Using and Measuring Video Throughout the Buyer Journey
This era of explosive technology we’re living through has B2B marketers scrambling to develop a sound methodology around ever-evolving video tools and platforms.
While video marketing remains one of the most effective ways to usher people through the buyer’s journey, video alone should not do all the heavy lifting. Neither should it be an afterthought. Ideally, video should be a complementary component of a complete campaign, developed and executed strategically.
B2B marketers are still learning how to find this middle ground, where the video content they create is produced and deployed with measurable goals in place. What’s needed is an increase in focus, and alignment with the buyer’s mindset as they navigate a complex decision path.
The following guidance will help your team craft a data-driven video marketing strategy that delivers the right content at the right time to the right audience.
Get your data in order.
Data is a powerful tool. Unlike other forms of marketing content, video offers metrics that go deeper, such as view duration. The data derived from video can help you obtain a complete view of the buyer’s journey, but to see it clearly, this data needs to be connected.
Integrating the tools you use to manage, distribute, and track your video content is the fastest way to access the meaningful metrics that can drive your video strategy. With a seamless flow of data between your CRM, website, ad platform, and other tools, you can gain insight into your customer and their online behavior that will shape your campaigns as you go.
Not only will you know who’s watching, what they’re watching, and for how long, but you will be able to see what other content they’ve consumed, where it was consumed, and the pathway of touchpoints that led them through other channels to your content.
Pinpoint movement in the buyer’s journey.
With this data in hand, your marketing team can work on identifying movement within the buyer’s journey so they can make more intentional decisions around lead nurturing.
By reviewing historic video engagement data, you can extrapolate which content worked best for clients at various stages of the journey. These are the metrics to monitor at each stage:
Brand awareness is a vital part of developing brand salience, attracting talent, and casting a wide net for future audience growth.
View count and play rate are the most telling metrics in the awareness stage. The more views, the more folks are thinking about your brand. A good play rate means more of the right people are aware of your brand.
Buyers at this point of the journey are looking for a solution to a problem. They’ve started exploring possibilities and are researching ahead of reaching out.
To find what’s working at this stage, you’ll want to dig down into the metrics that deliver data on time spent viewing. The more engaged your audience is, the more they’ll remember about your brand and product the next time they’re looking for a solution.
To make discovery of this metric a lot less time-consuming, Brightcove has developed an engagement score that analyzes overall engagement with your video and assigns a score based on number of views at each point in time across the total length of the video.
While it is possible to see the results of a conversion based on lead capture data, it isn’t something that shows up in the video metrics. There is no single piece of data you can look at and conclude, “At timestamp 2:41 in the third video we published this month, we earned a conversion!”
Sure, you could embed a lead form in every video (which is a great way to fatigue your audience and depress engagement). But that won’t show how many future conversions the video contributed by keeping the lead engaged.
This pivotal point is the product of all the touchpoints that came before. Those are the metrics you want to focus on to ensure you’re moving your leads to that conversion point effectively.
Touchpoint mapping helps you see where a video falls along the path to conversion and allows you to identify optimization opportunities.
For example, after generating a lot of awareness with display ads, maybe you decide to embed a product review video at the top of your homepage. Just as you hoped, it has lots of views and a high play rate (awareness metrics), indicating the right people are viewing the content.
However, it has a really low engagement score (consideration metric), and most of those viewers leave your site and never come back.
Though they were clearly interested in your brand, they weren’t ready to buy your product. They were still researching solutions, not choosing the best product, and your video addressed the latter, not the former.
Remember, the right audience at the wrong time is the wrong audience.
Bringing the journey full circle, you once again want to pay attention to engagement numbers.
MAP integration can show you if new customers are watching onboarding and training videos, if existing customers are engaging with video content about add-on products and services, and if new users within existing accounts are engaging with video content.
Once you understand these trends, you can make changes to optimize your retention strategy.
Build a strategic video marketing plan.
You’ve got the data. You know what metrics to monitor. Now it’s time to build a video marketing strategy across the full buyer’s journey.
Again, let’s look at each stage of the journey and consider what types of video are most effective at driving those metrics, getting your audience engaged, and capturing lead data when buyers are ready to talk.
The 95:5 rule states that at any point in time, only 5% of buyers in your category are in-market for what you’re offering. You want to capture the attention of those other 95% so when they are ready to buy, your brand is top-of-mind.
Videos that are effective at this stage include educational, explainer, and brand videos. Audiences will see these videos through paid ads, video syndication, or on social media. These videos will ignite the audience’s interest and help create mental associations with your brand.
The awareness videos have done their job and active buyers are ready to look to you for a solution to their problem.
Videos that deliver for buyers at this stage are ones that focus more on buyer pain points and the direct solutions you offer that can help them solve their challenges or achieve desired business outcomes. You should be referring to your products at this stage, but not in a pushy or overly promotional way. Put viewer value at the forefront with practical insights and explainer videos that address specific problems and actionable solutions.
One of the best ways to gain buy-in is to have other people speak positively on your behalf.
Customer testimonials and other forms of social proof are powerful tools at the conversion stage. Under pressure to use their budgets wisely, buyers want to know that other organizations have experienced success with your product.
At this stage, you’ll want to include a lead capture form so you can facilitate a next step of sales outreach. Make a compelling pitch and be clear about what users can expect if they share their contact info.
Once buyers have experienced a win with your product, they’re ready to discover what else you can do for them.
Videos that cover new features, updates, and new products will keep your current customers excited about continuing to do business with you. This is also an opportunity to build community and deepen rapport, so think about ways to showcase your company culture and even the avid fans in your customer base.
It’s time to be strategic with video.
You don’t need to deploy your video marketing strategy with a firehose. Nurturing leads is best done with a watering-can approach—purposeful and measured amounts delivered at the right time.