The SaaS industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the global economy. According to an estimate, the industry would generate around $141 billion in 2022, becoming the largest segment of the cloud services market.
But with growth, comes competition. This poses many marketing challenges that the companies have to overcome to become successful.
So how do you stand out from the competition, connect with your prospects and land your first deal in the target account? How do you convince and inspire the decision makers higher up in the hierarchy to expand within the account? And lastly how do you decrease the overall cost of customer acquisition (CoCA) and increase customer lifetime value (CLV)?
SaaS explainer videos tell stories that can empower you to land, expand fast within your accounts and help you minimize your customer acquisition cost.
So how can you tell your story through explainer videos for SaaS products? Let’s learn about important story principals of a good video and points to consider across the customer journey to overcome marketing challenges discussed above.
The SaaS market is extremely diverse, quite complex and highly competitive. At early stages when you are trying to land into an account you generally take a bottom to top approach.
So you want to connect with those specific users who are at the front facing those operational challenges that your product is going to solve. Every individual is driven by certain goals, aspirations and purpose in life.
Firstly your SaaS explainer video should tell a story that captures them specifically. Once you have their attention, you need to engage them. For that your story needs to talk about their problems you are going to solve. And finally your story should end with transformation of the user or the hero for the good. That is how his or her life is going to change post using your SaaS product and inspire them for action.
Look at this animated storytelling video used by Adobe Analytics to connect with their prospects:
In under 2 minutes, the video takes you through a relatable journey you can relate to. It talks about how Adobe Analytics can increase your efficiency and save you time for your fun things in life.
It also talks about how Adobe can enable you to fulfill your manager's expectations and get you the appreciation you deserve.
As you might’ve guessed, the ones who would actually appreciate such content are individual users. It is these people who care about the features and your product’s efficiency (and consequently theirs). Your product story should specifically address them. It should talk about their struggles and how your software helps solve them.
Let’s look another live action tv commercial video by Salesforce:
The video talks about the customer, Room & Board, first. This helps you get a better understanding of where they’re coming from. Then when they talk about how Salesforce helped them, it makes more sense.
By doing this, the video puts you in the customer’s foot and makes you understand how going for the product was the best decision. Their success story inspires you to have your own success story with Salesforce.
For individual users, the video tells the story of how Salesforce helped them boost efficiency. Since that is something individual users care about, the video urges them to try the software out.
Once you have enrolled the individual users, the next goal is to inspire decision-makers and get the whole organization on board—let’s talk about this in the next section.
As a SaaS company, you follow a subscription model for your services. Most of your customers will bring in revenue after a year or so. Clearly, closing a deal isn’t the end for you. You need to delight existing users so they stick around and spread the word about your services.
At this stage you also need to connect with decision makers and get their buy-in for expansion within the target account.
People at the top are not interested in transactional things, they usually have higher needs and aspirations. Unlike those lower down, they don’t care much about features and efficiency. Their goals revolve around increasing market share, growing the company, strengthening the position of the brand in the market, etc.
Now your stories should talk about their goals and purpose in life. So you need to connect those dots between your SaaS product and their desires. Once they are hooked to your story, your explainer video should express empathy for the kind of challenges they have to overcome for achieving their goals. And finally, how your product can empower them and transform their life.
Let’s look at this animated storytelling video used by Gsuite from Google to connect with prospects higher up in the hierarchy or you can say decision makers:
In this video Google smartly talks about possibilities of having a workspace where ideas float free, where everyone can work together as one team and business runs better. Now these things are very close to people at the top and this video can touch their hearts inspiring them to take action!
This video by Salesforce is another great example of how SaaS explainer videos can help you expand:
The video starts by talking about the vision of Barclays, a customer of Salesforce. This defines the target audience. The only ones who would be interested in watching the video beyond this point would be the top level management. Those are the people responsible for giving an overall direction to the company. They take care of the big plans.
It also talks about how the company wanted to ensure that they’re providing value to their customers even in the future. That too is something more relevant for those at the top. So when they watch this video, they’re more likely to convert.
