Kimbe MacMaster is a Content Marketing Manager at Vidyard, the video intelligence platform. She loves all aspects of content marketing and has a special place in her heart for using video to drive real business results. We recently caught up with her to learn why video is so important to a brand’s marketing strategy and how businesses can do it better. Here’s what she had to say:

How important is video today to a brand’s marketing strategy?

Video is a critical component of any brand’s marketing strategy mainly because it’s the medium your buyers are craving. More than 72 percent of buyers are watching video throughout the entire path to purchase and nearly 50 percent are watching 30 minutes or more of video content. If you’re not producing video content, then you’re not meeting the content requirements of today’s video-hungry buyers. And they’ll probably go somewhere else to find it.

That being said, using video is about more than simply pumping out content in video form on the regular. Today’s high-performing, modern marketers have built a video marketing strategy into their greater marketing plans. They’re using video content strategically throughout the entire funnel by tailoring different content to different personas, using video to increase brand awareness, educate prospects, and lead buyers down the next steps in the sales funnel.

What makes video such a useful tool?

First off, video provides both audio and visual stimulation, which automatically makes it more engaging for audiences than other content mediums. Video reels viewers in and can communicate compelling stories and evoke emotions stronger than text-based communications like blogs or whitepapers. And we all know that stories and emotional connectivity are the keys to building strong relationships with your prospects and encouraging interest in your company.

Plus, video’s linear nature makes it extremely useful for tracking content success and even individual viewer behavior. With a video, you can see how long people are watching for or if they’re dropping off, allowing you to identify problem areas in your video content. (Bet you can’t do that with your latest ebook!) Similarly, you can track individual prospects if you’re using a video platform in conjunction with a marketing automation platform to see things like who’s clicking which video links and then ultimately sending them new content (or over to sales!) based on the video content they’re most interested in.

What trends have you observed in how video is being used for marketing right now?

When video first came into marketers’ toolkits, it was generally in the form of high-production videos for limited use cases. Most frequently, it was created to describe their company overall on their home page or to generate brand awareness.

As brands realized the power of video more and more and recognized the need for more content without the Hollywood production, companies started developing more in-house production teams. They also began to use video throughout the funnel to generate more leads, score those leads, and help nurture buyers towards the purchase decision.

Now, the latest trend is personalized video. This isn’t just video that is created for unique personas, but videos that speak to one specific individual. With personalized components like a name, email address, company, job title, etc. right within the video, marketing organizations are using personalized video to connect one-on-one and increase engagement.

How can brands measure the effectiveness of their video campaigns?

Measuring video success is about so much more than view counts. If 1 million people viewed your video, but no business was generated from it, was that a success or not? I mean, it does depend on your goal for the video, but generally speaking, you’d hope to be influencing some sort of leads, pipeline, or revenue.

The top three metrics I would recommend for measuring the effectiveness of your video campaigns are:

  • Attention span: how many of your viewers are watching your video all the way through?
  • Influencing the next step: how many viewers took the next step after your video (clicked the in-video CTA, filled out the form, etc)
  • Video views influencing MQLs, SALs, and won deals: do prospects who watch this video ultimately convert?

Why is it important that brands monitor the effectiveness of their campaigns?

We call the approach of publishing videos and hoping for the best the “post and pray” approach. This isn’t what you want to aspire to. What if you spent months getting a video campaign ready and out the door, only to find out that it is underperforming on its lead generation goals? You’d want to know that. Especially if the video your team produced in three days has contributed more to pipeline than any other video so far. If you had access to this information, you could produce more of the second videos and less of the first. You’d have (a) more leads and (b) more time!

There is no reason we shouldn’t all be measuring the effectiveness of our campaigns. It’s the bread and butter to building a successful marketing organization. Gone are the days of “we’ll do it the way it’s always been done!”.

What do you think are the most common mistakes or oversights organizations make when using video for marketing?

The biggest thing I would say we see organizations forgetting about is utilizing the data that’s available for individual viewing behavior. There’s so much information accessible that can help you better understand your leads and who’s consuming what video content, which ultimately paints a clearer picture of who’s more qualified to buy.

Why is personalization so important for video marketing?

Every single person (and even their dog, at this point) receives so many marketing messages every day. So many messages that our attention span is actually shrinking partly because of this. Connecting one-to-one with your audience is really the best way to capture – and keep – their attention. And doing so with video adds that extra boost since it’s already a preferred medium.

What can brands be doing to personalize their video marketing?

Utilize a personalized video service that automates the personalization process (we offer this at On top of being able to customize certain aspects within your actual campaign videos, you can use personalized thumbnails to get prospects to view your videos. For example, using a personalized thumbnail within an email can increase click-through rates by four-and-a-half times.