For channel marketers, last year was all about optimizing for mobile. The year before, the focus was on coaching channel partners to better achieve sales success. With each passing year, new trends are identified and new lessons learned.
For 2016, the name of the game is video.
With the barrier to entry for video production diminishing day by day, and with Youtube and Facebook video viewership numbers exploding, you should begin putting videos front and center in your channel marketing efforts. Something as simple and budget-friendly as a 30 second informational video about your products or services can give your channel partners the support they need to sell your products or services.
Isn’t Video Expensive?
No. Video production now scales very well in relation to company size and budget. The affordability of cameras, gear and software has generated a revolution in the video production industry. A small team can, for example, shoot and edit a sleek 30-second promotional video for a little over $3,500 — around what it costs to buy new laptops for a small office. You’ve probably shelled out more for professional white papers.
If you think of such an investment in terms of ROI, the proposition gets very attractive. With one concise and engaging video, you can quickly equip your channel partners to better bring your products to market.
Is Video Actually Effective?
Ask Salman Khan, the founder of Khan Academy, a ubiquitous online learning resource that makes heavy use of video to teach anyone about, essentially, anything. It’s been estimated that Khan Academy’s ROI — if defined as the contributions its students will make when they enter the workforce — would be about 1,000%.
Academic research also bears this out. Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between knowledge acquisition and visual cues usually associated with video.
When developing video for your channel partners, simpler is better:
- Leave out dense statistics and condense things into easily digestible visual aides like charts and graphs.
- If possible, get an authority, such as an executive or product designer, to expound on your product’s best features.
- Because a video will often be the starting point of your partner’s introduction to your products, make sure to reference technical documents in the video and include them as attachments.
All of this isn’t to say that you should neglect conventional training aids for your channel partners. The more information your channel partners have access to, including white papers and detailed product descriptions, the better equipped they’ll be to sell your products with confidence. But video can and should become a valuable supplement to those tools.