Everything you need to know about Video Prospecting
In recent years, video has experienced a surge in popularity across multimedia platforms from socials to streaming. Building on the success of film and television, it’s now the most popular form of online content.
The format’s success rests on a combination of changing consumer habits, technology and psychology (we tend to gravitate towards image-based information). Visual media also simplifies complex information, making it easier to absorb and recall.
It’s also now easier to produce high-resolution, high-quality content. Even those lacking high-end equipment can shoot and edit videos using their smartphone.
In a world where time and attention are both in short supply, visual media offers consumers convenience and mental stimulation. Video is now arguably the fastest, most effective way to garner audience engagement.
- Why should You Use Video Prospecting?
- 3 Steps to Effective Video Prospecting
- Types of Prospecting Videos
- 5 Tips for Effective Video Prospecting
- The best tool for Video Prospecting
Why should You Use Video Prospecting?
A successful content strategy leaves no stone unturned. For best results, it’s wise to use every outreach method available. Eliminate one, and you risk selling yourself short through limiting access to your brand.
Around 40% of sales reps say outreach is the most challenging aspect of sales. Each mode has its pros and cons, – but overall, video prospecting is faster and more versatile.
Whichever format you choose, the goal remains the same: to connect with your prospect while piquing their interest.
While it can be a challenge to make yourself stand out among your competitors, there are a few ways to make your sales prospecting video stand out:
3 Steps to Effective Video Prospecting
1. Start by Introducing Yourself
Positive customer relationships rely on authentic and trusting connections. In the context of sales outreach, this means establishing rapport with your prospect while building brand trust. In the wake of COVID-19, authenticity is now an even greater priority amongst consumers seeking sustainability and integrity at all levels of their lives.
At its core, authenticity is about values (the guiding principles underpinning your business) and vulnerability (the courage to take risks and hold oneself accountable for mistakes). Video prospecting promotes authentic relationships by allowing prospects to put a name to a face.
Beyond first impressions, infusing your video with your guiding principles (while retaining the qualities that make your business personable and human) serves a dual purpose: helping to reinforce brand integrity while breaking the ice.
2. Follow up by Adding Testimonials
Your prospect will want to know three things: who you are, what you’re offering, and, most importantly: why they should care. While you might be enthusiastic about the product you’re selling, you’ll still need to state your case in a compelling, informative way.
A great way to do this is to feature content from satisfied customers, either as part of your video or as a standalone piece of content. A great testimonial video should include:
- An effective filming technique using effective lighting and composition.
- Use of high-quality equipment, such as a video camera or mid-to-high-end DSLR, a lavalier microphone and a stable tripod.
- Effective use of other visual elements (such as graphics)
- A short timeframe (2-3 minutes in total).
- A strong opening that grabs your prospect’s attention.
- A focused message (run through each sentence to ensure each one contributes to the main message of the video and trim accordingly).
While your video has to be of high quality, it doesn’t necessarily have to look polished. Video is a hugely versatile format with plenty of scope for creativity - so whatever your marketing goals, you’re bound to find a style that fits the overall theme of your project.
In some cases, retaining certain elements can help create a feeling of connection, such as sitting down “with” the viewer to start the video (this might involve the interviewee adjusting their mic or speaking to someone off-camera).
The most important part of your testimonial video will be the script, which should be free-flowing, yet focused. You can accomplish this by:
- Use your script as a framework to ask questions (rather than asking the customer to read one, as this can sound stilted and forced). This allows customers to respond using their own natural cadence and mannerisms.
- Focus on the “why”: ask questions that zoom in on common customer pain points and how your product or service helped to resolve them. Questions such as these often feature a relatable emotional component, which can help capture the viewer’s attention.
- Alternatively, you can show questions being answered as “soundbites” - the key is to edit so that the viewer understands the context of what is being said.
Testimonial videos can help bolster brand credibility while demonstrating the service or product you provide. One such example that has kept its value over time is Airbnb’s 2012 “Living a Richer Life” campaign, where various hosts discussed the merits of the service, including their motivations for hosting.
