Using Video in Your Marketing Automation Strategy

13 September, 2019  

Marketing automation is an unstoppable force. Why? Because the modern business world has been growing too complex, far too quickly. So, marketing automation has come to save the day, simplifying some of the most time-consuming and tricky processes marketers have to deal with.

Moreover, online video consumption has been increasing non-stop. To the point that Cisco predicts that 82% of online traffic will be video three years from now. Something that makes complete sense once you stop to consider that the vast majority of consumers prefer this type of engaging, entertaining, and useful content over others.

See where I’m going with this?

By implementing video in your marketing automation, you can elevate your marketing strategy’s effectiveness, and reap better results than you’d previously thought possible! However, to do so, you need to understand how each piece of this puzzle connects and works with one another…

Let’s start from the beginning!

What is Marketing Automation?

It’s a system developed to automatically manage marketing processes with multifunctional campaigns, and through multiple channels.

As your company starts to grow, it gets quite difficult to keep a 1:1 relationship with each one of your (potential) customers. Imagine managing tasks like sending emails, setting up meetings, tracking prospects, and scheduling social media content, all at once. It sounds messy, inefficient, time-consuming, and hard to accomplish.

That’s when marketing automation (or lead nurturing) comes in.

Its main purpose is to simplify and organize your marketing campaigns, maximizing efficiency, and increasing profits. Instead of performing these processes manually, you use a software platform to set workflows with repetitive tasks like sending messages.

By using marketing automation, you get to track and understand your audience, build (or nurture) stronger relationships with your leads, and accelerate your sales funnel.

Video marketing guide for 2020

Set Goals

Whether you use video in your marketing automation or not, setting your goals is always the first step of any marketing strategy. Depending on your priorities or your business’ necessities, the specifics of your situation will vary.

The great thing about marketing automation is that you can develop personalized experiences and interactions based on your customer’s needs. That’s why you have to ask yourself what you want to achieve, and how video content can help you do it.    

Goals are usually related to your leads: generating, nurturing, or delighting them. We can sort them into three categories:

  • Lead Generation: If you want to start expanding your contacts list, then you have to connect with new prospects. This is usually done by adding a form to collect email addresses.
  • Lead Nurturing: Your efforts are focused on listening to your prospect’s needs and providing personalized information or answers. If your goal is lead nurturing, then you should link relevant video content to your emails.
  • Customer Delight: Do you want to provide awesome and memorable experiences to your customers, so they go out and sing praises of your brand? Customer delight is all about that: Exceeding your customer’s expectations to create an emotional connection with your brand.

Classify your Leads

Not all your leads are the same. That’s another important lesson to learn here.

Understanding where your leads are in the sales process (therefore, what questions they have or obstacles they are facing) it’s a crucial aspect to determine the right type of video content to send them.

When you generate new leads and start the lead-nurturing process, you won’t treat them all the same, or send them the same video piece. You first have to group them based on a special set of characteristics.

Are you dealing with someone who just signed up on your blog or website? Is it a marketing qualified lead (MQL), or is it more advanced in the purchase process and has become a sales qualified lead (SQL)? It all depends on how they behave and how engaged they are with your brand.

Here’s a list with five different stages of the lead lifecycle to help you identify and classify them:

  • Subscribers: People that don’t know much about you but chose to hear from you periodically. For example, by signing up for your blog or newsletter. By offering high-quality and interesting content, you can nurture them further and move them forward in the cycle.
  • Leads: These people have shown more interest in your company and what you offer. They probably have filled out a form, which gives you more information about them, like where they live, gender, and age.
  • MQL: Marketing Qualified Leads are deeply engaged with your content and more sales-ready than regular leads, but not “ready enough” to close the deal. You can designate different ways to trigger the upgrade of a lead to the MQL stage. Take the following image as an example:

In the picture above, we show you the criteria we used to change the lifecycle stage from a Lead to an MQL using video: If a lead watches a specific video and if that Lead is from the US, the workflow will change the Lifecycle property from Lead to MQL Lead.

