Interesting Advertising Experiments HubSpot Tried in 2020 [+ Takeaways for Marketers]

Interesting Advertising Experiments HubSpot Tried in 2020 [+ Takeaways for Marketers]

The other day, I was on a run and listening to my trusty Spotify playlist. Lo and behold, in between two of my favorite pump-up jams, I hear a HubSpot audio advertisement trickle through my headphones.

It’s not uncommon for me to see HubSpot ads on social media or Google, but Spotify was a new one.

This experience made me curious about what other kinds of advertisements our team at HubSpot had tested out this year. So I sat down with a few folks on our advertising and editorial teams.

Below, they share some interesting lessons and takeaways regarding the different platforms and audiences they tested in 2020.

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Advertising Experiments HubSpot Tried in 2020

“While HubSpot has traditionally been relatively direct response-focused (with software signups being the main acquisition goal), one of the biggest takeaways from our advertising in 2020 actually revolves around driving awareness through brand advertising,” shared Rex Gelb, Director, Acquisition Analytics & Paid Advertising at HubSpot.

In early 2020, the team realized they were reaching diminishing returns on many of their existing ad channels, namely search and social ads, and saw it as an opportunity to branch out.

They spearheaded this effort based on the guiding principle that the HubSpot audience is comprised of people with different media habits.

“What works for one person might not work for everyone, so we were likely only reaching a small segment of them through [direct response ads],” said Jillian Hope, Senior Marketing Manager, Brand Advertising at HubSpot. “But in reality, our audience is listening to podcasts, they’re reading articles in the New York Times or The Wall Street Journal,they’re watching Hulu, they’re doing all these different activities throughout the day.”

So, by expanding where they showed HubSpot ads, the team hypothesized they could reach a much larger segment of their audience and make new consumers aware of HubSpot.

As I chatted with these experts, a few key platforms stood out.

1. Audio Advertising

“In 2020, we started doubling down on [podcasts]. It started as more of an awareness play, but we’ve invested in this really neat tool called Podsights,” said Jillian. Podsights is a podcast attribution tool through which the team measures when someone hears a podcast ad and returns to the site, and becomes a lead.

(Can I plug an audio file in COS? https://wiki.hubspotcentral.net/display/marketing/2020+Year+in+Review%3A+HubSpot%27s+First+Brand+Advertising+Push)

The team has tested a few direct buys with specific podcasts, like NPR’s How I Built This and Masters of Scale. They’ve also done some national radio buys on NPR and a few Spotify Audio Everywhere ads (for those Spotify users who don’t pay for premium).

2. Hulu Advertising

“[In addition to podcast advertising,] we’re diversifying into new channels and also looking for opportunities to really measure and hone in on what’s working even from a direct response standpoint, including Hulu,” Jillian shared.

That’s right — this year, consumers turned on their TV to see some of HubSpot’s first advertisements on streaming channels. The team found that Hulu has high completion rates (about 99%) because the network’s ads are unskippable. “This made it a great tactic for testing out more creative messaging and executions because our audience was tuning into the full ad,” shared Alicia Collins, Copywriting & Brand Strategy at HubSpot.

Alicia worked on much of HubSpot’s 2020 brand advertising campaigns, including the Hulu push.

3. YouTube Advertising

Video as a whole gave the team more room to deliver value through education, entertainment, and inspiration, especially compared to a display or static social advertisement.

“Because YouTube is a Google-owned property,” Jillian said, “we had the ability to target people who are actively searching for content related to our products, so our ads are relevant to their work.”

In fact, Rex shared one of the most successful tests they ran: YouTube’s “affinity audiences,” Affinity audiences are audiences that Google’s algorithm identifies as likely to be interested in your product(s).

“While the algorithm is a bit of a black box, trusting their data ultimately paid off for us, generating some of the most cost-efficient, high-quality impressions and video views, which in turn yielded a great brand lift (as reported by surveys), and a measurable increase in incremental Google searches,” reported Rex.

