TBV Insights

Try a conversational approach to technology marketing video.

Are your buyers “consuming” your technology marketing video content in order to learn about your solutions and what’s on the horizon for your industry? Without contacting sales?

That’s the assumption underlying most inbound and content marketing. It’s strange, then, that most content marketing discussions and surveys treat video as tactic. Discussions usually mention video categories (e.g., “explainer videos” are good for quick overviews, ’roundtable’ videos are good for thought leadership, etc.). But the discussion always comes back to “making a video” in a certain genre with certain production values. Budgets are set for the various types. Costs-per-video are negotiated. After that, it comes down to the “messaging” to be delivered in the selected format.

Video from the customer point-of-view

Customers like short overviews when they set out on the buyer’s journey. Of course, when they start watching an explainer video they don’t know whether it’s going to explain what they want to know about. But at least they know it will be over soon. Even so, Vidyard’s 2017 B2B Video Benchmarks survey shows that, for videos under 90 seconds (most top-of-the-funnel videos would qualify),  25% of viewers stop watching before it’s 50% done, and just over 50% of viewers watch to the end.

Will buyers want to consume longer “thought leadership” later on in the customer lifecycle? Even if a person craves “thought leadership” per se, there’s no way for the viewer to tell going in whether a particular video contains worthwhile thoughts or how long it will be until the first thought worth thinking about will make its entrance.

What about recorded webinars? Don’t you find that they are usually a mix of the relevant and the irrelevant? Again, it’s hard to know at the outset what the mix will be.

My point is that the customer didn’t get to wherever your video appears in order to watch video. She came to learn. And your video represents a risk — valuable time potentially wasted. So the customer experience starts out dubious, and goes downhill fast unless the video delivers the goods.

Conversational video formats

Many experts are predicting that chatbots and conversational user interfaces will replace mobile apps and websites in the near future. These interfaces guide users efficiently to where they want to go. The experience feels informal and human — like a messaging app.

Rather than make videos that conform to genres and budget expectations, why not make videos do what conversational UI’s do — guide the customer to the answers and insights being sought? Here are five things you can do right now to create more effective video that’s better targeted.

  1. Look at your FAQ page and see which questions can be most effectively answered with video.
  2. Ask your subject matter experts and sales teams which questions they are asked most often. Some answers might make terrific videos.
  3. Look at the diagrams, charts, and use-case illustrations in your existing content. A lot of them could be much effectively communicated in a video story or step-by-step motion graphic.
  4. Look at your existing webinars and other long-form videos. Simply adding clickable chapter headings would provide a much better user experience.
  5. Instead of one-size-fits-all top-of-the-funnel explainer videos, make explainer videos that are persona-based. So you can get to the point the viewer cares about that much faster.

These are content marketing “tactics” for videos you can be pretty sure will deliver the goods. They tell customers what they want know. Because the content is limited, search engines will index them accurately. All in all, more conversational videos will lead to a better customer experience.




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