Month: May 2018

Where To Use Video in Your Sales Cycle for the Highest Impact

Life is tough for modern salespeople. Today’s sellers are facing longer, more complex sales cycles than ever before and buyers that are harder than ever to reach. Not to mention that the idea of buyers and sellers undertaking a single, harmonized journey is a distant memory: buyers frequently come armed with their own research and preconceptions, and it’s up to salespeople to keep up as they jump around to different points in the sales cycle.

But don’t despair—the good news is that using video at strategic points throughout your sales process can help accelerate your sales cycle, ensure buyers and sellers are on the same page and boost closing rates. Doug Davidoff, Founder and CEO of Imagine Business Development, shares his video strategy. Here are his top tips:

Map your sales cycle

First things first—in order to leverage video strategically, you need to understand your own sales cycle. If you don’t already have a “map” or diagram of your sales cycle, now’s the perfect time to make one. What criteria makes someone an MQL? An SQL? At what point do they actually enter your sales funnel? Where do handoffs between team members occur? Jot it all down.

Draft a diagram with arrows between the different stages. It doesn’t matter how rough it is—it’s just to give you an overview of what your process is like.

Got it? Good. That brings us to our next step:

Identify opportunities for video

Now that you’ve got an overview in front of you, it’s time to analyze. In order to determine the areas of highest impact for video you want to look for the following in your sales cycle:

  • Repetitive tasks
  • High-impact moments
  • Areas which require deep expertise
  • Stages that involve hard to get influencers/decision-makers

One great example which fits all of the above criteria is a product demo or walkthrough. Your product experts are probably tired of giving the same presentation to customers over and over again, yet this is a crucial, high-impact moment in the buying decision. Make this a better experience for them—and your customers—by recording a video demo instead of booking a meeting. Then schedule a follow-up call for any questions they might have.

Customers love this approach because it gives them time to process before they meet with you—they can replay, rewind, and share with other team members. You’ll find that your conversations are much more in-depth and your sales process moves faster. As an added bonus, it’s much easier to share a video with key decision-makers who might not have a lot of time for an in-person meeting, which also cuts down on time trying to coordinate everyone’s schedules.

Start small

“When you introduce video into the process, you’re changing the process—so everything is going to change,” says Doug. He recommends you pick just one high-impact area, whether that’s a product demo, an introduction, or another key moment, to introduce video. After your team has had some time to adjust to the new process, you can consider expanding video to other areas of your sales cycle.

And as for that first video? Doug advises not to dump a ton of money into it. Use the tools you have on hand—even if that’s just your webcam or smartphone—and do the best you can. See how it does and then iterate on your initial video from there.

We hope this blog post has been helpful and has inspired you the think strategically about where you can leverage video in your sales cycle. For more of Doug Davidoff’s tips, check out his webinar.

Are you already using video to get high-impact results in your sales cycle? Planning on it? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Where To Use Video in Your Sales Cycle for the Highest Impact appeared first on Vidyard.

Interactive CTAs: An Introduction

Using video is a great way to engage your customers and prospects—but how do you channel engagement into action? Interactive CTAs (calls-to-action) or ‘events’ are one great way to drive specific, desired outcomes from your viewers and encourage them to step further down the funnel. You’re probably already familiar with YouTube annotations—here’s how you can leverage those, along with more sophisticated CTAs, to generate demand. 

What are interactive events and why should I care?

“In a nutshell, interactive events are areas of the player that have been created specifically to actively engage your viewers,” says Stephanie Yi, Solutions Consultant at Vidyard. “They are meant to drive a specific desired action from the viewer while they are watching your videos.”

Instead of passively consuming your video content, interactive events allow you to point your viewers to a specific action you’d like them to take. This action could be filling out a form, visiting a specific webpage, watching another video, or even requesting a demo. This video provides a brief overview of what interactive events are and how they work in the Vidyard platform. 

Certain kinds of events work best with certain types of content—let’s have a look at how you can determine what kind of interactive event is right for your video.

How to leverage interactivity in your video marketing strategy

There are three main pieces you have to consider when creating an interactive video strategy:

  • The nature of your content
  • Your viewer’s ideal next step
  • The kinds of interactive events that are going to drive the best-desired outcomes

We’ll tackle each of these questions in turn. Let’s dive in.

What is the nature of your content?

Think about your video content. What audience is it meant to reach? What role does it play in your funnel?

Here’s a quick primer on how different kinds of videos might fit into your buyer’s journey:

1. Awareness Stage (Top of Funnel) Videos

Videos in the awareness stage are designed to generate just that—awareness. Think of things like company overview videos, thought leadership content, or any kind of short “info bite”-style videos.

