Which Type Of Content Is Going To Generate More Leads? Video Or Written?
Almost everyone knows content marketing is here to stay and understands how much content can influence prospects, sales opportunities and even customers. The more content you have, the more opportunities you have to educate, advise and guide your prospects and your customers so they have an amazing experience with your company before, during and after the sales process.
But one of the questions we get asked most often while we’re creating a client’s content marketing strategy is this: “What kind of content should we use?” Whitepapers and e-books are the most common, but with so many types of content these days, choosing a type can be almost as complicated as creating the actual content. One of the biggest and hottest trends is video.
How do you know if video marketing is right for your prospects? How do you know which video content to produce? How do you know how much to invest in video? And finally, how do you get started?
Step one in this process is understanding if your personas are tuned into video or not. If you’re selling to engineers, accountants or scientists, you might be able to make an argument as to why written content is better for them. Some people like to read the newspaper each morning, and these people need to read content.
But research shows that 65% of the population consists of visual learners, so that’s a great reason to make sure at least some of your content is video. Such devices are well suited for video content and using visuals to deliver your messaging.But the biggest argument for video vs. written content is the efficiency associated with delivering your story and your message. It’s easier to tell someone a story and get them emotionally engaged than it is to write the same story. Show vs. tell, if you will.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t apply video to almost every type of content you are creating. Talking head videos (which we all see everywhere) can be very helpful for prospects. Just make sure you are clear on your objectives behind creating those videos.
If promoting your personal brand is the objective, I’m less supportive. Delivering content that is going to help your prospects or customers be smarter, more efficient or more effective — that’s the type of video that I think checks boxes around all of your business drivers.
If you’re looking for your video content to stand out in what is quickly becoming a crowded space, then consider a contrarian approach to video.
Instead of creating short, one-off videos like almost everyone else is doing, start thinking about video like Netflix thinks about its content strategy.
Binge-worthy content means you have a season’s worth of videos, all available at the same time, all linked together as part of a series and all compelling enough to get people to watch the entire season in one sitting.
It’s going to take more time to develop the big story, break the story into episodes, plan the episodes so they link together and then build out the entire season of video content. However, you have a great opportunity to attract new people, use the content to convert visitors into leads, turn those leads into sales opportunities and then have them quickly become customers.
Instead of promoting single episodes over and over again, you get to promote the season and have the content pull people in and along through all of the episodes.
A lot of people ask about the production aspect of video, so it’s worth talking about. First, video production is much different than it used to be. You don’t need a professional videographer or a professional production company for business video content anymore.
But what you do need is high-quality audio. If people can’t hear your video content, the video is worthless. Make sure you invest (and we’re not talking big bucks) in the right audio equipment.
Next, make sure the lighting is good. Today, most of the video tools have lighting adjustments, but if you’re standing in front of a light source, you’re going to look like you’re in the witness protection program regardless of the equipment. Avoid major shadows, and make sure viewers can see you and any other elements you want them to see clearly and without obstruction.
Please don’t shoot the video in your car or at a bar. Don’t wear a baseball hat. I think we could all do with a dose of upgraded professionalism when it comes to video. Remember your persona. Unless you’re targeting your video to middle-school children, consider your CEO, VP or other corporate target market, and ask yourself, “Would they think this is professional and appropriate?” If the answer is “yes,” you’re good to go.
As with all content, we’re not creating it for fun and our own enjoyment. We’re creating it to produce results. Views, likes, shares and conversions are great, but you should also be looking for visitors to your website, leads for your sales teams, new customers and new upsell or cross-sell opportunities from your existing customers.
Set up goals and objectives for the videos in advance. Track the performance of your video assets weekly and make staging decisions based on the performance. Just like TV networks decide which shows to have on which nights, you have to decide which content to place where, which content to share when and which content to deploy when you need that big win with that big new prospect.
Consider shuttering video that is not performing and replacing it with new video ideas. If you’re regularly reviewing the performance of your video, upgrading the content and reviewing the stats, you’re going to see a nice up and to the right movement for all of the key performance indicators we discussed above.
We’re not suggesting you do more content. We’re suggesting that if your prospects and customers want to digest their content through video, you should supplement your content marketing creation efforts by better balancing your visual and written content efforts. Instead of doing 12 long-form content pieces a year (one whitepaper, e-book or tip sheet per month), consider doing six written pieces and six video pieces.
This gives your audiences a more balanced and diverse set of content offers, it keeps your prospects from getting bored with your thought leadership and it allows you to try some innovative content formats. Keep in mind that video is not only for prospects searching for solutions; video is also for qualified sales leads and sales opportunities who are deep into your sales process.
Content videos that answer sales questions, provide context for sales conversations or even support steps in the sales process are all applications for video that would increase close rates and decrease sales cycles.
For example, references continue to be a sticking point for almost everyone in sales. Instead of bothering customers with reference requests, we build reference reels for our clients and recommend they send those out regularly as part of their standard sales process right before they get the traditional reference check request. This works beautifully and keeps customers from getting fatigued giving references.
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