Making explainer videos for the buyer’s journey

A trend we’re seeing in the production of information marketing videos is that our clients are increasingly interested in making explainer videos for the buyer’s journey “consideration phase.”

This is the point where prospects think they have the problem pretty well defined — now they are trying to get a handle on their options for solving it. They also need to consider the input of colleagues on the buying team. Research shows that these “influencers” like summarized content, something video is good at communicating. Here are some ways to create more video content to answer the questions that are likely to come up in this phase of your prospects’ evaluation process — and do it more cost-effectively.

1. Make several videos at the same time.

We’ve seen growing interest in what we call “Buyer’s Journey Video Bundles.” The idea here is that, instead of one video that covers all the bases, you produce videos that address specific personas on the buying team or specific product attributes. Some prospects, for example, are eager to hear about potential ROI or productivity benefits, others want to know how your solution actually works, others may be most concerned about maintenance or the learning curve.

 

Videos for the buyer’s journey

The “Buyer’s Journey” is not sliding down a funnel. It’s more like an odyssey, with chance encounters in multiple channels, meandering from awareness to consideration to action.

A couple years ago, Forrester analyst Lori Wizdo depicted the marketing sales funnel in this clever sideways view, with the funnel “bottom” becoming a confused network of criss-crossing channels in which buyers and influencers share the information they collect for themselves. “Marketers who continue to ‘go to customer’ with product-centric campaigns and offers,” she wrote in this blog post, “risk becoming irrelevant.” This article will discuss producing marketing videos for the buyer’s journey

 

Explainer videos for sales enablement

Customers in an array of industries, from IT to insurance to business process outsourcing, are often way ahead of the salespeople who are ‘helping’ them.
Harvard Business Review

In many of today’s buying processes, actual living, breathing salespeople are likely to enter the game when it’s more than half over. If the buying process goes awareness –> consideration –> action, it’s probably somewhere in the consideration phase.

Companies typically publish overview videos to create awareness. But what other kinds of video can help the salesperson help the buyer complete the journey?

Targeted videos for sales training

Sales training, of course, has long relied on instructional video. Today’s eLearning platforms, it could be argued, are largely interactive video platforms.

 

Explainer video is a key sales enablement tool

Explainer video is a key sales enablement tool

People on the go watch TV. Getting them the right video at the right time is a big sales enabler.

“Helping a salesperson deliver the right content to the right person at the right time” seemed like a good working definition of sales enablement when I quoted it recently, but, on further reflection, I wish I had added “at the right place” because prospects are so often on the go. That’s why explainer video is a key sales enablement tool

How does how and where they’re watching matter?

Think about the huge numbers of sales professionals who are working — but not at their desks. If they are on the go — as sales reps, in particular, always seem to be — their preferred device is probably a tablet or a smart phone. Surrounded by distractions and annoyances, they love to plug in the headphones and watch video. What an opportunity for you! You can be get them latest info on a new product before just before they meet with a client. Tell them about a new process being implemented. Provide details on a hot new promotion. And encourage them to share the video content with a customer or partner.

 

How to use explainer videos for sales enablement

How to use explainer videos for sales enablement

Sales enablement is about content, timing, and knowing where a prospect is in a buying cycle. It makes sense to feature video content appropriate to different way-stops.

In content marketing, you put content where prospects are will notice it and, hopefully, consume some, because you assume that buyers are avoiding sales people during at least half of the sales process. Sales enablement, on the other hand, is about helping a salesperson “deliver the right content to the right person at the right time” according to an excellent primer from Eloqua. To select “the right content” to deliver, you look at what content the prospect has accessed to date. This is called “reading digital body language.” It enables the sales person to get in sync with the buyer’s interests, understand where the buyer is on her journey, and to generally be more consultative.

 

Make white papers work better with video

Make white papers work better with video

Interweaving video content and white papers’ content can strengthen the entire content marketing strategy (graphic adapted from MarketingProfs)

Done well, there’s really nothing quite like white papers.   Here are four ways to use make white papers work better with video, and how to make this staple of marketing content a little more appetizing.

Use video to increase downloads

White papers are supposed to be interesting, technical, and objective. Well — nobody really expects them to be objective — every reader knows the publisher has rigged the evidence. But credibility demands that presentation of evidence take precedence over mere assertions of superior performance.

 

Produce more lead-generating and funnel-filling video

produce more lead-generating and funnel-filling video

You need video content that provides different insights to different prospects. If you think “content” instead of “videos” you can produce more videos for less.

Marketers are missing opportunities to produce more lead-generating and funnel-filling video at lower cost. They just need to look at video from a different point of view.

What stands in the way of producing more videos?

A technology solutions company we have worked with asked us to gear up to produce 70-100(!) 2-Minute Explainer videos over several months. Of course, we were pleased to take on the challenge.

Seven months later, the company had managed to finish — one(!) video. They are very happy with it, and we continue to make videos for them. But the salient fact here is that after all that time, there remained dozens of solutions that still lacked video content to help move people through the sales funnel. Why? It’s not lack of financial resources or video production resources.

