Marketers work hard, day in and day out, drumming up new content ideas, planning months at a time, wearing 18 different hats and juggling 27 different balls at once (or thereabouts). And they deserve recognition! Especially those who are doing all this and still building stellar video marketing strategies, creating videos on a tight budget, integrating video with their marketing tech, and you know … even more. Which is exactly why the Video Marketing Awards (VMAs) exist.

This year, after more than 100 applied, we selected 8 of the best uses of video marketing in 8 different categories to award to 8 different companies. We presented the coveted VMA to them at Space Camp, The Video Marketing Summit, last week but here’s a quick round-up for those who just had to stay on Earth. Watch, read, applaud, and learn!

Best Explainer, Infographic, or Whiteboard Video

Winner: Ceridian

Ceridian’s goal for this whiteboard video was to clearly articulate how their innovative human capital management solution (Dayforce) could alleviate major pain points that payroll administrators frequently encountered. Now, solving a business pain point is a common place to start for a whiteboard video, but where Ceridian set themselves apart is by diving one level deeper. They looked beyond the technical solution, to answer the question “How does Dayforce HCM make my work life better?” for prospects. Ceridian planned to use this video for Dayforce’s product launch, but after they saw its impact and ability to so clearly communicate Dayforce’s value prop, the story of Jenny became the cornerstone of broader marketing and brand programs across the business. Jenny soon found herself immersed in the sales process, in sales training, and in the company’s annual INSIGHTS customer conference. The Jenny video became a powerful tool to educate Ceridian’s own employees, attract new viewers, convert current prospects, and extend the value of their brand. Now THAT is a sign of a great explanation.

Big Bang, Small Budget Award

Winner: Salesforce

While the video is no longer available, the product demo video by Salesforce was created as a means to move prospects through the sales pipeline without using Account Executive’s time to give live demos (which often required at least a 30 minute commitment). And boy was it done on a budget! Soup to nuts, this video was produced by one person using Keynote, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro C and a USB mic with a 15” Macbook Pro Retina display.

Not only was the video professional-looking, the results speak for themselves. In the first two quarters of 2015, the video influenced almost $1 million in sales. Each unique video view could be seen to yield $225 in sales. Salesforce saw a 32% growth in sales from Q1 to Q2 and are projecting that through the rest of the year, about $2.8M in sales will be influenced by this video alone.

Anndddd ‘nuff said.

Sales and Marketing Alignment

Winner: Zuora

Zuora thought outside the box on this one. Big time. Instead of keeping their marketing vision focused outward, they decided to look inward and help their sales team become more successful with the use of video, something they had found to previously drive results. The marketing team selected 5 significant deals and turned regular ol’ fact sheets into low-budget, quick-turnaround videos to show the sales team the power of video. It was so effective at convincing the sales team that they’ve started creating their own quick-win videos by simply recording themselves in front of the camera. The sales team has gotten over the fear of video and learned that a video can still be enormously effective and much more personal, even if it’s not the highest production quality. Spread the love, sales and marketing!

Breakout Video Marketer of the Year

Winner: BenefitMall

Previously, BenefitMall would create videos as they saw fit for unique campaigns. But recently, Andrew Davis, BenefitMall’s Interactive Marketing Specialist decided that a more strategic approach was necessary. Davis looked beyond typical, top-of-funnel use cases for video and infused video throughout the entire buying process, including into BenefitMall’s sales efforts as well. BenefitMall produced a commercial for their new product, EmployerFocus, that was market specific and pushed it through email, social media, and their website. This first video was a top-of-funnel, motivating, and almost “cinematic” video. Next, they produced product features videos and whiteboard videos, which were shorter videos (less than two minutes) that walked through the need of the product, and what it can do to solve the problems of our audience. The next stage of the buyer’s cycle and BenefitMall’s video production was a short product demo and a testimonial video to show social proof and build trust. The final stage? BenefitMall started making more money. Here’s a marketer who saw an opportunity and leapt in with both feet! And it sure paid off! (See what I did there?!)

Best Integrated Video Marketing Campaign

Winner: Gainsight

Yep, you’ll be singing that all day.

Gainsight’s PULSE conference is their most important (and expensive!) marketing investment of the year. It also offers significant contribution to the company’s bottom line and as a result, Gainsight recruited the help of video to boost the event’s impact. The video you watched from above was shared before the event, which helped them to attract more than 2,000 registrants. And boy, did they ever take things to the next level at the event when they recruited – not only an acapella group – but a Taylor Swift look-a-like to sing this song at the event, as well! Talk about a strong (and unusual!) integration.

Gainsight also used video after the event to dive further into topics attendees were particularly interested in during the conference. They did this by hosting a virtual conference. Can you say ‘event ROI’?

“The videos were INSTRUMENTAL to: driving awareness of our industry conference; driving registrations to our industry conference; creating content for our event follow up communications; building momentum for next year’s conference; creating net new leads to fill the funnel; helping take deals off the table as a result of the conference; and driving a high event NPS score.”

