Today’s Online Video Marketing Deep Dive blog at Target Marketing Magazine is a case study that illustrates the effectiveness of online video. Hopefully it will give you a few ideas about how you might use video for your marketing programs. So let me set the stage for you.
The organization for today’s case study is a performing chorus. It’s a non-profit. The group entertains thousands of people every year in its show series. Its challenge was making up a significant gap in ticket sales for its Fall Shows in September. Ultimately not only did we close the gap, but we surpassed the budget. And it’s the online video program that has been credited with the turnaround.
Let me give you some background. The name of the organization is The Vocal Majority Chorus. The chorus has about 100 performers, all men, all volunteers. It’s professional grade and performs throughout the U.S. before about 20,000 people every year.
The chorus sings a wide variety of music such as Broadway tunes, love songs, patriotic music and more. The VM, as it’s often called, is a part of the Barbershop Harmony Society. I do marketing work on a pro bono basis for the organization. And in case you wondered, I’m one of the volunteer performers in the chorus.
After a 5 year break from having done the marketing for the chorus, I returned to marketing in September, and it was a golden opportunity for Perry and I to see if we could spin a little video magic into the marketing mix .At the first of September we had less than a month to sell over 1,200 tickets and close the gap of over $10,000 in sales.
The postcards to the patron list had already been sent. The radio ads would be forgotten minutes after they ran, so our sales would need to come from a combination of email marketing to about 10K on our opt-in email list and about 1,400 Facebook group members. We believed the best way we could break through the clutter was with online video.
So we created a special website, named VocalMajorityShows.com. Over the course of four weeks, we created four videos, each deploying about one per week. All 4 videos were posted on Facebook, and three of the videos were promoted to the patron email list. Of special note, on the special web landing page, we used a Facebook plug-in so our patrons could leave comments to help engage and generate more interest. We ended up with 44 comments, which, for a first time out, seemed pretty good. We didn’t know what to expect.
We began with just one video on the web page, then slowly added each video week-by-week.
The first video was a short 35 second clip of one of our directors talking up a rehearsal for the show. This video was recorded on an iPhone and posted just on Facebook. When it generated a lot of interest, we added it to the website. So far this video has been viewed nearly 500 times.
Our second video was a more professional produced trailer of songs and an interview with another of our directors. It was 2:10 minutes, and featured audio recordings of new songs, never before performed for the public, that would be on the show. It was sort of a “behind-the-scenes” tease about what would be on the show. We sent out an email to nearly 10,000 patrons, it had a 30% open rate, and 16% click-thru to the landing page. In just days, that video has been viewed nearly 800 times, with about 60% watching the entire video all the way to the end, which, by the way, is above average based on YouTube analytics.
Our third video was with another director using a sound track of the chorus’s new songs. It was short, just 55 seconds, but was viewed over 400 times, with three-quarters watching all of it.
And our last video was shot the night of the technical rehearsal. This video featured a quick 1:10 interview with our three directors. I recorded it, got the footage to Perry overnight, and he had it edited and had it online the next morning. We sent out an email to our list of 10K patrons, over 25% of them opened and 13% clicked through to the video. It was watched over 200 times, and three-quarters watched to the very end.
Even though the videos were shot informally, we recorded the audio on a separate digital audio recorder for quality and clarity, and Perry synced them in editing. He also added a consistent open and close to each video, which strengthened the branding and continuity.
Every one of our videos had a high relative audience retention rate according to YouTube, so we know there was audience engagement.
I mentioned that we posted the videos to the group’s Facebook Group page. There are over 1400 fans there. A lot of the performers are on Facebook and they shared the videos with their friends to help build a viral effect which worked.
Overall traffic to VocalMajorityShows.com from the day we launched, to show date, was over 2,400 unique visitors, with about 350 of those from Facebook.
In terms of clicks to the online ticket order page, nearly 700 clicked through.
The bottom line is that about 1,300 tickets, or nearly $22,000 in tickets were sold during this campaign. While the numbers may be small to a lot of marketers, I assure you that $10,000 isn’t small to any non-profit organization. The video program has energized the organization, and several folks I’ve talked to have related how they saw the video, shared it with their friends, and because of the video, their friends decided to come to the show. And the bottom line, is that not only did we close the gap of sales, but we actually surpassed the budget.
Our next challenge will be promoting the Christmas Shows, with an inventory of 7,500 tickets to sell. The video series we’re planning will be called “Behind the Curtain” and will feature interviews with the people making costumes, building the set, and much more. Recording starts soon.