Have you heard the saying: “Training is the new marketing?” Well its true, your tutorial or training content is more valuable pre-sales then it may be once you have started the on boarding process. The great news for marketers is that most companies/organizations have already put the time and money into creating this type of content.
Today most likely, the videos are sitting on YouTube organized into topics based on what the content the video covers and how it can help customers looking to learn more about your product or service. The videos might also be co-located and embedded in a protected environment like your company’s web app or wiki.
I spent the last two years of my career working with leading tech and entertainment companies like VMware and Informatica to build out a strategy that positions tutorial videos as a key marketing asset for top of the funnel engagement and lead generation. Here are a few tips and things I learned from these two innovative companies:
1. Organize and centralize tutorial videos in an easy to navigate experience
One of the biggest problems most marketers are faced with when it comes to building out a library of tutorial video content is finding it all. For example, some of the videos may be on your YouTube channel others might be on personal accounts — there may be video stored on hard drives. Maybe one of the customer success reps on your team is creating her own videos. So the first step is to go out and find those videos, do an inventory and see what you have to work with.
Once you have an idea of what content exists, you should then decide how you are going to position and deploy it. There are a couple ways to go about this, but my true belief is that you need a centralized location, a video resource section on your website. Make it public facing, although it does not need to be accessible from your website’s navigation, it can be hidden and the link to the video resource center can be delivered to contacts via email campaign, specific workflows or nurture tracks using your marketing automation.
The main objective here is that video is organized to a specific schema — categorize videos by type, product, feature, or common questions the video answers. The are a number of software solutions available that make it really simple to pick a gallery template and deploy a video resource center without the need for IT or development resources, check our directory here.
2. Low production value does not matter in fact it is encouraged to keep it simple
Now that you have actually looked at all your tutorial video content, you are probably thinking: “this is not customer facing.” The videos probably don’t have your corporate branding, they may be grainy, they may only be screen recordings with no live video of the person presenting the material — this is all okay! The good news is, the less polished the video, the more likely a contact will watch it, or at least start watching it, especially if they are interested in your product or services.
I have stats from customers that show the highest performing video in their entire arsenal of content are tutorial videos — its where new leads are converted, its where prospects at the bottom of the funnel go to see final details before purchasing. Don’t worry about making a branded impression, make sure the content provides detailed value. If you have production resources in house, you can clean up the video by adding branded bumpers (pre/post-roll video clips) to the content to keep it within your company’s branding and style guidelines.
3. Give prospects an option to engage with tutorial videos
All the video content has been organized, presented in a branded video resource center, but it is not yet approved by your web team with no link to and from any of your corporate web properties. Now what? You need to decide how you are going to get this content out and who should see it. It might be best to start experimenting on an ad-hoc basis. For example, if you are a B2B company with sales reps on the phone daily talking to leads and prospects, you may want to give your reps access to your new tutorial videos to share one-on-one with their prospects as they progress in the sales cycle. Doing this will give your sales team new tools, but also provide a testing ground that is isolated and controlled, so you can see it work on a small scale before going public with the rest of the tutorial videos.
Once you have tested ad-hoc, you can then look to start including links to the resource center and individual videos in outbound emails, nurture tracks, etc. So imagine, an unidentified contact is on your corporate website, reading your feature details, browsing company info and then clicks a button called “How it Really Works,” which take them to the video resource center or to a form in which they can subscribe and receive an email which will route them to tutorial videos — giving them an inside look into your product. By the time the contact finishes engaging with the content, they have most likely jumped ahead in your sales process or qualified themselves out.
4. Include a call-to-action with each tutorial video so the viewer can take further action
There is no point in positioning tutorial videos for marketing and lead generation purposes without a clear call-to-action in or around the video. In this case I would include at CTA at the end of each video, giving the contact the ability to engage with a sales or support rep at anytime. The CTA will be the main mechanism for driving new leads with this content and I strongly recommend a very simple form requesting name, email, company as example.
If you decide to forego the CTA route, there is a ton of value in understanding contact engagement and connecting your marketing automation and CRM systems to your video hosting solution can give you the analytics needed to make critical sales and support process decisions. To learn more about how marketing automation works with video, read our most recent post on the topic.
5. Monitor, Measure, and Message
The value of positioning tutorial videos in your marketing is not only to drive leads and new conversions, but also to monitor and measure. Video is much more revealing than static content like white papers, case studies, blog posts, etc. The analytics we get back from those are limited to general engagement metrics, meaning we know that a contact read a blog post, but we don’t know which paragraph they found the most interesting. With video, it’s quite the opposite.
A good video marketing platform will provide video play details in a graphical representation, known as a heat map. This level of detail gives you, the marketer, and the sales rep key details on the contacts engagement, and can be used to trigger messaging via a marketing automation platform or email system. Video engagement data can also be used to bump up a lead or behavior score, trigger a workflow, etc. Video engagement information can also be pumped into a CRM giving sales access to this same information on a contact level basis.
It’s a good idea to integrate some sort of email messaging tied to engagement with your video tutorials. For example, if I go to Informatica’s support video library and click around, watch a number of tutorial videos. Within 10 minutes I get an automated email in my inbox recommending more similar content. An hour after that a sales rep contacts me and the sales process begins.
How are you leveraging your tutorial videos? Maybe its time to pull them from storage and put them to work, your team will be shocked by your success, and you can take all the credit. Good luck!