In an era of complete digital uncertainty, one thing remains completely clear:
The future of the internet is video-based.
Modern companies have adjusted accordingly, ramping up their video marketing efforts in a major way, SMBs included.
This begs an important question:
Are companies new to the video marketing trend going about it correctly?
Rapid adoption, of any trend, is not always carried out efficiently; merely starting to churn out more videos doesn’t mean you’re untapping their true marketing potential.
In this blog we’ll present prevailing video marketing practices, and examine whether they enable marketers to get the most out of their videos (hint: they don’t).
Then, we’ll present a more focused, strategic approach to SMB video marketing; one that will show you who is really watching your videos.
Marketing contact bases 101
Modern companies live and die by their database.
This is especially true in regards to SMBs.
Being able to reach out to every contact on that list translates to actual revenue.
Reaching out to customers is incredibly effective; return customers account for 75%-90%(!) of online stores’ revenue.
Sending emails to those who’ve purchased something on your website is easy. Their contact info has to be submitted during checkout.
However, databases can include way more than just info relating to actual customers.
Even basic CRMs and marketing automation platforms cast a wide net when it comes to adding contacts to your contact list.
They will be composed of those who clicked on your blog, visited your site a few times, or clicked on your Facebook ad.
Thanks to said marketing automation platforms, these otherwise scattered interactions with your content translate into a sophisticated, segmented contact base.
With video being the form of content most likely to be engaged with by your prospects (i.e. potential customers), you’d expect anyone who interacts with them to be added to your contact base as well, right?
Well, not always.
Relying on YouTube for Business: Free comes with a price
Few sites rival YouTube in popularity and brand presence.
The world’s second most frequented site is the premier online video destination.
The world of commerce may have some reservations adopting the ‘Tube initially. Today, however, virtually every business or organization, private and public has at least some presence on YouTube.
Many, many websites have expanded (and continue to expand) their use of YouTube by relying on it when it comes to presenting their videos on their own websites.
While free and easy to embed in virtually any content management system, entrusting YouTube videos with onsite videos comes with some serious drawbacks.
First off, showcasing a YouTube video on your ecommerce site or landing page means you are presenting visitors with multiple cracks through which they can bounce out of your site.
Heck, even if your viewer manages to suppress the urge of clicking on one of the various icons that will send them down the YouTube rabbit hole, he or she will be met with distracting content.
The strip of recommended videos that will pop up any time a viewer pauses a video will showcase what Google deems to be appropriate.
You will have little to do with deciding what videos a viewer will be met with.
In some cases, your viewers will be presented videos either showcasing your competitors, or directly promoting them….
However, beyond the obvious problem of viewers jumping ship, YouTube provides little insight into how your videos are being engaged with.
Vanity metrics, such as total view numbers and like to dislike ratios definitely matter, especially for those looking to make a name for themselves as YouTube creators.
For businesses, however, these fail to address a major issue:
How do you know who exactly is watching your video?
How video hosting platforms introduce you to your audience
SMBs that have ramped up their marketing initiatives know this to be true:
You need unique platforms to carry out each specific marketing endeavor.
Email marketing at scale requires platforms such as HubSpot and Keap.
To set up your online store, you need ecommerce solutions, like Square and Shopify.
Video is no different.
To go about video marketing the right way, you’ll need a video hosting solution.
First off, platforms such as Cincopa will put an end to your videos acting as a trap door through which visitors bounce out. Presenting videos in a way that feels completely organic to your site and brand, video hosting platforms offer video players devoid of any third party content.
You decide what videos are recommended to your visitors after they finish the one they engage with.
Perhaps most importantly, video hosting platforms provide SMBs with the holy grail of video marketing:
The ability to see who truly is engaging with your videos.
Remember how marketing automation platforms collect visitor information?
Video hosting platforms register every interaction a visitor has with a given video.
You will know who every viewer is, where he or she was in the world while watching, and what device they used to do so.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
With video being the type of content most likely to be engaged with on your website, it’s important to learn how each viewer engaged with it.
Did a viewer watch your video more than once? Did he or she return for a second, third, twelfth viewing? At what point did he or she drop off during the video? And, at what second did he or she come back to in each repeated viewing?
A good video hosting platform will present this information to SMB personnel in a way that is clear and easy to digest.
Video hosting platforms will also present aggregated analytical insights. Unlike total views or number of likes, these data provide actionable insights.
Features such as Cincopa Heatmap show you exactly how your video performed within a defined time period.
The descending graph illustrates the rate at which your viewers abandoned your video.
These metrics can help you make pivotal decisions in regards to your video.
