For marketers, online video rocked 2016. But what’s in store for the medium in 2017? Joe Hyland, CMO of ON24, explores the future of video and the important role video data and engagement analytics is poised to play
Video, especially online video, emerged as a marketing stand out in 2016, and the tech and media industry quickly took note. During a third-quarter earnings call in November, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg revealed his company’s “video-first” policy and outlined a vision of video as the dominant medium on the internet in the coming years. It’s a gutsy claim, but, all indicators considered, it’s entirely possible. Nevertheless, the promise of a “video-first” world is not without its own challenges — as Zuckerberg himself is certainly aware of.
So, what’s in store for the medium that rocked 2016? One word: data.
Looking ahead to 2017, video data is slated to revolutionize the way marketers do business. The potential insight marketers, advertisers, and decision makers can pull from their video assets is tremendous. Tapping that data; however, is not as easy it seems. Fortunately, enterprise companies can lead the charge in 2017 with the help of sophisticated video platforms.
Why Video Is The Next Data Gold Mine For The Enterprise
As an enterprise company, it’s no secret enterprise customers are behaving more and more like everyday consumers. And like consumers, today’s enterprise customers love watching videos. Whether impromptu or planned, video engages audiences in ways other mediums cannot.
Unfortunately, over the past decade, collecting data on those viewers was difficult. In the beginning of online video, marketers could only capture data points like views. Later new engagement metrics such as likes and comments came online, providing marketers with improved sentiment analysis.
Fast forward to 2016, and marketers are capturing more data points on viewer behavior than ever before. Now we can tell how long a viewer watched the video for, where they dropped off, who referred them, and more. These insights provide marketers with a richer, more holistic understanding of how their consumers are engaging with videos. Which compared to our past understanding, is fantastic. But to survive 2017, marketers will need to take this valuable data a step further and start to use it to proactively interact with viewers.
Interaction Metrics Will Define Video In 2017
Although a successful “video first” strategy means collecting data detailing how your audiences is engaging with your videos, it also, and more importantly, means knowing what your audience wants. What was the value in their interaction with your video? What steps did they take before and after? Can you even track that data, and therefore learn from it?
Having a better grasp on the answers to those questions allows you as a marketer to better understand where your videos fit along the customer journey. It gives context to your efforts– like seeing hidden details and background outside the camera frame.
Consider a company with a video first strategy anchored by webinars. With contextual data and a firm grasp on their customer’s interactions, marketers can diagnose which prospects are closest to sale by simply referencing the actions they took during the last webinar.
The Future Is Turning Engagement Into A Two-Way Street
Engagement is another area where I believe video is poised to excel in 2017. Two-way engagement — where customers and brands are having an open, productive dialogue — is the Holy Grail of marketing circles. It’s what all marketing departments strive for. How can we get our sales teams conversing with prospects, in a way that’s as productive and helpful as possible? What does it take to have more meaningful conversations? For the past few years, social media platforms have stepped in to provide those avenues of conversation for marketers.
To its credit, social media has revolutionized how marketers approach their customers. But like any tool, it can only do so much. Enterprises struggle to come up with what the next action will be beyond social interactions. Consider this: you’ve opened a dialogue with a customer who is curious about your pricing plans and how to best communicate those details to decision makers internally. Great! Now what? This is an issue I’ve seen time and time again. It’s also where I see video making a huge impact in the next year. Having a robust video archive accessible on-demand provides companies with that next step. Leveraging that on-demand library with video interaction data — now that gives marketers a winning recipe.
There’s no doubt in my mind that 2017 will be the year video data matures. The notorious black hole of video will be a thing of the past, and marketers stand to benefit. Looking ahead, it’s vital marketers assess their current video offerings. Are they collecting interaction metrics, is it on-demand, where does each video fit within their sales funnel, the customer journey? If the answers to these questions are not coming easily, perhaps it’s time to hit the whiteboards.