How to Stretch Your Marketing Budget

  • How to spend your precious marketing dollars.
  • Prioritize, allocate, and marshal resources.

Now is the time to take stock of marketing assets that are working, missing, and new ones needed to best drive sales.

Sales Levers – Video Journey Stages, Types

Let’s start with what you have. Keeping it fun, we’ll do doing a bit of shopping along the way.

Videos are powerful stuff to drive your marketing levers.

Based on what’s working for you, and what needs to be improved, the right type of video can do wonders for your lead to sales conversion rates.

The nuance comes from selecting the right types of videos to move your prospects along.

Pairing video type with goals allows you to meet the prospective buyer where they are in their journey to have the greatest impact.

Directionally, videos tend to fall into the following journey stages (with some overlap):

Ideally, each video propels prospective buyers forward.

We need a toolkit that will not only generate leads, but more importantly, close deals.

And ideally, drive even more new prospects to convert.

Video Marketing Toolkit

For simplicity, a starter video toolkit might include; a Brand Overview video, a Product or Service video, a Testimonial video, and perhaps a Recruiting video.

Although a good start, B2B sales almost always require more video communication to keep prospects moving along the conversion cycle.

B2B buyers tend to purchase more costly items, their business relies on the best value for the money, and professional buyers need to make highly informed decisions.

Here is a handy checklist to review as you consider your video needs:

Brand Overview Videos

Brand Overview videos make a solid first impression.  

The message is short, to the point, and clearly defines the Brand.  In a few images and the equivalent of a few bullet points, the Brand is indelibly connected with a tag-line, or key take-away.

Generally, these are used to create awareness, remain in the buyer’s consideration set, or re-shape a Brand image.

Though the master is usually short e.g. 0:15 to 0:30, companion 0:06 bumpers or social cut-downs and / or complementary assets might accompany. 

Impact is the key consideration.

Careful planning goes into a Brand Overview video.

Pre-production might include a Brand deep dive, new insights gleaned from research, careful scripting, full-service production crews, and other investments.  An agency mid-to-high-end version might run you $50k+, and take months from discovery to final cut(s).

Traditionally, these videos were geared towards broadcast.  Increasingly, Brand Overview videos might “air” more on digital platforms than traditional media.  

Note, these are generally more geared towards establishing a recallable image associated with the Brand, than an explanation of what a given product or service actually does.

Social Videos

Social videos have gone well beyond enhanced iPhone footage.

Given social media’s rise in both generating awareness, and or at least remaining in the consideration set, social media vides are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

A common tactic is to connect a 0:03-0:08 visually intriguing, teaser video, which stands out in a scrolling feed, to a longer video e.g. IGTV, or landing page with a longer more descriptive video.

While you can achieve success using longer native versions (with enough time to actually make a good point or two), the broader context of social media consumption behavior tends to favor shorter videos.

Conceptually, social videos tend to be the equivalent of a quick glance at a sizzle reel video clip you might pass by at a trade show.  Frequent posting of various clips tends to work better than single lengthy cuts.

Ideally, there is a strategist, copywriter, and graphic artist collaborating to thoughtfully post social videos with regularity, unique Brand angles, and a measured programming strategy.

Social media videos outperform when it comes to targeting capabilities, and insightful data reporting.

Product or Service Videos

While a basic overall sense of your company in a Brand Overview video might peak interest, ultimately prospective buyers want to know what you can actually do for them.  

Product or service videos tend to be most effective when focused on a specific product or service vs. a suite.

Ideally, the video addresses and overcomes any prospective objections, and nurtures prospects to give your product or service some real consideration.

While longer than a Brand Overview video, Service Overview Videos greater length affords more of a story arc.

A dramatic need is stated, illustrations of the product or service solving those challenges are fulfilled, and we see the delighted customer in the “after” state.

These videos answer the prospects “what’s in it for me” type questions, and overcome common potential objections.

Generally across a 1:00+ range, the video comes across as helpful, authentic, and a no-brainer.

In a simple world (think DTC products you might buy for under $100), this singular video would be sufficient to properly inform your prospective buyer, persuade them to place their business in your hands, and to pull out the corporate CC.

