Like everything in the digital world, traditional prospecting is undergoing a big transformation. Picking up a phone and cold calling (or emailing) is just not as effective as it once was—you need to be smarter both when it comes to which users you’re engaging and what kinds of messages you’re using.
This second point is especially interesting: the types of messages you send can have a big effect on your outreach results. In today’s article, we’ll focus on one specific type of prospecting message and its uses—video.
Inbound vs outbound prospecting
There are two approaches to prospecting you can adopt to find leads and close sales: outbound and inbound. They don’t necessarily exclude each other, but you’ll often find many marketers pleading their allegiance to one of the two camps.
In our experience, however, both have their use cases and can help you get great results in their own right.
Outbound prospecting is any kind of approach to sales when you reach out to the customer. It’s considered a “traditional” approach: cold calling, door-to-door sales, telemarketing—all those are variants of outbound prospecting.
Inbound prospecting, on the other hand, refers to the actions you take to have the prospects come to you. Once they’re attracted to your brand, your job is to nurture these leads, provide value at every touchpoint, and make sure they end up converting. You do this through a series of techniques that range from content marketing (attracting leads) to chatbots and surveys (providing value).
In recent years, inbound prospecting has been getting a lot of love, with big marketing players like HubSpot contributing to its popularization. It’s also a more sophisticated strategy that relies on providing value and building brand authority rather than reaching out to people with sales-y messages.
But, here’s the thing: inbound prospecting is a long-term strategy that won’t give you instant results. It takes time to establish a good content strategy and build brand relevance. If you need a quick shot of leads to meet your KPIs, you’ll be better off with outbound. It may be considered pushy or imposing but you can take the time out of your day to reach out to hundreds of leads and, even with low conversion rates, close several sales by the end of the week.
To summarize, both of these approaches to sales have a role to play. You can use an outbound sales campaign to generate leads quickly but, when that campaign is over, you want to have something that gives you a steady stream of leads throughout the whole year. That’s where inbound prospecting comes in.
Why video prospecting?
In both inbound and outbound prospecting, you can use all kinds of content to get your leads’ attention. So, why are we focusing specifically on video?
First of all, video seems to be on the rise: it’s the medium that best attracts people’s time and attention. What’s more, current trends indicate that it might become even more popular in the future, given the fact that it’s more popular among younger audiences.
Interestingly, we soon might see a drop in email marketing since it’s becoming less popular in the 18 to 24 group.
At Bonjoro, we have also seen our clients achieve some amazing results with video prospecting—one of them boosted their trial conversion rates by 29% with simple “welcome” videos.
While we’re clearly strong proponents of video content marketing, we also don’t advise using it for all prospects, in each stage of the funnel. The way you execute your prospecting strategy matters as much as the type of content you use.
For example, you wouldn’t want to send a demo video of your platform to a cold lead that doesn’t have a clue about who you are and what your product does. Video like any other marketing tactic needs to be used in the right situations.
Getting started with video prospecting
While it may be tempting to run off and start sending videos to every one of your customers or prospects, sending an outreach video is the last step in a complex strategy that starts.
As most good strategies often do—effective video prospecting, starts with the user. Don’t skip ahead.
Collect user data
The first step in the process is getting to know your users (website visitors, social media followers, current customers, etc.) that will be the perfect target audience for your prospecting campaign.
When it comes to collecting user data, we’ve found that nothing beats Google Analytics.
The analytics platform from Google allows you to collect demographic data (age, gender location) as well as behavioral data (which pages they visit and how long they stay on them) on your audience. You can use the latter to launch a retargeting campaign that would re-engage all those users that browsed through your offer but didn’t make a purchase.
To use Demographic reporting in Google Analytics, you first have to enable it. Here is how you do that:
- Sign in to your account.
- Navigate to “Admin”.
- Find the account and property for which you want to enable Demographics.
- Click on “Property Settings” under the “Properties” column.
- Go to “Advertising Features” and toggle on Enable Demographics and Interests Reports.
Here is how the Demographics dashboard looks:
While this is a pretty basic set of information to get about your audience, operating without it would mean poking around in the dark. If you’re running a fashion eCommerce store for example, you’ll want to know:
- Does your offer attract more men or women?
- What is the age distribution of your female demographic?
- What is the age distribution of your male demographic?
- Which regions/countries do your visitors come from?
This data will help you inform your content efforts and help you segment your audience—which we’ll get to later.
Another important action to take in Google Analytics is to set up tags to track visitor habits and engage them with content they might be interested in.
Here is how you do that:
- Set up your Tag Manager. It shouldn’t be too hard but it does require dabbling with your website’s code. If you’re not too confident with this, contact the people who developed your website.
- Click on the icon in the Google Ads navigation bar that looks like a little tool, then find “Audience manager” under the “Shared Library” menu.
- Click on the big blue plus sign and you’ll see a dropdown list. Select “website visitors” from that list. You can also give your audience a name at this point.
- Click on “List members” and you’ll see another dropdown. Select who you want to retarget and you’re done!
What this technique does is it helps you keep track of your “hot leads”, or those people who have already interacted with your brand and are more likely to react positively to your prospecting videos.
