, but the shift is that we only want to be sending them to our site when we are confident that we can convert them immediately to a lead, an enquiry, or a sale - depending on what your objectives are.

This is where video comes into play. Video is going to play a significant and vital role in the Awareness and Consideration Stage. Here’s the thing, the typical cost of a click through to your website when promoting content on social platforms is in the region of 50p to £1 - depending on the strength of your content and the information included. The cost of a conversion, so generating a lead, can range anywhere from £1, right up to £25+ again depending on a few variables. But the average cost of an engaged video view is half a penny.

So let’s put this into context, in the Awareness stage, we want to be building a large audience of prospects that are likely to be suitable for the service or product that we offer. We can build custom audiences of people that engage with our content - so that could be a like, a comment, a share, a click, or, you guessed it, a video view. By building our custom audiences off the back of video views, we can create a huge audience of people that we know are engaged. On Facebook, for example, we can build custom audiences of people that have engaged with 75% of our video content. And if they have engaged with 75% of a video, it’s fair to say that they’re pretty engaged and can be moved on to the next stage of the buyer’s journey. If you’re not 100% on our approach to the buyer’s journey, we’ve got a video for that, so check that out once you’re done here.

Now, because we don’t have the ability to track people that visit our website, all of our filtering and custom audience growth HAS to happen on social media. But that’s fine because, if we’re creating the right kind of content, we can do that with significant success on social through the use of video engagement. And, I’m going to say the c word, it’s CHEAP!

It’s obviously still important to get our target audience back to our site at some stage. For most of us, that’s where the lead is going to be generated, the enquiry is going to be submitted, or the purchase takes place. But because of these changes, we only want to be sending people back to our site when we are confident that they are going to convert to our goal. The changes have put a greater emphasis on lead generation and actually owning that data - and I mean the prospect giving their data to you with consent.

Therefore, we need to structure our content strategy around this. Build a mass audience of engaged prospects on the platforms that they spend their time on, then build out strong and powerful content that is designed to send them back to your site and convert them to a lead, enquiry or sale. And because we’re using video to do this work for us, it’s powerful, informative, enjoyable, cost-effective and, ultimately, it works.

Now, if you’d like to find out how to build out your content strategy to drive powerful results and guarantee a positive ROI, I want you to join me on my next free training session. These take place each Tuesday and Thursday at 11am in the UK and, of course, I’d love for you to join.

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