2. Consideration Stage (Middle of Funnel) Videos

Videos in the consideration stage can be a little more in-depth. Here’s where product overview videos can come into play, as well as how-to videos and solution-based webinars.  

3. Decision Stage (Bottom of Funnel) Videos

Videos in the decision stage help your buyer take the final leap and make a purchase. These can include things like customer testimonial videos, along with in-depth product demos.

Once you’ve determined the nature of your content, you can start thinking about the kind of action you want to use it to drive. And that takes us to our next question:

What are your viewers’ ideal next steps?

Do you want to encourage them to consume more content? Identify themselves to you through a form? Initiate an opportunity? Consider the stage of your videos and how you can nudge your viewers closer to the next stage—or closer to a purchasing decision. Which leads us to our final consideration:

Which interactive events are going to drive the best outcomes?

1. Awareness Stage

In this awareness stage, you want to focus on softer CTAs that will encourage your viewer to explore more of your content and product offerings. Some examples might be links to other pieces of content, newsletter subscription forms, or links to learn more about your products.

2. Consideration Stage

In the consideration stage, you can start using more in-depth lead capture forms to profile your buyer. Here you can also use multiple links on a “choose-your-own-adventure” event to allow buyers to identify their intention or persona.

3. Decision Stage

The decision stage is the point at which you want to encourage your viewer to initiate an opportunity—so make it easy for them! Here’s where you can use forms that allow them to reach out to you. Think demo requests, links to pricing information, or CTAs that allow them to book a meeting with an expert on your team.

We hope this post has been helpful and has inspired you to delve into your own interactive events strategy! If you’re ready to start setting up your own interactive events, check out our guide to events in our knowledge center that will help you get started. You can also check out our handy SlideShare presentation for additional information:

Are you already using interactive CTAs? Excited to get started? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Interactive CTAs: An Introduction appeared first on Vidyard.

Why Top EMEA Marketers Are Ready To Adopt Marketing Automation

Demand creation budgets shrank in 2017, but SiriusDecisions made an interesting discovery: The highest performers beat the competition by spending that limited budget very differently. While average performers bought ads, high-performers leveraged white papers, trade shows, and interactive assets in new and interesting ways. Based on the findings of this report we have some EMEA Marketing Recommendations to help you continue to spend your limited budgets wisely while still beating the competition.

EMEA Marketing Recommendations

#1 – MAP’s

Many EMEA marketers are planning to integrate with a MAP (Marketing Automation Platform) in the next 24 months. MAPs are quickly becoming the cornerstone of the modern B2B marketing technology stack because they are more efficient, more powerful, and more cost-effective than using a diverse set of point tools.

Used well, marketing automation can tell the story of how your customers interact with your brand, your content, and the people in your company, throughout the entire customer journey.

Why add marketing automation to your stack?

A MAP can help you organize and manage those complex and time-consuming tasks that need to be coordinated with each other, including:

  1. Social media marketing and other early-funnel tactics to attract leads
  2. Content marketing that helps leads progress along the funnel and convert to sales
  3. Email campaigns to generate engagement, nurture prospects, and onboard new customers
  4. Asset creation, such as email and landing page templates
  5. Forms and landing pages to capture lead data
  6. Automated lead management, including qualification and hand-off to sales
  7. List and data management, including segmentation for target marketing
  8. Website analytics that reveals what people are interested in, and how they engage with your site
  9. Campaign analytics that shows which campaigns really work and which channels deliver
  10. Coordination with sales, including sharing customer relationship management (CRM) data in marketing campaigns

Efficient alignment of your inbound and outbound marketing strategies, multiple platforms and channels, and programs and processes, is a monumental, manual, tedious, nearly impossible job without using a MAP.

Implementing marketing automation can effectively bridge the gap between the various technologies, and empower marketing and sales to work closely together.

#2 – Lead Scoring

Many EMEA marketers are passing leads over to sales as soon as they get, vs implementing lead scoring but they are not alone.

79% of B2B marketers have not established a lead scoring model.

If you don’t know where to start with lead scoring, you’re not alone. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn: companies that excel at lead nurturing have 9% more sales reps making quotas.

Lead scoring is a method for identifying sales-ready leads by assigning values (points) based on predetermined criteria, e.g., industry and job title, website visits, video views, webinar attendance, and form completions. The sum of the points is the lead’s score.

