As Napoleon Bonaparte would likely tell you, the key to any successful campaign is strategy. That and not getting bogged down in a land war during the Russian winter. Oh, and never underestimating a salty old seadog. But we digress… Returning to the first of those laid-out tenets, strategy is the key to giving your video the best chance of delivering a meaningful Return On Investment (ROI).

One of the perennial grumbles about video production is that it can be tricky to accurately measure the ROI. But there’s really no reason this should be the case. The analytics information available for online video, for instance, are actually very detailed, providing you with such data as completion rate, length of view, and which sections are being skipped and which are being re-watched.

So the measurement tools are available. The problem is that projects can often be instigated, developed, created and delivered without it ever being entirely clear what it is that ultimately is going to be measured. Which is a folly, as just about the only thing that unites the disparate opinions of video marketeers when it comes to the topic of ROI is that you need to know your goals ahead of anything else.

Without defined objectives, how will success be judged? How can an approach be decided upon? How can a delivery method/platform be selected? How can the question even be answered as to whether video is definitely the most effective form of communication to adopt?

Here are two projects produced by Spectrecom which show how clear objectives translate into effective creative…

CASE STUDY # 1: Lancaster University, ‘45th Anniversary’

For this project, the underlying objective was to increase interest in Lancaster from prospective students, by demonstrating its history and excellence, its industry links and research pedigree.

Designed for DVD use, rather than online, we knew a longer runtime would be the right choice, as someone who has committed to watching a DVD would be seeking a greater level of detail than someone filling in a YouTube search bar.

And the words of the contributors are reinforced throughout that runtime by the filming techniques on show. From sleek graphics, to archive footage, to stunning aerials, to tracking shots – the very feel of the video complements the message throughout.

The client feedback was tremendous, with Lancaster’s Alumni & Development Manager Nick Fragel noting that the video production had contributed to a “31% increase in admissions interest at undergraduate level, and a much higher growth in overseas postgraduate interest.”

CASE STUDY # 2: University of Aberdeen

Universities are such richly multifaceted environments that it can be tempting to throw the proverbial kitchen sink at any video production seeking to provide an overview of an institution. However, to unfurl an abominable cliché, less can be more, particularly on YouTube, where attention spans are often as short as the Incredible Shrinking Man, and talking heads only attract views if they feature David Byrne.

Hence our approach to this recent Aberdeen film, where the client’s original aim of creating a general online promo was translated into a tantalising snapshot of life at the University, with a commercial music track entirely supplanting the sound-bites and interview spots that might be expected.

The results have been fantastic, with more than 58,000 views in seven months, and strong engagement too in terms of ‘likes’.

Take a look at some more of our student recruitment work here.

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