Internet video has been around for over a decade but we’re all still trying to figure out how video can best help sell a software product. Selling online is tough because you’re trying to create a conversation with only one-way communication. Video can be used to make this one-way communication feel more conversational.
Let’s dive into the different types of videos to get your conversation rolling!
The explainer video we’re all familiar with is a motion graphics video ranging from 45 to 120 seconds in length.
They’re typically used near the top of your sales funnel to give a cold lead a quick overview of your product. Think of it as the first handshake between your software product and a new customer lead.
Great explainer videos deliver a clear, concise message in a conversational tone. They focus on outcomes instead of features, and hit the viewer up with a specific call to action.
They work best at the top of homepages but they can also be effective in newsletters, on product or service pages, at trade shows, and in sales meetings.
Explainer videos are extremely common, but they’re not “easy” to create. There’s a ton of bad videos floating around. Some common mistakes are being too long, conveying the message in “business speak” or talking about features and not outcomes. There’s also the mistake of being too “story driven” and not getting to the value propositions fast enough.
To get the most out of an explainer video you can’t just throw it up on a homepage and let it fend for itself. You need marketing goals and a way to track those goals. Like how much of the video are viewers watching? Is the call to action strong enough to get an extra click or two? Is it converting or does it need some iteration? A great way to track the performance of a video is by hosting it at Wistia.com. The features and video analytics they offer are awesome.
Customer testimonials feature the stories of your most successful or unique customers to add a real-life perspective to your product or service. This type of marketing has an almost eternal shelf life because in general, people want to hear what other people think about something.
The purpose of these videos is to make the viewer see themselves within the story. To feel excited about what your product or service can offer them and optimistic about the wonderful outcomes they can experience from it.
Great testimonials feature the customer talking about the problem they were trying to overcome and how your company saved the day by fixing that problem. Shots of the customer using your product are cut together with interview and lifestyle shots to drive home the fact that this is a real story being told by a real person.
Customer testimonials work best just below the fold on your homepage, or on a stand alone customer page to subtly reinforce your value propositions and give the viewer a boost of confidence before clicking the signup link.
An engaging testimonial follows a simple story ark. The customer introduces themselves, talks about who they are and what they do, mentions the problem or conflict they were facing, moves on to the solution for the problem, and finally talks about the outcome of the solution. If a testimonial sounds like an infomercial you have failed. The story needs to come across casual, authentic, and above all- unscripted.
You will know a testimonial video is performing well if the viewers are watching it all the way through and then hopping over to your sign-up page to make a purchase. Tools like Wistia integrate with many sales tools to help you keep an eye on who’s watching what and where they’re going after the video ends.
A company culture video is a wonderful way to tell your customers what you're all about and put a human face to your brand. It’s sort of like a testimonial video but instead of customers you feature team members behind the scenes talking about the origin, mission, and values of the company while making a human connection with your customers.
Whenever possible, it’s a good idea the get potential customers to watch these videos before making a purchasing decision. The human connection may give potential customers a warm and fuzzy feeling about your company and a willingness to buy.
A great culture video is authentic, conversational, and a bit personal. It’s important to feature several voices speaking about their passion for the mission of the company and the customers they help everyday.
Company culture videos typically live on the “About Us” or “Our Team” pages of your site. I know that seems like a no brainer but it’s important not to confuse potential customers with randomly placed video content.
A big mistake that can be made with a culture video is to turn it into a commercial. It is a marketing tool but it’s not a, “Look at this thing we make!” moment. It’s a, “Look at who we are.” moment.
A company culture video can be considered a success if the viewer sticks around to browse the team page or mentions it to you on a conference call. They might say, “I love your office space! It looked so cool in the video.” That’s how you know the video is working its magic.
Many times a question is better answered through video. So instead of hitting your customers in the face with a wall of text, customer support videos are great for answering common questions from your customers.
These short screencasts provide clarity quicker than written text and hearing the helpful voice of a real person adds a human element to an otherwise cold and frustrating process.
A great customer support video is as short as possible and tells the customer within the first few seconds what question the video will answer. To make it super easy to navigate through the video you can use chapters to break it up, allowing the customer to easily jump forward to relevant content or backwards to repeat a section.
These videos might be embedded in your help desk software, FAQ and/or your actual product.
Think about how frustrated and ready to quit your customer might be. If a support video wastes their time or confuses them more than they already are then it has failed. Keep it short, get to the answer quick, and use a call to action that directs them to additional resources they can use to get the most out of your product.
If requests for support decrease for a topic that has a video then it’s working!
Lifecycle email videos are sent via a planned sequence of emails to a new customer to help them learn and use your product or even remember the value they saw when they signed up. Getting a customer to sign-up for your product is only the first step. Getting them to use key product features which will motivate them to use the product long term is the ultimate goal.
Onboarding is the process of helping a customer use your product consistently. Often your customers are signing up for your product in a moment of frustration and hope. Then they get distracted by work and you lose them in the onboarding process. Lifecycle email videos are meant to re-excite the new customer, who is probably trialing in your product.
A great lifecycle email video doesn't waste the viewer’s time. It’s a simple reminder of how awesome your product is and how it can benefit your customers.
Lifecycle email videos should be placed in your onboarding emails. A simple link to the video will work. However, a compelling thumbnail image of the video embedded in the email will grab more attention.
The biggest lifecycle email video mistake we have seen is not using them at all. What good is a customer that doesn’t see the value in your product? You need to quickly remind your new customers of how awesome certain product features are.
If a lifecycle email video is successful you will see faster onboarding and more customer engagement with your product.
A feature video can highlight a specific feature or set of features to give your customers a broad view of what’s possible with your product.
A feature video is not a customer support video. Instead of showing the viewer how to do something, it shows them potential outcomes they can expect when using your product’s full range of features.
A great feature video doesn’t focus on the features. I know that sounds backwards but hear me out. What your customer needs to hear is that you have solved a problem for them. The feature video will help them experience a leisurely walk-through of the process in order to wrap their heads around it. They need to understand that you are giving them the necessary tools for success.
Feature videos can work well almost anywhere. We have seen them used in the place of explainer videos for products that have an initiated market that doesn’t need to be schooled on the problem. We have also seen them in newsletters and, of course, feature pages on a product's website.
Don’t let the video get bogged down with the feature itself. Talk about outcomes to get the customer excited about the product. And finally, push them to try the product in an exciting way with a motivational call to action. Something like, “You owe it to yourself to try this feature today and turn something stressful into something easy.”
If you notice that a specific product feature has become popular after posting your feature video then you are on the right track!
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