Incorporating video into your marketing automation tactics can help you improve your results, produce more content, target better prospects, and increase your lead generation.
When I was writing the book Marketing Automation for Dummies, my editors balked at the idea of discussing video in the book. Their comments were, "If you don't build videos in your marketing automation tool, then why does it need to be covered in the book?"
It's easy to see that people have a hard time understanding marketing automation's true meaning, mostly due to its name. It would be better if we called it a marketing control center, lifecycle demand platform, or something of the like. Perhaps if this were the case, it would be easier for people to understand video's role in marketing automation. Combining the two allows for increased tracking of video engagement, increased engagement opportunities, and more opportunities for lead generation.
Consider the following: In 2013, video was the most shared content on Twitter. White papers were not! Most people shy away from video for one of two reasons: the high cost associated with production, or because they lack the skill set necessary to produce videos. This is no longer the case at all. Video hosting from companies like Wistia or Vidyard gives B2B companies the ability to host videos that double as lead generation machines - and the phone in your pocket has a good enough camera to do the job.
In addition, consider the level of integration you can have between your videos and your marketing automation tool. You can have your videos display dynamically based on a buyer's journey, track the amount of time they spend watching your videos down to the second, and then automatically respond to their engagement. Look at these scenarios to see why video should be a part of your marketing automation strategy.
If you need content, look no further than your iPhone. You read that correctly - your iPhone is good enough to shoot a video for your business' website. Just check out this photo from Homebase.io, who did an entire video using their iPhone (including audio!). Just take a look:
After shooting your video, you can edit it using iMovie, which comes with most Mac computers, or any video editing software of your choice.
It has been said that a picture is worth 1,000 words. Well, one of the head economists at the FCC actually did the math, and it came out to 12,000 words. In his 126-page paper on communications, written back in the early 2000s, Galbi talks about the reason images and video are so important: the idea of presence. Video is an amazing way to be present with someone. They can see who you really are and build that personal connection with you. So if an image is worth 12,000 words, a video must be worth a lot more than that. To put this in context, the average blog post is 600 to 800 words.
If you want to target prospects with your videos, you can connect either Vidyard or Wistia to your marketing automation tool. This gives you the ability to build a behavioral record of each person's video activity, allowing you to better score your prospects based on their video engagement.
For example, if a person only watches the first 10 seconds of a video, then the video didn't really resonate with them, and their score should not be adjusted very heavily. However, if they watched the entire thing, they may need a greater score adjustment. This is all out-of-the-box marketing automation functionality.
Take it a step further by using an automation tool to keep up with the videos your prospects have watched, and serve them up others they haven't. You can also let your prospects know each time you release a new video. All of this is possible - but only when you combine marketing automation with video.
Think about the webinar lifecycle. The majority of airtime is now mostly after a webinar has already run. People can watch the webinars at any time, and the content is still relevant and fresh even though it is not live. Remember, only 16 percent of your buyers even care to watch the webinar live.
When we first started doing webinars, we were judging their success by the number of registrations we were driving. We thought those were the "leads," but over time, our attendance starting trending downward. Not because of our quality, but because there were more webinars we were being forced to compete with. At the same time, we noticed that our video plays were trending up. While fewer people were registering for our webinars, more were visiting our website to watch them later on.
ReadyTalk saw a similar phenomenon. In an article I wrote last year, I interviewed Anita Wehnert, who is responsible for product strategy at webinar solution ReadyTalk. She stated, "At ReadyTalk, we've seen average attendance of our own live webinars drop from about 45 to 50 percent to about 35 to 40 percent over the past year, but we're getting three to five times that number of leads from the recording." They use a combination of video plus marketing automation to track the leads they generate from videos.
Most marketing automation tools have dynamic content options. This means you can have a block on your website that can change for each person based on certain parameters you set up. For example, if a prospect's score is high, you show sales-ready content. Similarly, if they're interested in Product A, you show them additional videos on Product A.
Just think about what you can do with this kind of functionality. You can get into some very advanced strategies using account-based marketing, or simply use your lead scores to make sure you are serving up highly targeted videos to people based on very specific parameters. This makes your website hyper-targeted to each person, not to mention very rich with video content. Remember that videos are more valuable than white papers to most people, and when done well, they'll easily up your engagement rates.
Finally, you need to look at how you can convert people using video. White papers usually ask someone to fill out a form before they can access the content. Unfortunately, this can lead to people being disappointed by your content. As I reported earlier this year, 71 percent of all consumers have been disappointed by content they have downloaded. If you had not made them give up their email, they may not have felt so let down. With video, you can instead ask for their email once they have finished watching, allowing them to choose whether your content is worth getting more of.
You can also put inline calls to action in your videos. If there is a special stat you want people to share while your video is playing, it can pop up so that people can tweet it instantly. This is one way you can drive serious viral engagement with your content, simply by adding video to the mix.
If you are new to video, I'd suggest checking out Wistia's website. They have tons of helpful content to get you going, and they're also just awesome people. They can even teach you how to set up a video studio on the cheap. I've used their lessons to learn how to get better at video marketing, and so can you!
In the future, you should make sure you are including video in your marketing automation strategy to ensure you are truly getting the most out of your demand generation efforts.
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Mathew is the head of thought leadership for B2B marketing at Pardot, a Salesforce.com Company. A consummate writer, he has been featured in numerous publications such as Marketing Automation Times, DemandGen Report, Marketing Sherpa, ZDNet, and is the author of Marketing Automation for Dummies (published by Wiley February 2014). As a speaker Mathew speaks around the world at events such as Conversion Conference, Dreamforce, SugarCon, and to companies including Microsoft, Investec, NetJets, and Restaurants.com, to name a few.
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