Big Budget Video Advertising On A Small Business Budget – Phil Nottingham

09 April 2019

Posted in: BSEO

Successful video advertising campaigns aren’t just for big budget brands. In this talk, video strategist Phil Nottingham of Wistia will be explaining how smaller companies can take advantage of the improvements in paid video distribution to create and optimize video advertising campaigns which deliver immediate ROI.


Speaker: Phil Nottingham

Job role and company: Video Strategist, Wistia

Twitter profile: @philnottingham

LinkedIn profile: 


Link to the slides: 

What was the talk about?

Phil Nottingham had a mission. He wanted to find out what big businesses are doing well with video advertising. Turns out the majority of brands are burning through money due to non-strategic creative planning.

If you’ve got an offering, you might conclude that you need to increase brand awareness in the market. The strategy? A big advertising campaign, of course. But calling Shoreditch, spending 0% on ideation, 25% on production (which naturally includes the fluffiest dogs, the best cameras and a custom musical score), and 75% on distribution targeting every channel, with wide net targeting in every available format doesn’t necessarily increase your brand awareness.

Instead, flip the big-brand production model (which is entirely broken as it was designed for TV back in the day) on its head, prioritising your goals, then the metrics you ought to track, and investing the majority of your budget into pre-production stages.

Then you’ve got yourself a creative strategy that works.


Fave quotes

Phil had so many cracking tips and tricks that I could quote. Some of the most powerful though were surrounding goals and metrics of video advertising campaigns. Including:

“The number of impressions does not equal the number of people impressed.”

“The number of likes is not the number of people who like it.”

Ultimately, one person truly engaging with your content is worth far more than hundreds of people being exposed to it in passing.

Potential impact on the industry

In addition to revealing a creative strategy that’s anchored to goals and your product/service’s value proposition, Phil provided further insights into the pros and cons of video distribution platforms and how to manipulate their dud metrics to measure your campaign’s impact.

For example, create a video that’s suitable for one or two distribution platforms. A one-size-fits-all approach won’t work, so where can you tell the best story?

Next up, we’ve got video reporting metrics. When looking at the watch time of your video, take it with a pinch of salt. Cool, 30,481 minutes were viewed, 83,583 were 3-second views and 74,119 were 10-second views – but are you actually retaining an audience? The reality is that your minutes viewed is probably in the 1,300 region.

Get smart with your KPIs. Your new efficacy metric should be qualified time watched, and your efficiency metric should be cost per qualified minutes watched.

Here are a couple of calculators from Phil that will help you work out those qualified minutes:

Key takeaways

Phil had plenty of words of wisdom in his talk, but here’s the nitty gritty of bug budget video advertising on a small business budget:

  • Focus 50% of your budget on ideation, 25% on production and 25% on distribution.
  • Place your goals first, then identify the metrics that matter (i.e. those that show the impact of your campaign).
  • Your creative idea is only a problem if it’s divorced from the value proposition of your product or service.
  • A viral video isn’t necessarily a success. It just has to appeal to the view people that really care about what you have to offer.

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