In the competitive B2B world, though, this is rarely the case. In today’s highly relational world, prospective buyers are going to want to hear how what you say lines up with what other customers say.

Testimonial, Success Story Videos

Testimonial videos are essentially the “Modern Word of Mouth” businesses cherish.

Hearing what you have to say about your company is one thing. Having a relatable peer-type customer say good things about your company is another.

Often resembling a short micro-documentary featuring a real customer’s journey, success story videos can be emotive, persuasive, and compelling.

Testimonials provide social proof, build trust, and deliver conversions.

Quality leads are good … if they convert to closed deals. Success story videos can be a powerful tool to get prospects through consideration to convert.

Testimonials offer a “don’t just take it from us” approach to what you are touting, and empower prospective customers to hear what other real customers have to say.

How it Works, Explainer Videos

Novel, technical, seemingly complex products or services do well to have how-it-works videos that deliver prospective buyers from overwhelm by showing ease-of-use.  

Outlining a few easy steps provides comfort and re-assurance that purchasing your product or service is going to solve their problems … and not create new ones.  

Note that effective versions of these videos are not white papers.  Effective How it Works videos leave the viewer trusting you will handle the complexities of the proposed.

Thought Leadership Videos

Thought leadership videos establish a Brand as an industry leader.

Transparency from the C-suite shows the thoughtful thinking that goes into solving customers challenges.  

Webinars, conference & trade show presentations, and company meetings are often good sources for thought leadership content.  

Monitoring industry trends, including trending keywords and topics, updated FAQs, can give you a first-mover advantage and demonstrate industry leadership navigating new challenges.

In order to encourage viewers to subscribe for future releases, and deepen reliance on your brand, these are often first done live to create urgency, and banked for a “season.”

While important towards further establishing your expertise, authority and trust, thought leadership videos tend to require more patience and nuance measuring results.

On-Boarding Videos

On-boarding videos empower companies to deliver superior customer service, train best practices more efficiently, and insure quality control through uniform talking points.  

These videos often include internal and / or external videos to make your staff more efficient, productive, and effective.

Conceptually, a service extension and value add, on-boarding videos empower customers with 24/7 resources that can be played whenever and wherever they get stuck.

These video can showcase your company’s customer-centric culture, and feature shining examples of your best employees empathically solving customers common challenges.

Case Study Videos

Related to testimonials and success videos, case study videos tend to speak best to data-driven personas that want to hear some key, relevant stats communicated in a story arc.

While a text and image based case study might look official, a video case study brings the story to life, including emotive elements to move from analytical thinking to taking action now.

The basic structure tends towards:  Challenge -> Strategy -> Result.  

Key, meaningful stats can be highly persuasive.  

Using industry lingo and stunning KPIs can turn these into a conversion home run.

Testimonial Videos (new)

Shortly after closing a deal, circa 30 days or less, is an ideal time to ask if your delighted customer might be open to being featured in a video. 

Ideally, Sales & Marketing are aligned, and are always looking for a new, or updated personas that will help drive sales further.  

The reality is that the more time lapses from the close of a sale, the more challenging it might be to get a customer’s attention, or find the just the right timing to make the ask.  

Following up with the customer shortly after you’ve closed a deal shows you care beyond the transaction, and the superior experience delivered will be fresh in mind.

Customer Service Videos

Capturing frequently asked questions answered with all-star talking points insures quality control, effective service, and leverages your best spokespeople empathizing with customers.  

Arming your human customer service team with helpful videos allows you to do more with a smaller staff.

Increasingly, AI or approximations thereof, are tapping videos to give a human response feel to commonly asked questions captured in a call tree.

Leveraging AI with customer service videos can further inform the organization towards enhanced product development, refined sales talking points, and marketing messaging.

Recruiting Videos

Part of working smarter, not harder, is recruiting rock star employees.  

Finding right fit employees insures the company’s leadership vision is carried forward.  

Much more than a current job posting, recruiting videos emotionally connect to what your company really is: a group the fun, professionals, dedicated to your brand.

