Whether you’ve got a few marketing videos or a whole library of them, by now you’ve likely gone through the typical production and distribution process for video assets and – because you’re planning on creating even more to meet the growing demand – you’re probably thinking about ways to streamline your video marketing operation.

This is a great idea because the demand for video isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Not only are people watching more than 6 hours of video online per day, but by 2017 video will make up 69% of all Internet traffic.

A few years ago the concept of a video marketing platform didn’t even exist, but now with more and more marketers needing a single place to manage and, more importantly, measure the success of video content, it has become just as important as having a dashboard for managing your social media activity.

If you’ve been trying to find a way to not only host your videos, but also measure your video’s impact on revenue, it’s probably about time to consider whether you need a more integrated, professional solution in place of the current “post and pray” strategy.

Here’s a few indicators it’s time to go beyond using YouTube alone and advance to a more complete video marketing platform:

1. You need to evaluate video’s impact on sales

Are you reviewing each video's performance?The entire point of releasing marketing videos is to drive more qualified leads through the funnel, but nobody seems to really know how to measure video’s direct impact or ROI. There’s even a misconception that you just can’t measure the success of video.

But you can, and results really matter.

With the CMO set to gain more spending power than the CIO in the next few years, executives are placing increased scrutiny on content marketing efforts and there’s a lot more pressure for you to justify your spend on video campaigns. Basically, you need to find a way to manage your growing library of video marketing assets, and show that they’re actually working.

It can feel like a tall order, but you can easily do this with the analytics a video marketing platform provides.

While YouTube or other video hosting services can show you how many people are watching your videos, a leading-edge video marketing platform reveals exactly who is watching what content, and for how long. With detailed analytics covering viewer attention span, unique views, total minutes of content watched, device type, and embed location, a video marketing platform gives you the critical data you need to determine your viewer’s overall engagement and tie that engagement back to pipeline and closed deals.

2. You recognize the need to keep people on your website

Sure you’re creating compelling videos to share on YouTube, but what’s to stop your audience from becoming distracted with viral videos of dogs on skateboards, or (gasp!) your competitors content? If you’re not embedding videos on your own website and landing pages, you run the risk that your new, impressionable leads will be distracted by Vimeo or YouTube’s “recommended” content. Once viewers reach the end of your YouTube video, the final image they see may be directing you audience and sending them away from your channel and content.

This is not to say you don’t want to post your videos on YouTube – it’s critical for building a subscriber base and distributing your videos – but you might want more control over the viewing experience, including what content your audience is prompted with.

A great video marketing platform allows you to create your own customized player to keep your audience watching video after video on your website. When you use end-of-video calls to action, you can prompt your audience to download a whitepaper, check out a landing page, fill out a contact form, and more.  You control the content path in a more strategic way. The bonus here is that you still get the YouTube experience – and you can still push your video content to your YouTube channel from within the platform – but you also keep your audience from becoming distracted and maintain a consistent brand experience on your own terms.

A dedicated video resource hub on your own website is a particularly good way to keep people consuming your content in this way.

3. You want to make video an avenue for lead generation

After sharing your current videos, you’re likely using the amount of total views as a measure of your success, but this isn’t enough. So what if 5,000 people watched your video? This isn’t a measure of whether they converted and that’s exactly what a C-level executive wants to know. The real question is who’s watching, and how you can hit them with the right information so that they become sales-ready prospects.

With a video marketing platform you’re able to attach identity to viewership and see exactly who’s watching your content, and their associated attention span; indicating not only that John the CMO is interested, but also which content he’s most interested in. This information helps you create highly targeted follow up and, once you see how leads are engaging with your content, you’ll know which type of content is resonating (i.e. maybe you find nobody ever watches to the very end of your whiteboard videos and they aren’t influencing any closed business).

In terms of lead generation features, a leading-edge video marketing platform gives you the option to set up email gates to collect valuable contact information from leads before they watch certain videos. You can also add pop-out calls to action to direct your viewers along the sales cycle (i.e. “watch a product demo!” or “download our white paper”). A pop-out CTA ends up looking a bit like this:

Overall, by giving your audience the option to raise their hands (within the video player when they’re most engaged), this opens up video content as a means for lead generation and you can start getting especially strategic with the follow up content you send to leads who have demonstrated certain interests on your site.

4. You want to incorporate video data in your marketing automation platform

If you’re part of the 61% of B2B marketers using a marketing automation platform, you know that it’s all about the data you can consolidate and gain insight from.

Luckily, top video marketing platforms will integrate with your marketing automation system and you can push all of your collected lead and engagement data directly into contact records.

This is terrific because, with viewing history data for each of your contacts, you can segment and nurture your leads more effectively. For instance, if David from Company XYZ watched three of your long product demos, supplied his email address to watch them, and read your white paper, his digital behaviour suggests he’s very interested and you can reach out to him based on his viewing history stored in your marketing automation platform.

You can learn even more about the benefits of adding video data to your MAP in this video.

5. You want to improve your SEO

Even if you’re tagging and naming your video content appropriately on YouTube and then embedding that video on your site, a Google search for your video will still lead to YouTube where, again, your viewers can become distracted.

If you use a video marketing platform on the other hand, the embed code will ensure that (after you have performed all necessary SEO techniques), the Google search engine will route anybody looking for your video directly to your website. With specific calls to action ready to meet your viewers when they get to your site from a search result, your leads are much better off here than back in the distracting video vortex on YouTube.

Additionally, with easy ways to embed your videos in blog posts and repurpose your assets on various social channels, you’ll experience improved SEO because of the amount of content pointing to your video, in general.

6. You need to plan new video content

Schedule your new contentContent sustainability is a huge issue. Now that marketers have committed to content as a means of attracting new customers, it’s all about making enough videos to meet demand and this is challenging.

Because you don’t want to waste time creating video content that your audience isn’t interested in, you can use a video marketing platform to view engagement data and understand what kind of content is resonating and worthwhile.

If you notice that attention span heat maps for your client testimonial videos show that people spend more time watching these than your interviews with your CEO, you can allocate your video resources accordingly and make more testimonials.

Overall, you can look to the analytics behind your current content to amplify what’s working and modify what isn’t.

Streamline your video marketing process

On a whole, if you’re creating video, it’s time to look at how best to streamline the process and measure your results. The future of video is here and, now that you can attach identity to viewership, you can use insights about your customer’s digital body language to turn views into sales.

Jennifer Pepper