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Why Video is Crucial to Your Marketing Automation Strategy

11 Min Read

Marketing automation isn’t a new idea, and yet many brands aren’t utilizing the concept to its full potential. When marketing processes are automated, some marketers will plan their content, hit the “schedule” button, and pat themselves on the back for a job well done. Don’t let this be you! Every day, there are new ways to introduce innovation into your automated workflows, and video is one example that’s really taking hold. Read on to learn what marketing automation really is, why video can be so successful in automated campaigns, and which processes can support video content.

What is marketing automation?

HubSpot defines marketing automation as “the combination of software and strategy” that automates marketing processes like email marketing, social media posts, and ad campaigns. It offers both efficiency and opportunities for personalization, both of which are critical in executing a successful marketing strategy. 

Done correctly, marketing automation can guide your users all the way through the buyer’s journey, encouraging them from the minute they first land on your website through the moment they finally make a purchase.

So, where does video come in?

Video is a great asset at any stage of your marketing automation strategy because it’s uniquely measurable, and gives great insight to your sales and marketing teams about which leads are most valuable moving forward. 

For example, you probably assume that watching a video on your website means that the viewer is a strong candidate for a prospective customer. But, we can break it down even further than that.

Let’s say a viewer named Lisa watches the first few seconds of a “Welcome” video on your homepage, while another viewer named Michael watches the entire length of a video explaining your product’s potential applications. Which viewer is more likely to make a purchase? The answer is Michael, but you wouldn’t know that if you didn’t have those two videos in place to generate those metrics.

Moreover, as digital capabilities are expanding every day, consumers are demanding video content. They don’t want to read walls of text, navigate your complicated FAQ page, or receive dozens of aggressive sales emails. 

So, what do they want? Video. They want video in emails, in their social media feeds, on the websites they browse…you get the idea. And these aren’t just assumptions, either. Consumers are explicitly telling marketers that they want more video content, but too many brands aren’t listening. Make it easier to maintain your prospects’ attention by giving them enjoyable content that they want to interact with, and then reap the rewards with the additional metrics that supplement your sales strategies.

In a recent Demand Metric study, nearly 70% of respondents agreed that video engagement data is useful as a lead quality or business opportunity indicator. Still, only 9% of companies have actually integrated video viewing data with their CRM or marketing automation systems and are actively exploiting that data. This statistic represents an incredible opportunity to add value for your sales teams.

Where in my automation strategy can I use video?

Because marketing automation can encompass many aspects of your marketing strategy, you have countless options when deciding where to embed video content. Essentially, any action that’s automated can include a branded video. But where exactly should you start?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Automation

CRM efforts are one of the most crucial areas where you can use video marketing. CRM platforms help you collect, retrieve, and store customer information—from purchase history to customer service requests, and more. It provides you with a plethora of avenues to communicate with your current or potential customers, and it enables video communication at scale. 

Because CRMs collect so much data, there’s also a notable opportunity to personalize your video content. You can tailor your video content to the customer’s industry, past purchases, or stage in the buyer’s journey. If you don’t know what types of videos you should be creating, thinking about these customer demographics and psychographics can be a great place to start. You may be able to anticipate questions your audience will have, provide industry-specific information that could drive them to make a purchase, or even use a video to thank them for supporting your business.

If you don’t already have a CRM software to manage all this information, do your best to collect customer information internally and then devise a CRM strategy of your own. Reach out if a user has viewed a specific product but not purchased, if they’ve read your online product reviews, or if they’ve communicated with your customer services reps. The opportunities are endless!

Email Marketing Automation

There are tons of email automation software options available to companies big and small, and adding video is often more straightforward than you might think—with a little research. The embed process will be different for each platform (and many platforms will have you link to the video rather than inserting it directly), but including video in email is one of the most effective ways to innovate your content. 

For example, you might create automated email workflows based on user actions, requests for information, or user behavior, like cart abandonment, and then include a relevant video. Create videos answering anticipated questions, or create informational videos that you can include in newsletter emails. 

Feel free to get creative with the execution here. You know your audience best, and the only real goal is to give viewers a video they’ll enjoy watching—whether it’s for pure entertainment or to provide specific information that adds value.

If you’re still not convinced, the statistics don’t lie. Using videos in email has been shown to increase click-through rates (CTR) by over 96% on the first introductory email. Plus, emails with the word “video” in the subject line are opened 7% more often than emails without, so start creating some engaging video content to liven up your automated email workflows.

Site Automation

Website automation software helps you create content, landing pages, website forms for lead generation, and more with ease. 

Anytime you create a new landing page, blog post, product page, or contact page, consider including video to help make your website more dynamic and engaging. If you have a special promotion or event, use video to bring that event to life. Video can also be especially effective on how-to pages or testimonial pages where the content is more likely to drive a purchase decision. 

Videos help increase the time spent on your web pages, so use them anywhere you see fit, with one caveat. Your goal should never be to flood your content with video just for the sake of using video. The key is to execute this process thoughtfully and strategically so that each video is truly serving a purpose. As long as that’s the case, include video as frequently as you want. 

Social Media Automation

Hopefully, we don’t need to tell you that video drives the most engagement on social media. Almost every social media platform is prioritizing video optimization, and video outperforms all other types of content, including text, links, and images. 

Use this to your advantage by including video in your automated social posts. One great thing about social media is the ability to test all types of video content—brand videos, industry videos, testimonials, and more can all be posted on social media. Just be sure your automation software allows for native video publishing, so your videos play automatically as the user scrolls (if they don’t, your videos are less likely to be seen). 

You’ll also want to keep in mind the technical components of each platform, like the specs and whether videos typically play with sound or without. Taking the extra step to tailor your video to the platform you’re posting on will ensure that you don’t miss out on engagement just because your video didn’t match the needs of the platform’s audience.

Still not sure if video is right for your brand’s marketing automation strategy? Check out our 67 video marketing statistics for 2020 to get the latest insights into video’s effectiveness, and then get filming! 

[Note: This post was originally posted on 7/6/15 and has been updated to reflect the most accurate and relevant information.]

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