Lead nurturing has been a staple of demand gen programs for more than a decade, but recent research has shed some new light on what’s really working.
In this episode of Chalk Talks, we explore how to use video content to improve your lead nurture programs.
Lead nurturing has been a staple of demand gen programs for more than a decade, but recent research has shed some new light on what’s really working in today’s lead nurturing programs.
What kind of content and CTAs are people really responding to?
And what do we need to do to set ourselves up for success as our audiences and our own technology and processes change in the future?
My name is Tyler Lessard, and in this Chalk Talk, I’ll explore how to use video content to take your lead nurture programs from boring to mind-blowing.
A recent research report from Demand Gen Report showed that 66% of demand gen leaders report that those leads who are being actively nurtured are more likely to convert than those who aren’t.
Now, this is a good sign, I suppose, because most marketers are seeing effectiveness in their lead nurture programs, but at the same time, shouldn’t that number be closer to 100%?
If lead nurturing is working effectively, we should always see better performance and higher conversion out of those targeted leads.
The second thing that we found was that 80% of demand gen leaders report that generating responses from leads is one of their top challenges.
Now, I think we can all understand and appreciate that.
It’s harder than ever to get people to click in and engage into our CTAs and our content.
The third interesting point is that the majority of demand gen leaders report that they feel their lead nurture programs are average or below average, which means very few actually think they’re delivering better than average or best in class lead nurture programs.
Now, what we also found was that the number one challenge that demand gen leaders reported was developing targeted content to support their lead nurture programs, and I think you can connect the dots here, to realize that, if we’re not developing content to specifically support our nurture programs, how are we gonna cut through the noise, get the attention and response of key prospects, and ultimately see higher performance?
Now, what we also found was that the number one performing CTA from a downstream conversion perspective was driving leads to sign up and watch webinars.
Keep that in mind, because a webinar, of course, is a video-based content asset.
All the other types of CTAs people reported on were things like eBooks and guides and blog posts and requesting a demo.
Why aren’t we using more video-based calls to action to drive performance from our lead nurture programs?
Well, I think one of the challenges is most businesses don’t feel like they have the right content.
Do they have videos that clearly explain and answer the questions people have?
Do they have videos that have been developed for their nurture programs to help move people through the buyer’s journey?
The second is thinking about what those right CTAs are in our nurture streams. It’s not natural for us to think about watch this as a call to action in our nurtures.
It’s usually sign up for this, download this, but today’s audiences are way more likely to choose to watch something than they are to “Download” or “Sign Up” for something. The third is being able to have the right data behind the scenes.
If we send somebody to download a PDF, at least as a lead nurturer, we know that we can track that action, because it’s probably going to be a gated form.
But with video, we may not today be able to track did they actually watch it and how long did they engage?
But with the right technology, you can do that today.
And finally, being able to trigger the right actions.
If somebody does engage in video content, can I trigger an action based on that, whether it be a lead score or some other qualification mechanism, or kicking off a personalized workflow?
These things are what we need to be thinking about today as marketers.
Now, let me talk about the kinds of video content that we can be using today, and the kinds of CTAs, and then we’ll explore how to use the data behind the scenes to enhance lead qualification.
I’ve structured things here through our typical funnel, because a lot of lead nurturer professionals will think about delivering different content and different CTAs at different stages throughout their nurture program.
Now, this may actually represent the actual funnel stages for your leads, or it might just represent the stages that you go through in your nurture program, you know, nurture number one through 10, you wanna go a little bit deeper as you go.
So, some of the ways we’re seeing people use video throughout their nurture programs are listed over here on the side.
At the beginning of our nurtures, or at the top of the funnel, if you will, we’re seeing more and more marketers produce videos with this mentality of they ask, you answer.
Now, Marcus Sheridan and my friends at IMPACT have planted this idea in my head, and I think it’s a brilliant one, and it’s a very obvious idea, but do we have videos that specifically answer the questions our leads likely have while in the early stages of being nurtured, right?
For us, we are a video technology company, video marketing and video selling platform, but most of our leads aren’t asking video-centric questions at the top of their buyer’s journey.
They’re asking bigger questions, like how do I improve conversion rates on my websites?
How do I improve my email nurture programs, right?
Those are things that we wanna start answering in the context of what we do.
And this is all about thoughtful content, things that might even live out on your YouTube channel or in your blog.
The second is going one step beyond that and developing thought leadership content that goes a little bit beyond just top-level questions, and is maybe a little bit more proactive now, in educating the market on things that they really need to know.
We do a lot of this on our blogs today, and with eBooks and guides, but what about videos?
More and more people are likely to click on a video to learn about a specific topic than they are to download and read a whitepaper. It is simply a fact, but we, as marketers, aren’t typically giving them the content they’re looking for.
So, think about how you could create videos that maybe are just video version of other guides and assets that you create today that answer very specific questions or deliver some incremental value and thought leadership to your market.
You might also think about creating a branded video series where you could then drop different episodes into your nurture streams.
For example, this video you’re watching right now is part of Vidyard’s own Chalk Talks series, and in our Chalk Talks series, we answer a lot of different questions that our audience has. That content is then productized in different ways, on our blog, on our website, in promotions, and we also use some of those Chalk Talks in our nurture programs to help educate our audience.
