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Vidyard’s primary focus is helping marketing organizations transform video content into an effective medium for buyer engagement by analyzing who’s actually watching and for how long. Rather than deliver insight on downloads or clicks, video analytics can provide a glimpse into a linear interaction with content, namely the moment when someone loses interest, or is drawn in further. Tyler Lessard, CMO of Vidyard, spoke with eMarketer’s Maria Minsker about the role of video analytics in the marketing stack.
eMarketer: How does Vidyard define viewability? When does an engagement count as a full view?
Tyler Lessard: Our role is to provide underlying data, so we don’t presume anything when it comes to viewability. We give our customers the average drop-off rates at different points throughout the video so they can better understand which content is working based on their own benchmarks. We also track who’s watching video content and send that data to our customers’ marketing and sales systems to determine which videos drive the sales funnel. This has been a big black box for marketers, but based on how much they’re spending on video content, it’s becoming more important for them to be able to justify and see [return on investment] ROI on that content.
eMarketer: Are your customers placing more calls to action into their videos in an effort to bridge the gap between video marketing and sales?
Lessard: Yes, absolutely. We see a lot of our customers using those, primarily the post-roll action. At the end of the video, they include an interactive capability that says, “Click here to do this,” or a metadata collection feature that says, “If you want to learn more, enter your information.” We’re also starting to see different interactive elements be used throughout the video to create customized viewing experiences. We see it more in the [business-to-business] B2B space, where it’s about the educational process.
eMarketer: Can you explain how Vidyard’s technology is able to pinpoint the individual who is watching the video?
eMarketer: How do customers use your technology to build more personalized content?
Lessard: We’re in the attention economy. Cutting through the clutter is the most difficult thing for marketers these days, because people are bombarded with messages. Personalization has been proven to increase clickthrough and engagement rates. Users can weave in an individual’s name, company name and logo into the video, as well as generate a thumbnail image that contains one of these personalized elements. We’ve found that when email blasts contain personalized thumbnails, clickthrough rates grow eight to 10 times.
eMarketer: Personalization can be effective if done well. What are some of the challenges that get in the way?
Lessard: It all comes down to the maturity of the data, and the actual content experiences. If the content sucks, it doesn’t matter how personalized it is; people aren’t going to engage in it. If marketers are not producing things that people want to consume, then the effort is going to be fruitless.
eMarketer: Besides personalization, what other technology challenges are top of mind for your customers?
Lessard: Personalization is one half, but the other half is attribution reporting—developing a better understanding of how different content is performing. As video budgets increase, questions about how effective it’s been and how video contributes to engagement arise. Attribution data is becoming more important, so we’re seeing more of our customers not only integrate that data into their marketing system, but also into their CRM systems to ensure that data flows all the way through for closed-loop reporting.
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