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How video can boost B2B sales throughout the sales funnel

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How video can boost B2B sales throughout the sales funnel

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Video is increasingly relied upon by business buyers to increase awareness of new solutions, to better understand how those solutions align with their goals, and to help them to decide which of their various options to go with. If you struggle to understand which is the right kind of movie for each purchase transition, here’s a breakdown. If your sales are lagging in any one of these areas, consider a video to keep people moving along…

Awareness

These buyers have no idea you exist, let alone what your solution can offer them. So to make the most of their time, videos used here should be very lightweight (short and entertaining), use simple terminology, and don’t dive into too many specifics. You can make claims, but make sure they aren’t too lofty or specific. The key here is to get noticed, without being cheesy or annoying.

Intro videos are great for businesses to get attention without constantly feeding a hungry advertising spend. And if you’re really lucky, it will go viral. For instance, On24 created a hilarious rap video called “How to Webinar” that has enjoyed over 300,000 views.

If your sales team relies heavily on personal presentations, an Intro movie is a great way to break the ice and start the conversation in the right direction. We produced one for a regional bank’s business team as a means to encourage prospects to watch a series of short animated banking demos. Those demos, in turn, encouraged the prospects to attend a 1-hour evaluation with the entire accounting team. You can also loop these at tradeshows.

Whiteboards are another great way to explain a common problem but with simple illustrations instead of a character story. The hand drawn effect captivates people as they learn about the solution.

Animated infographics can highlight some surprising or interesting facts about your industry or business. By simply showing fascinating facts in an entertaining format, you can align your business with higher-level thinking and make it synonymous with creativity and concepts such as big data and analytics.

Best practices:

  • By entertaining the audience, you can capture their attention.
  • By keeping your presentation brief, you won’t risk losing them and they’ll appreciate your respect for their time.
  • Since they just learned about you, don’t bother with a formal call-to-action or ask them to fill in a form for more information.
  • Once you’ve captured their attention, you can encourage further interaction such as visiting your web site or other online properties. From there you can request a form-fill.

Take-Aways:

  • If you offer some guidance or other valuable education in the video, you can be remembered.
  • If you bake in the right psychology traits, your video can be shared to others in the organization.

Understanding/Consideration/Belief

Since prospects in this stage know a little bit about your business, you can begin to give them more specifics, clarify your solution, and offer some best practices. If you made claims in the awareness stage, back them up in this stage. The key here is to build trust.

For example, explainers and cartoons typically introduce the concept via a central character with a problem. The character wants increased appreciation, recognition, a promotion, etc. The solution solves the problem and, in the end, the character achieves their desired personal ambition. These also work in the Awareness stage but I put it here because they better serve the transition from awareness to increased understanding.

Short product demos work well in moving people through the buying cycle because there’s little commitment (no meetings that have to be scheduled, and not much time spent), the basics are all right there, and the prospect is mildly entertained while learning about it.

Customer interviews are another way to lightly show value and build trust. Even if the customer is not famous or in the same industry, business buyers like to look into the eyes of others who took the leap and thrived. While these also fit nicely into the last stage of a buying cycle, I put them here because they put a human face on something that is most likely intangible, massive or (let’s face it) lacking energy and enthusiasm.

Best practices:

  • Showing how a solution improves people’s lives gives that solution credibility and increased perceived value.
  • Showing actual customers is the ultimate way to build credibility, even if the customer’s comments are very brief and not well aligned with the prospect’s particular industry.
  • Walking the prospect through a few of the top-level features and benefits allows them to either quickly move forward or bail. They’ll appreciate you not wasting their time.

Take-Aways:

  • Focus on what the solution does for the customer, not simply how it functions, and they’ll respond positively.
  • Be sure the messages in your video (which are likely to be consumed more than other materials you publish) align with what they hear and read elsewhere.

Purchase

Right before a prospect pulls the trigger is the time to demonstrate concrete facts. Late stage video content needs to dive deep into the solution’s functionality, how it fits into the organization, and how it will improve the bottom line. The key here is to focus on the entire organization. You want them to get the whole team on board so make it easy with a direct, formal call-to-action and a link for easy sharing. And, most importantly, make sure the entire enterprise gets what it wants.

Demos and tutorials give the viewer a way to learn all about a solution at their own pace. And, including navigation (which was formerly provided via Flash and which is now provided via HTML5) gives the viewer the ability to jump around between topics and share specific items of interest with colleagues.

Testimonials and animated case studies are a convenient way to describe how a solution improved a specific customer’s situation. They’re much more fun than reading a case study and can provide just as much information. In addition to interviewing the company, the most successful movies tell the story of what the customer faced, how the solution helped them to overcome it, and the result of the new arrangement. The only drawback to these videos is the interview footage tends to be a bit costly and difficult to coordinate all the people who need to be interviewed.

Best practices:

  • Showing, in very concrete terms, a solution’s lasting, enterprise-wide value is essential.
  • Showing real customers benefiting from your solution always works.

Take-Aways:

  • Now that you’ve hooked the prospect with personal improvement, it’s time to elevate the conversation to bottom line value – either revenue generation or cost savings.

We’re experts at applying the right creative solution to each business marketing challenge. Not only that, we’re able to tailor our video solutions so that they can be used in personal presentations and at trade shows so that our clients can maximize their marketing ROI.

Check out some of our many video examples we’ve made to improve sales at any point in a sales funnel.

 

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