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Video is buzzing, and it’s one of the top tactics you can use, if not the top tactic, in digital marketing these days. Now, there are stats galore that are showing videos to be incredibly effective in overall marketing efforts. HubSpot just released their state of inbound marketing for the year, and they list video as the main disrupter.
Some 96% of B2B marketers are using video in some form or fashion, with 73% of them reporting a positive ROI. So it’s pretty clear to see that video’s not going anywhere but up. If you’re not using it, it’s a high time to start implementing it. So for today’s episode (and likely several future ones), we’ll be tackling why video is taking over, and how you can leverage the power of it.
1. WHY DO PROSPECTS PREFER VIDEO?
The stats, as we saw in the beginning, are pretty compelling. All of us can probably relate, just from our own personal experiences online, and understand that video has really taken over and how it’s growing.
“The thing is, nowadays we don’t have time to read. If you’ve got a ten-page treatise and somebody gets through the first paragraph, winner winner, chicken dinner.”
Most of us can’t even watch more than a three-minute video, let alone read for thirty minutes. Fortunately, if the old adage “a picture is worth 1,000 words,” is anywhere near true, then all of the frames used in one minute of video can add up to 1.8 million words. Part of that success comes from being able to communicate other things that one can’t normally get across in a blog article or a case study or any other written medium.
Over 90% of communication is said to be nonverbal: meaning body language and tone of voice. You don’t get that in a whitepaper.
Why is that so vital for businesses? Because in that particular setting, you’re trying to create and then build up trust; and that’s hard to do with just words. Whereas if you see the person across the screen, you can tell whether or not they know what they’re talking about.
“We did a [newsletter] test like that in Optimum… one was the text and one was the video, saying the exact same thing. And the open rates and… the click-through rates were much higher on the video than they were actually on the written format. Same exact material, just different format.
“[We also had a client] where… they were literally trying to pitch a new product. It was a different model, and they were having a really tough time. They literally were spending I think a year trying to pitch this thing and they were hitting brick wall after brick wall. And so a video was able to come in, break it down… 30 seconds, 60 seconds, 90 seconds. We had a couple different versions. And wow, the results on that were fantastic!”
Results are the critical reason for using video in the first place, really. Video allows companies to have a concise way to communicate with people. That’s especially valuable for B2B businesses, because we always have complex business models or, on the manufacturing side, complex products that are hard to explain.
2. WHERE IS VIDEO BEST TO USE?
To this day, there is a perception that after creating a video, your business is just supposed to throw it up on YouTube and their website… and that’s it. But there’s a huge laundry list of use cases on how to repurpose that video content. You could create a thirty-second teaser that draws people in, and various versions of different lengths.
Video can be used throughout the sales funnel… just remember that the attention span of your audience is almost exactly proportionate to their depth within your sales funnel.
So with new prospects, you might want to start with a really exciting short-form clip; then as you get down the funnel, it can get a little bit longer with a little bit more information. And if you already have printed materials that seem to work for your audiences as it is, take those resources and try converting them into video form to see if they garner even better results!
“Video doesn’t just touch one piece of the marketing funnel. Just like when we talk about email. You segment your emails out for where [people are] in the funnel, and different people get different messages, so, same thing for video.”
There are different types of content that you might want to consider through the funnel. So for example, if you have a product launch, you’ll need a couple different pieces of video content for it. On the first level, you’ll need a really quick, short, really high-energy, engaging video to just hook prospects. Don’t gush about your product; rather, bring up audience pain points and hone in on how this product might solve their challenges.
“[Once they get further into the funnel], the next video’s a little bit longer, little bit more informational, still engaging. But as they get down that funnel, we can put in more content that’s a little bit more longer form because we know they’re interested.”
3. HOW CAN VIDEO CONNECT WITH SALES?
There are a lot more tools for marketing videos now than there were even just a few years ago… and one big game changer is the entrance of video analytics. When you put a video up on YouTube, you can learn about the number of visitors to that page, and maybe measure a small portion of clicks. But now, certain analytics platforms can garner far more detailed information on the viewers. Remember that product launch example?
Say you send your product launch video out to your newsletter subscribers: you can use analytics to tag every individual and see exactly which parts of your video they watched or re-watched.
This is a great tool for your product managers that you didn’t have before. You now have the ability to notice, “Hey, At the 20-second mark, a lot of people are re-watching that area.” Maybe they need more explanation about that section, or maybe there’s an issue with the video that needs to be sorted out. Now you know what might need to be revisited, or expanded upon.
You don’t get that kind of feedback from product manuals.
And the best part about analytics these days? Most of them integrate with your CRM. Downloadable white papers and how-to guides don’t tell us if our leads are actually reading anything. But if you put that content into video form, then you can measure it.
“Think about it: if you’re running a webinar, and it’s an hour long, and you find out that Bob Smith sat and watched the entire thing the day it came out. What does that tell you? It tells me somebody needs to be contacting them.”