If you see a major dropoff early on in the video, you might want to reconsider how you kick things off.
You may be failing to wow your audience right out of the gate, and may need to think of upping the theatrical ante a bit.
Conversely, if you see that the majority of viewers drop off at the middle section, you may want to edit that part out.
Sometimes, shorter really does equal better.
Video hosting platforms enable SMBs to convert viewers into customers
Enterprises leverage any and all of their content to gauge buyer intent. If a visitor to your website is willing to sign up to your newsletter, download a brochure or answer a poll, at the very least, he or she has shown actual interest in your services or product.
Video hosting platforms enable you to transform your videos into customer developing machines.
You can arrange for forms to appear during high-leverage moments throughout a given video. Once you’ve succeeded in piquing a viewer’s interest (remember how we spoke about coming out hot, straight out of the gate?), you can see to it that he or she is met with a pop-up form. In order to continue watching, your viewer will have to submit personal info; the kind you may not have access to, otherwise (e.g. their phone number).
On-video form submission is a strong barometer to someone’s interest in a solution:
On-video forms are a great customer-generating tool; however, they are hardly the only ones made available when presenting videos via video hosting platforms.
Once a video is over, you can present viewers with a clickable call-to-action.
One of marketing’s cardinal sins is hyping a product or service and failing to strike while the iron’s hot. Assisting a stimulated blog reader to explore your product or service by ways of relevant calls-to-action is internetting 101.
Traditional, sidebar calls-to-action provide significant ROI, improving conversion rates by 121%.
Given that video CTAs have been found to be clicked on at 65% to %380(!!) higher rates, not incorporating them seems almost criminal.
Take things to the next level by incorporating video analytics in marketing automation activities
SMBs have had an up and down relationship with marketing automation. Wary of adopting a platform that is both costly and difficult to operate, small businesses traditionally opted to rely on basic platforms for marketing endeavors.
Times have changed.
An explosion in new solutions tailored for SMBs unique needs and budgetary constraints have transformed MAPs (marketing automation platforms) into easily attainable marketing weapons for any company.
Here’s where things become really interesting.
Marketing automation platforms, such as Keap (or even robust email marketing platforms, such as Constant Contact) can be integrated with good video hosting platforms.
That way, you can incorporate visitors’ video engagement patterns into powerful automated processes.
Here are two cool applications that will showcase just how potent a pairing video analytics and marketing automation make:
Incorporating video engagement in workflows:
Arguably the most important element of any marketing automation platform, workflows see to it that contacts are met with content most relevant to them. Based on predefined conditions, a given contact will be presented a blog, email or form in accordance to his or her interaction with other website content. You define engagement thresholds; contacts failing to meet them will be approached differently than those who meet or surpass them.
Videos can join blogs, emails, checkout pages as workflow parameters, when you integrate a video hosting platform with your MAP.
You can define workflow enrollment triggers based on positive video engagement behavior(e.g. ‘contact clicked play on two or more videos’), or facilitate further workflow sequences based on how a contact engages with a video (e.g. ‘if contact watches the checkout page video beyond the half point mark, send him or her an email with a discount code. If contact abandons video before the halfway point, send him or her a promotional blog ’).
Use video interaction to score leads
Commonly used by B2B companies, lead scoring can be applied to SMB sales prospects (i.e. potential customers) to great effect.
Companies attribute scores to each contact on their marketing automation platform’s CRM.
Contacts listed in your marketing automation platform can be given a score, based on their interaction with your content. Once a contact accumulates a certain score, he or she can be contacted by the sales department.
When integrating your MAP with your marketing automation system, you can score contacts based on their interaction with your video.
You can give positive points to contacts who showcase desired video engagement (e.g. ‘award 10 points to contact when he or she clicks on CTA at the end of the video ). Alternatively, you can attribute negative points to contacts who fail to meet certain behavioral thresholds(‘award -10 points to contact if he or she abandons a video within the first 5 seconds’).
Final thoughts and takeaways
SMBs are no strangers to the power of video marketing.
Many, many small and medium businesses rely on video to get the word out about their unique offerings. It’s completely reasonable that they expect to know how their videos are performing and who’s watching them.
While free and commonly-used, YouTube embeds won’t provide you with the kind of business insights you rightfully expect.
Video hosting solutions do. Offering a strategic approach to video marketing, video hosting solutions will show you exactly how each viewer engaged with your video. By integrating with your marketing automation systems, individual viewers’ video engagement can trigger powerful automated marketing initiatives; the kind that lead to bottom-line results.
Originally published Jun 07, 2020, updated Dec 30, 2022