June 12, 2017
I’ve never liked the term video marketing. It’s not so much the ambiguity — we can all agree that “video marketing” and “marketing [of] video” are not the same thing. What bothers me is that “video marketing” implies that a video marketing strategy exists in isolation from the rest of your online marketing strategy.
IBM recently published a white paper, “You Don’t Need a Marketing Video. You Need a Video Marketing Strategy.” The gist of it is that marketers should produce a mix of long, short, and live-streaming videos. Then they should deploy them with marketing automation software on a powerful distribution platform (IBM Cloud Video is favorably mentioned). The goal is to “reach your target audience.”
A video marketing strategy with empathy
LeadGen expert Brian Carroll of B2B Lead Blog is a proponent of empathy in B2B marketing. He advises us all to take a step back and consider marketing as something we’re doing for customers, not to them. He points to a Forrester Consulting finding, “65 percent of marketers struggle to employ emotional marketing as they turn to automation to improve customer engagement.”
As you plan out a video, it’s certainly worth asking questions like:
• Are my videos personalized for the customer, or do they feel like mass market advertising?
• Do I have a lot of data on what interests customers? Viewing data? Any data?
• How does this video help build a relationship?
Video from the customer point of view
Put yourself in the customer’s place. When you’re researching a solution, you’ll watch a company video only if you think it’s a good way to get the information you want, or the fastest way to learn something about the company and the way it operates. Otherwise, you’ll probably prefer to skim website pages or a white paper, and seek further information from third parties. So, from the customer point of view, one of the best things a marketer can do, is to make informative videos in the first place, and then to make clear what information each video contains. Informative titles, chapter headings, and summaries enhance the customer experience — and make your video more search-friendly, too.
Along the same lines, videos can enhance other content by helping to summarize and promote it. Has one of your subject matter experts labored over a particularly informative blog post? A short video summarizing key points can help make it clearer and encourage more readers. That way you get more value from the intellectual resources that went into the blog post by reusing them to create new content that increases customer engagement.
By focusing video on the customer experience, you end up with a better content marketing strategy, not a better video marketing strategy. Vidyard recently published an infographic that cleverly maps 12 types of video productions (explainers, product info, chalk talks, personalized, etc.) to the customer lifecycle and suggests appropriate levels of production values for each genre. It’s worth a look. But this “generic” approach to video is mostly geared to marketing content that is promotional.
Video for sales engagement
There are lots of other ways to make video that is simply engaging and informative. CSO Insights research director Tamara Schenk, an authority on sales enablement, has noted that salespeople often complain that the content they’re given to work with is too product-oriented. She says “it doesn’t help them engage on the level of business challenges, and doesn’t help them engage in different industries.”
The CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study backs this up with the finding that the quality and quantity of content has a remarkable impact on quota and revenue plan attainment, adding that it’s a dangerous illusion to reduce the required sales content to only “marketing content.”
Sales enablement content types:
Here are the types of content typically used in sales enablement programs:
• e-mail templates
• White papers
• Product collateral
• Needs analysis template
• Customer case studies
• Sales presentations
• Tech presentations
Interestingly, all these items are used throughout the customer journey. Email templates and white papers (65.3%) are the most used items during the prospecting phase. The others tend to be used more in later phases.
How to use video for sales enablement
While video is not broken out as a separate category, this list makes an excellent starting point for thinking about new ways to use video. For starters, the quality of any of these content types could be significantly improved with the addition of a video component. Just about any text-based, online, or in-person communication could be enlivened by a simple process animation or a subject matter expert explaining a diagram.
On the question of engaging with different industries, it’s not difficult to create multiple versions of a video. You just need to plan for it.
Specific business challenges, can be addressed if your approach to video (and other content) is based on a more conversational model. Explanations don’t need to come in the form of product overview explainer videos. Video is great for putting across almost concept very quickly. Videos can answer frequently asked questions. Excerpts from demos and webinars can narrow the focus and contribute to different conversations.
Technology leaders, including Google and Microsoft, think that “conversational commerce” with chatbots will play a big role enabling sales very soon. I call short videos that enable a customer to understand something he didn’t understand a minute ago “chatbot-ready” — because they’re designed to be part of the conversation.
Since 2004, Bruce McKenzie, founding partner of Business Information Graphics, has been developing videos to increase sales engagement for companies such as IBM, Cisco, Brocade, Quantum, Compuware and many startups.