Video Marketing Tech Stack

Winner: Lattice Engines

Aberdeen recently pointed out that the best video marketers have extremely strong technology stacks. Why? Because integrating video marketing with other aspects of the marketing stack means that it can become a more integral part of your larger marketing goals AND you can track its impact, too. Lattice Engines does just that with their killer marketing tech stack.

Lattice hosts their videos in Vidyard. They’ve integrated Vidyard with their marketing automation platform, Marketo, which lets them score leads based on their audience’s engagement with their videos and create Interesting Moments that are synced to Salesforce. They also use campaigns in Salesforce to allow them to use Full Circle Insights to know which videos are influencing their pipeline and at what funnel stage. Lattice then uses that information to tag the videos so they can offer them to the sales team to share with customers and prospects through KnowledgeTree, their sales enablement tool. Lastly, they amplify their videos’ reach on social through GaggleAMP and HootSuite and via email through Marketo.

*Jaw Drop*. Need we say more? Well there is more. With this home run of a tech stack, Lattice has been able to track the positive impact of using video in email, including a 38.3% increase in open rate when “video” is included in the subject line as well as 107% more clicks and a 98% increase in click-to-open rates when videos are included in the email. They can also see that 41% of their MQLs have engaged with their videos and most importantly, their videos have helped influence over 20% of their pipeline this year. Bam.

Video Marketing Impact

Winner: Hootsuite

These two videos, while extremely different in execution and original goal, both created a significant impact on Hootsuite’s business. The Game of Social Thrones video was created to build brand awareness through social shares of their branded, and ultra-trendy video. From research of their own target market, Hootsuite knew that they were among many Game of Thrones fans. Anxious to play off this theme but not wanting to throw too much budget into a potential ‘marketing whim’, the team created an infographic first to test the waters. When the infographic received over 25,000 shares, they knew they were in a sweet spot where video could drive some real results. The video you watched above received nearly 1.5 million views and 54,000 social shares. It also received coverage in Time Magazine, Fast Company, Salon, Design Taxi, AdAge, and AdWeek.

The second video, Mean Tweets, on the other hand, was created for existing customers to communicate the change in Hootsuite’s UI and drive adoption of this new UI. Hootsuite realized that while negative customer feedback can be painful to hear, it can also be an invaluable asset if used right. And in the spirit of full transparency and approachability, Hootsuite decided to share this feedback publicly to gain attention, be brutally honest, and then showcase their willingness to act on feedback. Inspired by Jimmy Kimmel’s own “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets”, this video kept viewers engaged for a cumulative 130,000 minutes!

Hootsuite is an example we can all learn from in using video to generate a massive numbers of views and significant audience engagement. And even more so, Hootsuite builds brand affinity and generates interest with press and media through great creative content marketing and striking an emotional chord with their target audience.

Video Marketing Trailblazer

Winner: Act-On Software

Act-On Software knew video could be used for more than creative stories or for solo, one-off assets. With only a small in-house team, the marketing group at Act-On put their heads together and thought of how they could make the biggest splash in the pond with video. They looked to video to:

  1. convert more anonymous website visitors into leads and increase visitor-to-conversion rates on key pages as well as
  2. leverage their library of webinar recordings and thought leadership as evergreen content to maximize already-invested efforts.

First, Act-On built a video resource library directly into their website so all of their video content was easy to browse and easy to consume.

best video marketing awards

Then Act-On integrated video CTAs into their high-value videos with low visitor-to-lead conversion rates. Next, they tested, and tested, and tested some more to find the optimal video gating strategy to generate the highest conversion rates.

“We used to think about video as a way to get attention and draw people into the top of the funnel. Now, we use it across the entire buyer’s journey – attracting future customers, generating leads, nurturing prospects, and creating brand advocates.”

Once Act-On started to see the profound impact video was having on their lead generation efforts, they actively adjusted the structure of their content marketing team in-house to build a video marketing discipline within it. And it, uh, seems to be working pretty well for them!

  • Their on-demand demo video is now the most clicked and highest converting CTA on the Act-On homepage, accounting for 100+ leads per week.
  • Their video hub has produced over 1,000 leads since launch in February – a completely new source of leads for them!
  • They’ve increased visitor to lead conversion rates for key product pages by 104% on average by incorporating video CTAs (primarily on-demand demos).
  • The Act-On team has generated 21K video leads in the last 12 months, accounting for $27 million in opportunities.

These leaders in video marketing deserve an overwhelming round of applause. They are taking video to new heights, integrating it with their larger marketing strategy, and driving some serious results. There’s so much we can learn from top performers like these Video Marketing Award winners, which is exactly why we’ll be featuring each one of them and how they do what they do over the coming months. Stay tuned you studious readers. Maybe you could be a 2016 VMA winner!

Kimbe MacMaster