This post was written by our friends at SharpSpring, a marketing automation platform designed for marketing agencies and small to mid-sized businesses.
Today, most of us spend more time than we’d like to admit watching and sharing videos online. From product reviews and how-tos, to funny cat videos and everything in between, there’s almost nothing that engages people the way video does.
Marketers have caught on to this and realized that video can be more than just a fluffy, top-of-the-funnel asset. In fact, it’s quickly becoming the single most effective tool for generating leads, nurturing them through the sales funnel, and keeping them engaged long after they make a purchase.
With the help of marketing automation and advanced video technology, businesses are seeing amazing returns on their video marketing efforts. In a recent survey by SharpSpring, 83 percent of agencies reported they were increasing their video marketing budgets, with 27 percent claiming a significant increase.
If you want your business to stay ahead of the competition, you need to build video into your content marketing strategy and support it through every phase of the buyer’s journey.
You already know the first step in a solid marketing strategy is to attract relevant, qualified leads. And you might already have email campaigns in place to help bring those leads to your website.
The right marketing automation platform can make a big difference here. You can create various email campaigns for different stages of the buyer’s journey and plug in powerful video content. Research shows that you can boost click-through rates by 200-300% just by adding video to your emails.
The most effective way is to place a screenshot of your video in the email and link that to a landing page on your site where the video is hosted. This brings people straight to your website and puts you in control of the user experience. Here’s an example from Animoto. When customers click on the video player, it takes them to a relevant page on the Animoto website where they can watch the video.
A full-featured marketing automation platform will include a [landing page builder](https://sharpspring.com/features/#Landing Pages/?utm=bdpanimoto). You can build and implement single-offer landing pages to generate leads. Video works great for this, too. Adding videos to your landing pages can increase conversion rates by up to 80%.
Videos keep leads on your site longer, giving them more time to learn what you offer and making them more likely to opt in. Videos also help capture leads who might be too busy or impatient to consume other types of content, like blogs or white papers.
Whatever you do, don’t ever let your videos fade to black. You’re not creating videos for the sole purpose of entertaining your leads and customers. You want them to actually do something – click, engage, buy – and for this to happen, you must always include a call to action (CTA). Highlight the CTA within the video itself or somewhere near it, and be as clear and direct as possible in what you’re asking. For tips, check out this blog post on how to write a call to action that’ll get clicks. Here’s an example from New York Yoga. This video explains the company’s offering and ends with a clear CTA to “Sign up today.”
If a lead fills out a form on your site after watching a video, your marketing automation platform will channel the lead into a pre-defined email nurture campaign, which will trigger more videos and other types of content based on the lead’s interests.
Marketing automation provides some great tools to help ensure you’re sending people the right video content. You can set buyer personas based on specific traits and behaviors. As soon as you have enough data on a lead, the platform will automatically assign them a persona, and then leveraging dynamic emails and landing pages, it will display content they want to see.
In the earlier stages of the sales funnel, you can offer high-level company videos and product overviews. For leads in the decision stage, push them toward making a purchase by sending video testimonials and deep-dive product videos – and be sure to include CTAs for special deals, free samples, limited-time offers, etc.
What’s great about using video in your marketing is that it gives you more in-depth consumption metrics. With written content, you can see if a lead downloaded a resource or not, or how long they stayed on a particular page on your site, but this often doesn’t tell you much about how engaged they really are.
With video, you can see if a lead rewatched the same video, how many times they watched it, whether they skipped to specific parts, and much more. You can track video metrics like these and automatically include them in a lead’s profile. If someone spends a long time watching a product video, for example, that’s a strong sign of interest. This will make the lead score go up, and a sales rep will be notified.
These metrics can also help you improve your overall marketing strategy. If there are parts of your videos that people are skipping, or even entire videos that are not producing good results, the metrics will reveal this. You can then use these insights to improve the quality or content of your videos across the board, to ensure you’re keeping your leads and customers engaged.
When it comes to measuring the value of your video campaigns, a marketing automation platform has everything you need. It automatically tracks your leads’ conversion paths – from the first moment they hit your site all the way through the sale and beyond – and then generates comprehensive analytics reports help you understand the end-to-end ROI of your campaigns.
Interested in learning more about how video and marketing automation can help you grow your business? Check out how SharpSpring and Animoto work in sync.