Companies that excel at scoring and nurturing leads generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. – Forrester

Lead scoring offers a lot of value to your business, including:

  1. Efficiency: Decrease the volume of sales-ready leads, so you aren’t focusing on the wrong leads
  2. Marketing measurement: Assess campaign effectiveness, and potential worth of opportunities
  3. Operational excellence: Align organizational resources for more efficient conversion

Here’s an example of what lead scores could look like for some individuals based on their behavior and engagement with common marketing and sales activities:

Behavior Visitor 1 Visitor 2
Visited Landing Page (+3 Points) 3 3
Watched Explainer Video (+8 Points) 8
Viewed Case Studies (+5 Points Each) 10 20
Viewed Pricing Page (+5 Points) 5 5
Opened Drip Email (+3 Points Each) 3 6
Attended Webinar (+10 Points) 10 10
Total Score 31 52

In this example, Visitor 1 would fall under the interested category and would be funneled into a nurturing campaign of drip emails and marketing outreach, while Visitor 2 is qualified as a lead, and would be moved over to the sales team.

Dive deeper into how top European demand creators are spending their shrinking budgets with the SiriusDecisions Report on European Demand Creation Budgets and Tactics. In the report you’ll learn things like:

  1. Which assets high-performers spent more on
  2. Which delivery mechanisms worked best for high-performers
  3. Why interactive content (like video!) was 2017’s big winner

The post Why Top EMEA Marketers Are Ready To Adopt Marketing Automation appeared first on Vidyard.

Stop Selling, Start Educating: How to Reach Today’s B2B Buyers

You don’t shop the way you did five years ago—so why are you still selling that way? Today’s B2B buyers are more empowered than ever before. They do their own research. They read reviews. They price compare online. In comparison, we know from the B2C world, 90% of the buying decision is made before a potential customer even walks into a storefront.

Which means we need to be fluid. What worked 24 or even 12 months ago is now outdated. It simply won’t work anymore. Consumers don’t want to deal with some pushy, charismatic wheeler and dealer. They want the best solution.

But don’t start contemplating your next big career move or planning an early retirement party just yet—buyers still need salespeople, just not in the ways that might immediately come to mind. Buying behavior has changed, with consumers showing much more hunger for information than for amazing deals.

So how can salespeople adapt to B2B buyers’ changing needs?

I want to share what’s been working for me and my team over the last little while in the hopes that it will help you be more effective in your role and add more value to your buyers.

Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned:

1. Take on the role of an educator

Consumers are curious. They want to know more about your product so they can make the best possible decision for their business. And lucky for them, you’re the expert!

Rather than selling, seek to inspire. Show your B2B buyers what their business could look like if they decided to implement your solution. Provide resources and make yourself available for their questions, but don’t push it. By positioning yourself as a resource, you can educate your prospect on the value of your product without coming off as overbearing—and chances are, your customers will trust you more for it.  

2. Show value and inspire

Your success doesn’t happen during the sales call. It happens afterward when your prospect is lying awake at night, thinking about the potential gain of implementing your solution or potential loss of not. It’s your job to inspire that kind of reaction by helping them imagine a future using your product—and by showing your prospect what they’d be missing out on by passing up this opportunity for their business.

I recently listened in on a successful cold call between our sales dev rep, Chris Wu, and one of the biggest global financial service firms. Looking to book a meeting, Chris cut to the chase saying, “if you spend the time researching this, one of two things will happen. One, you will be confident continuing on this year with XYZ Competitor, or two, it will become clear that you need to change and change quickly.”

Showing value in sales is nothing new. However, finding new ways to inspire and create opportunities to share value is something we can always work on. Even if you’re working the biggest, most traditional prospects, there’s still a need to innovate. Maybe even more of a need.

3. A sales call by any other name…

…is dishonest and unhelpful to your prospects. If it’s a sales call, say it’s a sales call.

By being straightforward, you build trust with your prospect. More than that, you’ll find that people are more willing to agree to talk to you when they know what they’re getting into.

Do away with any vagueness. If you only need three minutes of their time, say it. Set a timer and hold yourself to those three minutes. Give them the opportunity to arrange a follow-up or keep chatting if they’re still interested, but make them aware of when the three minutes has elapsed.

By showing that you’re respectful of their time, you demonstrate that you’re trustworthy and dependable.

 

4. Be human

There is one part of the salesperson of yesteryear that isn’t obsolete: the human connection. It sounds cheesy, but the truth is, we all have a little Cosmo Kramer in us.

via GIPHY

Buyers want an expert in their corner, someone to say: When you go down there talk to my guy Bob Sacamano. Mention my name & he’ll take 30% off. We like to be recognized and feel special. It’s just human nature.

I hope these lessons have been helpful and inspired you to think about your sales role in a new light. What are you doing to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of sales? Let me know in the comments below!

