Video has ascended to the very top of the internet content food chain.
In less than 2 years, more than 80% of all consumer web traffic will be video. Virtually every business, large and small alike, has begun leveraging video’s power to further its brand and generate revenue.
But are we sure most companies are really going about video marketing correctly?
In this article, we’ll examine video’s role in driving actual business value, and I’ll touch on some basic video analytics you can use to determine if your video content strategy is working
Video as a tool to gain contacts
Christmas, the New Year, Halloween and, of course, Black Friday.
Virtually every business conducts heavy marketing and email campaigns around these major marketing holidays. If successful, these campaigns can generate what are often the most successful business days of the year. With heavy reliance on marketing automation, companies reach out to members of their contact bases, enticing them with special deals and alluring discounts that encourage them to make a purchase.
This begs the question: How, exactly did these companies accrue this contact base?
Sure, plenty of email recipients are previous customers. Typically, however, those account for a small section of that list.
No; many of the names on that list have never actually purchased something from the vendor or site sending them said emails.
Often, contact lists are primarily comprised of people who clicked on your blog, visited your site a few times, or clicked on your Facebook ad and decided to subscribe to your emails because you offered something in exchange — like helpful content or the promise of a future discount.
How each individual site visitor or email reader engages with content will dictate your future approach to them. Every interaction a user has with your content is an opportunity to learn more about them. This should apply to how your visitors and contacts interact with your videos, as well.
Too often, though, it doesn’t.
Reexamining YouTube as a video go-to for business
YouTube is the second most frequented site in the world, and with good reason. Musicians, entertainers, educational institutions, and gaming companies were initially reluctant to dance to its tune, but eventually found themselves developing a heavy reliance on the site; leveraging its unparalleled reach to get their videos out there.
Countless businesses followed the same pattern. Often settling on a dual approach, many businesses maintain a YouTube channel, along with featuring YouTube videos on their websites, emails, and social media.
But what works for Beyoncé and Major League Baseball may not work for small businesses.
Small business owners know how challenging it is to lead someone to land on their company’s site. The last thing they want to be responsible for is a visitor bouncing out of the website without signing up for their email list or making a purchase.
It’s hard to argue that embedding YouTube videos on a company’s site doesn’t do just that.
A simple click on the prominently displayed YouTube icon at the bottom of the player will see a visitor bouncing out to the video giant’s main site.
Additionally, reliance on YouTube may deny you of video marketing’s holy grail:
The ability to see who truly is engaging with your videos.
Remember how your contacts’ engagement with your content is at the heart of how you learn about them so you can personalize their content?
YouTube cannot be relied on if you want your videos to be similarly purposed.
Besides vanity metrics, such as likes-to-dislikes ratios and total view counts, there really is no way of discerning viewing engagement with YouTube videos, or the individual viewers’ engagement patterns.
Should you opt for a video hosting & management platform?
The fact that YouTube does not lend itself to marketing automation and lead generation is by no means an indictment of its marketing value-add. The video site was simply not designed to provide content owners with a deep level of individual user analytics.
Luckily, there are a number of viable platforms that are capable of meeting this business need.
Companies have begun discovering the power of video hosting and management platforms.
Some businesses adopt a dual approach to video marketing:
- They develop and maintain a presence on YouTube (i.e. they create a YouTube channel and continually add videos to it).
- At the same time, all (or at least most) videos showcased on their company website and/or in email campaigns are hosted using a robust, secure video hosting platform.
This way, companies can seal the trap doors that the site’s visitors so easily can fall through while engaging with YouTube embeds, without completely missing out on the benefits of the world’s second most popular site.
Advanced video analytics: What, when, and how
Much more user information is readily-available when videos are presented using an advanced hosting and management platform. It’s possible to know who each video viewer is, where they are in the world, what device theyused to watch a video, and, of course, how much and which parts of a specific video were viewed.
Wondering how your landing page video is really performing? With video-heatmaps, you’re given an aggregated view of all viewer interactions with a given video. If you notice patterns, such as major drop-off points at certain periods of a video, you can then re-edit; either cut the video short or accentuate the themes showcased a few moments before the big drop-off.
Here’s where things get really interesting:
Advanced video hosting platforms, such as Cincopa, integrate with marketing automation platforms, such as Constant Contact. Each viewer’s interaction with one of your videos is fed into your marketing platform, resulting in some pretty powerful opportunities:
The ‘crown jewel’ of most marketing automation platforms, workflows, dictate the content that your contacts will be sent or the webpages they’ll be recommended to visit. Often detailed and multi-layered, the workflows’ varying routes and outcomes are typically predicated on the contacts’ interaction with specific blogs, emails, or forms. Marketers define engagement stipulations and contacts failing to meet them will be approached differently than those who meet or surpass them.
By integrating with a good video hosting platform, you can bring video into the fold.
You can set workflow enrollment triggers based on desired video engagement (e.g. ‘contact clicked play on three or more videos’), or set up further sequences according to the way a contact interacts with a video (e.g. ‘if contact watches the landing page video beyond the 23-second mark, have sales reach out to him. If contact leaves video before the 23-second mark, send that contact an email’).
Long a popular practice among business-to-business (B2B) companies, lead scoring has grown in popularity among all industries.
Contacts listed in your marketing automation platform can be given a score, based on their interaction with your content. Companies dictate that once a contact reaches a certain grade, they graduate from being marketing-qualified to sales-qualified.
Because your videos are most likely to be engaged at significantly higher rates than blogs or emails, incorporating positive video interaction will see you generating more qualified leads. You can award positive points to contacts exhibiting desired video engagement (e.g. ‘award five points to contact when they click on the button at the end of the landing page video), and attribute negative points to those who fail to meet specific criteria (‘award minus five points to contact if they do not pass the halfway point of the landing page video’).
Advance video marketing: Major takeaways
“With great power comes great responsibility”
This adage may have become an overused pop-culture cliché, but it still rings true.
We expect a lot out of our videos. They are, by far, the most sought after form of marketing content, and are designed to ultimately lead to one thing: An increase in conversions and revenue.
But, if we don’t approach video marketing in a strategic way, can we really be surprised when our videos don’t bring about the business results we expect?
Relying on conventional methods (namely, YouTube embeds) deprives us of gaining a real understanding of who are viewers are and how our videos are being interacted with.
Companies looking to elevate their marketing automation should explore using a more advanced video hosting platform. With robust analytics, individual viewers’ video engagement can drive sales-yielding marketing automation initiatives.