Of all the videos watched daily on YouTube — more than 200 million, according to Answer.com — I’ve been wondering how many of them are used in sales and marketing to connect with prospects and customers. I’ve also been asking how sales and marketing leaders are measuring the effectiveness of video. Some companies are reporting a 20% increase in response when they incorporate a video link into e-mail campaigns, compared to those without video.
That got my attention.
We decided to produce and test our own video, featuring one of our most loyal Phone Works customers: Dave Holmes, VP of sales and marketing operations at Informatica, our client for the past six years.
We went with a customer testimonial video — with the help of video production company Micro-Documentaries — because we wanted a convenient way to allow our prospects to hear about a customer’s experience with us and the results they achieved, in their own words. We also wanted to be able to
- feature the video in multiple places such as on our website and LinkedIn profiles, and in sales presentations, social media and e-mail communication
- give prospects an easy and immediate way to connect with us following the video if they liked what they saw
- measure their response
Micro-documentaries takes a very Sales 2.0 approach to video production: They embed a strategically placed call-to-action button at the end of the video. That call to action is connected to a landing page where prospect data can be collected and tracked. It is precisely that tracking and measuring capability — ideally from the beginning to the end of the sales cycle — that makes this a 2.0 approach to video.
Headed by Phone Works client Natasha Giraurdie, Micro-documentaries has its roots at Stanford University, where many of the company’s young filmmakers studied. They also have ties to the Stanford Persuasion Lab, where research proved the positioning of the call-to-action button within the final video screen — not off to the side — significantly increases response rates. Given that a prospect’s emotional response and willingness to take action is highest immediately following a viewing, sellers and marketers should make it as easy as possible to respond at that moment.
The Micro-documentaries philosophy is also somewhat contrary to the prevailing views of many YouTube movie-makers, which hold that poor-quality, unpolished, “quick and dirty” videos are more authentic than the polished variety. Micro-documentaries believes an effective video can also be high-quality and visually appealing — even beautiful. All agree that glitzy, scripted videos that often come out of marketing departments are definitely not the way to capture the attention of Customer 2.0.
Instead of a script, Micro-documentaires has a process for capturing the essence of a story. I was directed to a website form and asked key questions about the story (background, context, issue/opportunity, resolution, implication/what lies ahead), as well as location, people, pictures and graphics. The only difficult part about scheduling the shoot was the limited windows of times: sunrise or sunset. It turns out that was well worth it, given the quality of light at those magical times of day that professional film people live for.
Like other content, videos can be re-purposed, so the very reasonable investment of a few thousand dollars can be tested in multiple marketing media and programs. We are eager to start tracking and reporting on our own results, and I will post about how we are doing that, as well as what we find out.
What do you think? Is the video effective? How are YOU using video in your sales and marketing? What are the results?
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