TBV Insights

Make chatbot-ready videos for account-based marketing

Did you know that Facebook thinks most online interactions between businesses and their customers will soon be mediated by chatbots? Chatbots can deliver an immediate personalized response — which is what customers want. Microsoft has the same idea. The underlying design of Microsoft Windows going forward will be “Conversation as a Platform,” and chatbots will be in on most conversations. Chatbot enthusiasts think bots will replace websites and mobile apps altogether. As this conversational model of human-computer interface takes hold, we’ll need to rethink how we use video. We’ll need to produce chatbot-ready video content.

Video content marketing today

A person embarking on a “Buyer’s Journey” (at the “awareness” stage) is happy to view a short explainer video that brings them up to speed on the main features and benefits. Explainer videos can start a conversation. But follow-up video content — thought leadership videos, webinars, tech talks, testimonials, promotional teasers, etc., are all designed for passive viewing. Success is measured in “views” and, in some cases, call-to-action button responses (e.g., download a trial). Nothing wrong with this. It’s simple and direct. It’s just not especially engaging. For one thing, it’s hard for a viewer to know what’s in a video. Is it going to tell me what I want to know? How long will it take to get to the point?

Video and account-based marketing

If you’re in B2B marketing, you’re probably also into Account-Based Marketing. Even if it’s not a formal ABM program, you’re trying to grow your business with key accounts, right?

Flipped funnel Account-Based Marketing model
This is the “flipped funnel” ABM model devised by Sangram Vajre, CEO of Terminus and founder of the #FlipMyFunnel community.While there are four discrete phases in each funnel, the stages of the “flipped” ABM funnel all depend on increasing engagement. Source: Vidyard

Looking at the “Flipped Funnel” model shown here, imagine you’re a technology vendor and the buyer you’re trying to extend your reach to has a job title like “network operations manager.” First of all, is this person on a “buyer’s journey?”

Hard to say. Is he looking forward to watching your videos? Probably not. Especially not if they are promotional.

But if you’ve identified the right person, he’ll be interested in your solution, will have some questions, and will want quick answers. It’s not hard to imagine what some of these questions are. To the extent that you can supply the answer quickly and make it easy to understand, you’re increasing engagement and providing a great customer experience. And video is a good medium for quick, clear, engaging explanations.

What are chatbot-ready videos like?

Short and to the point, like an SMS message, and persona-based. That doesn’t mean abandoning long-form videos. Existing videos can be repurposed to make them chatbot-ready and viewer-friendly with clickable chapters. Viewers looking for specific information can be directed to the appropriate chapter. Interactive video services make this easy. They also make it easy for you to offer video viewers the opportunity to branch to specific information — just like a chatbot.

You can extract segments from longer videos to make them accessible in other contexts. You can make persona-based explainer videos. Your engineers and other subject matter experts can create stock (or personalized) answers to FAQs. They can add graphics with simple video tools like ViewedIt. Constructing your explainer and other videos in Q&A format, rather than usual problem-solution-benefits approach, will yield more chatbot-ready videos.



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