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How to Maximize the Power of Video in Your Marketing Automation Efforts Video is the surest route to building trust and real, human connections. Are you using it yet to connect your brand with your consumers?

By Daniel Marlow Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


A new partnership between HubSpot and video-marketing automation platform TwentyThree is the most recent testament to the growing power of video as a marketing tool. Consumers crave visual content more than ever before -- and their taste for video continues to increase.

According to a study by Wistia, people spend more than double the time on web pages with video that they do on pages without video. And yet a study by Demand Metric found that less than 10 percent of companies surveyed were incorporating that highly actionable viewing data into their marketing automation or CRM systems.

If your business is among those nine out of 10 video marketing laggards, you're missing out on the chance to create important emotional connections with potential customers. Here are some of the reasons you should change gears now:

Video lives and breathes.

Which is more memorable -- meeting someone in person or seeing his or her picture on Facebook?

For most people, the more memorable experience is probably the former. The experience of striking up a new acquaintance in person has more capacity to elicit real emotion. Brands are always striving to reach that same level of trust; and building an emotional connection is the best way to grab attention and create authentic, lasting bonds.

Related: 4 Keys to Creating the Video Ad Your Business Needs

Until everyone owns a virtual reality headset, video is going to be the only way to truly capture multiple layers of human emotion. Not only can a piece of video be sad or thrilling, but it's a medium that also persuades audiences to be engaged. Just as you would during a live conversation with another person, as a viewer of video, you're constantly scanning the faces, gestures and body language of the people on screen to better understand what they're trying to tell you.

Appealing humans, not just prospects

Consider two tools that airlines use to communicate safety information: Would you rather read a 2D print pamphlet in the seat back in front of you or watch a video with music involving actors and stunts? Both mediums contain the same information, but video is almost universally preferred because of its intrinsically human qualities.

Take a look at this Red Bull commercial, for example. While it breaks many traditional advertising rules (the brand name isn't even mentioned until 23 seconds into the 29-second spot, for one thing), it ultimately wins over audiences by juxtaposing athletic feats with emotional displays of smiles, laughter and hugs.

Pretty effective, right? Now, let's explore how video used at each stage of the buyer's journey can have the same effect on your customers.

1. You can tempt them into the funnel. The first step in the buyer journey is awareness. All potential customers have a basic problem they want to solve, whether they know it or not. As they research general information about your product, you can deploy several types of videos to clarify your value proposition and introduce your brand as a promising partner.

Educational videos, such as this one we created for the Special Olympics, focus less on the company or product and more on the bigger picture or industry to illuminate the need that the brand hopes to fill. You can post educational videos on your website, blog and social channels; run them as ads; or send them to potential customers via email.

Related: 3 Ways to Optimize Your Video Advertising Strategy on Facebook

Explainer videos, such as this one for our client BurgerFi, offer more of an overview of your particular business. They outline the problem it aims to solve, the ways in which your product or service can solve it and the reasons why your team is right for the job. Explainer videos belong anywhere that allows video content.

Commercial videos are typically used as online or televised ads, just as you'd expect. A sharp, engaging commercial can instantly capture your targets' attention and highlight some of the solutions that your brand offers that they may not have considered before.

2. You can give them something intriguing to consider. Once people have a clear understanding of the problem being addressed, they'll begin to analyze different potential solutions. You can help them understand why your brand is the right fit by employing two styles of video.

Product videos can live on your site to demonstrate why your product or service is superior to the competition. They might appear on a product page or be incorporated into a stand-alone ad, and they're great for retargeting someone who has visited your page previously but didn't convert.

Tutorial or FAQ videos are useful for showcasing the many benefits of your solution. They effectively demonstrate why enlisting your services or buying your product is going to meet customers' needs and exceed their expectations. If your product is complex, you can create in-depth tutorial videos to highlight your product's ease of use in an engaging and highly accessible way. For example, Evernote posts how-to videos on its YouTube channel that walk viewers through how to use the tool.

3. You can help them make a wise decision. At the decision stage, buyers have decided that they do have a problem and need to find a way to solve it. They've researched all of the options available to them and are nearly ready to make a decision. Now, it's your job to convince them that your company is the one to choose.

In addition to some of the videos mentioned above, a video introducing your team, such as this one we produced for T.J.Maxx, is a great addition to your blog or "About Us" page. Featuring testimonial videos on your client page, blog or homepage can also be a powerful way to drive conversions.

Customers are especially trusting of other people who have had experience with your business. Eighty-four percent of people surveyed said they held online reviews in the same high regard as personal recommendations of friends, family and co-workers, according to BrightLocal's annual Local Consumer Review Survey 2016. And that figure isn't likely to decline: This stat has increased year after year since the survey was first conducted in 2010.

And . . . that's a wrap!

No matter what type of video you're employing or where it fits into your sales funnel, all videos should feature a few key elements:

First, high-quality content is a must. Your video is a reflection of your brand, so it should be polished and authentic, to instill confidence in your visitors.

Next, a call to action is vital to move potential customers further through the funnel. Experiment by placing your call to action in different locations within each video to find out which sees the most engagement. Finally, taking care that your messaging is clear and concise will ensure that viewers can easily digest your video in a single viewing, meaning your investment in a great marketing tool won't go to waste when they click away after 30 seconds.

Related: 6 Ways to Use Video to Sell New-Product Concepts

Overall, when it comes to customer relationship management, video is the surest route to building trust and real, human connections. So, above all else, make sure you capture accurate viewing data for your online videos, no matter which channel or platform people watch them on. The levels of engagement that each one attracts will provide invaluable data you can analyze to inform future campaigns and tweak current initiatives, to achieve the kind of results and return on investment you seek.

Daniel Marlow

Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Lemonlight Media

Daniel Marlow, founder and chief creative officer at Lemonlight Media, has helped brands produce more than 4,000 videos in the past three years. His portfolio includes work from Hyatt, Fila, Wayfair, T.J.Maxx and countless others. Prior to Lemonlight, Marlow won Best Documentary at the Eureka Springs Film Festival.

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