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse. 

The post Stop Selling, Start Educating: How to Reach Today’s B2B Buyers appeared first on Vidyard.

Before You Add Another Piece of Sales Tech to Your Stack—Read This

The sales tech landscape is overwhelming. With more than 700 sales tech vendors and countless tools, it’s enough to make any sales leader’s head spin. How do you decide which tools are worth your while and which ones are just bright shiny objects that will distract—or worse, detract—from your selling goals?

Never fear, intrepid leaders! Jill Rowley, Chief Growth Officer at Marketo, has the inside scoop on how to get the best value out of your sales technology. As an expert on marketing automation and a self-described “salesperson trapped in a marketer’s body” (she spent a decade building the marketing automation space as a sales leader at Eloqua) she’s uniquely qualified to comment on how to make the best use of the seemingly boundless sales tools at your disposal. Here’s her advice:

You need a sales tech strategy

As a team—and ideally, as an organization—you need to have a unified tech strategy. This means understanding your individual business needs: the goals you have and the kinds of tools you need to achieve them. Jill recommends thinking about “the pains and the challenges that our organizations are having that can be solved, in part, by leveraging technology.”

Additionally, she warns that what works great for a small business might be disastrous for an enterprise company, and vice versa. Even if something is a great piece of tech, if it’s not aligned with your business goals it’s going to be ineffective and costly.

Less is more

Think about it: for every new piece of tech you add, that’s another tool that salespeople have to get trained on, remember their login for, and remember to check. It’s better to have a few, carefully curated tools that work well together than all the latest shiny toys and a sales team that isn’t able to leverage all of them effectively. Save your tech investments for tools that are aligned with your specific business goals and that work well with your existing technology.

Sales tech evaluation checklist

So what should you look for in new technology to avoid the pitfalls of bright shiny object syndrome?

via GIPHY

1. What is the problem or pain point that this technology will solve?

As Cogsworth says in my favorite punny Beauty and the Beast one-liner, “if it’s not baroque, don’t fix it!” You should have a well-defined purpose for each piece of tech before deciding to add it to your stack. Does it solve a particular pain point? Allow your salespeople to reach goals you haven’t yet been able to achieve? Think about how it will help serve your team and how it will, in turn, help them serve the customer.

And it if doesn’t fit into your strategy? Save your budget for something else.

2. Does it integrate with your existing systems?

Next, consider your existing sales tech stack. How will this new piece of technology integrate with your existing systems? You want to make it as easy as possible for your salespeople to use so they’ll be happy to adopt it. That also means thinking about their existing processes and workflows—how will this fit in? Will it make their lives easier or add additional complications?

3. How will we implement it?

Finally, think about training and enablement. Who in your organization might be best suited to help you launch this new tool? Contemplating how to get the tool up and running before you even make your purchase decision will not only make your team’s adoption much smoother if you decide to buy the tool, it will also help you decide whether the investment of time and training is worth it.

I hope this article has been helpful and inspired you to think critically about your next tech evaluation. Want to find out how we evaluate sales tech at Vidyard? Check out Business Development Director Dan Wardle’s post Evaluating Sales Technology: An Insider’s Look.

What criteria do you use to evaluate new sales tech? Sound off in the comments below!

The post Before You Add Another Piece of Sales Tech to Your Stack—Read This appeared first on Vidyard.

Find Your Wow—Or Risk Being Ignored

Good enough is no longer good enough. Those are the words I now live by as a B2B marketing and sales leader. To truly stand out in today’s marketplace your messaging needs to be brilliant, your communications and content need to be remarkable, and your sales reps need to be memorable. Maintaining a competitive edge means you not only need to find your why (thank you Simon Sinek!), it means you need to find your wow.

May I have your attention?

Getting attention is hard. Keeping that attention is even harder. Forget the goldfish analogy, the simple truth is that the Internet has taught people how to avoid unwanted interruptions and to quickly self-select which content and messages they choose to engage with. Looks like an advertisement? No thanks. Smells a bit salesy? Next please. A spray-and-pray templated email? Oh please. Now wait, this one looks interesting, and what’s with that crazy hat she’s wearing? Okay, I gotta check this one out.

The most reliable way to stand out and get the attention you deserve is with content and messaging that holds the promise of delivering a “wow” moment for your audience. The type of content that turns a simple message or idea into a remarkable and memorable story that sparks an emotional response. Like Game of Thrones or Westworld, but on a slightly smaller scale. And the fact of that matter is, every message you want to deliver as an individual, or as a business, has a remarkable story hidden inside just waiting to burst out. You just need to put your message, content and delivery method through a different lens to find your wow.

