The use of all types of video has increased consistently dramatically year over year for the past decade. In 2015, marketers reported that 78% felt that video was important and in 2020 that number is 92% (Wzowl 2020). Many businesses, schools, and nonprofits have incorporated video to a limited degree in their sales and marketing, but much of that adoption is falling far behind the way that both consumers and business buyers behave.
The coronavirus will accelerate video adoption and use in 2020
Here's what's changed, the advent of hyper-awareness about virus spread is going to accelerate (again) the use of video for critical marketing and sales functions. Inserting the rights kinds of video into your strategic marketing plan might make the difference between hitting your growth goals this year, or not.
While there is no need to push the panic button, the reality is that even if concerns about the coronavirus subside faster than anticipated, video use will have already accelerated again as a result of current health concerns. The number of people who will use video to work, attend church, talk with a doctor or participate in events, is going to increase both awareness and use of video for everyone - including your target market.
The acceleration of video use in business, healthcare, education and among consumers mandates that every organization figure out how to incorporate video strategically.
If you rely upon open houses or tours to close business
Since no one really knows how much virus concerns are going to affect behavior, organizations that rely upon in-person experiences like tours and open houses need to understand how to use video to support their marketing and sales. There are critical areas where video can make the difference, and adding those elements to the way you reach out, connect and nurture people along their way to a decision will increase the speed of their decision.
A video visit strategy is not only good for bad weather and health concerns, it allows the person who is browsing your website to experience your location anytime they have an interest. The sterile use of a traditional facility only video, even if shot in 3D, doesn't tell the whole story about the culture and the real experience. More authentic tour styles can make a big difference in how well people connect to your organization before they visit in person.
Video now should be considered a differentiator
Americans are already predisposed to shop and get entertainment from home. Homes have now become self-contained shopping malls and theaters due to online shopping and streaming services. The ability to do your own research and get connected to a potential provider via video is going to move from just an important option to being something that sets your organization apart. The part of the decision process/ customer journey is 65-90% -- that's how much of the decision is made before they show up for a tour or even pick up the phone.
If a person has a choice between two organizations and one of them allows them to visit, explore and actually experience their product or service with video and the other one does not, the choice will be obvious.
Beyond what is happening currently with disruptions in in-person visits, using video has value for the entire online and buyer experience. Three things to consider:
- 95% retention of video information versus 10% with text only
- Majority of all internet traffic is now video
- Video produces better buyer conversions and is trackable
- Consumer responses to video much stronger in all marketing
Video also allows us to deliver information in a way that is focused on the unique interests and concerns of our targeted buyer.
Getting Video into the Customer Journey
The solution for the increasing desire to explore online with video is not answered by just getting "video-any-video" on your website. To be most effective, the right kind of video has to be placed into the customer journey at just the right moments. The barriers to adding video remain the same - time and financial cost. But the options and kinds of video have expanded to give us new ways to engage people.
1. Put the right kind of video into the right places in the customer journey
Don't approach the change with video as you may have in the past - hiring a videographer and creating a standard 3-5 minute overview video featuring carefully selected people and scripts. That is probably not the best kind of video for your needs, plus it is an expensive approach that won't really boost sales.
The customer journey is key part of your strategic marketing and sales plan. It's important to place the right video in the right part of the process. Different videos are best suited for the initial exploration, the evaluation consideration process and the decision and closing moments. Developing the key elements of the unique buyer's journey is a part of creating a strategic plan for sales and marketing.
2. Start using video that you can handle in-house.
The options for the types of video that can be shot from the desktop, mobile device and an assortment of other devices have grown substantially. The idea that all video has to be outsourced to a contracted videographer is no longer true. You can use in-house staff or freelance help with a little guidance. Story Collaborative offers video workshops to help kick-start this process. The net result of in-house videos versus the limited number of official contractor provided videos will be a catalog that is more authentic, more aligned with your brand story, and greater quantity to fill more of the critical gaps in your customer journey.
3. Make sure that your video tells your brand story
Unless you want to look like every other organization that provides what you provide, you need to make sure that your video is expressing your brand story. The brand story captures the differentiators of what makes your organization special, and aligns it with the real experience of customers. Video that is aligned with your brand story will carry have greater weight with prospects because it is authentic. It also ensures that the experience of your customers from start to finish will sync up - a lot different than a manufactured video style that presents an image that doesn't line up with the rest of the customer experience.