In my view, the goal of video for business is to create a connection to your target audience, because trust and connection are a prerequisite for doing any business.
I’m not a fan of shouty sales videos in the business-to-business context because they offer limited ROI and they focus on the short term; rarely a good strategy.
People vs product
I moved to Australia after working in London for six years.
I’ve found one of the most interesting differences between London and Sydney was the way people come to a decision on who to do business with.
My experience in London was that people would hire me based on the work and if they liked me it’s a bonus. In Australia it seemed to be the other way around; people first build a relationship and then assess the work.
Building the relationship
If you go to a networking evening, meet someone briefly and exchange cards, how likely is it you’ll get actual business out of that straight away? In my experience: rarely.
But if you follow up with an email, maybe have a cup of coffee, or you invite your prospect to an event you’re running, you dramatically improve your chances of conversion.
What’s happening there?
Staying top of mind
The follow-up, the coffee, and the event are all steps you take to build the relationship, establish trust, and show you’ve got the expertise to offer something valuable to your prospect.
Video works very much like that now: content marketing is where it’s going. So what is content marketing?
Content marketing is about moving away from pushing your product through ‘sales videos towards attracting people to your brand with good quality, relevant content.
Change the mindset
So we need to change our mindset from being a salesperson to being an educator. Here’s why it works.
Your audience will likely base their buying decision on two things:
1. Recommendation of peers through word of mouth or opinions of other consumers online. Social media and forums play a big role in this.
2. Online research. How does the product/service work? What are the alternatives?
If you want to be part of this process, you need to provide useful information that helps consumers make a decision.
So what should the video series be about?
I you want to be effective with serialized video, you need content to work for your brand. The content needs to build a positive brand image and be relevant to the right audience. It also ideally ends on a ‘cliffhanger’, so your audience will come back for more.
Here are some good starting points for serialized videos:
10 ways to …
Think about the most common questions prospects ask you. Think about what hesitations people have about your product.
Do they wonder why your product or service is expensive? Are there cheaper overseas products? Is it a feature-rich product but maybe hard to use, for some? Then, make videos about those subjects.
Don’t ignore the potential problems people see with your product; if you’re not part of this conversation, the conversation will take place somewhere else, where you have no input or control whatsoever.
Do a talkshow
Are you an expert on interior design in Melbourne? Why not interview the who’s who of interior design and create some great content for your target audience, while establishing your brand as the expert? For example, look at the Youtube channel of a guy called Brian Solis.
‘How To’ videos
Creating ‘how to’ videos is a great way to sell for three reasons. Firstly, you position yourself as a generous brand and an expert in your field. Secondly, people with an analytical mindset get the information they need to make a buying decision. Your sales video won’t get those guys over the line. Finally, current clients feel supported, and you show you’re listening to them; that’s a major selling point for prospective clients.
But what about the cost?
Creating good quality video certainly is an investment of time and/or money, but the cost is reduced dramatically once you serialize the video.
Here’s how you make the magic happen without spending your entire marketing budget:
Keep it simple. If you’re too ambitious about what you want, it won’t get done.
Think ahead. Create drafts of the content of your series ahead so you can be clever about the production of assets like graphics, titles, and animations.
Bulk-buy. If you prepare well, you can shoot an amazing amount of content in one day. Creating templates for titles will allow you to do them all in one go, which radically improves the efficiency of the production process.
How to get traction
So now you’ve got your series ready to go, how do you make sure you get the views?
Next time we’ll be talking about video SEO (search engine optimization) and social media integration to make sure your videos get the videos.
See what I just did there? Cliffhanger!
Robert Moorman is creative director at Hunting With Pixels, a strategic online video, and social media production company.