As many marketers will attest to, generating qualified leads and turning them into sales-ready opportunities is a difficult job, and it’s only getting tougher.
Prospects are bombarded with hundreds of messages every day, making it difficult to stand out and get the attention we deserve. And once we’ve captured their interest, it seems like we need to jump through hoop after hoop just to keep them engaged for more than a few seconds!
As a result, many marketers are seeing diminishing returns on traditional tactics like outbound email, digital advertising, eBooks, and organic social while new approaches like account-based marketing (ABM), content personalization, and video marketing are helping them boost engagement rates and accelerate prospects through the buyer’s journey.
Video, in particular, has a major role to play in today’s lead generation, demand generation, and ABM programs due its innate ability to engage audiences in storytelling, to explain complex ideas quickly, and to establish a more personal and emotional connection with potential buyers.
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Video is a powerful tool for modern demand generation, not just as a new way to generate leads on YouTube and social media, but as a way to breathe new life into your existing digital marketing programs and to qualify your most engaged leads faster.
The data that videos can generate is unlike any other. Whereas you’ll never know how much of a blog post or PDF a prospect actually reads, video is linear—people watch it from start to finish—and that lets companies track what their prospects watched, skipped, or repeated. (Or repeated, like, 10 times, in which case: stop reading now! Go call that account.)
This makes for far more accurate lead scoring. And it doesn’t end there.
Video viewing data can also roll up to an account level so you can see how much an organization has engaged with your video content. You can see all the different stakeholders and what parts of the video they found most relevant. If many of them re-watched a section about a particular feature or value proposition, you know precisely what to talk about next.
This data can feed into marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) systems for segmentation, lead scoring, and cross-functional coordination. All teams can keep tabs on the who, what, where, and when of their prospects’ video viewing habits and, as a result, can avoid making contact out of turn.
Imagine this is you, and you receive this video thumbnail in your inbox:
Are you more likely to click this than a traditional text-based email? Extensive testing reveals that yes, you are, and that likelihood only increases as it becomes more personalized. For example, what if the thumbnail cake included your company’s logo? Your name? An eerily relevant question based on a talk you gave last week?
Research shows that prospects are up to 5x more likely to engage in a personalized video message than they are in traditional text-based email. And not only that, they’re more likely to share it around the office with peers and colleagues.
When it comes to cold, account-based marketing outreach, this can be the difference between standing out in their inbox and being swept aside and lost in the clutter.
Video forges personal connections between companies and their prospective buyers. The key to personal connections is, of course, personality, and video projects that in spades. Video conveys the body posture, bright smiles, and trust-building nonverbal behavior that usually get lost in your voicemails and emails.
Below is an example of a personal video message sent from a sales rep to an individual at a target account using Vidyard’s quick recording tool GoVideo. You can see that the rep is holding up a paper printed with the prospect’s name and organization so that, right from the thumbnail image, the recipient can tell the video was personalized just for them.
Prospects who receive personalized videos are more likely to open them and according to SalesLoft, late stage prospects that receive personalized videos are 75% more likely to become closed won deals.
Once they’ve captured prospect attention with one-to-one personal messages, marketers, and salespeople can record custom demos, screen captures, and videos from product or executive teams to tie the experience together and make it personal again.
Video coordinates your outreach, breaks through busy inboxes, and offers a human touch that scales. Now, let’s apply what you’ve learned with some demand gen video tactics.
Good for: boosting website visits and conversions.
If you fill your website with video, great things happen. It improves the SEO of the entire site because Google favors videos and all their juicy metadata. In fact, Forrester found that web pages that include a video are 50x more likely to rank on the first page of Google.
On top of that, pages with videos are likely to have a longer dwell time as visitors spend more time watching the videos than simply skimming text. This can result in higher page rankings with Google, more visitors, and more opportunities to convert.
Try adding videos to your landing pages to make them more effective and engaging. Pages that contain videos do a better job of explaining why visitors should engage, and often experience higher click-through rates.
Websites with videos are also better at collecting information. Companies with a video platform can insert post-roll forms, buttons, and CTAs for video lead generation, score those leads, and even allow viewers to book demos directly through salespeople’s calendars. Marketers can use the same post-roll forms to progressively qualify known visitors. For example, asking whether they intend to purchase within the next six months.
You can also add new calls-to-action to your website to generate more leads through the promise of amazing video content! Consider adding CTAs to drive visitors to watch an on-demand webinar, to subscribe to a video series, or to “Watch a Demo” to see your product or service in action.
Companies like Marketo, Act-On and others have added primary CTAs to their homepage and product pages to drive visitors to watch a product demo or to See it in Action. They’ve found that visitors are more likely to opt in to these CTAs than something like “Request a Demo” or “Speak to Sales,” and are willing to provide their information to watch.
Not only is this is a great way to generate new leads, but with the right tech in place, you can also track exactly how long each prospect watched the video and highly engaged viewers can be passed on to sales immediately.
Good for: increasing the effectiveness of your email marketing.
Email marketing open and click rates have declined steadily since the 1970s when a single email to 400 prospects was enough to trigger $13 million in sales. Now, half of all email is spam and prospects delete on sight, no questions asked. But video can bring some of that early love back.
Believe it or not, including the word “video” in email subject lines can increase open rates by 19%, according to HighQ.
Simply adding video to an email can increase click-through rates by up to 50%, according to research by Campaign Monitor. And once open, a thumbnail personalized with the recipient’s name is downright irresistible. Even better, make the thumbnail a GIF. (Just look at the one below to see how engaging they can be.)
Good for: boosting the return on your investment in events.
