My eight best explainer video content tips

I’ve been working with clients to make videos that help their buyers make decisions about enterprise technology solutions for some time. Here’s a summary of the best tips for video content I’ve shared recently.

1. Make several videos from one.

Why? It’s very cost effective and simple to slice and dice even the shortest video into new videos to deploy in new channels. A client of ours recently launched a new product with a lively video about what the product does.

By editing that video, it was a simple task to create a new, less product-centric video, with a modified message emphasizing the company’s unique approach to the problem and their solution.

For the second video we eliminated the voiceover narration, a good practice for noisy environments like trade show exhibits and video walls where there is a lot of competition for viewers’ attention and where adding to the noise level is not a competitive advantage.

2. Embed your videos in other media.

How do you distribute white papers, product sheets, product announcements, news releases, and newsletters? In PDF format, or in email, most likely. And how many of these go out without including any links to videos?

my eight best explainer video content tips

Buttons like this increase email opens.

Yet everyone knows that people like videos because videos can make things clear without taking much time or effort. And most people know that videos in email get more opens and more clicks. What’s more, it’s not hard to think of ways to re-use videos in other media. Tip: use a visual video button.


Most B2B marketing videos don’t support the buyer’s journey

Most B2B marketing videos don’t support the buyer’s journey because they are product-centric. They accompany product introductions, reside on product pages and are featured in product promotions. Most B2B videos are designed for the “awareness” phase of the buyer’s journey — that is, “Introducing (ta-da!) Cloud Security v.3.0!”

These overview “explainer” videos are useful. Customers, prospects, marketers, and salespeople all like short videos that answer the question “what does it do?” when the subject is new to them. Our company has made hundreds of product introduction videos. But . . .


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