How to Align Your Video Content with Your Sales and Marketing Objectives
There is some truth to the notion that the power of the written word is steadily being ceded to video. As attention spans shorten and the cost of video continues to fall, more and more marketers are discovering video as a powerful substitute for blog posts, e-books and other written marketing communications.
While the prospect of a video-first marketing strategy for most brands remains a pipedream for those of us in the video marketing services business, there does seem to be some movement in that direction, especially among new brands.
With that in mind, it’s tempting to answer the question of where is video most useful, with a cheery, everywhere!
But, the fact remains that a video-first strategy, for most brands, is still a far-away proposition. People continue to read blogs, (hey, you’re reading this one!) and the days of universal video dominance are still a few years away, assuming that they arrive at all.
So, the question of where video can be most useful is still a good one. As effective marketers, we want to ensure that our efforts achieve the maximum return on investment, whether that be measured in sales, engagement, understanding or any number of other possible metrics.As effective marketers, we want to ensure that our efforts achieve the maximum ROI. Click To Tweet
The answer to this question can be successfully derived from investigative strategies that apply to all marketing assets, as well as from strategies that arise from the particular power of video. Let’s start with the former.
Aligning Video with Your Marketing Funnel
Marketing assets, whether video or otherwise, should be developed to solve particular marketing and sales problems, be they real or merely anticipated.
We know that when we launch a new product that there will be questions: how does it work, what does it cost, how do I buy it? We also know that by answering prospects’ questions, we can nudge them down the road toward deeper engagement and, hopefully, a purchase.
Ask yourself, what types of people are likely to be exploring what you offer, and what kinds of challenges and questions will they likely have? This is a standard persona exercise, one that every marketer should be prepared to undertake, if their marketing efforts are to be in line with the markets they serve.
So, in a typical software sale, you’ll have managers who want to know what benefits your product delivers, engineers who want to know how your product works, and financial folks who want to know how much your product costs. You need marketing assets that address each of those issues, for each of those personas.
You’ll need additional assets for each of those personas, once initial questions and concerns have been met, in order to move them to the next stage of engagement, constantly nurturing them through a series of conversions, until a purchase has been made.
That’s the start of figuring out what assets you need. With specific regard to where video is best, by virtue of its own special capabilities, you’ll have to dig deeper. But, as a general rule, any question you’re trying to answer that contains an emotional component, is likely a good use case for video.
Video testimonials are an obvious example. When your prospects ask themselves, either consciously or unconsciously, how doing business with you will make them feel, a good video testimonial can’t be beat. Heartfelt statements from customers like, “I sleep better at night knowing that they’re in my corner,” and “I get home to my family in time for dinner, now that they are supporting us” are statements whose power is dramatically magnified by video.
Product videos can also be effective at driving home emotional messages. Upbeat product videos can convey a sense of youthful energy that is very emotionally charged. “Hey, I want to be just like them,” is an emotional response that’s worth pursuing.Product videos can also be effective at driving home emotional messages. Click To Tweet
Because of its search engine optimization (SEO) value, video is also a great option for driving prospects into the top of your marketing funnel. Search engines love video. It’s the most information-packed medium out there, and search engines will often serve up results that contain video, before they serve up results that don’t.
Video is also effective at explaining complicated concepts. Explainer videos help prospects understand where your company is positioned in the marketplace, and how your products and services work. But, be careful. You don’t want to spend your money on video, when a line of text is sufficient to explain your solution.
Are you the price leader, or the only company in the market offering widgets in the color red? You probably don’t need an explainer video. On the other hand, if your product provides a truly unique solution to an age-old problem, your prospects will probably appreciate a video that explains how you do it.
Where is video less effective? Anytime you need to explain an involved pricing model, provide cost comparisons, or run prospects through any sort of tabular data, you’re probably better off with tables and text. Anytime you might imagine your prospect using a spreadsheet to analyze your content, you might want to forgo video.Anytime you might imagine your prospect using a spreadsheet to analyze your content, you might want to forgo video. Click To Tweet
Using Video to Solve Sales Pipeline Problems
Are accounts getting stuck in your sales pipeline? Video can help.