 

Why your eNewsletter should link to videos

Why your eNewsletter should link to videos

Just about everyone considers newsletters an essential marketing tactic: they’re inexpensive to produce, and easy to distribute. Easy to segment, too. Integrating this tactic with your video tactics increases the impact of both.

This the third in a series about integrating video with your other email marketing tactics. Here is why your eNewsletter should link to videos

The word “video” in the subject line increases click rates by 65%

That’s according to a 2013 MarketingProfs study. This is good news for technology marketers, most of whom produce video, and few of whom can use “free delivery” — which scores 135% — in their email subject lines.

Video can make your call-to-action a no-brainer

Subscribers to eNewsletters vary greatly on where they are in the decision process — not just how much they know or care about you and your product or service, but also what they actually need. In any case, many will be very uncertain whether they should put any more time and effort into finding out what you can do for them.  Video in your eNewsletter can reduce that uncertainty, because viewing a short video is the most painless way to determine your own level of interest in something.

So, a video “trailer” for your webinar, or a video touting “five cool things you can do with our free thing-y” will certainly can turn that decision on whether to take the next step into a very easy decision. Then you should consider making it easy to act on that easy decision by  embedding the CTA right in the video window.

You can match video segmentation to email segmentation

 

Use videos to maximize LinkedIn lead generation

[ Note this article appeared in MarketingProfs ]
You’re creating videos and distributing them through Facebook, YouTube, your blog, and paid media opportunities to generate hundreds to millions of views. But are you forgetting LinkedIn, one of the most important channels for B2B marketers? Here’s how to use videos to maximize LinkedIn lead generation

LinkedIn has documented research indicating that members of the “buying committee” are more likely to connect with vendors on LinkedIn than any other social media platform.

 

Use explainer videos to convert webinar registrants

Use explainer videos to convert webinar registrants

Interweaving video content and webinar content can strengthen the entire content marketing strategy (graphic adapted from MarketingProfs)

Between audience acquisition, webinar content development, webinar management and webinar follow-up activities, B2B organizations can spend more than $15K on their webinar marketing efforts. The problem is — very few B2B technology organizations are generating the leads they should be grabbing and even fewer are effectively engaging these leads after the event is over. Here are some ideas on how to use explainer videos to convert webinar registrants into customers

Here’s why many technology B2B webinars do not generate as many qualified leads as they should — and how videos can help

Reason #1: Most B2B technology webinars are nothing more than a demo.

According to webinar expert Mike Agron, when you are trying to attract top of the funnel prospects, the purpose of a webinar should be to get buy-in for some type of change in your prospect’s organization. Your webinar should not be about making a sale or showing a demo or touting product features. Prospects are still in the learning stage so you have to make your webinars case study based where you showcase a new process, strategy or solution that will lead to better business outcomes.

Reason #2: B2B organizations are failing to quickly connect with their targeted audiences needs.

You must remember that the target audiences you invite to a webinar will vary greatly on where they are in the decision process — not just how much they know or care about you and your solutions, but also what they actually need. In any case, many will be very uncertain whether they should put any more time and effort into finding out what you can do for them (which includes signing up for your webinar.) By adding videos as part of the invite process, you can reduce that uncertainty, because viewing a short video is the most painless way to determine your own level of interest in something. Plus, with a good 2-Minute Explainer animated video, you’ll be able to quickly connect the prospect with the problem you’ll be covering in the webinar.

Not only are videos good for your webinar audience acquisition efforts – but also in the lead engagement process. Remember, because someone signed up for a webinar, it does not mean they will be ready to buy immediately afterward. You have to nourish relationships.

Video follow-up? Yes. Yes. And yes.

Companies usually follow up with surveys and a link to download the recorded session and they’ll call the “hottest prospects” and just dump everyone else into their newsletter list. Here’s a better way to follow up with webinar registrants:

If you made your webinar case study based and if you provided real value, then you should have buy-in to a new process or strategy from your webinar attendees. Now, you want to follow up, with a 2 minute explainer that supports these objectives:

Reinforce your message.

Show prospects how your technology supports the strategies and processes described in the webinar and how it will help them overcome the challenges mentioned in your audience acquisition videos. So, in other words, you are connecting the dots for them.

Move the prospect further along in the sales process

Make it easy for your prospect to share information with other buying team members (not in the form of a recorded 45-minute webinar)

Use explainer videos to convert webinar registrants

This video is appropriate for webinar followup. Somewhat in-depth. A bit sales-y. Reinforces the productpitch which, in a webinar, should be subtle.

A second follow up email can then provide a combination of an in-depth demo and sales pitch like this Brocade Application Resource Broker in Action video. This video is a five-minute presentation that incorporates animations from a (top-of-funnel) 2-Minute Explainer video that was initially used to introduce the product, and a narrated “demo” depicting in detail what it’s like to use the product.

Implications for content marketing

If your content marketing strategy calls for webinars, you should make it easy for the buying team member who attended the webinar to share the positive new things learned with other team members. That means your content strategy for webinars should anticipate the videos that can be used to follow up. These videos include video product introductions, video product demos, video case studies and whatever else you’ve got. Make video part of before and after webinar strategy.