2015 saw some incredible growth in the use of video content by marketers in both B2C and B2B markets. But more importantly, it also saw some staggering shifts in how marketers are using video and the kinds of results it’s helping them generate.
No longer just a tool for brand awareness, top marketers are now using video throughout the funnel to better engage and educate prospects, enhance lead scoring and nurture streams, and boost overall conversion rates. Now that marketers are getting comfortable with video as a content medium for both brand and demand, the real fun begins.
Here are my top 5 predictions for video marketing in 2016, and what you’ll want to consider as you plan your year.
1. Video Puts Email Marketing Back on the MAP
Email marketing is a critical component of most modern marketing programs, but many marketers are starting to see diminishing returns and falling click-through rates. Everyone’s inbox is inundated with messages. It’s hard enough to get a response from someone expecting your email, let alone from someone who doesn’t know you and is wary of a sales pitch. Video has been proven to be a highly effective way to cut through the clutter and boost engagement in email marketing campaigns. A 2015 GetResponse study of one billion emails found those containing video had a 96% higher click-through rate than those without. And for more advanced marketers, the use of 1-to-1 personalized videos in email marketing campaigns can boost click-through rates by 200%-1500% (more on that later!). In 2016, we’ll see marketers embrace these lessons, which will not only improve email marketing performance but also return email to its important spot as a lead generator feeding data into our marketing automation platforms.
2. Video Goes from Passive to Interactive
Last year we saw a significant increase in the use of interactive videos to create two-way conversations with digital audiences and to drive more engagement in content marketing programs, particularly in B2B markets. In 2016, marketers will start leveraging interactivity at scale and will start to use embedded forms, questionnaires, surveys, and other types of interactive elements to pull viewers into the story and to gather additional interest and intent data. 2016 will also see the rise of “choose-your-own-adventure” style videos that will enable viewers to self-select their content journey and create a customized learning path without having to search for different content assets. The key for marketers is to build an interactive experience that fits seamlessly within the video so it doesn’t detract from the video experience itself.
3. Let’s Get Personal
We all know that personalization is a huge trend in digital marketing. From the early days of adding a name to an email to modern techniques for dynamic personalization of content, the data proves that personalizing both the content itself and the content journey can have significant impact on results. In 2016 we’ll see the rise of 1-to-1 video personalization, offering a huge opportunity for innovative marketers to stand out from the crowd and get noticed by their prospects.
As effective as video is by itself, tailoring it to a specific person is even better. The opportunity now exists, at scale, to weave in the viewer’s name, company logo or photo from LinkedIn directly into a video to draw them into the story and create a unique and memorable experience. Here at Vidyard, we’ve seen huge improvement in click-through rates when we personalize videos with the recipient’s name in the splash screen image.
At a conference last year, one of the things we did was offer a coffee bar at our booth. Obviously, we aren’t the only ones who do that. But we were the only ones who sent personalized videos to attendees before the conference inviting them to stop by. You can see in the screenshot below the cup already has Jenelle’s name on it. She clicked on the video – and stopped by the booth. Video personalization enables us to send videos that not only tell our story but show how it is the recipient’s story too.
For some additional inspiration on personalized video, check out some other examples, including the Hangover movie parody we created for Oracle Modern Marketing Experience 2015 as a fun way to invite attendees to a party at the event.
4. Sales Takes a Page out of the Marketing Handbook
Videos are powerful marketing tools, but they’re even more powerful sales tools. In fact, in a recent research report by Ascend2, the companies that are seeing the greatest success with video marketing ranked the effectiveness of different types of videos in the following order:
1. Customer testimonials
2. On-demand product demonstration videos
3. Explainer and tutorial videos
4. Thought leader interviews
5. Project reviews and case studies
6. Live and on-demand webinars
7. Video blogs
8. Event videos
Note that “bottom-of-the-funnel” content like customer testimonials and on-demand product demos lead the list, which may seem somewhat surprising. But if you think about it, this is the content that sits closest to new revenue. Marketers will start to empower sales teams with targeted video content to help them sell, demo, and prove their solution is the best in the market. More and more sales teams will be empowered to create customized and personalized videos to share with prospects to bring the human element back into the selling process. Video is the next best thing to being with someone in person.
5. Video Goes from Outsourced to In-house
For many businesses, video marketing and video production are becoming a core competency, no different from writing, content marketing, PR, and social media. In 2016 we’ll see more businesses investing in in-house video production and video marketing capabilities, from hiring creative directors to building out modest video studios to empowering teams across the organization with the tools and processes they need to get video content delivered quickly and at scale. External agency partners will continue to be important, but many more businesses in 2016 will use internal resources to produce product demos, customer testimonials, thought leadership interviews, campaign videos, and the list goes on.
Video has come a long way in the last few years. Content, both for information and entertainment, is getting better all the time. Organizations are getting more strategic with how they use video. They’re taking advantage of the data that comes with it to see what works and what doesn’t. However, when I think about the full potential for video across Sales and Marketing in both B2B and B2C, I can see that we’re still in the early days. In 2016, we’ll see more organizations realize that potential, and more will continue to push the boundaries further. Get ready to press fast forward.
Read what global marketing experts predict for the Future of Modern Marketing in 2016.
Author’s Bio: Tyler Lessard is CMO of Vidyard, a leading video marketing and analytics platform.