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The Power of Video Throughout the Customer Journey

It is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is from Brad Jefferson – Enjoy! 

The business benefits of video for brand discovery, web traffic and customer engagement have been widely documented over the years. But do people really find videos helpful in making purchasing decisions? In a recent survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults, we learned that videos created by businesses really do help people make more confident shopping decisions and feel more connected to a brand. A whopping 96 percent of all respondents said they find video helpful when making purchase decisions online, and 73 percent said they are more likely to purchase a product after watching a marketing video. These are pretty convincing reasons to invest in video!

SMB Survey Infographic

photo credit: Animoto

 

Before you dash off to the scripting table, it’s important to understand that not all videos are created equal. Videos play different roles throughout each phase of the customer lifecycle, and the best approach is to create videos that are useful for each situation.

Stage 1: Drawing them in

At the acquisition phase, first impression is everything — and video can be the most personal and engaging way to reel in customers. The visual and storytelling nature of video lends itself to engaging prospects in a way that evokes emotion, reminds them of a need or desire, or teaches them something new.

The survey revealed that 64 percent of consumers find it helpful to watch videos to learn more about the company they’ll purchase from. Whether it’s a funny video that’s low on branding but likely to be shared, or an informative video introducing your business, products or services, make sure it’s easy to find and not too long. Eighty-three percent of consumers we surveyed said the ideal length of a video to inform a purchase decision is five minutes or less. Post video on your homepage as well as Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo. Include a call to action at the end, such as an invitation to visit your website, so viewers know where to go to learn more.

Stage 2: Inspiring action

After hooking the prospect, you need to inspire action. Videos can play a big role in converting sales since they provide a quick and simple way to bring a product to life and turn a prospect into a paying customer. Ninety-five percent of consumers surveyed said they find video helpful in researching a product before they buy, and 93 percent find video useful when comparison shopping.

Videos at this stage should include product features and use cases in greater depth, as the prospect is looking to understand your offering better. A good place to start is with simple informational videos, or if you have a tangible product, a 360-degree view video. Sixty-seven percent of consumers surveyed said they watched an instructional video in the past six months , and 57 percent watched a product or service demonstration in the same time frame.

Brief customer testimonials explaining the problem your product or service solves can also give the prospect the connection they need to feel compelled to purchase. If you’re selling professional services, consider giving people a behind-the-scenes look at the people running your business so prospects build a personal connection to your team.

Stage 3: Building loyalty

It’s imperative to keep communications strong after purchase to earn loyal customers who will spread the word about your business to their own networks. Video can be a great post-purchase touch point. Ninety-three percent of consumers surveyed said that instructional videos related to products they have already purchased are useful. They are also likely to seek more video from a brand after an initial purchase; in fact, 87 percent of consumers find video helpful for researching additional items from the same company.

When done well, videos can make people feel a strong connection to your brand. Seventy-seven percent of consumers consider companies that produce online videos to be more engaged with their customers, and 71 percent agree that videos created by companies leave them with a positive impression of the company, brand or product.

With increased loyalty and brand affinity comes the powerful strength of word of mouth. Because online videos are so easy to share, they are a great way to raise brand visibility and bring the customer lifecycle full-circle. Eighty-nine percent of consumers surveyed said they are likely to share video if they consider it educational, 86 percent will share if there’s an incentive (e.g., a promotion or discount), and 80 percent are more likely to share if there’s a “share” button included.

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Video has been an incredibly powerful marketing tool for quite some time now. Yet only recently has it become a tool that’s accessible for marketers and businesses of all sizes with clear benefits to both customers and businesses. If you haven’t discovered video for yourself, there’s no better time than now to get started.

About Brad Jefferson, CEO and co-founder, Animoto

Brad JeffersonAs founding CEO of Animoto, Brad leads the charge in driving Animoto to be the global standard for automated video creation. Prior to co-founding Animoto in August 2006, Brad spent eight years with Onyx Software, an enterprise software company. At Onyx, he was Director of Sales Operations and managed the national team of sales engineers. Previously, Brad managed Onyx’s Professional Services team and customer base in the western US. Through Brad’s career at Onyx he saw the company grow from a 17-person start-up to an 800-person public company, and eventually an acquisition. Brad graduated from Dartmouth College and currently resides in Oakland, California, with his wife and their two children, both of whom are stars of his frequent Animoto video creations.