So, what does developing this brand advertising campaign creative look like?

According to Alicia: “When you’re thinking about brand awareness advertising, you have to think about who you’re coming in contact with.”

Most people who interact with HubSpot’s brand awareness advertisements have never heard of HubSpot — versus those who see the typical direct response advertising. “There’s a reason why people are getting targeted with [direct response] ads; they’ve seen our content, they’ve been on our website, and they’ve interacted with our posts.”

The same can’t be said for this new brand advertising push. Alicia and her team are trying to reach a completely new audience, meaning they have to create clear, direct ads that communicate what HubSpot is and who it’s for.

“[We’re aiming for] eye-catching and engaging, so people are either enticed to click-through to learn more or simply stop and take a second look,” Alicia shared.

advertising experiments hubspot tried in 2020 sales hub enterprise brand awareness

Speaking of second looks, Alicia has learned just how different the brand advertising strategy can be. “[It’s a] bit different because, again, people don’t see one social ad and immediately remember your brand. It takes like seven or eight impressions for someone to start recalling.”

In her opinion, brand awareness work is unlike a lot of other bottom-of-the-funnel work. “It’s not that there’s only a science to it, but there’s also a bit of an art,” she shared. “It’s [all about] trying to find the right balance between solving for the data and the short-term results, and thinking about where you want to be in the long-term.”

She encourages those who want to invest in brand awareness plays to be patient. “It can take a long time to move [brand awareness] metrics; raising brand awareness can take years and millions of dollars,” said Alicia.

In her experience, people who want to invest in new channels and audiences tend to put their money in one place. But Alicia and her teammates have found that no one spends all their time on one channel.

advertising experiments hubspot tried in 2020 hubspot cms brand awareness

For example, you might prefer to start your day listening to a podcast, read a few articles during lunch, and watch your favorite Hulu show to unwind after work. However, your coworker might like to start their day watching cable news, scroll through social media during lunch, and travel to the gym (passing multiple billboards) after work. “You’re just getting multiple touch points throughout the day and sharing your stories in new, unique ways,” said Alicia.

Jillian agreed: “What works for some won’t work for all. If we limit channels, we risk not reaching a large segment of our audience.”

And the more channels on which consumers can see HubSpot, the more likely they are to remember and return.

Read more about developing your own cross-channel or omnichannel advertising strategy on the HubSpot Blog.

advertising plan

7 Key Takeaways for Writing a Successful Animation Script for Your Business

7 Key Takeaways for Writing a Successful Animation Script for Your Business

If you want to create an engaging animated video, you need well-written animation script for more effective results.

Animated Video is one of the most preferred and updated marketing strategies to capture the attention of your target audience. When you have something significant and something new to tell your audience – for e.g. about your brand or the launch of a new product/service, you must choose an animated video as ultimate enticing tool.

In this era when the video plays a crucial role in reaching to a wide network of clients, every business must use animated videos as a promotional tool.

An animated video has various genres-

  • Explainer Video
  • Educational Video
  • Instructional Video
  • Informative Video
  • Promotional Video

In addition to that, different styles and techniques-

  • Traditional animation
  • 2D Vector-based animation
  • 3D computer animation
  • Motion graphics
  • Stop motion

Although, scripts for each of the genres and techniques have similar formats, yet the tone of narration changes depending on the requirement. Hence, for the scriptwriter, the initial step is to understand the business requirement and then develop a unique and original script. Writing an animation script becomes easy when you find out what your audience wants.

animated-video-script-writing

Let’s take a look at ‘what is script writing?’

A script or screenplay is the arrangement of texts which essentially depicts the video story in written form. Screenwriting for animation is vital because these pieces of writing narrate the dialogues of the characters, their movement, actions and their expression so that a smooth flow of your animation video becomes live.

Here are 7 Key Takeaways for writing a successful animation script for your business. Read along and find out how to write a script.

