When it comes to creating video content for B2B sales enablement and marketing purposes, a lot of marketers initially think of lead generation and brand awareness content and not necessarily lead progression focused content. Often overlooked is the fact that targeted video content can actually drive the same marketing benefits it delivers for lead generation throughout the entire sales cycle, which we’ll refer to as “sales funnel” in this post. In this post we’ll discuss what we consider to be the top three most effective types of videos B2B marketers should consider when developing their video marketing strategy. If you decide to add this type of content to your integrated marketing communication strategy, you should always take a strategical approach to the actual video production itself as opposed to a tactical one, and first determine how and where video can best support both your entire sales process before you invest in production services.
Most B2B marketers know that video content can be an extremely powerful communication tool and can provide tremendous results when it comes to lead generation, but the reality is that this type of marketing content can be used at every stage of a sales funnel or buyers purchasing journey, not just at the top. In fact, it’s the video content that supports the latter stages of your funnel that can drive the greatest amount of ROI, especially if you're selling complex items with a high average sale price (ASP), or products that are considered a capital expense. Capturing leads is one challenge, and progressing those leads through your sales funnel is another, and requires different messaging strategies and video content depending on where a given prospect stands within the funnel.
In some cases, videos can serve multiple purposes and support multiple stages of the sales cycle beyond its initial intended purpose, but for the most part, each video should be tailored to one specific goal outcome that you’re trying to achieve at each particular progression point of the sales funnel. Below are what we consider to be the top three most effective types of video content for B2B marketers to consider when investing in production and adding this type of content to their overall integrated marketing communication strategy.
We consider well-produced testimonial content to be the most effective type of video content when it comes to sales progression and recruitment conversion marketing. In fact, the core benefit to creating a testimonial video is that it allows you to provide your prospective customers or partners with real-world views of your company or brand and the value it can deliver to either end-users, channel partners or in some cases both. When you put the real people, not actors, that use, trust and work with your brand in front of the camera, you’re introducing a true humanizing element to your brand. This establishes a level of virtual sub-conscience trust with prospects that is simply unachievable using any other marketing method that doesn’t require on-site or in-person engagement.
Testimonials that are shot on-site, as opposed to in a studio, also help prospects establish a true frame of reference. This makes it easier for them to relate your value proposition to their own situation because they are essentially watching it being demonstrated in a real-world scenario by real people. In the B2B space, these types of videos are most effective with prospects who’ve already moved beyond the “awareness” stage, and in many cases are also beyond the “interest” stage. They are usually seeking validation, beyond their own instinctual rational, and often look to third parties for that validation before making the decision to invest in your offering or partnership opportunity. One of the best ways to move prospects beyond this point of your sales funnel is to provide them with examples from end-user champions and successful partners who’ve already taken the risk of investing in your brand and are realizing the benefits of making their decision and investment.
In general, referred business tends to convert higher regardless of what you're selling or offering due to a layer of pre-conceived trust that already exists with a prospect because someone they know or trust has recommended your brand. Although not quite as powerful as a direct-relationship referral, in theory, a testimonial video can also establish a sense of sub-conscience trust and offer trustworthy third party validation with prospects who weren’t referred directly to your brand from a trusted advisor or colleague.
When it comes to marketing B2B technology products and solutions online, we’ve found that captured live-demonstration and live-introduction product videos have proven to be equally as powerful as testimonial video content at various stages of the sales funnel depending on how they are positioned and crafted. The fundamental difference between these two types of video categories is that in most scenarios, testimonial videos are more successful at establishing perceived trust and validation, whereas product introduction and demonstration videos are more successful at creating perceived brand and value proposition familiarity. Both serve their individual purposes with respect to the overall sales funnel and video marketing strategy, however, product oriented content can have a wider range of impact on multiple stages of the funnel. For example, a high-level product introduction video may serve better at the “awareness” stage of the funnel, whereas an in-depth technical review or demonstration of a specific key feature set may serve better at the “interest” stage of the funnel.
The real beauty of capturing live-action product and demonstration video content as it relates to brand perception building, is that it provides prospects with the ability to experience your value proposition in a multi-dimensional virtual environment by combining both auditory and visual sensory stimulation. Essentially these types of videos create a subconscious artificial sense of familiarity one typically establishes through either self-direct interaction with your brand, or in an in-person human engagement with your brand. Imagine creating that level of product or brand familiarity with every web user that visits your website, opens your email or engages in your paid traffic investments.
So whether you're bringing a new product or service to market and trying to create general brand awareness, or you’re delivering a focused message to a segmented group already within your sales funnel, product introduction and demonstration videos can be extremely powerful sales and marketing assets to establish brand familiarity and perceived brand value with general web visitors and targeted prospects.
Last on our list for the top three most effective types of videos for B2B marketers is custom animated explainer videos. There’s a good chance you’ve watched one of these yourself and there’s a good reason for it. Because a well-produced animated explainer is simplistic in nature, making the content easy to digest for viewers and therefore extremely effective at achieving prospect messaging information retention. This holds especially true if the value of your brand, product or solution is difficult to visually conceptualize within the physical world or is 100% virtual, such as a cloud-based software solution or professional services with non-tangible value propositions.
With custom animated video content, you can easily communicate and illustrate how your solution or technology works and the value that it can deliver because you have the ability to create literally anything you need to visually communicate what you’re trying to convey to your audience. Similar to live-action product introductions and demonstration videos, animated content can also be used at multiple stages throughout the sales funnel, and in addition, they are extremely flexible when it comes to targeted audience messaging. For example, they can be very effective at explaining technical complexities to non-technical senior level executives, as well as communicating highly complex integration workflows and technical scenarios to technical audiences.
Like any marketing asset, the quality of any final video production deliverable is extremely important as it too will ultimately be a direct representation of your brand, but in a much deeper way than a traditional static marketing asset. This holds especially true when it comes to custom animated video content because unlike live-action, it represents a fictional scenario. With animation you have complete control over the look and feel of what’s visible, and how it’s portrayed to, and ultimately perceived by, your viewers. Because of this, it’s important to be sure to take the time to take a critical approach to every creative element within your storyline and understand how it may be interpreted.
So depending on what stage of the sales funnel you're trying to influence or prospect sub-segment demographic you're trying to communicate with, custom animated content can be tailored to resonate with just about any audience regardless of where they stand within the prospect purchasing value chain. It is for this reason alone that we believe it belongs in the top three types of video content B2B marketers should consider when making investments in producing video content.
It’s a proven fact that video content is both highly effective and quite possibly the future of content marketing. It’s equally as powerful at pushing prospects throughout the various stages of your sales funnel as it is at capturing them at the very top. Like all marketing content and plans, it too requires a strategy behind it in order to achieve its maximize return on investment. And depending on what you’re trying to achieve, may require various types of video. So whether it’s a testimonial, product or an animated explainer, each type of video should be focused on achieving a single strategic goal to begin with, and then used elsewhere as appropriate. You can see different types of marketing video marketing examples on our company website.
About the Author
Peter Horton is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at Telideo Productions, a Denver video production company and Denver video marketing agency that specializes in developing video marketing strategies and producing video content for businesses. To learn more Telideo, its expertise and the services they provide, please visit their website at www.telideo.com.