Sleepy kittensWe all know online video growth is hovering somewhere near the stratosphere. From sleepy kittens (adorable!) to product how-to’s, consumers are being entertained and informed by a massive global library of streaming cinematography every second of every day on every type of device.

For marketers, it’s pure gold … a vast opportunity to build awareness and affinity, find new customers, and bump up revenues.

When complemented by the power of a marketing automation platform, videos might even be platinum. Here are four big business wins that can be realized by integrating video marketing with marketing automation:

1. Put Lead Generation on the Fast Track

Funnel ConversionOnline videos are a special breed of content for three reasons. First, they’re inherently immersive. When we watch video, our senses get fully dialed up as our brains engage in the complex orchestration of sights, sounds, motion, context, and comprehension. Second, videos are extensions of what we already love – watching TV and movies – making them easy to consume and, maybe more importantly to today’s marketers, easy to share across social media and email. And third, according to an Unruly study, enjoyable videos can increase purchase intent by 97%. ‘Nuff said.

The net-net is videos offer the kind of brand exposure and reach that can become an extraordinary opportunity to fill the top of the funnel and generate leads.

Here’s an example of how:

  • Create a campaign that rewards your advocates, influencers, and followers when they share your video to their networks.
  • Add a call to action to the end of the video that takes prospects to valuable content that’s gated by a web form. The form was created with – and hosted on – your marketing automation system in just a few clicks.
  • When prospects fill out the form to access your content, your marketing automation system automatically channels them into a pre-defined nurturing track so you can begin the relationship-building process.

2. Enhance Lead Scoring

If you’re not familiar with it, lead scoring is a method for identifying sales-ready leads by assigning values (points) based on pre-determined criteria – e.g., industry and job title, website visits, video views, webinar attendance, and form completions. The sum of the points is the lead’s score.

Lead scoring is tremendously effective, but it’s also impractical to do manually because it’s time and labor-intensive and doesn’t scale with business growth. Marketing automation makes lead scoring a breeze – it’s quick and easy to set up, and it scales beautifully thanks to automation.

Which brings us to video.

More specifically, a video hosted on a potent tracking platform like Vidyard that can tell you (among a litany of other things) precisely how long someone watched your video. Here’s a real-life scenario:

Let’s say a lead was on your site and spent 3.5 minutes watching a how-to video for one of your products (the average time spent watching online videos is 2.7 minutes). That would be a huge indicator of interest, yes? With an integration of video and marketing automation platforms, here’s what happens:

  • Marketing and sales get immediately notified that the lead is on the website and, furthermore, what video they viewed and for how long.
  • Simultaneous to this notification, the lead’s contact record is updated with the new activity, and their lead score is adjusted to reflect the high-value engagement.
  • If the video view puts the lead’s score over the pre-determined scoring threshold, the assigned sales rep is notified that a lead is on the “hot prospects” list, including a direct link to the lead’s history, from initial contact, to all content viewed, to recency and frequency of visits, purchases, and more.
  • Sales is able to pick up the phone and have an informed conversation with the lead, and also have a much higher chance of closing the deal.

3. Optimize Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing is essential for keeping your brand front-and-center with potential buyers, as well as building credibility and trust. The good news: It’s a key capability of marketing automation.

When a lead interacts with your brand – on your website, via email and social, over the phone, at an event, etc. – their behaviors are all tracked and measured by your marketing automation system, which then channels them into the right campaign, in the right order, automatically. As a result, leads receive the right content at the right time, and move through the funnel at a pace that matches their needs and interests.

Adding video intelligence to the mix makes a lead’s profile that much richer. So let’s say the lead who viewed 3.5 minutes of your how-to video isn’t yet ready for sales and needs more nurturing. Your marketing automation system can easily be set up to:

  • Send a tailored email (e.g., another video, an offer, another piece of content) that aligns with the video topic and their profile as a whole.
  • If they engage with the email, your marketing automation system can send another message that continues to build on the lead’s behavior. Or, based on their lead score, automatically route them to another nurture stream or qualification pathway.
  • If they don’t engage with the email, the same idea applies: messages and content can be pre-determined, dynamically generated, timed, and sent automatically based on their actions and interests.

4. Tie Revenue to Marketing Efforts

Dialling up ROIMarketing automation’s depth and breadth of data tracking, analysis, and reporting means your campaigns can be concretely tied to sales conversions – by campaign, content, segment, geography, and much more.

And since campaign performance can often be viewed in real time, you can monitor the entire pipeline and have full visibility of what’s working, what isn’t, and see the key drivers of revenue and conversion: your videos, for example.

A Virtuous Circle

In a recent Demand Metric study titled “B2B Video Marketing: B2B Benchmarks and Best Practices”, over 70% of marketers reported that video converts better than other content types, and 95% said video was becoming more important to their marketing strategies in 2015.

The combination of robust video data with a strong marketing automation platform brings customer intelligence to a whole new level of opportunity and goodness. Translation: It’s a win-win for you and your customers. If you’re interested in learning more about marketing automation, including how your video assets can be turned into even more powerful marketing tools, take a look at the Vidyard-Act-On integration.

“Sleepy kittens” by byrev, used under Creative Commons public domain license.

(Note that Act-On owns the other images)

Monique Torres