1. Narrate a story with human interest

A useful script is the one that is written encompassing human interest. As a scriptwriter you must narrate the story from the beginning till the end with an element of emotion in it. People connect to those stories that are close to their heart, what they experience on a daily basis and how they react in certain situations. Hence your animation script writing should weave every bit of human feelings.

2. Follow a specific structure to maintain the flow

An animation script format should have a particular structure for a smooth progression of the video. A proper and systematic arrangement enables you to present the best of the story. Develop an animation script template that has answers to the questions of the 5 Ws (what, where, why, who, when) and 1H (how).

Your explainer video script will be engaging when you craft your story with two basic principles: problem-solution or process overview.

follow-a-specific-structure-to-maintain-the-flow

This structure is mainly based on three parts-: a beginning, a middle and a conclusion:

  • Problem-Solution: Build a story initially by showcasing a problem and then by providing the solution on the same. Write the story by showing how your offered company product/service can make your audience’s life easier. Make the issue clear and identifiable, then bend the story and make a natural transition to the solution.
  • Experts suggest: First focus time on the problem than the solution. Entertain the audience but at the same time show them how excellent is your product or service.
  • Process Overview: While writing a script outline include a service overview or a product how-to. These narratives would guide your audience about your product and service. While writing the process overview, be proactive – predict viewer’s questions and answer them. This way you would be able to create a practical script to grab audience attention.

3. Write your script in an inverted pyramid style

Put the most essential and important message first. In any marketing video, you only have first 30 seconds to impress your audience. Hence take advantage of the situation and write your note in one single sentence. This written format would help the video makers create an engaging video and tell the audience why they should pay attention.

4. Insert fun element

People watch a video mainly for two reasons – to get information and to get entertained. One of the essential script writing tips is to insert a fun element into your explainer videos. Videos are marketing tools; it’s vital to capture people’s attention while selling a product. The secret of attracting viewers attention is to provide them with something that interests them. When you write a script introduce humor, make the story entertaining and refreshing.

Bettina Hein, the co-author of Video Marketing for Dummies, says that when we include both information and humor in a video it becomes the most successful piece.

5. Include ‘Call To Action’

Your animation script will be complete when you include the ‘call to action’ in it. In any marketing video, encouraging your audience to take a specific course of action is a normal practice. A clear and appealing call to action will make your audience react immediately.

Videos represent your brand identity your audience will be motivated only when you can establish your trust and influence your target audience. Hence besides creating videos you should also look into other branding and design elements.

include-call-to-action

6. Keep the script short and crisp

One of the proven script writing techniques is to keep the story concise and crisp. Nowadays, people have a shorter attention span; they want more information in less time. Hence, don’t lengthen your story too much. Write the script depicting only the essential information you want to deliver. Your audience will start leaving if they find the video unnecessarily lengthy and tedious. The perfect length of an explainer video should be till four minutes only.

7. Voice-over plays a significant role

Writing a script involves two essential sections- a) voice-over and b) visuals. Besides drafting for scenes also put equal emphasis on the voice – over part. Voice-over complements the visuals, hence, format it in a direct explanatory method. A creative background voice-over is ideal to explain your product efficiently. There is a universal method of writing the voice over – begin by introducing your core message, break your message into small parts and further explain each point in detail. While concluding, run across the key points again and finally complete it with the compelling call to action.

A well-developed video enables businesses to stand out and become winners in the competitive world. If you want to make a difference with engaging videos, you need expert guidance. Visit Animatedvideo.com and get introduced to a world of best professional animators. With the advanced technology and production skills of the video producers here, witness success in a jiffy.

Final Key Takeaway

Writing a script is like writing a story, it has two main purpose – enabling the video producers understand each step of the video while making the piece and secondly to inform and educate your target customers and existing customers. When you follow the rules and methods of writing a script strategically then you can provide an all-comprehensive recipe to both your targets – the video producer and the audience.