This Guy Replaced his Cover Letter with a Rap Video. Wow.

Chase Zreet

This story is a perfect example of finding your wow. Chase Zreet is a copywriter that wanted to land a job with the agency responsible for Sprite’s creative. The traditional approach would have been to submit a resume with a cover letter, but let’s be honest, there’s no wow in that. He could step it up a notch and maybe do a video-based cover letter to let his personality, character and passion show through. Seems likely that this would help him stand out, but would it really wow? Then it dawns on him: tell his story through a ridiculous (and very cleverly written) rap video. Wow. Just watch and judge for yourself whether he found the wow in his cover letter. And yes, he landed the job.

Wow, Did You Just Write my Name in the Clouds?

During the holiday season, my team is always looking for a clever way to stand out from all those predictable “Season’s Greetings” holiday cards. We try to find the wow in the way we wish our customers a happy holiday. The safe and predictable route is a signed card or a templated email. Not so wow. You can send out a holiday video with your team wishing everyone a season’s greetings – a little more personal and authentic. But what about showing them how much you care by writing their name in the clouds, spray-painting their name on your office walls, and ringing an appreciation bell just for them?

Thanks Claudia

Watch for yourself to see if this campaign was wow-worthy (tip: for the full experience, create a personalized version for yourself by entering your own name and email address in the “re-gifting” form…it’s a special moment when you see yourself in the story). The responses we got from people were incredible, from “OMG this is the greatest email I’ve ever received” to “I heart you, thank you for putting a smile on my face, happy holidays!”. Responses like these made me truly appreciate the power of wow. And yes, this “brand” campaign became one of our top 3 pipeline influencers of the year.

How I Wowed to Win an Award

Marketo was running a contest to identify the top 50 “fearless marketers.” To be considered, you had to share a 60-second video on social media explaining why you deserve this recognition. I watched a number of the submissions online and there were lots of incredible stories, but none of them really seemed to stand out. Partly inspired by Chase Zreet’s rap video, I decided to go a different route and create a short “music video” with original lyrics to the tune of Imagine Dragon’s “Whatever it Takes” (luckily, this song had been in my head and it was a natural message for being fearless). And to be clear, I can NOT sing, but I do know the basics of video recording and editing in iMovie. My gut told me that this approach would stand out for people, hopefully make them laugh, and maybe even deliver a wow-worthy moment.

Mic Drops

Here’s the full post with the video if you’d like to watch. I like to think that I found the wowin my fearless marketer submission. Thankfully, Marketo agreed and I made the list, despite saying very little about why I am actually fearless. The power of wow unleashed!

Find Your Wow in the Sales Pitch

Admittedly, marketers have an unfair advantage. We’re often immersed in creative projects that force us to think about these types of experiences, and sometimes we have discretionary budget to use. But neither of those things are pre-requisites to be able to find your wow. Take my friend Morgan Gillespie from Terminus, a Sales Development Rep who spends her days reaching out to prospective customers to engage them in conversations. She doesn’t view her role as “selling”, she’s all about connecting in a meaningful way and helping people understand how her company’s ABM technology can help them solve real problems. That’s her why, but how does she unlock the wow in her message? She does it with hyper-personalized GoVideo messages that infuse the right mix of authenticity, personality, humour and humanity.

 

Morgan Gillespie

Yes, her videos are educational and get the core message across (“based on what you do, I think we can help you with x, y and z”), but the wow-factor comes from her unexpected delivery style (video message) and the way she connects in a more personal and empathetic way. She’s done more than 3,000 of these custom videos and her results are off the charts. She recently recorded a podcast to talk about her approach, or you can check out the story of her entire team’s use of wow-worthy videos to accelerate sales.

How Do I Find My Own Wow?

Everyone’s wow is unique to their personality, their approach, and/or their company’s brand identity. But what I can say is that you need to be willing to put yourself out there, to take risks, and to be intentionally different from those who are vying for the same eyeballs. Using text, templates and inside-out language (telling them what you want to say, rather than what they need to hear) are surefire ways to blend into the crowd and leave your audience less-than-impressed. Try video, audio, music and imagery to bring your story and personality to life. Make your audience the hero, rather than yourself (remember—they are the hero and you are the guide), and try making them laugh or feel genuinely appreciated. Get creative, take cues from pop culture, and above all else, be human!

Whether you’re a marketer working on that next campaign, a sales rep trying to find that next deal, a CEO trying to build an engaging company culture, or a finance professional trying to get your employees to get those expense reports right for once—remember that good enough is no longer good enough. If you want to stand out, be heard and inspire those around you, find your wow to deliver a truly memorable message that will make them take notice.