A careful examination of your sales pipeline is likely to turn up a problem or two. Assuming that you have the basics of pipeline analysis covered, you want to look for pipeline stages that are either under-populated or overly-congested.
Most healthy pipelines have more prospects at the top than they do at the bottom, with a fairly consistent narrowing of the funnel, as time goes on. Most prospects move up and out of the funnel over time, while only a select few make it all the way through the funnel, to become customers.
If you notice bulges in your funnel, where at any point there are more prospects in stages below than there are at the stages immediately above, it could be that prospects are spending an inordinate amount of time at that distended stage than they should.
Having prospects unnecessarily linger in your pipeline is not a good thing. You want to move prospects in, and then either move them to a sale, or move them back up or even out of the funnel, so that your sales people can focus their attention on more productive leads.
We’ve already talked about the effectiveness of video for Top of Funnel (TOFU) applications. Because of its SEO value, video is especially good at finding new prospects. So, if you’re suffering from a lack of qualified leads, you might explore the possibility of adding video at the top of your funnel.
We’ve also talked about the effectiveness of customer video testimonials. Most prospects look closely at customer testimonials in the final stages of your sales pipeline. They’ve found the type of solution they need, and they’ve found you. A good customer video testimonial is often the last stop on their journey to becoming one of your customers.A good customer video testimonial is often the last stop on their journey to becoming one of your customers. Click To Tweet
So, if you see prospects bunching up at the end of your pipeline, before eventually dropping out, you might consider investing in video testimonials. They can be a real differentiator in a commodity-like market, often spelling the difference between a sale and no sale.
What about the middle of your sales pipeline? Assuming that marketing is delivering marketing qualified leads, how do you turn them in to sales qualified leads and move them toward a serious evaluation process?
You might consider personalized videos. It’s now very easy to teach your sales folks to create their own personalized videos, on a customer-by-customer basis.
Hi, Bob. My name is Sarah, and I’m your account representative, here at ABC Company. I’m told that you recently downloaded one of our e-books on effective widget manufacturing, and wanted to reach out to you, to see if you had any question. Give me a call if you do. In the meantime, I’m sending along another e-book that I think you’ll find interesting.
Training your sales representatives to create a simple video message can be very helpful at moving new prospects further down the line to more productive engagement.
These videos are personal and have a very human touch to them. They’re also unique, which helps them stand out from the rest of the email messages cluttering your prospects’ in-boxes. They can be very effective.
Video can also be effective at bringing out your competitive advantage, as prospects begin to weigh the relative merits of your solution, compared to that of your competitors.
Check out these videos from Wistia, which help prospects understand the difference between their product and the product offered by competing YouTube.
Product videos, explainer videos, and how-to videos are also very effective when targeted at prospects somewhere in the middle of your sales pipeline.
If you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to immediately define your customer personas. (There are a lot of guides available for building customer personas. I like HubSpot’s approach.)
Once you’ve defined your personas, complete with the questions and challenges your customers are likely to have as they move through the funnel, take a look at your sales pipeline.
You’ll need to know how many prospects are at each of the various stages of your pipeline, how long they typically stay there, and what percentage of them move up and or out of the pipeline, as opposed to those who successfully move through the pipeline to an actual sale.
For this purpose, it’s helpful if the stages of your pipeline are formally defined, and require evidence of prospect investment in your company and its sales process, before accounts are moved to the next stage. (I’m a huge fan of the CustomerCentric Selling methodology, for this kind of pipeline analysis.)
Armed with an enhanced understanding of who your prospects are, and how they move through your sales pipeline, explore the different types of video that are most appropriate for streamlining the movement of prospects through your marketing and sale funnel.
We’ve discussed a couple of these applications in this article, but you’ll find a more thorough examination of this subject in our downloadable guide, 16 Powerful Marketing Video Types and When to Use Them.
This is an interdisciplinary effort that can get a bit involved. If you need help, consult a good video marketing services firm. It’s their business to match the proper video approach to your marketing and sales funnels, ensuring that you get the best bang for your video marketing dollar.