At events, you aren’t the only one scanning prospects’ badges. Odds are, they’re being bombarded with pitches from nearly every vendor. Unless you want your emails to wind up deleted like everyone else’s, you have to stand out, and videos are a big help.
Sales reps can capture prospects’ attention well ahead of events with personalized, one-to-one videos captured using GoVideo. This gives them an early face-to-face connection and makes reps more recognizable in-person. Marketers can send booth invitation videos that introduce the team, show off their swag, and give prospects a compelling reason to visit.
Both marketers and salespeople can also send follow-up videos to cut through post-event barrage of “Great to meet you!” notes, and actually book a call.
Good for: supercharging your case studies with extra customer love and making them even more engaging.
Nobody tells your story like customers, and videos show their personalities to make their stories more authentic. And, as mentioned in chapter 4, you don’t need to drop an entire quarter’s budget to capture testimonials. Save time and money by asking customers to record themselves using their laptop camera and GoVideo. You’ll be surprised at how many are happy and willing. After all, their time is precious too.
Just as important as having testimonials is making them available. Use a video hub to store your testimonials in a searchable library anyone can access. Marketers and sales reps will be able to filter for videos that match their customer’s use case, industry, and company size, and insert them into outreach.
Good for: answering customer questions and addressing concerns.
Videos excel at explaining complex topics simply and increasing viewer comprehension. Take Vidyard’s Chalk Talks, for example.
In these videos, our team members break down complicated subjects—such as how to generate more leads with video and how to use video to get better results from ABM programs—in a format that’s easy to follow and fun to watch.
On a small scale, sales reps can record their own Chalk Talks-style videos or screen captures to answer customer questions, walk through contracts, or explain the kickoff process.
Sales teams can create targeted product explainer videos for segments of their Tier 2 and Tier 3 accounts, and one-off explainer videos for all-important Tier 1 account. Here at Vidyard, we record custom Chalk Talks for each of our key target accounts.
Good for: getting prospects’ attention; surprising and delighting customers.
It’s important to show your finite list of customers that they’re special. The physical gift delivery firm Sendoso does this by sending bottles of wine with personalized labels and encouraging its sales reps to innovate. One employee who found out that a prospect was having a baby sent a custom baby onesie which the prospect promptly shared on social media.
Alternatively, you can also send videos… through snail mail. Video cards, or mailers that include a video player, are extra attention-grabbing. Unlike a digital video, these cards sit on prospects’ desks, serve as a conversation starters, and tend to get shared around the office.
Good for: boosting conversion rates.
Personalization can boost conversion rates by as much as 300%, no matter who you’re marketing to. Users are 5x more likely to engage with a personalized video message than a traditional text email, and there are many ways to personalize:
Record one-to-one videos
Great for Tier 1 accounts and sales reps, one-to-one videos allow teams to speak directly to prospects about their problems without having to worry about who else is watching. Reps can get specific—mentioning their competitors, pains, and initiatives—and include a bespoke CTA.
Personalize by account or vertical
If you don’t have time to give everyone their own video, you can record one for the whole account or the whole vertical. These are best recorded as a video series, where there’s one overall script, but you record customized scenes and alter specific components. For example, mentioning a variety of use cases, industry regulations, or specific team members.
Personalize videos at scale
Marketers with a video platform like Vidyard can personalize elements of their videos based on information in their marketing system or CRM, such as their name, title, company name, or logo.
Personalization at scale is ideal for demand gen marketers working with large audiences or marketers working their Tier 2 and Tier 3 accounts. It allows teams to record one video, but to look like they recorded thousands. And, personalization at scale isn’t just for marketers—sales teams can now use it too.
Good for: increasing ROI of digital ads.
Advertisers know that clicks don’t matter—it’s about how many clickers signed up and purchased, and therein lies video’s advantage: It increases landing page CTRs and encourages more prospects who are driven there to buy.
Video helps boost ad results just the same whether you’re a demand gen marketer targeting an entire segment or retargeting ads.
At Terminus, the ABM advertising software firm, the Director of Marketing Allie Butters found that a mixture of tactics works best. When her team ran ads, it increased the rate at which those prospects clicked her team’s emails. She advised her sales reps to follow up with one-to-one personalized videos, and their response rates skyrocketed.
Good for: figuring out which accounts to pursue, when to reach out, and what to talk about when you do.
Video data helps teams target prospects with greater precision. Unlike click, view, and download data from traditional assets like blog posts and e-books, video reveals much more. Teams with video data can answer questions like:
With that data, teams can infer individuals’ product interests, pains, needs, and questions, then score those leads or contacts accordingly. On top of all that, Vidyard also aggregates video data on an account level so that you can prioritize your time to, say, put that one account that’s been binge-watching your videos on blast.
Video data can also be used to personalize outreach. Here at Vidyard, we take our Video in Business Benchmarks Report and cut it up into smaller assets by company vertical, business unit, and maturity level. We can then recommend pieces of the report to prospects based on their video-revealed interests.
Good for: growing customers into advocates.
In the coming decade, a majority of companies expect to compete primarily on the basis of customer experience. That means the whole revenue team is under pressure to make customers happy long after the sales-to-support handoff.
Retention is especially critical. Upset customers who churn quickly dash sales teams’ plans to land, expand, and sell into new business units.
Luckily, video has so many uses in customer service it could be its own e-book. (Oh, right, it is: Read A Beginner’s Guide to Video in Customer Support). Customer support teams can use video to:
Customer support teams with a video platform can also set alerts to be more proactive about following up and detecting customers in need. If a customer only watches 10% of the video the support rep sent them, they can get a notification to reach out.
Now that you know how to use video to supercharge conversions and demand gen, it’s time to learn how to ensure your success with video analytics.
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