5 Ways to Master and Monetize Your Video Strategy

No matter if you’re a leading brand in the world of social video or just dipping your toes into video experimentation, organizations face similar challenges and opportunities when it comes to this evolving arena. Video can be an effective marketing tool for brands in a variety of ways—from extending reach and awareness to driving consumers further down the funnel to purchase. No matter your goal, what can’t be denied is the ever-increasing consumption of digital video by consumer audiences.

According to market research company eMarketer, over the past four years, daily consumption of the medium has increased by a total of a half an hour. That’s incredibly significant: the average consumption of select activities including social media and digital radio, by comparison, has only increased by 5-10 minutes. With these types of exponential gains, brands should be looking closely at their digital video strategies and thinking about ways they can optimize their investment in this area. Last week, in our Mastering & Monetizing Video Webinar, industry experts Spike Jones, VP of Strategy at Spredfast and Mariel Clark, VP of Digital Video & Editorial at HGTV dove into these topics and shared what it takes to unlock the ROI of digital video—and how to master video to draw viewers in. Below, we've covered 5 specific webinar highlights you can use in your strategy today—but also be sure to watch the webinar in its entirety for even more takeaways.

Video can be an effective marketing tool for brands in a variety of ways—from extending reach and awareness to driving consumers further down the funnel to purchase.


1. Start with the Purpose

When you think about video and creating videos as part of your brand, we have to start with purpose and the why. What are you trying to accomplish through this video and what action do you want our target audience to take? You may be creating this video to start a discussion, to help buyers through their purchase decision, to create a sharing opportunity, or to answer a product question. Whatever that goal may be, keep it top of mind throughout the creation of the video—and don’t lose sight of it post-launch. Based on the goal, start to think about how the video fits into the overall purchase funnel. If the purpose of the video is to generate awareness (a very top of funnel activity), videos should be simple and brief. If you’re creating a how-to video or providing a feature comparison, longer videos are best because people are interested in the details and what you have to say (so don’t be afraid to say it!).

2. Keep Factors that Make Videos Shareable Top of Mind

Why do people share online and offline? Spike Jones explored three main reasons people are likely to share content: ego, info (information), and emo (emotion). Starting with ego, people like to share videos when it makes them look good in front of their peers. An example of that could be someone sharing a video of them making a big accomplishment – like finishing a marathon or competing in a Tough Mudder race. For info, it’s all about sharing videos that highlight new information about a product/service or helps to deconstruct complicated topics (think: fracking, net neutrality, blockchain). Emo is all about emotion: videos that invoke feelings like rage or happiness. Leading up to Halloween, HGTV decided to divert from their beautiful how-to videos and instead created a how-to video that would evoke very different sets of emotions (think: gross, ew).


The video ended up performing very well for them and was a compelling contrast to their other Halloween-inspired content. By thinking about your content in terms of these three buckets, you know your video has a great probability of being shared.

3. Test Different Monetization Strategies

The way HGTV thinks about video monetization plays into three different buckets. The first one is selling ads: you can run your content and have display ads, or you can use pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll ads. While these types of ads are not available on all networks, it’s something for your brand to consider. The second option is to monetize via direct consumer sales or by syndicating. One example of direct consumer sales is Amazon, and if you go on Amazon, you can buy episodes of your favorite series and shows. If you’re a creator of that content, that’s one way that you can get your content in front of an audience and have them pay to get it. The third option is branded content, where you can monetize through product placement within advertorial or editorial content. HGTV has partnered with companies like Lowe’s, Benjamin Moore, and Moo to create branded editorial videos where the focus is either on product or about a shared creative vision. Check out the partnered content Target and HGTV created this past holiday season:

We’re loving these 3 mix-and-match mantels. What’s your favorite?

A post shared by HGTV (@hgtv) on


4. Set Benchmarks for Success

You’re not going to know how well your video did if you don’t have benchmarks set. Set them specific to your brand and audience and update them frequently (social network algorithms often change and update). Views, click-through rate, engagement rate, and percent of earned views (viability) are all good KPIs to evaluate when setting those benchmarks.

Setting benchmarks to measure the success of your video content is a must. Make sure your benchmarks adapt as social network algorithms are always in flux.


5. Explore Emerging Digital Video Tools

There are a variety of emerging digital video formats that are worth investigating by your brand. Snapchat is one of those tools, but keep in mind that from a monetization perspective, it’s still only a fraction of what Facebook is doing. In terms of Snapchat video best practices, try to stick to their style (raw, unedited, simple and short, talent speaking to the camera). Instagram Stories are another great tool for digital video experimentation and have been a great hit for HGTV, who has done a lot of experimentation with these kinds of short-lived collections of photos and videos. If you’re integrating advertisers into these collections, they need to understand the lifecycle of the videos. Finally, there’s Facebook Watch, which launched in August of 2017 and is Facebook’s platform for shows.

No matter where you are you in your digital video content journey, there are a variety of ways that you can think even more deeply about your video engagement and monetization strategies. Always remember – start with the why, always be open to testing, and set benchmarks so you can evaluate the success of your videos. And if you’re hungry for more specific advice and strategies from Spredfast and HGTV alike, be sure to watch the full webinar, available anytime, for free.


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Adriana Santos is a Customer Marketing Manager at Spredfast, leading communications and programming across our customer base. Her free time is spent rummaging vintage shops, sewing flirty summer dresses, and practicing her ping-pong skills.