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.

The post Find Your Wow—Or Risk Being Ignored appeared first on Vidyard.

Video Pitching: Making Media Relations Human Again

Journalists are inundated with a constant flood of pitches and press releases—and, as the Hustle’s Kendall Baker writes in his open letter to PR professionals, “they all suck.”

“Well, not all of them,” he concedes. “Some are fine. But the majority of the time, the pitches I get from you guys are downright awful.”

Ouch! What’s a savvy PR person to do?

The truth is, Kendall is right to give comms people a little tough love. Journalists are busy people and they’re sick of reading through copy-and-pasted messages or emails that have been blasted to hundreds of others. They don’t have time to read through all the links you just sent them on the off chance that it might result in an interesting article or drive traffic to their website. You need to give them a compelling reason why your story would add value to their publication, otherwise, they’re going to lose interest—fast, and you’re done

The good news is, I’d like to share my secret hack with you, and I can guarantee that it will help you “unsuck” your pitches. Welcome to video pitching.

Take your pitches from zero to hero with video

Video pitching cures what so often ails the kinds of generic and impersonal messages that journalists like Kendall are so tired of getting. By nature, video is attention-grabbing and personal. In fact, when I first gave video pitching a trial run, my pitches received nearly 50% higher engagement than my text-based attempts Not only will you leave an impression, but allowing a reporter to “meet” you over video can open up opportunities for an ongoing relationship down the line.

(Speaking of leaving an impression, I may have given P.J. Bednarski, former Editor of Online Video Daily and VidBlog, a bit of a shock when he received one of my first video pitches. You can read all about it in my how-to post on video pitching.)

That’s not to say that video pitching alone is a catch-all. Just because you’re able to capture someone’s attention with video doesn’t mean you’re off the hook when it comes to adding value to their day. Your pitch should still demonstrate that you’ve done your research on the publication and show how your piece would be of interest to their audience (or open them up to new readership). Combine thoughtful outreach with the power of video and wait for the editors’ responses to come rolling in.

How to craft a great video pitch

If you’re convinced that it’s time to give video pitching a shot—great! I have some tips and best practices that I’ve learned over the past year of experimenting with video pitching that I’m happy to share with you.

(Psst, if you don’t already have a screen-recording tool, now’s the time to download one. I love my company’s free Chrome extension, Vidyard GoVideo, for this!)

1. Do your homework

Each video pitch should be custom-tailored to its recipient, so be sure to do your due diligence. What types of articles does the publication you’re pitching to typically publish? What makes your idea a good fit? Why will their audience be interested?

2. Skip the script

You want to your pitch to engage your audience, but you don’t want to sound forced. I would recommend jotting down a few points ahead of time so you’re sure to hit on your key ideas, but otherwise, don’t plan what you’re going to say. Your message will seem that much more personal and genuine if it’s unrehearsed. If a fire truck drives by in the middle of your video, add a little joke in there like I did below. You’re real, and life around you is too.

3. Keep it concise

I always aim for 30 seconds max, but I also always tend to go over! 30 seconds seems like it would be short enough to hold the attention of a busy reporter, but long enough to show how you would add value to their publication. If they want more, they’ll ask for it.

4. If at first you don’t succeed…try again!

You might feel a little awkward on camera at first and that’s perfectly normal. Give yourself a few no-pressure trial runs to experiment and I guarantee you’ll loosen up. When I first started video-pitching, I’d take 5-10 (sometimes more…) videos before I was happy with the final result. Today, I do it all in one shot.

That’s great in theory but what about in practice? I’ve rounded up a series of examples from past pitches I’ve done that you can use as inspiration. Check them out below:

1. Video Pitching a speaker

My first example comes from when I pitched our CEO for a big speaking engagement. And I didn’t hold back on this one—I went right to the CEO and co-founder of VentureBeat, Matt Marshall. For a guy who must get pitched ALL the time, he sure got back to me pretty quickly with a note that he loved my personalized video, too, followed by an intro to his speaker lead.

Sandy video pitch message

Sandy video pitch email response

2. Making introductions to fellow panelists

In this next instance, I was about to go speak on a panel for Young Women in Business, and I didn’t know any of my fellow panelists. I don’t know about you, but I always find it awkward walking onto a stage without having any idea who else is up there with me. I made this video to say hello to them and break the ice in advance. It was received with very warm responses!

