In recent years, consumers have overwhelmingly turned to video as the dominant method of consuming information online. A 2021 report found that 69% of consumers prefer to watch a video to learn more about a product. This preference applies even among B2B customers, 70% of whom report watching videos in their purchasing process.
Marketing and sales teams have responded by increasing their investment in videos, a shift that has only strengthened during 2020 and global travel restrictions. Far from being an amenity in the budget, video is now seen as an integral component of many channel, sales, and marketing programs, and an effective one: 78% of marketers report that videos have directly increased sales.
In this article, we’ll talk more about the details and the benefits of incorporating video into your channel strategy.
How to help partners sell through video — and why
Videos can be utilized strategically throughout the B2B sales cycle, whether it be grabbing a prospect’s attention, following up with a prospect, or checking in with current customers.
We’ve provided data-driven examples of how your channel sales team can boost their performance through video.
• Email a video to increase your prospects’ open and response rates
Most sales teams will readily agree that getting a prospects’ attention can be a challenge. In fact, only 24% of sales emails are thought to even be opened by prospects.
One video platform for businesses, however, found that emails with the word “video” in the subject line were 8x more likely to be opened and 3x more likely to generate a response.
• Cut down on text by using videos to explain your products and services
Let’s say you need to learn how to change a flat tire. Which would you rather turn to — the text-heavy owner manual stashed away in your dashboard, or a 2-minute video walking you through it step-by-step?
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably chosen video. Thanks to video’s ability to simplify and explain complex subjects through visuals, the majority of consumers — as well as B2B buyers — are watching videos to learn about a product and make a purchase decision.
As such, it would be a valuable investment to collaborate with your marketing team and create a visually interesting, easy-to-digest explainer video(s) for your products. Rather than bogging a potential customer down with long-winded emails, send an engaging video instead.
• Generate trust in your brand through video case studies
In a study of 600 B2B decision-makers, more than half cited video case studies as their most effective tool in persuading prospects.
Video case studies leverage the power of social proof and peer-to-peer influence among B2B buyers; that is, they use real customers to talk about the outcomes generated or specific pain points that your product addressed. This can help convince your prospects that you can achieve similar results for them.
With peer recommendations influencing the majority of B2B sales (over 90%), video case studies are a powerful tool in a partner’s arsenal.
• Send personalized video messages to build an emotional connection
Relationship-building is crucial in channel sales. Getting to know someone and establishing a connection can be hard without meeting face to face.
This is where video can fill the gap. Video can humanize your partners, internal sales team, and your company to prospects, with results ranging from higher email open rates and response rates to increased close rates. In one case, a salesperson sent first-touch videos to all her prospects, following up with personalized videos to high-value leads — and saw her success rates go from 5% to 13.3%.
Teach partners best practices for B2B sales videos
• Use the right equipment and software. If you are beginning to incorporate videos into your channel program, you don’t have to go crazy with your budget. In terms of hardware, make sure that you have a good webcam, natural lighting (such as near a window), and a microphone. In terms of video editing software, start with something simple that your team can learn to use themselves — don’t purchase something that is too complicated to figure out.
• Make sure to visually personalize your video. Whether you are sending a video message or simply tacking one on at the beginning of another video, visual personalization is a must. Hold up a whiteboard with your prospect’s name and company name on it or — if applicable — display or wear something branded by their company!
• Include a clear call-to-action at the end. They opened your email, watched your video — now what? As always, you want to make it clear what they should do next, whether it’s reaching out to you, filling out a form, or watching another video.
Be mindful, however, of these points below.
• Rehearse your message but don’t write and memorize a script. Part of the appeal of video is the personal connection it builds between you and your prospect; this only works if you speak naturally and come across as a real person, not an overly rehearsed robot. Know your key points and practice your message, but avoid delivering it as a word-for-word script.
• Don’t ramble. Videos under 90 seconds boast a 53% average retention rate, which drops to 37% for videos between 90 seconds and 5 minutes.
Finally, as you incorporate video into your channel program, be sure to track and measure engagement metrics, from video and email analytics — such as open rates, video engagement, view time — to rate of meetings booked and deals closed. This is all information that your channel sales and marketing teams can use to pinpoint what to keep and what to revise going forward.
It’s all about video
Video is rapidly becoming a critical tool in an innovative and results-driven channel strategy. When used successfully, video can tell an organization’s story, simplify complex explanations about products, create an emotional connection with customers, and build trust and an ongoing relationship.
Most importantly, it can accomplish all of the above and provide quantifiable results in your channel sales program.
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