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What to do when your video marketing results stagnate: A troubleshooting guide

Sometimes you plan a big video marketing campaign, and it falls a little flat. All might not be lost. There are a few things you can try to jumpstart your campaign.

If you aren’t getting the results you hoped for out of your B2B video marketing, this troubleshooting guide can help you determine where you might have gotten off track and how to get realigned.

Step 1: Ask yourself: How are you measuring performance?

First things first, how are you defining performance? Before you continue to troubleshoot, ask yourself: How are you defining “not working,” and were the KPIs realistic in the first place?

To determine if your KPIs were achievable, make sure they were benchmarked against a comparable past project. For example, if last year’s campaign had 2,000 YouTube views in the first week that lead to 5 MQLs, and you decided that this year’s goal should be 4,000 views and 10 MQLs — maybe you should look at adjusting your growth target to something more realistic than “doubled.”

If this is your first video marketing campaign and you don’t have any previous campaigns to benchmark against, then don’t sweat the KPIs at all! Your campaign’s performance may be just right for your company and audience. You now have a benchmark for what’s realistic going forward. Maybe you were hoping for more, but your goals may have been too ambitious, and that’s ok. Consider using this campaign as your baseline for future campaigns to beat.

However, if you have done campaigns in the past that saw significantly better results, read on.

Step 2: Conduct easy checks and fixes

Start with the smaller, easier things to fix. Run through this checklist and make sure you’re giving your video ads the best chance to succeed.

  • Evaluate your YouTube title and description. Is it optimized for search? Do you have a clear CTA and next step for viewers to take in the description? (Ex: “Learn more and book a demo at our website!” and include a hyperlink properly formatted for YouTube.)
  • Do you have an eye-catching thumbnail on YouTube and social channels?
  • How did you promote the video(s)? Did you have a distribution strategy, and was it followed?
  • Do your sales people know the videos are available, and have they been trained on how to add them to their standard sales process?
  • If you’re running paid ads, check all the targeting against your campaign strategy. Determine who is responding to the spot. Reinforce winning platforms, copy, and targets. Reduce spend on losers.
  • If you’re not running paid ads, consider adding some budget for them. The organic lifespan of a video on most social channels is mere days. YouTube has a long shelf life, but it can take months to build if you don’t have a highly trafficked channel. For reliable results promptly, consider paid. (And remember if you are benchmarking against a competitor: they probably got lots of their views through paid ads!)

Once you make these changes, give the campaign another week or two and see if you get better performance. If so, great! You can stop here. If it’s still lackluster, move to the next step.

Step 3: Solicit feedback from your sales or customer service teams

Talk to the people who talk to your prospects every day. Solicit honest feedback on the video. You can use the questions below to get the conversation started.

  • Are you using the video during the sales process? Why or why not?
  • Does the video address prospects’ common questions or pain points?
  • Have you gotten any feedback from prospects on the video? Has anyone cited it as a reason they reached out, or commented that they found it helpful?

Once you have the responses from the sales team, evaluate whether the consensus is positive or negative. If positive, then the video is working! Hooray! Go back up to step one and ask yourself why you think the video performance needs improvement. If you simply want to supercharge it, consider putting money behind it with paid advertising (or more paid advertising).

If the response is neutral to negative, then move on to step 4.

Step 4: Revisit the creative

This step is the most drastic and potentially expensive. The reason your video isn’t performing could be the video itself. Use the questions below to evaluate it, and try to be as dispassionate as possible. We make video ads every day, and each project is our creative baby. It is HARD to look at your baby and decide it’s ugly. And now this metaphor has gone too far. Anyway, be objective.

Critical question 1: Where are you losing viewers?

First and foremost, look at YouTube’s “Audience retention” metric. Evaluate where you are losing viewers in the spot. In some cases, a simple re-edit could be enough to make a big difference.

For example, we once ran a spot that starts out looking like a generic corporate video with people smiling and talking in slow motion around a conference table. At around 7 seconds in, an actor enters the scene and reveals that the others are trapped in a slow motion hell.

When the spot wasn’t performing as well as we had hoped, we looked at the audience retention data and saw that lots of people were dropping off around 5 seconds, which was before the turn. They only saw what looked like a boring corporate video. We re-edited the spot to bring in the turn a few seconds earlier. View duration went through the roof, and the spot continues to perform for us. Changes of seconds can make a real difference.

Critical question 2: Is your ad an example of “consensus creative”?

Consensus creative is what everyone else in your industry is doing. For example, if you sell perfume, consensus creative is putting a beautiful actress in a designer silk dress with a fan blowing. Everyone looking at it can tell it’s a perfume ad, but it’s hard to make your brand stand out and be memorable if everyone sounds the same.

In B2B, we’ve been able to show our clients two videos from two competitors that have the exact same stock footage clip included. How do you expect your prospects to remember you when you and your competitor literally use the same footage?

To determine if you have consensus creative, conduct a competitive analysis. Does your video stand out from the herd, or blend right in? If it blends, then it’s going to be less effective. For this campaign, you’ll have to pay to overcome the consensus by putting more money into advertising, and try to make something outside of consensus next time.

Critical question 3: Is your ad boring?

Ok, hear me out. I’m not trying to be mean. Dispassionately watch your spot and ask yourself:

  • Would I keep watching this if it wasn’t literally my job?
  • What value does this video provide to viewers?
  • Does it speak to prospects and their challenges, or just our company?

Sometimes videos don’t perform because they aren’t good. That’s ok! I promise, it happens. Take this as a learning opportunity for next time. When you start your next campaign, be sure to start with a robust strategy and spend time developing creative ideas. If you need help, reach out.





Picture of Guy bauer, founder of umault

Guy has been making commercial videos for over 20 years and is the author of “Death to the Corporate Video: A Modern Approach that Works.” He started the agency in 2010 after a decade of working in TV, film and radio. He’s been losing hair and gaining weight ever since.

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