The average customers are around 10 times more likely to click on retargeting content than on regular advertising content so you definitely don’t want to miss out on these people.
The first step of a good video prospecting strategy is therefore to make sure that you have a set of people who you consider to be top prospects. You will use these people as the primary audience in your outreach efforts.
Collect leads and segment your audience
Once you know who your customers are, you need to create audience personas and segments to better tailor your videos.
This is a great way to make sure your message is as customized to the prospect’s content preferences as possible. In other words, instead of creating a 100% personalized video for each prospect, you can create videos for groups of prospects that have something in common.
Here are some ways to segment your audience:
- Audience personas: you can create audience personas that represent each customer segment. To go back to our fashion eCommerce example, you can have a customer persona called Lucy—an 18-year-old girl with an interest in fashion. Go into as much detail as possible about each persona, identify the criteria that define it, and send specific videos to prospects that fit each persona.
- Stage in the funnel: you can create audience segments based on the level of familiarity they have with your brand. That way, you won’t send the same video to someone who’s never heard of your brand and someone who’s already put a product in the cart or signed up for a free trial. These marketing funnels can help you nuance your content marketing strategy and reach the right kinds of people with the right kind of video.
- Demographics: Once you’ve collected demographic data, you can use it to segment your audience into groups of people with the same characteristics. That way, a young male member of your audience living in Wisconsin won’t get the same video as a senior executive in a digital marketing agency in Germany. Different knowledge of the language, cultural barriers, slang, currency, and other variables all need to be adapted to specific audiences.
At Bonjoro, we’ve found that what works for our clients is complete personalization. Yes, that means creating a new video for each audience member. While that may seem like a lot of work on the surface, it’s easier than you may think.
All you really need is simple recording equipment (such as your phone) and dedication to approach each customer on a micro level. Here is an example of a simple personalized video.
As you can see, it addresses the prospect by name but the message itself is obviously tailored to where the prospect is in the funnel: in this case, they just signed up for the service.
This approach brought CXL a 34% CTR which is impressive given the fact that the average email CTR across all industries is closer to 10%.
Explore production options
There are significant differences between hiring a production team or doing it on your own and each of these tactics has its own pros and cons. Let’s take a look at them.
To make your videos in-house you might need to hire a few people or you can do it entirely on your own with a platform like Bonjoro.
A team can include a video editor, writer, designers, and other people with a knack for visual arts. Usually, it’s enough to have two to three people who can do multiple things – e.g., a video editor that’s also adept in graphic design so they can both create and animate your graphics.
An outsourced team, on the other hand, can include more than twenty people.
If you’re producing a big-budget video (like a TV commercial), you’ll often see dozens of people on the set that handle different things: from costume designers to boom mics and lights.
There’s no doubt that hiring an external production crew is a much more complex, elaborate effort than hiring a few editors to keep in-house. But is it worth it?
Here is a brief summary of the biggest advantages of these approaches, in our experience. Again, we are in the video personalization space, it’s important for us to be as objective as possible.
- More control. When you make the videos in-house, you have more control over the creative process. With an outsourced team, you’ll often get some pushback when it comes to interfering with their creative vision.
- More attention: An in-house team has only one client: you. An external production has a pipeline of projects and they’re likely balancing between working on your videos and videos from other clients.
- More familiarity: Nobody is more familiar with your product, its features, your brand book, and tone of communication than you and your team. Knowledge transfer to external production teams can be time-consuming and challenging.
- Affordability: Making the videos in-house might take up more of your time and the end product might not be as impressive but it will save you a lot of money. Production companies need to pay their people, equipment, and make a profit.
- More experience: A production house will almost always provide you with industry veterans that have years of experience in content creation.
- Better equipment. With an outsourced team, you don’t need to worry about providing the equipment: they’ll have all the latest stuff available. If you do videos in-house, you’ll need to finance buying (or at least renting) cameras, mics, and other equipment.
- Less micromanagement for you. In-house content production requires a lot of management, both of people and resources. An outsourced production, on the other hand, only needs a budget – everything else, they do themselves.
Obviously, which type of production you end up going for will largely depend on your business and needs. Ask yourself what type of videos you want to create and how much you prioritize production value.
Types of videos for prospecting and content
Depending on your business, stages of the funnel, and a lot of other factors, you can create different types of videos. Let’s go over them and break down some examples.
You’ve likely watched a tutorial video today.
In fact, “how-to” videos are the second most watched types of videos on YouTube.
Tutorial videos are great when you want to give an in-depth overview of your product and its key features. Over time, a smart approach to video tutorials can evolve into an elaborate self-help section on your website to which your visitors can keep coming back to solve their problems and discover new features every day.
This is a great example from Ahrefs:
Now, here’s the thing: Ahrefs is an SEO tool and it can’t be used to find emails. So, they aren’t promoting their tool in this video (at least not directly).
But the folks at Ahrefs recognize that promotion isn’t the goal of a tutorial—the goal is to provide value. The leads will come as a product of your increased brand relevance.
The terms “demo” and “tutorial” often get mixed up, so let’s clear things up:
While demos are quick and feature-focused, tutorials are longer and they go much more into detail.