The third idea here is actually using short videos to promote other assets that you may be using in your nurtures today.
Simple idea, perhaps one of the steps in your nurture is to send that individual a gated whitepaper or an eBook or a research report.
What if, instead of the main call to action being get the report, what if it was watch to find out the top three takeaways? And it was a one-minute video that gave them the three top takeaways, then, at the end of the video, there was a call to action to download the full guide or the report?
Would that generate a better response from your audience? Maybe, maybe not, but a simple thing to test by seeing, hmm, are people more likely to click into a one-minute video and then dive into the full report, versus actually clicking through to the full report?
You might also find people who choose to watch the video and may not download the report, but those may be net new engagements that you can act on.
The fourth idea here is to inject video-based customer stories into your nurtures. A lot of us will link out to case studies and things like that within our nurture programs, but just a subtle tweak in that CTA, instead of read this case study, what if you said, “Watch this short story,” and it was actually a video-based story showing those people on camera, delivering their passion for what you do? And I have testimonials there in quotes, because I don’t think these should be traditional testimonials, right? These should be more authentic.
They should be having that person on camera, genuinely talking about the problems they had and how they’ve solved those problems. This isn’t the time to do the 80% conversion rate lift or $20 million more revenue. This is about authentic stories that are more in line with how people expect to consume content today.
The fifth, as people are moving through here now, you’ve answered their top-level questions, you’ve educated them on why what you do is so important, they’ve seen how others are solving the problems that they have, now is the time to try to get them to engage in something more product-centric.
Now, many of us, as marketers, will drive people here to request a demo or to contact sales, but what if you had a short, three-minute demo as an on-demand video that they could now watch at this point? All right, put yourself in your audience’s shoes. If you’ve got an email and your nurtures saying, “Hey, now’s a great time to get on a sales call and get a live demo,” versus, “Watch a short, three-minute, on-demand demo to see exactly what you’re missing out on,” which one would you be more likely to engage with?
More and more often, we’re seeing people record short, simple demos as a way to get people to dive in, to show interest, and to self-educate on what you’re doing.
And the last one here is thinking about, as people are now getting to the ends of their nurtures, do you have content that gives them that final, you know, these are the few things that you really need to know before making a decision about technology in this area.
It might be questions about your company and your product. It might be those how to make a buy decision within this market, but again, think about video content that could support that, and deliver that message in a more personal, engaging way with your own employees, ’cause all of these will not only help to educate your audience and, hopefully, lift you conversion rates, but they will help to build trust, because you’re putting yourselves on camera.
You’re using real people, you’re showing your product and service. Trust delivers on results, and is more likely to make somebody act.
Now, if you’ve bought in so far, you’re excited, right?
You’re like, “Hey, our nurture programs, you’re right.” This is gonna get us a lot further. It’s gonna deliver content that people really want to engage with.
Is it mind-blowing yet? I don’t know, that depends on how you create the content.
But put yourself in those shoes and think, let’s create some really amazing content that really solves these challenges or answers these questions.
Now, you’ve put these into your nurtures, and what do you do with the data?
Well, most of us today, as part of our nurtures, will track did somebody click on a call to action, did they end up consuming the content asset, or the CTA at the end of that, and we’ll use that to score somebody and maybe flip them to a sales rep or put them into another nurture stream.
With video, the really cool thing is you can not only know did they click on the link to watch the video, which shows they’re interested in the topic, did they press play on the video, so now you know they’ve actually leaned in, and they didn’t just do one of those ghost clicks, but most importantly, how long did they watch that video?
And this is where you can differentiate between people who watched your short online demo for only 10 seconds and then bailed versus those who watched it for three, five, or 10 minutes, depending on how long that content is.
Imagine the power in that.
You can now take somebody who watched the full on-demand demo or customer story and flip them to sales immediately, whereas those who only watched 10 seconds, maybe they go into a related nurture to keep them going and keep warming them up.
It’s a really interesting model to think about engagement data as a way to qualify buyers.
Now this, of course, isn’t possible with platforms like YouTube, so if you’re hosting your videos with YouTube or Vimeo, you’re not gonna get that real-time data pushed into your marketing automation, but that’s where solutions like Vidyard come into play, that ensure you can track those viewing activities, get it back into your marketing automation and CRM tools, and trigger the actions that you need.
And finally, what you’ll also wanna track is, after they did watch that video, do you have a call to action at the end of that video or on that page, and did they interact with that?
So, for example, we’ll see a lot of people who do an online demo, they’ll send people to that, you know they watched the whole video, but even better, at the end of the video, there’s pop-up CTA to say, “Get your own custom demo. Sign up for sales.”
And you’ll again know whether or not they interacted with that, and that can guide who you deliver your next message and engage that lead further.
So, hopefully, this has inspired you with some great ideas for how we need to think about our nurture programs, the power of great content, and the kinds of videos we can use throughout to help engage our leads better, to better understand our buyers, and to ultimately qualify more leads faster.
My name is Tyler Lessard, and this has been a Vidyard Chalk Talk.