3. Make a Final Appeal with Free Content
When making your video, consider adding an incentive for people to sign up for your service. Free content can help establish your brand, increasing its reach and boosting reputation while maximizing leads. Free introductory videos, trial products, or limited-time offers all act as a kind of “taster menu”, allowing prospects to sample your paid service or product before making a purchase decision.
One great form of free, but valuable video content is webinars. By hosting webinars you can establish a real connection with the audience, relate to them regarding a specific problem and showcase your product as a solution. When using webinar platforms to host webinars, you can capture vital prospect or customer data and create automatic follow-up sequences.
If you have the budget, offering freebies can pay off in the long run. By filtering out the more ambivalent prospects in your audience, you’ll be left with a cohort of brand-loyal customers who (having already experienced your product or service) will be more than happy to pay for your work.
Types of Prospecting Videos
Regardless of style or format, all prospecting videos share two common goals. The first is to engage with your prospect using the most effective method. The second is to garner interest in your product or service.
Here are a few types of videos you can use for prospecting:
This type of video is highly customizable and typically comes in two formats:
- 1:Many Personalized videos: otherwise known as “bulk” personalized videos, these tend to be shared with larger groups of prospects.
- 1:1 Personalized videos: these tend to be used at all stages of the sales process as a general introduction and a way to connect with prospects throughout.
One of the most popular trends in recent years has been hyper-personalization. This involves the use of AI, automation, analytics and real-time data to create targeted, custom effects within videos.
In their personalized lending video from 2016, Barclays cleverly combined the “1:1” with the “1:many” format, using custom editing to add the recipient’s name to the audio and visual elements such as this number plate. The result was a video that could be distributed among many customers while retaining a sense of personalization.
As the name suggests, demo videos are designed to demonstrate how a product or service works in an engaging and informative manner.
In “Say Hej to IKEA Place”, IKEA showcases an innovative AR app that allows customers to view 3D models of furniture in their own home - and does so in a humorous, relatable style that manages not to pull focus from the central message of the video.
Company Introduction Videos
Many company introduction videos use a “talking heads” format, with people discussing their ethos, mission, and values. In 2018 Dropbox did exactly this - but with a unique and playful twist designed to capture the imagination of their customers.
Instead of featuring interviewees in the flesh, the team at Dropbox voiced Muppet-like versions of themselves, demonstrating a workplace culture that, in the words of one team member, “doesn’t take itself too seriously”.
5 Tips for Effective Video Prospecting
Effective video prospecting requires a combination of technical skill, creative talent and organization. Teamwork is also key - whether you’re working with a small crew or as part of a larger production. Building positive rapport with your team members and interviewees will help everything to run smoothly while ensuring everyone enjoys the video-making process.
Most videos tend to follow a basic framework - so to help get you started, here is a brief guide. You can adapt this for your own purposes, depending on the scale of your production and the kind of video you might like to make.
1. Write an Engaging Email Copy
When writing your copy, take care to tailor it to your brand and use consistent language and tone. Unless your brand specifically calls for it, avoid stiff, formal prose. Instead, focus on creating concise, captivating copy that persuades your prospect to press Play.
In the above example, software company PandaDoc breaks up the text using an embedded video. The opening two paragraphs are friendly, inviting and motivational. The text is broken again further down the page using an illustration. The third paragraph contains the call-to-action (CTA), inviting the viewer to learn more about the product.
2. Write and Test your Sales Script
If you already have talking points or phone scripts that you use, these can serve as a framework for your video sales script. If you don’t, here is an outline to help you get started:
- Introduction: This is your first impression - so make it count! Give your prospect a warm welcome and briefly introduce yourself.
- Value: This relates to how your product or service benefits the customer through solving a key pain point. As this is the central focus (or “why”) of the video, establish this clearly from the start, using key points throughout the video to reinforce the main message.
- Purpose: The purpose of your product or service is to offer a solution. Key customer pain points tend to fall under the categories of productivity, efficiency, or convenience .
- Next Steps and CTA: use this to encourage your prospect to book a meeting with you, or for any other actionable steps they can take to get in touch such as subscribing to your mailing list.
- Thank You: end with a note of thanks for taking the time to watch.
Using too much jargon or heavily-scripted speech can create distance between you and the customer, so remember to use your script as a framework for speech that flows naturally while stating your key points compellingly.