In this subsequent example, I tried pitching the Twitter and LinkedIn universes on a recent product update, just to see what would happen. What happened, you might ask? Well, 6 favs, and 1 RT, that’s what. I think video is a great way to engage on big announcement days and I’ll definitely be using this tactic in the future!

3. Responding to a reporter request

Reporter requests have always been an area of struggle for me, but when I add video pitches to my replies, my odds go up two-fold. In this example, Ashley wrote me back right away, offered me the spot, and ended up publishing my opinions in this piece and gave me a complete author profile too. I’ve used video-pitching ever since!

4. Connecting with conference attendees

In this following instance, I wanted everyone to know that I was heading to the Unbounce Call to Action Conference—including a number of reporters who had pinged me that they’d be on site. I made this video and pushed it all across my Twitter and LinkedIn. I had a ton of engagement: 4RTs, a load of comments, and 15 Favs! In addition, people who I had never seen or met before came up to me at the event and told me that they had watched my “video.” Woohoo!

 

In fact, my first video was so successful, that I decided to do a few follow-up videos from the Call to Action conference, too. I’ve included one below:

5. Follow-up messages and building rapport

Have you already pitched a reporter? In this next example, the reporter wrote back, requesting more information on the pitch. I decided to make them a video to let them know that I was on it while also introducing myself to them. Video is a great way to build common ground and tighten up a relationship.

Bonus: (Another) speaking engagement pitch

I know I already gave an example of pitching a speaker, but this one was too good not to share! In this final example, I was pitching our CEO, Michael Litt, to speak at an upcoming, high-end tech conference called Fortune Brainstorm Tech. Given that Adam Lashinsky probably receives hundreds of emails per day, I didn’t expect a reply. Video clearly worked though; I was happy to see his response shortly after. He even introduced me to his colleague, Marlene, to pick up the conversation.

I hope this post has been helpful and that you’re excited to experiment with video pitching. Let me know how it goes in the comments below—I would love to hear how people respond to you when they find a video pitch in their inbox! Connect with me on Twitter @SandyCanvas.

This piece originally appeared on SpinSucks.

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Hyper-Targeted Prospecting: Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You

“Nobody cares about your email,” David Dulany, Founder & CEO of Tenbound says. People are so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of communications they receive on a daily basis that generic, blast sends just aren’t going to cut it anymore. His solution? Hyper-targeted prospecting.

The idea of hyper-targeted prospecting is simple: carefully select your target accounts and then create relevant, personal outreach tailored precisely to them. It’s a dramatic shift from the kind of mass, irrelevant messaging that consumers are so tired of getting. David compares this approach to fishing with a spear instead of casting a wide net. (Note: do not actually attempt to spear your prospects.)

Want to try out hyper-targeted prospecting for yourself? Here’s how:

1. Compile your list of key accounts

“In most B2B environments, especially most companies selling to enterprise customers, we know who the customers are, we know who the prospects are, we have the leads already,” says Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing.

Chances are, even if you don’t already have a list of companies who would benefit from your solution, you have an idea of your ideal customer. The first, and arguably most important, step in hyper-targeted prospecting is doing your research and creating a shortlist of key accounts who would be the best possible fit for your solution: think in terms of company size, industry, and challenges they might be facing that your product can solve.

2. Narrow your outreach to a single persona

Once you’ve compiled your list, it’s time to pare it down even further—this is hyper-targeted prospecting, after all. Look into the companies on your shortlist and determine which persona would be most interested in the challenges your solution can solve. Definitely think about decision-makers, but also consider who would see the most impact from using your solution day-to-day. Even if they don’t own the budget they may be able to champion your product to their management.

3. Target your messaging precisely to that person

Here’s your opportunity to add value—or as comedian Steve Martin once put it, “be so good they can’t ignore you.”

via GIPHY

Even though he was offering career advice, I think his words apply to salespeople: if you’re truly providing something of high value to your customer, they won’t be able to ignore your outreach.

On a more practical level, this means putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. What are their pain points? How will your solution help? What kind of communication would you like to receive if you were in their position?

There you have it: three steps to getting started with hyper-targeted prospecting. We hope this article has been helpful and inspired you to take a ‘spear-fishing’ approach to your prospecting efforts. Interested in hearing about how David Dulany used hyper-targeted prospecting to crack into his key accounts? Check out his webinar below!

We’re curious to know—are you already using hyper-targeted prospecting (or a similar approach)? Excited to get started? Share your experiences in the comments!

The post Hyper-Targeted Prospecting: <br> Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You appeared first on Vidyard.

4 Video Selling Examples to Steal for Yourself (You’re Welcome!)

Want to get started with video selling but not sure where to begin? Look no further than our video selling examples!

