TBV Insights

Using explainer video for buyer engagement

explainer video for buyer engagement
Today’s technology buyers have specific interests and specific questions. They want guidance, not product-centric, sales-y, overviews with something for everyone.

When we started making 2-Minute Explainer® videos in 2004, what seemed to need the most explaining was what businesses do. We prospected for new business by reading news releases about new products. If we couldn’t understand the product or service on first reading, we called up the executives quoted in the release and pitched them on the idea of making their value proposition clear with a video. Just about everyone we talked with agreed that video would be a great way to introduce their product or service — far superior to web text. The idea caught on — and nowadays just about every technology solution is associated with a video overview, many of which we produce. This article will explain how using explainer video for buyer engagement pays off, all along the buyer’s journey.

The opportunity: buyer engagement

But what of the people who have actually embarked on “the buyer’s journey” and made progress toward a decision? Do they still need an overview?

Consider the following situations:

  • You are trying to cross-sell or up-sell to a prospect who is already a customer for some of your solutions or services.
  • The buyer has a clear idea of the solution, but needs help sorting out the differences between competing versions.
  • The individual “buyer” fits one of the following categories (suggested by Gartner research director Hank Barnes)

Business Buyer – does this solve my business problem?
Financial Buyer – do the overall costs make sense vs. potential return?
Technical Buyer – is the technology is sound?
Risk Buyer – are the potential risks worth taking?
User Buyer – how will we actually use it?

These situations all demand engagement by your sales team. Marketing razzle dazzle won’t do the job. As Barnes put it:

As they move closer to a purchase decision, [buyers] want direct interaction with people in the provider organization–and those interactions better add value, rather than rehashing stuff they have already discovered for themselves.

Using video to create engagement

So, can video add value to sales interactions? Of course. Just as with product overviews, video is very good at summarizing content in a way that people find interesting. Video can guide thinking in a direction that’s helpful to the salesperson’s case.

In fact, when the rep is trying to cross-sell a solution outside his or her own product line, a video may cover an issue better than the salesperson can, and well enough that the prospect will welcome being introduced to a more expert member of the sales team.

In the same way, a video can help one member of a sales team bring others into the conversation, e.g., “Hey. My contact at XYZ Company sent us this link to a short video “Six risks Solution X de-risks” – I can set up a meeting if you need more info.”

Similarly, you can help your sales team increase engagement with a drip email campaign supported by videos. (Video links in emails increase open rates.) For example, instead of touting a laundry list of product differentiators, you can deal with each differentiator more expansively by making it the subject of its own email and its own 30-second video.


Videos to support your high-value offer

The High-Value Offer is a customer interaction with so much business value that the buyer feels compelled to engage. It’s an account-based marketing concept recommended by Gartner for customer acquisition, too. A high-value offer’s business value depends on timely topics

photo representing IT exec pondering how-to video content

Reframing your demos as How-to video content

I was surprised to learn from a Foundry (IDG) white paper on customer engagement [download link] that the average technology decision-maker spent 14.3 minutes watching each How-to video they viewed in 2022, up from 12.2 minutes in 2016. If you really want a technology