So, a 20-minute-long video on YouTube about how to create perfect shadows in Photoshop is a tutorial. A five-minute rundown of your product’s features and how they work in practice – that’s a demo.
Here’s how Salesforce did it:
In this video, they demonstrate their Sales Cloud in 90 seconds, giving you a quick overview of its capabilities and use cases. You don’t need much more for a good demo!
You’ve probably seen video testimonials in infomercials a bunch of times: people describing their experience with a product and recommending it to others.
But again, the trick isn’t to write a script and point a camera into a user who you’ve “bribed” with products or other rewards. The trick is to tap into real, human stories that connect with your target audience.
Simply put, you want your audience to relate to the message and project themselves into the situation.
In one of our favorite examples, Felder Group gives one of their customers a platform to speak honestly, without a script. The result is a great video in which you connect with the subject and learn more about the product in a non-promotional way:
These videos are focused mainly on the product—the way it looks, feels and interacts. A product video typically features a voiceover and/or chyrons and graphics that describe the product in more detail.
We use these videos to highlight product’s USPs and features that are most likely to spark curiosity. That’s what makes product videos perfect for those customers that are in the beginning stages of the funnel and still learning about your brand.
This video from Training Mask is a good example of a product-centered video:
You don’t get the biggest idea of how it works and how you should use it but it sparks this curiosity through dynamic shots that make you feel like it would be a great addition to your training arsenal.
“Welcome” and “thank you” videos
Finally, we have one specific type of video that a lot of our clients have great success with: “welcome” and “thank you” videos.
Although they’re slightly different, we can put them in the same basket because they’re used at the same point in the sales funnel: after the customer signs up or makes a purchase.
Here’s how these videos look when made with Bonjoro:
“Welcome” and “thank you” videos are perfect for creating a meaningful connection with your customers and making them feel valued. We’ve also found that they can increase return traffic by up to 32%!
Creating the videos, the A-Z process
The process of creating a video usually happens through three stages: pre-production, production, and post-production.
In this stage, you need to define everything before you can start shooting.
This is the stage where you need to make important decisions that will set the stage for the entire shoot. You need to explore options when it comes to preparing a script, scouting locations, renting the gear, choosing the actors, scenery, etc.
The most important two things you need to cover here are your script, and the budget. Those two factors will have a huge impact on your end product.
The pre-production process will be largely impacted by your decision whether to create videos in-house or outsource the production—more on that later.
When most people think about creating videos, they think about the production process.
Here, we’re talking about creating the actual video. Depending on the type of video you’re making, you could be working with a large production team (cameramen, director, director of photography, etc.) or you could be working with a few individuals like influencers.
While you as a product owner won’t be too involved in the process of filming and editing from a technical standpoint, your job is to make sure that the video works for your brand.
The director knows how to get the best shot but you’ll know whether or not that shot speaks to your audience!
Don’t make the mistake of skimping on post-production.
This stage of the process adds everything you need to make your videos pop: graphics, chyrons, subtitles, special effects, animation, etc. Not to mention how much simple video editing can affect the end product.
Depending on the type of video you choose to create, this stage can be elaborate or quite simple. For example, if you have a customer testimonial where a customer is looking straight into the camera, the only things you’ll need to do in post are editing and graphics/chyrons (the customers’ names and job titles).
On the other hand, animated videos are all about post-production.
KPIs and analyses
Lastly, no digital marketing campaign is complete without setting, analyzing, and tracking KPIs.
There are several video-specific metrics that can help you see what’s working and improve what needs improving.
The first metric is video views. This is the most basic video metric that’s pretty much self-explanatory—it indicates the amount of views your video managed to generate. However, video views alone won’t tell you the whole story, especially since Facebook and Instagram count a view as anything more than three seconds.
So, the amount of views is a better indicator of how many people you managed to reach rather than how many people actually consumed the content.
To complement this metric, you’ll want to use Average View Duration, which tells you how long, on average, each user watched the video for. You should probably curb your expectations a little bit and realize that the vast majority of people won’t watch the video until the end, wherever you published it.
In fact, Facebook claims that videos of up to 15 seconds have the best chance of getting a complete view. However interesting your video may be, people likely won’t stick around.
Still, this is a valuable metric that can tell you a lot about the quality of your videos. If your view duration is increasing, you’re doing something right. Consider adding captions and getting straight to the point to increase your chances of people sticking around.
The Dodo does a great job of both these things: most of their videos have captions and they start each video strong. Take a look at this example:
The video goes straight to the point in the first 15 seconds, only to start at the beginning of the story once they’ve got you hooked.
In addition to these unique video metrics, tracking your Clickthrough rates, conversion rates, cost per engagement, and cost per mile are all recommended when it comes to posting any type of content, especially on social media.
If you’re looking to freshen up your content marketing strategy and prospecting efforts with a format that works, today is historically a great time to try video.
New generations seem to gravitate to it and the format itself gives you a platform to connect with your audience in a more personal way and illustrate your points clearly.
Study your prospects, create personalized content, and track your progress to keep improving!