As January finally draws to a close, and we congratulate ourselves on having made it through arguably the most miserable month of the year, thoughts turn to what the rest of 2016 holds.
From a digital marketing perspective, here at Brightcove we see there being five top trends to watch out for throughout 2016: marketing automation, interactive video, personalisation, account based marketing, and live video experiences.
Let’s take a quick look at each:
1. Marketing automation
2015 was the year that marketing automation really caught fire in the United States. As 2016 progresses, we expect to see more multinational companies pushing the use of their marketing automation platforms in EMEA and APAC. The reason for this is simple: a compelling ROI.
Though it might seem counterintuitive – when using a term like ‘automation’ – marketing automation allows marketers to go beyond the concept of personas, and create individual portraits of an online user, based on his or her preferences and activities. While their use has enabled marketers to take their campaigns to new targeted levels, marketing automation users often miss out on the opportunity to couple their platforms with online video.
Given the proven power of video for marketing however, it’s critical that marketers begin to integrate their online video and marketing automation platforms together in order to use video’s rich metrics to better inform their marketing. Done correctly, this should drive better lead generation and nurture tracks, and ultimately increase conversion and retention of customers.
2. Interactive video
According to a recent piece of Brightcove-sponsored research from Demand Metric, roughly one in five of our customers and partners are already using interactive video, while a further one in four either have plans to use it, or have just started out with it.
Interactive video’s ongoing surge in popularity – and importance – can be attributed to its ability to allow marketers to create 1:1 online conversations with their prospects and customers. With interactive video viewers can tailor and explore the content presented to them in any way they like – choosing between content paths, taking related quizzes, and discovering additional content which might be of interest.
The result of this level of interaction is two-fold: 1) marketers gain the data-driven insight to serve compelling content to the viewer, and 2) viewers are able to define what content is relevant to them, and thus create a better online experience.
In 2016 we will see interactive video’s use increase both in scale, and reach within businesses. Many of our customers now utilise it internally as well as externally, enhancing their executive communications, learning initiatives, and internal communications.
Personalisation is a very broad term that covers areas from segmentation to hyper-personalisation. At Brightcove we think of it as data-driven lead nurturing that allows the marketer to send hyper-relevant content and generate high response rates. Simple!
In 2016, marketers will continue to personalise many areas of marketing including web marketing, content marketing, and video marketing. Tying the previous trends together, rather than sending out blasts of anonymous content, marketers can now refine the content gleaned from marketing automation and interactive experiences, and send personalised content.
One particular area where our customers are creating increasingly personalised viewing experiences is on their video portals. Some are creating sites for particular targets. Others are combining video and web personalisation, dynamically reconfiguring the videos on their portal based on an individual viewer’s onsite activity.
Personalisation also blends nicely into the fourth marketing trend for 2016 – that of account-based marketing, combining both marketing and sales activity to targeted accounts.
4. Account-based marketing
A term that has been around for a number of years now, account-based marketing is used to describe the practice and structure that moves marketers from marketing to a mass vertical or demographic, to very high touch interactions with a select few ‘accounts’. Aiming to appeal to collective decision-making versus that of an individual, these interactions fast track prospects to conversion, retain those customers over time, and ensure that marketing and sales align from awareness to conversion to advocacy.
With budgets tight and the pressure always on to make the most of marketing spend, account-based marketing is being adopted at a much larger scale than ever before – and is only going to get bigger in the future.
5. Live video
Live video is a fantastic way to ensure that people who can’t be at an event physically, are still able to experience that event as intimately as possible. At Brightcove, we have been focused on melding this live experience with other forms of community engagement to create a special digital experience; making it simple and effective for marketers to create the experience and for viewers to then engage with it.
Our Gallery Live product was designed for the three stages of live event video marketing. Pre-event, viewers can see videos that promote the live event, engage in social media around the event and take various actions suggested on the page. During the event, the live video is surrounded by real-time social engagements. Post-event, viewers are able to view video-on-demand, review content on the page and click links to related calls-to-action.
By using live video in their marketing, customers such as Sotheby’s, Hugo Boss and BassMaster have already greatly expanded the reach of their events, allowing customers to have positive, more engaging experiences with those brands. With a diary stacked full of events this year – from fashion week to the Olympics – we can expect to see live video really take hold in 2016.