  • SQL: Sales Qualified Leads is a classification reserved for people that have advanced an MQL’s engagement stage, and are now ready for the next phase of the sales funnel. These are leads primed for a sales push!
  • Customer: Lastly, the “customer” stage is reserved for a lead that has gone through all other stages of your funnel and already bought from you.

Classify your Video Content   

Ok,  let’s talk a little more about videos and how they can help you to classify your existing leads.

You probably have tons of awesome videos, each one made to fulfill different purposes. But, according to the type of Lead you are dealing with, and at what stage of the lead lifecycle they are in, some videos will perform better than others.

If you are in the lead generation process and trying to connect with new prospects, how-to and educational videos are great because they bring value to your audience. In the case of educational videos, they improve awareness and branding by addressing a specific problem or issue. How-To videos are for those prospects that want to learn something or have questions that can be answered with video.


Lead nurturing is all about taking care of your leads and building stronger, more loyal relationships with them. You have to offer your leads a reason to stay by your side and give them the right information, according to their needs. Animated explainer videos condense complex information or ideas in a very short time, and are ideal for nurturing your leads because they are short, simple, and super entertaining! Product videos and About Us videos also do great in the nurturing process!


When it comes to customer delight, you should go for the “wow” factor. The goal is to exceed your customer’s expectations and make a lasting impression. For example, by sending them a Thank-You video after their first purchase, or to thank them for the years of loyalty to your brand. Another great option is sending a video with special tips, so your customers can learn the best practices or tricks about your product.

What is a Workflow?

A workflow is the general scheme of your marketing automation. It’s what helps you plan it and automate it by registering activities to trigger specific actions. In short: With workflows, you can send personalized messages to specific contacts or leads that push them forward within their lead lifecycle.

Understanding what your leads’ requirements or needs are can help you group them, score them, and deliver them relevant content. Remember, when it comes to lead nurturing, delivering the right information at the right time is everything.

Let’s go more in-depth on how to create a successful workflow.

ebook: how to improve your marketing with video

HubSpot + Wistia Integration

For workflows, we use HubSpot as our primary data collection tool to set up our workflows and Wistia’s service for video hosting. So, the examples we are going to discuss fit most closely to those platforms.

Feel free to use whichever alternatives you prefer and follow along. But if you want to build a similar setup, here’s a super detailed guide on how to implement this integration.

Once you have properly identified your leads and understood what fits their needs best, you’ll be equipped to trigger specific actions based on a number of criteria: percentage of videos watched, skipped parts, forms filled out, etc. Helping you nurture your leads and move your prospects further down the sales funnel.

Now, let’s get to the fun part: creating an effective workflow with video!

How to create a Workflow Using Video

The purpose of this section is to show you the basics of any workflow and how they usually work. But do keep in mind that the specifics may vary a little depending on the platform you are using. As mentioned before, we are using a combination of Wistia with HubSpot for our examples.

The very first step will be to log in to HubSpot and select Automation > Workflows in the main menu bar. Then, click “Create Workflow” in the upper right corner.

Establish a Goal

Determine your workflow’s purpose, and what you are going to do with the information it provides you. Ask yourself what you want to achieve with it.

As mentioned before, goals are usually related to the lead lifecycle. So you can use a workflow to segment your existing leads and push them forward in the funnel or nurture them.

Pro Tip: Try to make the most out of the data you have at hand on HubSpot to automate as many campaigns as you can and deliver content that’s going to deeply resonate with each of your leads.