Video selling is exploding right now. In fact, Sean McPheat of MTD Sales Training named video a top sales trend of 2018, just as HubSpot recently listed video prospecting as their #1 skill every sales development representative needs to master in 2018

And the results don’t lie—just look at Lauren Wadsworth, an SDR at Dynamic Signal whose “experiment” with video selling allowed her to book 5x more meetings and increase her meeting-to-opportunity conversion rate 200%. Or how incorporating video into their sales outreach gave Terminus more than triple the response rate. 

If you haven’t had a chance to add video to your sales strategy yet (or are just looking for some inspo for your own cadence) here’s how top salespeople are using video to crush their quotas—along with their top tips and best practices for you to emulate.

Let’s dive into the video selling examples:  

Name: Florin Tatulea
Role: SDR (Now AE), Loopio
Uses video for: Prospecting

In a LinkedIn post, Florin identified Vidyard GoVideo as one of the tools that enabled him to become a top-performing SDR. “I use Vidyard GoVideo on a daily basis and have booked meetings that may have never happened because I went above and beyond what most prospects have ever seen,” he says.

Florin’s best practices for video prospecting:

  • Don’t use a script! Just talk like you normally would
  • Have a few talking points to show you’ve done your research
  • Give a verbal call-to-action (CTA) at the end of the video
  • Keep videos short—around 60 seconds is ideal
  • Display your prospect’s name in the thumbnail, so they can tell the video was customized just for them

Name: Jamie Shanks
Role: CEO, Sales for Life
Uses video for: Social Selling

“I have an empirical bias towards highly contextualized, humanized, ‘blended’ messages that incorporate both video-based insights and short-text with a direct call-to-action,” says Jamie.

Though his “empirical bias” is well-founded (he’s trained over 75 000 sales professionals!), he still wanted to convince his readership of his success with video by publishing the results of a recent LinkedIn Inmails campaign—split-tested for the medium of communication and the messaging.

Richard + James – Social Selling Mastery for you

His results? Overwhelmingly in favor of video.

The group which received a 1:1 direct video message that included a hard-selling CTA had a 37.3% response rate and generated $27,000 in sales during the course of the 30-day campaign. Compare that to a 5.5% response rate and $0 in sales for a text-based hard-selling CTA alone.

For Jamie, “Vidyard GoVideo is a magical tool in sales professionals’ hands that can drive Social Selling activities!”

Jamie’s best practices for leveraging video in social selling:

  • Tailor your messaging specifically to each prospect—buyers can tell when you’ve created a message just for them
  • Try a blended approach: use text and video together to connect with your prospect on an individual level and deliver a concise CTA

Name: Tonni Bennett
Role: VP Sales, Terminus
Uses video for: Account-based marketing (ABM)

Since bringing Vidyard GoVideo into their outreach, Terminus has been killing the video ABM game—so much so that one prospect wrote a LinkedIn post about how impressed they were with their prospecting! “The results aren’t just anecdotal either,” Tonni says, “within just a few months of incorporating video we found that we were seeing in our outreach emails a 40% higher open rate, 37% higher click rate, and 216% higher response rate.”

Tonni’s best practices for using video in ABM:

  • Practice makes perfect—Terminus’ SDRs and AEs must film a certain number of test videos and receive tips and feedback from their managers before they are given the opportunity to send videos to prospects. This ensures they are comfortable and prepared for the real deal!
  • Be human: Tonni coaches her team to film only one or two takes of a video before sending it out so their message sounds natural and unscripted
  • Prove value—don’t jump into talking about your product or service right away. Make your video about your prospect and the challenges they face, then segue into your solution

Name: Eric Martin
Role: AE at DataFox
Uses video for: Educating bottom-of-funnel prospects

Eric uses video to create custom tutorials to give a helping hand to his prospects on free trials. Every afternoon, he checks up on his prospects’ progress using FullStory—a tool which keeps track of everything users do within an app—to identify areas where his prospects are getting stuck or might benefit from some additional guidance.

After he’s reviewed this information, he creates a custom video tutorial for each prospect using Vidyard GoVideo. Since he gets a notification after every video view, he’s able to keep track of his prospect’s improvement after each session. “Best of all,” he says, “the end users (and their managers) love it, and it works.”

Eric’s best practices for educating prospects down-funnel:

  • Video messages at this stage can be a little longer than prospecting messages, but it’s still a good idea to keep them succinct—he recommends 1-2 minutes in length
  • Focus on specifics: target areas where your prospects are getting stuck or things you want them to learn about the product

Already using video to crush it? Share some of your best tips (or videos) in the comments below.

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