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Five Takeaways From The Video Marketing Meetup

January 31st, 2018
Kate Kahil - Community Manager

This probably isn’t a surprise to anyone, but video is one of the core disciplines in digital marketing — used to effectively communicate our stories, drive traffic and increase engagement. Yet, it is underserved when it comes to community and thought leadership. In collaboration with FirstCut, we hosted the first of many #VideoMarketingMeetup(s), to drive the video marketing community forward, educate marketers and encourage innovation. We interviewed a panel of industry experts to shed light on what marketers need to know about integrating video into their marketing strategy, how to best harness the power of visual storytelling, and what the future holds for video.

Our panel of experts included Mada Seghete, Co-Founder at Branch; Sian Simpson, Video Director at SaaStr & Director of Community and Content at Kiwi Landing Pad; Anne Gherini, Head of Marketing at Affinity & Columnist at Inc. Magazine and Kate Talbot, Content Marketing Consultant & Author of the Best-Selling Book "Oh Snap! You can use Snapchat for business".

For those of you who may have missed it, we’ve embedded the full video at the bottom of this post, along with our five key takeaways from the Video Marketing Meetup:

Measure Beyond Vanity Metrics

When measuring video, marketers historically have only paid attention to vanity metrics, such as views, likes and comments. Today, and with the addition of video marketing automation, we can now track and measure deeper data; allowing modern marketers to make better-informed decisions. Knowing who watched your videos and for how long helps marketers reach the right people through smarter targeting and ad spend. “If you’re smart with the data, you can penetrate a lot better than trying to spray and pray or try to go viral.” Anne Gherini mentioned when speaking about her experience with custom audiences on Facebook’s ad manager. More specifically, Affinity rolls out customer testimonial videos in nurture email campaigns for prospects who are on the fence — “You don’t need a big budget. It’s just about hitting the right people at the right time,” added Anne.

Use Social Media to Drive Traffic to Long-Form Content

There is a lot of debate around long vs short-form videos and which format is more engaging. Our panel revealed that, in fact, both are equally important when connecting with your audience. And that the key to good engagement is the placement of each form along certain stages of the funnel. Kate stresses the importance of “... getting that first touch point through short and digestible content,” then using long-form content to nurture contacts down the funnel. While  Sian mentioned Kiwi Landing Pad uses Instagram Stories to generate sign ups for their webinars.

All panelist agreed, sharing short-form videos on social media is a great way to get the attention of your audience and gain their interest for long-form content. For Sian and SaaStr, they focus on being customer-centric in their social media posts. “Being targeted and relevant for your customers is the key to hooking the right people in to watch long-form content. People do watch really long content if it’s made for them,” mentioned Sian.

Distribution, Distribution, Distribution

The experts agreed that no matter how great a video is, marketers won’t get results unless the content is distributed properly.

“We’re in an inbound era where marketers focus a lot on creating content, but we also need to think about distribution. We need to be smart and strategic about how are we are getting our content out, otherwise it will just flounder,” mentioned Anne.

With social media algorithms making it increasingly harder for brand’s content to be discovered, the focus on strategic distribution is growing in importance. Both Kate and Anne stressed how in addition to social media marketing, email marketing is a key distribution channel in driving engagement and nurturing prospects down the funnel with video.

“Embedding animated GIFs into our emails entices people to learn more. And especially with our how-to videos. It’s also helped our customer service team and put the onus on the customer,” said Anne about Affinity’s email strategy.

Be Authentic With Video

We found in our State of Online Video Report that live video is three times more engaging than pre-recorded video, making it an important tool for engaging prospects and finding a way around recent changes to social media algorithms. Live video enhances distribution and discoverability of video, as many social platforms prioritize live in user’s feeds. Anne believes, “ video is going to perpell and perpetuate. It’s a big opportunity for brands, even for SaaS brands to take advantage of.” In addition to prioritization, live video is authentic. And authenticity is important, especially for brands who are new and lack equity. “We live these over manicured lives. People want raw and authentic content. And that’s what live video is able to do. It’s a great way to get people to trust you as a new brand,” mentioned Anne.

Visual Storytelling = Powerful Connections

For any brand, the goal is of course to connect with and engage your audience. And all panelist agree this is best done with video.

“We’re testing videos, white papers and other forms of written content and video is actually converting the best. We’re generating a lot of leads from our videos,” mentioned Mada.

Customer testimonial videos have been incredibly powerful in helping Branch capture and nurture contacts. And with that, harnessing the power of visual storytelling will be instrumental for marketers to succeed with video in the future. For Mada, “the more you can tell a story through video, the more you can connect with your customers.”

It’s clear that the key to succeeding with video for marketers is all about creating engaging and authentic content, in combination with strategic distribution and measuring the right data.

Want to hear from the panelists themselves? Watch the Video Marketing Meetup here: 

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