LinkedIn recently came out with some research on technology buying that matches up well with Gartner’s recent re-imagining of the buying cycle, where members of a buying team cross back and forth as they progress through streams of activities designated Explore, Evaluate, Engage, and Experience. (discussed in a previous blog post.)
The LinkedIn research uses the concept of a buying committee. Nearly half the members of this committee, work outside of IT (marketing, finance, facilities, sales). Half of the members are “individual contributors” or managers; half are senior executives.
More content, less marketing, please
Respondents seemed pretty much in agreement that they prefer information that makes them better informed, and don’t much like “marketing” sales pitches. Equally unsurprising, they “actively seek conversations with vendors on social media” — and LinkedIn tops the social media list.
The more senior committee members say they go for thought leadership and industry news. The more junior members like information on best practices, how-to’s, and checklists, and (further into the sales process), they like demos.
With this framework in mind, here are a few ideas for generating (and re-using) video content for marketing to each segment of the buying committee.
Chapterize demos, tutorials, and other videos
Review your sales, demo and other videos for interesting, illustrative segments that can be reused. So, if you just want to reach the more detail-oriented members of the buying committee, you can pull out the “chapter” showing the technical “magic” in your solution. Here, for example, I’ve embedded 15-seconds that appears toward the end of a short video.
It might make sense to use these “chapters,” or excerpts, instead of, or in addition to, full-scale demos. For example, suppose there are members of the buying committee whose biggest concern is how readily your software solution handles one specific problem. A headline stating that you solve that problem in a jiffy, and linking to a video tutorial excerpt that shows exactly how, may be just what’s needed to tip a decision in your favor.
You might have segments within other videos that present checklists or talk about best practices (the kind of stuff “junior” members of the buying committee want to see, according to this research). You can use such video snippets to more closely target specific audience segments — and add to the amount of video in your content marketing program at the same time.
Re-use your demos
If you’ve got a decent demo of a nifty feature, email links to a video snippet with an informative note. Unfortunately, if you want to share a YouTube video link in an email, you’re limited to specifying the start point, but by right-clicking a video playing on YouTube, you can “copy URL at the current time”: same video starting @ 1m50s.
Re-use use cases and testimonials
You can also use links to video (or segments) of use cases and testimonials in thought leadership and educational communications. In particular, you could look for opportunities to link to these videos in social media interactions.
Turn your best slide into video
In the hundreds of PowerPoint decks we’ve reviewed as part of our script research process, there is almost always one slide, usually about one-third of the way in, that is really informative. It’s usually a diagram or illustration with lots of call-outs and speaker’s notes. A lot of thought has gone into it. This is the kind of thinking the buying committee wants. Turn this into a short video. It doesn’t have to be dazzling. It doesn’t even have to be short.
Dress up your invitations
If the cool slide above was developed as part of a product introduction kit, then a cool video snippet could work nicely in an email invite to a conference or a trade show (“Here’s a sneak preview of the new thing we’ll be demonstrating.”)
As you see, it’s not hard to think up ways to create “new” content from other content. You just need to keep in mind that “videos” aren’t necessarily standalone presentations or shows. They can be excerpted and repurposed like any other content.