In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, one thing is clear: a huge percentage of companies worldwide are now using video to market their goods and services. According to research by Wyzowl, 87% of businesses use video to communicate internally and externally – a significant jump from the 63% found to be using it in 2017.
And it’s easy to understand why. Video excites and engages people like few other types of content. Savvy business leaders know that they can use video to host live events; share educational webinars; demonstrate product applications and more. For these enterprises, video has become another way to provide valuable content to their most interested audiences, hoping to eventually convert them into loyal brand advocates.
In this article, we’ll unpack what we mean by “video engagement” and examine some of the most popular video engagement features. Lastly, we’ll share some of our best advice for choosing a video engagement platform for your business.
Due to the growing popularity of remote working, you’ve probably attended several meetings that were conducted through a video communication platform. But video engagement involves far more than simply speaking to another person through a computer screen. Instead, video engagement is the act of actually using the platform itself to increase viewer interest, hold viewer attention, and assess your strengths and weaknesses after the fact.
In other words, a video engagement platform provides users with the ability to connect with, collaborate with, and engage the target audience and measure key performance indicators – all in a single, centralized environment.
Why is it important to do all this? Well, firstly, if you have valuable information you’d like to share with key stakeholders in your industry, keeping them as engaged as possible in your events will help your message resonate long after you’ve switched off the connection. We’ve all sat through a boring lecture, meeting or presentation at least once in our lives, which is why it should come as no big surprise that the more boring the content, the less information is retained.
With all that said, though, we’re guessing you didn’t go through the effort of hosting an online event just for the sake of educating the public. You’re probably also hoping to garner more traffic, clicks, conversions, and ultimately, revenue! And, for the same reason outlined above, video engagement helps with all that, too.
We’ve mentioned various video engagement features here and there throughout this article. Now, let’s take a deeper dive into some of the most innovative gadgets and gizmos you can use to drive audience awareness.
While most video engagement features are designed to be used during an online event or webinar, some can be used to help promote the event and boost registrations. For instance, embeddable registration forms can be added to your company website, your emails, your employee’s or coworkers’ emails, and your social media pages – pretty much anywhere you think it might be seen.
You can also make that registration page work harder and hopefully convert more leads by spicing it up a little. Customizable registration pages allow you to add your own color scheme, logo, and various branding elements in order to appear more friendly and professional to potential attendees. You can also customize forms with particular fields, like “occupation,” “age,” or anything else you’d like to measure during the analytics process.
A lot of promotional features are designed to be used in email, which is one of the most high-converting marketing channels. Email invitation tools can help you import your contacts directly into the addressee field, and real-time email status updates can inform you when your message has been received. Lastly, automated email reminders can help you automatically remind your guests about your event, so it doesn’t slip anyone’s mind!
These are the features we’ve discussed the most in this article, with good reason, because live engagement is a key difference between message retention and lead conversion and a passive audience that exits quickly and never returns.
Live video engagement features help keep the conversation exciting and interesting and, importantly, make audience members feel actively included in the discussion. Chat boxes allow attendees to share their thoughts with both the event host and each other; Q&A tabs allow them to submit questions for the host to answer; question upvotes help hosts quickly identify which questions are the most popular; and polls allow hosts to survey their attendees in real time. One particularly fun engagement feature, emoji reactions, even lets your audience join in on the fun and “react” to whatever is happening on the screen.
Live video engagement features can make things easier on the hosting side of things, too. For example, screen sharing tools allow hosts to visually demonstrate complex ideas, demo a new product, or simply show off recent projects – all with the push of a button. Hosts can also use video pre-recording features to record sub-videos, product demos, and interviews before the event and play them for attendees during the live webinar.
Certain video engagement tools are especially helpful for organizations that serve hundreds and thousands of people – like municipal governments, universities, and large enterprises. For example,team-wide accounts allow multiple team members to host webinars from a single, shared account. Registrant moderation settings allow hosts to grant or deny access to registrants before an event begins, an important security tool that can help prevent “zoom bombing” and similar disruptions. Registrant records, which keep a detailed history of each user’s identifying information and use history, are essential security features that can minimize hacks and cyber-vandalism.
Reporting features aren’t discussed as much as other types of features, most likely because they aren’t as exciting as, say, emojis. However, reporting features are the most impactful and useful features when it comes to your bottom line. These tools allow event hosts to gauge things like which moments sparked the most comments and reactions, which moments began to lose audience interest, and which event time duration tends to yield the most attendees. This information can then be used to improve presentations and meetings in the future.
More importantly than that, though, is the customer insights aspect. Analytics reporting features help hosts identify the customers who are most likely to use their products! Hosts can then use these insights to fine-tune promotional strategies, select topics and subjects that are most likely to interest the target audience, and even adjust the actual product and services to better accommodate customers. You can even measure your own Video Engagement Score with Livestorm's handy Video Engagement Score™ (VES) calculator and adjust your event to make it even more engaging!
These days, there are plenty of video communication tools out there, but not all of them facilitate the kind of audience engagement that will result in higher-end revenues. Still fewer offer comprehensive customer support, another must-have for any software. While this list is far from comprehensive, here are three key features to keep in mind when you’re choosing a video engagement platform for your team.
Be sure to look for a video engagement software that is easy to connect to. One good tip is to use a platform that connects through a browser instead of requiring a download and installation. Browser-based software has the benefit of its own security protocols and the protection of the browser itself. As some of the most massively used browsers in the world, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari all have excellent security resources at their disposal, and browser-based software users can benefit from that.
No one likes to call a bank or utility company and hear an automated voice message droning out a litany of options, or worse, an advisory to “check the website.” (Who, in 2022, doesn’t already know to check the internet first when they have a question about a product or service?)
To return to video engagement – essentially, we all want to be heard, preferably by someone with more than 6 recorded answers for us. That’s why it’s important to choose a video engagement platform that’s committed to addressing any stumbling block that might arise.
For instance, at Livestorm, we offer both live demos of our product for first-time buyers and a live support team fluent in English, French, and Spanish. For issues that don’t require in-person interaction, we also offer an extensive library of how-to videos, tutorials, and miscellaneous product guidance. And, of course, there’s also our content library, which gives users and guests alike all the tools they need to build a robust video communication strategy.
Some video streaming platforms are really just a digital podium that allows one person to speak while others sit back and view. However, a great video engagement platform should have features that make it easy to interact and collaborate with both teammates and guests. For instance, features like polls, question boxes, and chat boxes allow event guests to communicate with the host and even each other; while features like document sharing, screen sharing, and digital whiteboards make virtual meetings every bit as collaborative as in-person meetings, perhaps even more so.
To sum up, modern video engagement platforms can, and should, do far more than just facilitate communication. They should also help businesses engage audiences; facilitate seamless collaboration between teams; and capture actionable user insights, all in one convenient place. Hopefully, this article has shown you just how robust a video engagement platform can be!