Detailed Analytics Make Video A Rising Content Star

Published: March 20, 2013

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth an inbox full of email, E-books and white papers. B2B marketers have been increasingly adding video to their content playbook as vendors roll out tools that enable them to gather more precise information about not only who downloaded their video, but how long they viewed it, what sections they played back and other unique metrics that marketers can’t track with other types of content.

As executives become more engaged with video, it is becoming a more powerful way for B2B marketers to communicate. The Echo Effect Study 2012 by IDG found that 58% of B2B tech buyers watched videos to find information on products they wish to buy, and 54% watched videos for product reviews. After watching a video, 66% researched a product; 46% visited a vendor web site or contacted a vendor for more information; 42% purchased a product; and 25% added the vendor to the short list for consideration.

The increased availability of detailed analytics is at the heart of the changing attitude toward video, observers noted. “One of the challenges that B2B marketers have faced in terms of video is that they have a library of 100 or 200 videos and they haven’t been able to know, until fairly recently, how customers are engaging with that content,” said Michael Litt, President of Vidyard, a video analytics firm. “It has been hard for B2B marketers to know what impact video was having on the bottom line. Video has been somewhat of a black box. Money goes in, but you don’t know how much comes out.”

One of the major shifts in terms of video analytics, experts explain, is that video analytics are now integrated with marketing automation systems. Vidyard, for example, integrates with HubSpot and Eloqua, and there are plans to integrate with Marketo, Litt said.

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“Video has gone from a feel good thing that many marketers did without really knowing the impact to something that can actually generate real leads and real follow-up,” added Alex Salop, Director of Enterprise Product Marketing for Brainshark, a sales enablement platform provider. “By taking a granular look at video consumption, marketers can identify opportunities to increase the return on their investment.”

Engagement Scoring Is Key

Engagement scoring — scoring a lead based on the length of time that an individual watched a video, how many videos they watched during a certain period and other metrics — is an important metric, according to industry observers.

“Engagement scoring really delves into how a user consumed your video content,” Litt said. “You can know that an individual played a certain section multiple times or that they skipped to a specific section of a video. That helps you target your follow-up with that user. If they are watching a video about software, for example, and they looked at the parts of the video covering PCs but didn’t view video covering other platforms, that provides the marketer with solid information about that individual user’s interests.”

A B2B buyer who spends a lot of time watching a video is at least in the initial stages of the purchasing process, if not further along.“Engagement scoring helps distinguish between the tire kickers and solid prospects because you can track just how people interacted with video, something you can’t do with an email, white paper or E-book, where really all that you know is that they downloaded it, but you don’t know they stopped reading after the first few paragraphs,” said Michael Kolowich, Founder and CEO of KnowledgeVision, an online presentation platform provider. “Every time someone views a video with an engagement score of seven out of 10, for example, you can boost their lead score by an extra amount and fire off an email to the owner of that lead and generate some markers in your CRM system.”

In addition to metrics such as total views, where viewers came from, how long they watched the video and when they left, where they go after the video, and which browsers and devices they’re watching on, B2B marketers also want to know how various promotions performed, experts noted. “We track things like where we promoted the video, which promotions were most successful, and how many shares or comments the video received,” said Katelyn de Diego, Senior Marketing Content Specialist for Citrix, a provider of cloud-based solutions for collaboration and data sharing. “This gives an overall view of the video’s performance and helps us track the success of topics and promotions over time.”

Using Analytics To Shape Future Content

Video analytics can also help marketers produce more compelling videos going forward, Litt said. “By looking, in aggregate, where people spent the most time on a video and where they dropped off, marketers can use that data going forward,” he explained. “By focusing on video content that is resonating with users, the marketing spend on video production becomes much more targeted and the return on the investment is higher.”

Video analytics can also provide detailed information on the devices being used to view the video, be it a PC, tablet, smartphone of other device.

“It used to be that video analytics were an operational task, and the operations guys could provide some basic data on how many downloads there were of a particular video, but now marketers are looking at video analytics as an indicator of content relevance,” said Jason Thibeault, Senior Director of Marketing Strategy for Limelight Networks, a provider of cloud-based SaaS applications for digital presence management. “You can know if the video is being viewed more frequently on an iPad or a PC, so that you can adjust the content accordingly. You can also know if a particular video is getting more views in a particular geographical region, which can be valuable information for developing future content. If I know more about the behavior of my customers and prospects, I can tweak the message appropriately.”

Registration, surveys and other forms can also be incorporated into video to provide more feedback to tailor future content, observers said.

“These all provide huge opportunities to use video more effectively as well as shape other marketing content,” said David Klein, Senior Product Director for Brainshark. “There is really a lot of potential for interactivity that marketers just don’t have with other types of content.”

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