The power of video marketing extends far beyond its ability to drive new leads into your marketing funnel.
Video can also be deployed to prepare prospects for prospects through that funnel, until they either make an online purchase, or the time comes to transition them to the sales department for closing.
In this article, we’ll discuss several videos that have proven to be especially useful at the end of the marketing funnel, for the transition to sales, or as a direct sales tool.
Important Buyer Dynamics to Consider
Regardless of the products or services being considered, all prospects tend to move through a standard pattern of shifting concerns
In the beginning, customers are primarily concerned with the nature and scope of their needs, and what it will take, in a product or service, to meet those needs. Solution features become the focus. There is also some initial concern around cost, at this stage, but the real focus on cost will come later.
With a short list of available solutions in hand, the evaluation process will begin in earnest. It’s at this stage that risk first becomes a real consideration. The concern around risk will continue to grow as the realities of successfully implementing a solution become more clear.
In the final phase, price re-emerges as a factor, and risk becomes a paramount concern. “I’m about to spend a lot of money on this solution! What if it doesn’t work?”
Video can help reduce this perceived risk in prospects’ minds.
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Video Production for Late-Funnel Activity
Based on the stages defined above, it’s easy to see how social, thought leader, and explainer video applications work so well at the beginning of the buyer journey.
However, as buyers proceed through the process, their concerns change, as should your video production approach.
So, with risk being the primary concern of customers in the final stages of the buying process (followed closely by cost), what videos work best for customers moving through the later phases of the process?
A Smooth Transition from Marketing to Sales with Video Emails
If selling your products and services still requires human intervention then, at some point, a marketing lead will become a sales lead, and the sales department will take over the care and feeding of that prospect.
That transition introduces a certain amount of risk, as a new player (the salesperson) is added to the conversation. Video email can help mitigate that risk, by helping to establish the salesperson as a trusted advisor.
A video email is an email that contains a link to a personalized video created, in this case, by the salesperson. They can be effective at any stage of the sales process, but their value as a transitional tool can be significant. In cases where timing and geography make personal visits impossible, video email can be the next best thing.
(Check out our recent webinar, Video is for Closers, in which I set forth my recipe for producing and distributing video emails.)
Videos introducing a sales person should acknowledge the customer’s growing concern with risk, and work to ensure the customer that the salesperson is prepared to honestly lead them through the rest of the process.
Better than any regular email, a video email can help establish the salesperson as the fabled “trusted advisor,” early in the process, and encourage the customer to rely on that sales person for advice.
The video production process here is relatively straightforward. In fact, your only concern should be the clarity of the messaged. Keep the video in focus. Keep the audio clear. Keep the whole thing short and to the point.
FAQ Videos to Answer Difficult Questions
One great use of video is for answering frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Typically, FAQs are designed for earlier stages of the sales process, where they help website visitors understand some of the basic dimensions of a product, and how it’s sold. To that end, it’s not unusual to see videos that answer questions like:
- What’s the difference between this module and that module?
- How much does this product cost?
- What’s involved in implementing this product?
But, FAQs can also be used to answer the more difficult questions that late-process buyers typically ask, like:
- Why is this product priced this way?
- Why do you charge so much for support?
- Why can’t I license this module, without also licensing that module?
- What’s your policy for escalating service and support issues?
These are all questions that acknowledge the risk involved in buying a product or service. So, it may be wise to create a separate FAQ for late-process buyers, and maybe even locate it behind a password wall, so as not to unnecessarily create concern in the minds of buyers who haven’t reached that point in the process.
Use Live Streaming Video to Build Trust
Live streaming video can build trust in a company, by giving customers a controlled peek behind the scenes into a company’s culture,
It can be easy for a company to hide behind its stated mission and value statements, but there’s little hiding from live streaming video.
With its typically less-polished production values and often unscripted content, live streaming video helps customers better understand who they’re really dealing with.
By answering tough questions honestly, showing off all the smart people who work there, and apologizing for mishaps when they occur, brands can help mitigate the risk in the minds of buyers at all stages of the sales process.
Detailed Demo Videos Offer Proof
As prospects proceed through the sales process, their need for proof grows, as a way of mitigating the risk of buying.
At the early stages of the process, an explainer video may be enough to help customers understand the big idea behind your product, and how it works. Customers at this stage aren’t interested in too much detail, and they’re prepared to take you at your word when you tell them that everything works as advertised.
In the world of software, everyone wants to see the user interface, in the early stages of the process. Showing them more detailed features, that they may or may not need, to say nothing of detailed technology considerations, only weighs them down and introduces the possibility of objection.
But, as buyers progress through the sales process, they will want more detail, and actual proof that your product works, as described.
Detailed product demo videos work very well for this purpose. They’re often easy and inexpensive to produce, because late-process customers aren’t interested in marketing flash. (In fact, it’s likely to make them suspicious.) A sales engineer, with a good screen capture utility and a decent microphone, will likely be able to create effective videos for this purpose.
As with your more difficult FAQ videos, it may be a good idea to control access to your detailed demo videos, so that only properly qualified, late-stage customers can see them.
Customer Testimonial Videos and Beyond
There is no better type of video for late-stage buyers than the customer testimonial video.
Buyers in the final phase of the sales process, become obsessed with risk and price, as the prospect of selecting a solution and actually buying something becomes a reality. The more expensive and mission-critical the product, the more obsessed they become.
As a result, they often stop returning phone calls and emails from salespeople, as they wrestle with the risk involved. Any salesperson who has tried to get a customer on the line after the delivery of a final proposal can attest to that.
And, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In many cases, it means that they’re about to make a decision.
What is a bad thing is sending that customer a bunch of new material on features, benefits and other nonsense that buyers at this stage just aren’t interested in. It makes no sense.
What does make sense, is sending late-process customers something that helps mitigate the risk of selecting your product and writing a big check.
That something is often a customer testimonial video. In fact, it may be the only thing you can send to that buyer that they actually want to receive from you.
See this example of a video testimonial.
On this site, we’ve talked a lot about the power of testimonials videos, so I’m not going to belabor the point here. But, I will say that testimonial videos serve as a perfect example of the type of content that serves buyers in the latter stages of sales cycle.