Missed opportunities

Videos for customer engagement and account-based marketing

Content for the flipped funnel

Account-based marketing affords many opportunities to use video smartly.

There are many more opportunities to take advantage of video’s great power than most marketers think about. Especially if you think about video, not as promotion, but as a medium for account-based marketing.

Account-based marketing calls for concentrating resources on the “right” people. You’re not putting content out there, you’re trying to draw them in and keep them.

Ideally, we have a relationship with these accounts. So strictly promotional content will be much less prevalent. 

In the FlipMyFunnel model, shown below, the stages in account-based marketing are 

  1. Identify. Figure out who are your best-fit customers; who would benefit most from your product or service?
  2. Expand. Find out exactly who are the right people to engage.
  3. Engage. Get the right content out on the right channel. Not just video — case studies, graphics, landing pages, email, social media.
  4. Advocate. If you do the engagement right, you’ve got relationships you can build on.

The ideas behind account-based marketing aren’t new, but they’ve been given new impetus by new marketing automation software that enables more personalized communication. Of course, for continuous communication, you need a continuous supply of new targeted content, including video.

Account-based marketing model by Sangram Vaire (Flip My Funnel)

Here’s the “flipped funnel” ABM model devised by Sangram Vajre, CEO of Terminus and founder of the #FlipMyFunnel community. 
Image source: Vidyard

Video and the complex customer lifecycle

In the world of tech solution marketing, the customer journey is complicated. The Gartner model below, folds account-based activities into the customer lifecycle. It captures the experience of tech marketers, where members of a buying committee, with divergent interests, engage in different activities at intervals.

If you wanted to drop pins representing different kinds of video onto this map, where would you put them? Branding and overview explainer videos at the intake? Technical videos like webinars and subject matter expert interviews farther along the way? That makes sense. But it’s a hit-or-miss approach to exploiting opportunities for engagement, in a world where personalized customer communication is becoming the norm.

There are many more opportunities in account-based selling than most marketers use.

Where do we drop our video pins on this map? This is the customer lifecycle model published by Gartner’s Hank Barnes. Note that a lot of it relates to what happens after the sale — account-based selling, in other words. You feel a little sorry for the customers undergoing this experience. They’re probably getting bombarded with content. You can’t be sure when, if ever, they’ll want to watch a video — but you can be sure they need guidance.

Customer engagement drives profit — there’s ample data to back that common-sense notion. Watching your videos is part of the customer experience. Here of four of the  “7 Rules for Account Based Selling,” according to Salesforce.

  • Identify target personas
  • Engage continuously
  • Monitor and measure activities
  • Personalize content

Under these rules, you need new video formats and distribution platforms.

Video from the customer’s point of view

In account-based selling, it's hard to know where a customer stands in the "buyer's journey". But we know can be sure they're short on time..

Time and attention are the major currencies of the Internet as far as marketing is concerned. Marketing videos can make the most of them if they zero in on the user experience.

To engage with content, a viewer needs some assurance that the content is what he’s looking for.

When a buyer clicks a link to a white paper, for example, he knows what to expect — an in-depth treatment from the seller’s point of view. He can scan it to see whether it’s worth reading. No more guidance required.

But when a buyer arrives at a video, he has only a vague idea of what’s in it. He begins at the beginning, hoping it won’t take too long to get to the issues he cares about.

Even a 90-second B2B video can take too long. According to Vidyard’s 2017 B2B Video Benchmarks, 25% of viewers will leave within 25 seconds, and just over half will make it to the end.

That would seem to call for putting your key message very near the start of video. A video that doesn’t feel immediately responsive to the customer’s situation is a less than ideal customer experience and does little or nothing to increase engagement going forward. That’s not good for account-based selling.

What does responsive online engagement look like?

Chatbot conversational UI may be relevant to account-based marketing.

Messaging, as conducted by this CNN chatbot, is the model for the conversational UI, predicted by many to be the dominant user interface of the near future.

More and more, it looks like messaging, chatbots, and voice interfaces (Siri, OK Google).

Microsoft says the operating system of the future isn’t Windows, but “conversation as a platform.” Facebook says chatbots are the key for businesses that want to sell to Messenger’s 900 million monthly users.

Many user experience experts think this where the human/computer interface is headed. No more websites or mobile apps. Just assistance.

Using video opportunistically

Video can be used responsively in account-based selling.

Video used opportunistically is part of the conversation.

In account-based marketing, video is an opportunity to continue the conversation. We should use video for what it’s best at: explaining things visually, telling stories, communicating the spirit and enthusiasm of your best people.

The genre doesn’t matter. Buyers aren’t looking for webinars or interviews they are looking for insight. If you concentrate on making videos that communicate insight, you’ll develop a library of multi-purpose videos that can be used in many kinds of conversations, including webinars.

Video FAQs

Look at your FAQ page and see which questions can be effectively answered with video. Make Q&A landing pages for individual solutions, combining text, video, diagrams — whatever works best for each response.

Talk to your subject matter experts

Ask your subject matter experts and sales teams which questions they are asked most often. The answers might make terrific videos.

Bring existing visuals to life

Look at the diagrams, charts, and use-case illustrations in your existing content. A lot of them could be much more effectively communicated in a video story or step-by-step motion graphic.

Repurpose your technical videos

Look at your existing webinars and other long-form videos. They probably contain good answers that could be improved with graphics — and excerpted. Or, simply add clickable chapter headings to provide a much better user experience.

Make persona-based videos

Instead of one-size-fits-all, top-of-the-funnel overview explainer videos, make explainer videos that are persona-based. Short videos have more impact when they leave out stuff people don’t care about.

Put a chatbot in your video

You can embed responsive guidance in any video right now. It’s known as “interactive video.” Clickable objects enable the viewer to branch to other content. Input fields and buttons can trigger responses. The user never needs to navigate away from the video, so the experience is immersive and engaging. (These clickable objects could easily mimic chatbots.)

Distribute on an analytics platform

You can learn a lot about customers from the questions they ask. Short videos that answer these questions will generate a lot of customer data and insight for your sales and marketing teams. They’ll help you plan better content to create more engagement. That has to be good for the bottom line.

A better customer experience

Stop limiting yourself to video content categories. You want videos that enhance landing pages, videos that target specific buyer categories, videos that quickly satisfy buyer concerns. Videos you can use many ways. Videos that are part of the conversation. Videos that make for a great customer experience.