 

4 Realities of Inbound Marketing You Can’t Afford to Neglect

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is Rohan Ayyar – Enjoy!

Inbound marketing and social media participation for brands are one of the most effective promotion tactics today. The whole world of marketing is now skewed towards “earning customers” instead of “buy, beg, or buy your way in” that outbound marketers follow, if this Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing infographic on Mashable is to be believed.

The fundamental shift in consumer behavior is certain now: individuals are in control of what information they choose to receive. Not only do they have options when it comes to brands while buying, but they can also choose who they want to hear from.

According to Mashable’s infographic, more than 84% of 25-34 year olds have abandoned their favorite website because of intrusive or irrelevant advertising. More than a whopping 86% of people skip television ads. At least 200 million Americans have registered for FTC’s “Do Not Call” list. Over 91% of email subscribers have unsubscribed from an email list they previously opted into.

Clearly, outbound marketing is having a hard time. On the other hand, inbound marketing works, but only when you go at it the right way.

Here are a few inbound marketing realities you can’t afford to neglect:

1. No one gives two hoots about your brand, product, service or whatever

This one’s hard. In fact, it’s the hardest truism about being in business today. Contrary to whatever you might think about your business, your prospective customers don’t really give a damn about you. It’s a hard pill to swallow. Does it mean all that passion, sweat, blood, and tears you put into running your business are for naught?

Customers aren’t overly concerned about you, and won’t be either, for as long as you beat your big corporate chest with your “campaigns,” you are just carrying out interruption marketing.

What the world does care about is solutions to problems. Your prospective customers are looking for solutions that can make their life better somehow, in some way. Whatever fits the bill – with respect to products and services – takes the cake.

2. Competition has no face

Once upon a time, all that a company would have to worry about – apart from producing goods and delivering services – was competition from similar companies selling similar products. Today, competition comes in new garbs everyday.

First, there’s the information overload that customers are slowly getting immune to (which means that they mastered the art of ignoring what you have to say). Second, the competition comes from smarter and leaner companies that have learnt the art of keeping customers engaged (with inbound marketing practices, of course).

If you’ve ever wondered why all that money being spent on campaigns never managed to bring in a dollar, it’s because of this competition overload. You just have a lot more to do today.

Are you ready to deal with it?

3. Marketing is the new way of giving

Capitalism was almost a result of selfishness. Ayn Rand was a staunch advocate of “self-worth” and “self-preservation.” She wrote whole tomes like Atlas Shrugged to get that point across. That was then.

Capitalism is still about making a profit. It’s just the way profits are made has changed with inbound marketing. This new line of marketing calls for “selflessness.” It calls for giving away more than you ask for. It calls for altruism, generosity, and spreading buckets of value through content, information dissemination, and relationship-building on social media.

Take whatever route you like, just make sure you give.

4. Inbound is harder than outbound

Most rookie entrepreneurs believe that since inbound marketing is relatively cheaper than traditional marketing, it ought to be easier. As they say, “Talk is cheap.” However, it’s easy to forget that work comes at a premium.

Inbound marketing is harder than traditional marketing. As a matter of fact, marketing is always hard as Drew Williams of HubSpot candidly explained. There are a whole lot of things to get used to. Businesses have to produce an unimaginable amount of content. There’s social media, there’s content (which itself stretches into blog posts, videos, podcasts, slide decks, infographics, curated content, and a whole lot more), which companies have to produce at an alarming rate.

Then there are multiple channels to tap into. Marketing itself is now a hodge-podge of tasks, departments and functions. Teams need to put their heart into all of these. They need to learn and use sophisticated tools for manifold tasks ranging from project collaboration to publishing, from web analytics to video conferencing. What’s more, they need to be effective at that, produce results and justify ROI.

How do you go about inbound marketing? What are the biggest challenges you’re facing in getting inbound leads? How do you convert these to sales? Do you have any new tactics or strategies to share?

Rohan Ayyar bio photoRohan works at E2M solutions, a premium digital marketing firm specializing in creative content strategy, web analytics and conversion rate optimization for startups. He is an avid blogger, with posts on Search Engine Journal, Social Media Today and Moz, among other places. Rohan hangs out round the clock on Twitter @searchrook – hit him up any time for a quick Q&A.

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