Enrollment Triggers

First, you have to set up the criteria or conditions that will determine who enters your workflow and why. There are many different options, but we’ll go over some related to video content when you integrate Wistia with your marketing automation software:

  • Annotation Click: This gives you the option to add a short text with a hyperlink that appears when someone is watching the video. If the person clicks on it, it will redirect them to another page — for example, your website.
  • Call-To-Action Click: When you want your Lead to do something specific, you add a CTA Click. Usually, a screen pops up when someone’s watching the video. For example, for them to download a trial or an assessment.
  • Play Property: The most basic, yet useful trigger: When someone clicks the video and starts watching it.
  • Turnstile Property: You can also add a form within the video for people to fill out.

Furthermore, any of the four enrollment triggers mentioned before can give you more information about the Lead by setting extra options:

  • Media Name: It specifies the name of the video watched.
  • Media ID: Wistia ID for the video watched.
  • Media URL: URL of the video watched.
  • Occurred: When the event happened in Wistia (in ISO-8601 format and in UTC.)
  • Percentage Watch: What percentage of the video was watched.
  • Viewing Session ID: Object containing the ID of the viewing session.
  • Visitor ID: Wistia ID for that specific viewer.

And that’s pretty much it about workflows! The rule is pretty simple: The more you know about your leads, the better and more accurate content you can send them.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples.

Example 1: Lead Segmentation Based on Viewing Behaviour

We’ll go over a brief example on how to change the lifecycle of a Lead to a Marketing Qualified Lead using video as the main trigger. To help us segment our audience, we are going to use our explainer video and determine that if a Lead watched 50% or more of it, it’d move further down the sales funnel and become an MQL.

The Enrollment triggers for the Lead to enter this workflow will be:

  • Hit the play button of a video with the words “Explainer Video” in its title.
  • Watch more than 50% of said video.

If a Lead takes these actions, it will enter this workflow, and its Lifecycle stage will be changed from Lead to an MQL. So, now that we have set the parameters, what does it mean when a Lead becomes an MQL? For us, this means that this Lead is interested in learning more about what we do. So, we can imagine that this Lead is a bit closer to the sales purchase. In any case, this will change depending on your own goals and the purpose of the workflow. But, for the sake of the example, we can stipulate that once a Lead becomes an MQL, we can:

  1. Send them an email with a product video to offer more information about your services.
  2. Send an email alert to your sales team, so they get in touch with the brand new MQL.

Pro tip: Whenever you set up emails or offers using workflows, always put a bit of a delay between a trigger and the actions you set them to – as to avoid coming across as too insistent!

Example 2: Nurturing Actions

When you notice that a group of your MQL is showing a special interest in your products or services, it’s the perfect opportunity to use that attention for building a stronger relationship and try to close the deal.

In this second example case, we are going to use a different type of video – a testimonial – as a trigger to nurture an MQL from our database and take action. So, when an MQL watches more than 30% of a video that contains the word “testimonial”, they will be enrolled in this workflow.

We could have specified a particular video to trigger the workflow. But since we have several videos on our site that contain the word ‘Testimonial’ in the title, we ensure all of them fit that purpose by setting it up this way.

So, our criteria for the Enrollment triggers were:

  • The lifecycle stage is equal to MQL.
  • Hits the play button of a video containing the word “testimonial” in their title.
  • Watch 30% of each video or less.

Now that we have these triggers, we can get creative and find ways to move this MQL into action! Since we believe this are MQLs that are a bit closer to the sales purchase, we could send them engaging video content with unique benefits, like:

  • Product’s deep dives.
  • Case studies
  • Demo offers.
  • Free trials.
  • Assessment calls.
  • Other customer story videos to entice them to watch the rest.

Summing Up

Marketing automation plays a major role in any growing business, and now you know why.

By understanding how important it is to have clear goals to develop a strategy aligned with each type of Lead and their requirements, you are now much better equipped to start taking advantage of it too.

Lead nurturing is all about delivering the right content to the right Leads, and video is an amazing medium to accomplish just that, to get great results.

Try and use video content in your Lead nurturing strategy. We promise you’ll connect better and deeper with your leads, and your business will be stronger because of it!.

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