Your prospect is more likely to be interested in how your product helps them, which means you’ll be better off demonstrating solutions instead of features. You can also use data to support your pitch, but your prospect will quickly lose interest if they’re not numerically inclined. Instead, create balance by using quantitative data to support the product demo or testimonial.
Most importantly, be yourself: smile, use open, engaging body language and channel a passion for what you do. Remember: if you believe in the product or service you are selling, it’s more likely that your prospect will, too.
Finally, you need to keep your video short and straightforward. Most experts agree that the optimal length for most sales videos is around 30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on the format.
While this might seem incredibly brief, a study performed by Microsoft Canada discovered that the average attention span of today’s customers is a mere eight seconds. You have a small window of opportunity to get your prospects’ attention and make your point.
3. Ensure you use the Best Video Tools
When it comes to making and editing your video, the tools you use will largely depend on the scale of production, depending on business needs. To determine this, ask what kind of video you’re looking to make - and how much production value you want to factor in.
If you’re a smaller business with a limited budget, you may use an action camera (such as a GoPro) or even a high-end smartphone. For larger productions, you may utilize an entire team consisting of a videographer, scriptwriter, and video editor with the latest equipment and software. Regardless of the size of your campaign, don’t rule out the use of stock video, especially for establishing shots.
4. Use a Thumbnail that Captures their Attention
A thumbnail might seem a fairly innocuous feature. But don’t be fooled: adding one to your email copy or website can give your audience engagement a significant boost, especially when paired with a great subject line that grabs your prospect’s attention.
By adding a thumbnail, you’re giving your prospect a visual cue to click the link. You can create a custom thumbnail, or you might choose a frame from your video that represents the theme of the video well. You can also add your own branding twist to the thumbnail, as demonstrated by Target:
Streamlining your visual brand identity down to the last detail gives an added sense of simplicity amid the visual noise. To achieve this, ensure your branding is consistent and stick closely to your chosen fonts and colors.
5. Track Video Views
While preliminary research might help you define your target market and make predictions on the kind of response your content might receive, analytics can help give you a clearer overview of who is watching (and how often).
Collecting data using tools such as Google Analytics and YouTube Analytics doesn’t just tally up shares, likes, and views. It also lets you collect demographic data (such as age range or location), which you can use for future campaigns. It also familiarizes you with your audience - especially those “hot leads” (repeat customers who are likely to react to your videos).
This information can then give you a clear overview of exactly who is watching - and how often. Following up your project with clear-cut measurables can help set you on the path to greater organizational growth - while keeping your brand vibrant, relevant and adaptable.
The Best Tool for Video Prospecting
CrankWheel’s Recorder feature allows you to send recordings from your desktop and/or your webcam. It’s ideal for any use case, from a simple personal introduction to delivering in-depth pitches using sales enablement material and mixing together slide shows, sales videos and yourself talking to the webcam.
It’s easy to share personalized pre-recorded sales videos or record Figma Prototype with CrankWheel. You can either copy/paste the link in IM clients such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp or copy a snippet that you paste in an email. The snippet shows a preview gif of your recording that increases the chance of the video being seen by the recipient.
Another use case is to record the videos and then share them on the call in HQ during a CrankWheel Screen sharing session. You can even start a screen sharing session in a WhatsApp video chat.
You can use CrankWheel for free.
There’s little doubt that when it comes to content, each format has its benefits. But to truly maximize your outreach capabilities, you must leverage as many of these as possible so that your brand is both seen and heard.
It’s also important to note that although the different formats are distinct, they can be used interchangeably. Just as your email copy serves as a pitch to lead prospects to watch your videos, promoting them across social media can then boost visibility and ranking.
Maximizing the number of platforms (as well as the different formats you use) also makes your brand more accessible and inclusive - especially when you integrate features such as closed captions.
Using a variety of content formats is a great way to help maximize the visibility and reach of your business - and with more and more businesses now using video as a marketing tool there’s never been a better time to get started with video prospecting.
About the author
Baidhurya Mani is the founder of SellCoursesOnline.com. He regularly shares tips, tools, and strategies to help creators and entrepreneurs build a successful online course business.