Many video marketers are of the opinion that branded video content can actually work as a replacement to a salesperson. It’s simple to just create a demo of your product or service, add a call-to-action and you’re done. People are also talking about artificial intelligence replacing humans for talking to customers, closing deals, and providing after-sales support.
But I seriously beg to differ and clear out those myths. We at Broadcast2World believe that loyal customers are born out of trust and trust can only emerge between humans. Branded video content can act as an enabler of the sales process, it can support your sales team and help improve their efficiency & effectiveness but can’t close a deal for you. For deal closures, you would need a team of sales professionals who sincerely encourage actions by listening and loving.
When I’m on a chat with prospects, they sometimes specifically ask, are you a bot or human, we would like to chat with a human. Some companies have started automating the live chat process in the initial stages to understand the customer requirements and then deploying a specialist in the sales team, to take the conversation forward.
It’s hard for the customers to take a final decision based on a video or content. They need to have a final handshake with the salesperson to get the confidence that they will be taken care of even after taking the final purchase decision.
This article talks about why we as humans need human connections. Our bodies are built for social contact and that we do better physically and mentally when we have human contact. We have an inherent need to interact with others to understand what’s going on around us.
A conversation with a salesperson you build the trust helps you to go beyond facts and figures and take an intuitive decision on the product or service.
Simon Sinek talks about how humans have survived over centuries purely on their gut feeling. When you are talking to a human being you intuitively know whether the partnership will last or not. The body language, the tone, and expressions - everything speaks volumes about where the two of you are headed. Your subconscious mind records everything and you make your decision accordingly.
Although videos cannot replace sales teams, they can definitely simplify their job by adding a human touch to each of the communication that happens before & after the deal closure.
Let’s understand how does branded video content fit into your sales process and helps you to improve efficiency and effectiveness your sales process.
There are typically seven stages in a lead cycle - Subscribers, Leads, MQL, SQL, Proposal, Customer, and Evangelist.
This is the stage when a potential customer or anybody else who lands on our blog, find the content useful and decides to subscribe to it. We send our blog content in various like videos, infographics etc. to each of the blog subscribers on a weekly, fortnightly or a monthly basis, according to their respective preferences.
At this stage, a potential customer inquires about the product or service by sending out an email or filling up a contact form. We usually get three type of queries:
We pass on the leads which are potential customers, to the marketing team and mark them as marketing qualified leads (MQL), so they can work on qualifying them. For prospective employees and potential vendors, we have separate landings pages with respective videos like process, requirements, culture videos etc. that helps them take further action while applying to work with us.
On the basis of the customer query or the requirements, the marketing team is able to judge whether the lead has a valid query or not. If yes, the lead becomes a Marketing Qualified Lead (or an MQL).
At this stage, we use different video types depending on the query of the MQL.
If the lead has requested for industry-specific experience then we share a set of video samples and case studies that we have developed for that particular industry. So, suppose if a potential customer is from the consumer goods industry I would share the following video we created for Raptor Plumbing:
On the other hand, the query is about the pricing, we share helpful videos including our popular pricing packages, factors affecting cost of the videos, how prices change with different animation techniques etc.
In a scenario when the query is about the results, we share a case study video or research paper based videos. Take a look at this example of a case study video that highlights the success of a digital campaign for Coca-Cola:
While when we are asked for the video creation process we share a video that talks about our process:
If the potential customer is looking for a particular video style, say premium motion then we would share the specific samples videos like below:
When we feel that the MQL has the requisite budget for the campaign, we convert it into an SQL or a Sales Qualified Lead.
This is the stage when we demonstrate our products/services with the help of a presentation demo which includes video content like our cultural video, brand story video, process video, recommended sample videos, case study videos, testimonial videos etc.
We transfer a lead from the SQL stage to opportunity stage when we know that they have an immediate requirement lets say within a month. This is the stage when the client is looking forward to working with us and requests for a detailed proposal. We then create a document where we map out the client requirements in detail along with the solution videos that we feel would work best for them. We also include process video, faq video and the next steps with our terms and conditions video.
This is also the stage when we make use of remarketing video campaigns on Facebook and YouTube to reach out to potential customers to inspire a closure.
This is the stage after an opportunity has got converted into a customer. In this stage, we share video communication that helps them more about how they can deploy our product or use our services to drive maximum ROI. You can share all types of support related videos and help your sales team get more repeat business.
Take a look at an example of a branded content video at this stage from the popular accounting tool, Freshbooks
An Evangelist is an existing customer who is satisfied with your product/service and would be happy to recommend it to peers. At this stage you need to make use of videos related to referral programs, loyalty programs, and reseller programs etc. Such videos will help you get your satisfied customers to benefit from these programs while helping you to generate more sales.
Take a look at this perfect example of best branded content from Starbucks:
One of the best ways to improve the response rate of your videos is to ensure they have an optimal length. Generally speaking, videos that you create for sales (converting a potential customer or retaining an existing one) are usually longer than awareness stage or consideration stage videos. You can read more about the optimal length of videos for different stages of the buyer’s journey.
Your video script should always be born out of a story, a BIG IDEA. Story-driven videos always perform better. Make sure your script is powerful and evokes strong emotions. A story transforms your audience to a relatable real-life situation. It delves into some of their key problem areas, talks about a solution and inspires them to make a purchase decision. This post talks about how storytelling works as an effective way to communicate.
While using videos to get your potential customers to convert, think about their uniqueness and their value addition to the viewer. Do a competitive audit to understand what kind of demo videos or testimonial videos are being used by your competitors. If your competitors are making use of live action video then it makes more sense to go for animation and vice-versa. Make sure you have found the larger purpose of your business, this post on Live Action vs Animation would clear things up further.
You must keep tabs on how your videos are performing - and get better results over time.
Use your CRM and video hosting tool to measure the effectiveness of your videos. You can easily pull out the relevant metrics such as click-through rate, reply rate, and video engagement. Make use of A/B testing to see which ones are performing the best and accordingly plan for more video content. Also, these tools help you identify which is being consumed by which client, so you can customize your pitch accordingly.
Video content can certainly not replace a human being. It can add a human touch to your communication and work as a sales enabler for your business. Once you have shared some videos with a potential customer, your sales team can sell fearlessly and with a lot more confidence. Videos help you to improve the response rate from leads and can help skyrocket the efficiency of the sales process. By sending the right videos at each of the stages of the lead cycle most of your work will be done by videos - all you need to is prioritize the leads which are the hottest and focus on closing them.
Consistent video strategy helps you to build trust with your potential customers and once that is established, all your sales team needs to do is hit the final nail in the coffin.
Have you used videos to make your sales process more effective and efficient? I would love to learn from your experience. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.