As a marketer, you run nurturing campaigns in a hope to convert your free trials into paid customers and then expand them to drive maximum value. When I say expand, it means either upgrading the same user to higher packages, or increasing the number of users within the same account or maximising the lifetime value of the paying customer.
But with so much competition and the reducing attention span of our customers, how can you keep engaging them and create strong brand recall?
There are different kinds of videos which can be used across SaaS marketing telling stories as per the use case and objectives. Also when it comes to nurturing your existing customers you can pick and choose your accounts which will give you more returns in the long run.
We have already discussed product explainer videos in detail, so let’s look at other types of videos for your SaaS products below.
When you think of demos, you probably think of making the audience go through your software on a video call. While that isn’t an issue for big teams, smaller teams might struggle to give each user an in-person demo.
This is where demo videos come in. They explain how users can use various features of your software. From the simplest tasks to the most complex ones, these videos make everything easy to understand.
These videos help the users make the most of your software. They can even give the users a glimpse of how they will benefit from the paid version of your software, thus inspiring them to make a purchase.
But the main objective here is customer retention and experience. These videos enable the support team for customer success. Since these videos are great at explaining how the software works, the support team can simply show them to the customers. This way, they only have to spend time on customers with issues only they can solve.
A good example of how demo videos work is this one by Apple:
It delivers precisely what it promises. It tells the users how to use the slide over feature on iPads. And it does that by showing the screen to the users so that they can do it simultaneously on their device.
This video is highly focused and discusses only one function. You could try juggling between such bite-sized videos and full-length demos. It all depends on how your audience would like to consume the content.
But demo videos are not just for feature-specific education. They work just as well for onboarding new customers.
When you’re new on a platform, it almost feels like an alien world. You don’t know much of what’s happening around you. And it can get frustrating really quickly. You’ll soon walk away from the platform unless it’s absolutely necessary for you to be there.
To prevent your customers from doing the same and to make the time they spend on your platform worthwhile, you need to onboard them properly. You need to equip them with all the knowledge they would need to make the best out of your software.
Onboarding videos can help you out with that. They can guide your customers through your platform and make them understand how it works—all at their own pace. In some ways, it works better than in-person demos.
Look at how Shift used onboarding videos to make new customers feel at home:
The video takes the audience through the basics of the platform and gets them up and running to use the platform properly. Whatever is left can then be learned with the help of demo videos.
A similar approach has been used by Slack in this video:
In this video, Slack tries to onboard an entire team onto the platform. It talks about everything the team needs to know to get started with the platform.
Next, we’re going to look at a type of SaaS videos that can help you build trust with social proof. We’re talking about testimonial videos, they are similar to explainer videos where the story is about a hero's quest.
When you talk about the experience your customers have had with your software, it builds trust. People take word of mouth seriously. And when they see that someone like them used your software and saw great success with it, they trust that.
Let’s take a look at this humorous testimonial video by Slack:
The video is a bit on the goofier side but it does an awesome job at getting the message across. When Sandwich Video Inc talks about their experience, you find it relatable. Communication issues aren’t rare in companies and you can see how Slack can help bridge the gap.
By using humor in the video, the company ensured that you feel at ease and see the video as an entertaining one. It is by being entertaining that it ensures your attention for almost two and a half minutes.
When you need to build hype about your product pre or post-launch, promotional videos are the way to go. These are also called commercial or 30-second explainer videos, and they follow the format of concise storytelling. This format is just enough to hook the audience, create brand awareness and drive traffic to your landing pages.
These videos are generally short and don’t get into intrinsic details about the product.
A great example of promo videos is this one by Slack:
The video takes the viewers through a journey from an idea to a product. Slack enables the team in the video to build the product by ensuring that the communication is on point.
These videos can also be effectively used to target decision makers at the top. As they are always short of time, such videos can pique their interest.
Video marketing can help you become a SaaS company that burns up the competition rather than burning out. Our animated explainer video company can empower you to tell stories that engage, clarify your message and inspire your audience.
What challenges do you seek to overcome with SaaS videos? Let us know in the comments below!
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