Note that these videos are often viewed by folks not actively looking for the specific job. These videos are often viewed by folks that want a quick glance at your company culture, and a peak at the sort of people your company wants to attract.

Also note, that everyone in your organization, not just titled sales people, are ultimately brand ambassadors.  In today’s social media world, recruiting employees that speak well of your business both in the office and outside, including online, is mission critical.

Where to Share Videos

In order to stretch your marketing budget, now is a good time to insure you are getting the most out of what you’ve already got.

Before jumping to reviewing metrics and size up how existing videos are performing, we need the context for how the videos were deployed.

Auditing where videos actually live (or ended up) can help unpick how to do more with what you’ve already got.

For example, testimonial videos tend to be a jack of all trades in terms of where you might feature the videos.

However, a common mistake is to bury a video on a single page, one or two clicks after awareness spots.

Hopefully, your testimonial video distribution checklist might look something like this:

Video Distribution Checklist
Social organicHome pageMarketing emailsSales emails
Social paidServices pageCo-marketingSales training
LinkedInLanding pageBlogsCustomer service

Creating a similar matrix for each of your videos will help you read between the lines when reviewing usage reports.

Video Benchmarks, ROI

Marketers, sharpen your pencils!

Going into budgeting season, it is critical to clarify goals.

The past year’s allocations, priorities, and resource deployment informs how efficiently we deployed last year’s budget.

Ideally, this year’s success has us in a position to ask for greater resources, since we’ve proved we deliver.

Driving more gross margin is of course an excellent aim.

How exactly to do that is the real question.

As marketing executives, preparing a marketing budget can be a bit like pulling Christmas tree lights out of the attic box.

We need to check each light bulb on the string aka marketing tactics, before we start stapling the string to the rooftop aka deploy the budget.

One bulb that’s shorting out aka journey stage, might cut the light bulbs at the end of the string short a.k.a. Sales.

At a high level, we’re going to want to have a version of the following:

  • How many people do we reach via organic and paid media?
  • How many of those people are interested in what we’re messaging?
  • Of those, how many consider our product/service (and alternatives)?
  • How many ultimately convert?
  • How many go on to recruit other prospective buyers?
  • What assets are working?  Which ones, not so much?
  • Do my assets truly speak to my ideal personas at each stage of their journey?
  • What levers will lead to greater sales?

Setting up some algebra, your inputs might look something like this (with adjustments by distribution platform):

  • Leads:  impressions * click-through-rate (CTR)
  • Consideration:  conversion rate CVR 1, e.g. marketing qualified lead, think spent time going deeper.
  • Conversions:  CVR2, think sales qualified lead, purchased / ordered.
  • Advocates:  think positive review, testimonial, liked, shared, etc.

As a formula, this might look like this:  Impressions * CTR * CVR1 * CVR2 = sales.  +advocate multiple = sales+

It’s often tempting to think generating more leads will mean the greatest sales increase. For example, a company might want to bump sales 10%, so marketing might target increasing leads 10%.

However, if those leads fall off on the conversion path that might result in a trace bump in sales.

Alternatively, moving a conversion rate from 1% to 2% means doubling sales.

In terms of where to go hunting for that kind of increase, testimonial and customer success videos can be a powerful fulcrum moving the consideration rate lever.

Another common mistake is overlooking existing customers, which tend to be the most profitable ones to drive margin. Companies sometimes fall into a transactional sales approach e.g. closed this customer so move onto the next lead. However, continuing to mine for new leads vs. stretching sunk costs that were spent to acquire a customer and leveraging those customers to help recruit new customers often is a better advised strategy.

A back of the napkin checklist of your needs might look something like the following:

KPIReference Points2021 Actuals2022 Goals
AwarenessLead gen, social  
ConsiderationsLanding pages with testimonial  
ConversionOrders, on-boarding  
AdvocatesSuccess stories, 5-star reviews  
SalesRevenue, LTV, LTV+  
Sales velocityAccelerating / decelerating  
TimingCampaigns vs. evergreen  

Want help figuring out the right videos for your marketing needs, setting priorities, and implementing strategies?

Give us a call today. We’re happy to help.

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