Customer-relationship programs like Salesforce keep a record of every time someone views a video as well as what part they viewed, and it’s now piped into the CRM and other B2B marketing automation platforms like Pardot, Hubspot, and Marketo. Now the sales person making the phone call can say, “Oh, look: they watched these three videos, and they watched them nine times. Yeah, I might talk to them about that topic today.”
That’s really valuable information for your sales team to have, because they can then create triggers that are based on viewer consumption.
All of that can influence your lead score and eventually that data can help to really process leads and nurture them, because a big challenge in the B2B marketplace are the long buying cycles. Sales teams may only focus on the top 10% of leads that come in from events or trade shows, but the other leads don’t get any attention, and they might get lost over time.
Some people may not be ready to buy for the next two years, but you need a way of being able to stay in front of them so that you’re on their mind when they are ready.
Video is a really great way to have a pulse and remain present in the lives of your leads, so that when they do begin watching particular videos, your team can respond because they’ll notice though the analytics.
4. HOW HIGH QUALITY DOES VIDEO HAVE TO BE?
As mentioned earlier, having a spokesperson who appears on-camera can help to increase your credibility. How crisp does that video have to be? That depends on how you’re using it.
“Let’s say… you’re calling a lead. Nine times out of ten, you’re not going to get ahold of them, you’re going to leave a voicemail… Well, we’ve got these great tools where you can record a video from your webcam, right on your laptop… You take a dry-erase board, and you write their name and say, “Hi, Bob!” And you record a little video like a little message. And there’s a little thumbnail that goes into that email. And you send that out, and the response rate on that is crazy! Because it’s different.”
That begs the question: if people are responding to “cold call” video voicemails like that, then how high-quality do company videos have to be, really? Some companies frown upon other programs like Facebook Live specifically because they use low-resolution webcams.
So when do you use what, and when is it appropriate? Everyone has the capability to produce their own content nowadays; everyone has an iPhone, a webcam, an iPad…
But just because you can make videos yourself… doesn’t mean you always should.
For some areas, self-made video is perfectly acceptable. Those personalized video messages and webcam voicemails, for example, don’t necessarily need to be professionally recorded. Why? Because a big part of that the sense that it’s raw, genuine, and very real. Another reason why webcams are okay in that instance is because the videos themselves are on an individual basis. Trying to do the same on a professional level would be almost impossible to scale without a monumental budget.
It all depends on what you’re trying to communicate, and where your audience falls in the funnel.
Earlier, we mentioned that long-form videos are for leads or even returning clients that are much deeper in your sales funnel. Facebook Live is longer-form messaging for just that: people who are willing to tune in for an extended period of time because they’re invested in you already. In that case, the webcam isn’t going to turn them away; it’s an understood element of that medium. When it comes to product videos, however, it’s probably time to put away the iPhone.
“The top of the funnel videos need to be as high quality as possible. Your identity and positioning videos… that are saying who you are as an organization, needs to really reflect how you’re trying to position your brand. So the way I like to phrase it is, ‘If your brand was a car, what kind of a car would it be? Is it a Mercedes, is it a… a Pinto?’ …and so your marketing material, when it comes to video, too, it needs to reflect that.”
Does that mean your training videos need to look like Hollywood major motion pictures? No. But there definitely needs to be a certain level of professionalism that matches the formality of your relationship with leads.
If you want to project an image of the top-level, high-quality, best-in-class brand, then your videos need to reflect that.
“The thing I always say is, don’t make your training video a distraction to learning about the product. If… you can’t learn about it because the quality is distracting, you’re not accomplishing much.”
Obviously, high-quality video is not always easy for a marketing team to acquire. It’s their job to get the work done within a budget. A lot of people come to them from different angles with a lot of opinions of what they want, and plenty of bystanders will say, “Well, why don’t you just go shoot it with your iPhone?”
If you can make a video with your iPhone in three seconds, so can your competitors. And at a bare minimum, you always need to be at the same level as your competitors, if not higher. And if there are no competitors yet, there will be eventually, so you need to set the bar high in order to challenge them when they do arrive on the scene.
“I had a customer and [we] just had a good relationship, so I asked him, “What’s the process look like for you when you come to the website to learn about the product?… What was the the experience?” And he said, “On your site? You had no video. You guys sucked.” That was the actual quote. And I was like, “Wow, I’m sorry, guys…” And he goes, “Don’t feel bad, because your competitor didn’t have anything, either.”
Your prospects see the way you handle your video as the way you handle your company. If it’s shaky and cheap, they’ll apply that mental image to your business and services as well.
So, to recap…
If you’re not doing video already, you definitely need to consider it. It communicates more effectively and garners far better, more measurable results than plain text. You can use it in every level of the funnel, and you can utilize modern technology to follow engagement in a way that wasn’t possible even ten years ago. It’s a tool that’s applicable across platforms and across different departments, from training to product to tutorials to pre-sales to post-sales and more. And perhaps most importantly, your competition is probably already using it.
Like it or not, if you have a poor video presence with your organization… your prospects are judging you.
Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox; or subscribe to our podcast on iTunes so you can listen on the go! If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you.