Month: August 2019

5 Myths About Using Video for Sales: Debunked

Lots more businesses are using lots more video, and not just on social media, either.

People are coming around to the fact that video has a place throughout the sales cycle and across the customer journey, from your first contact with a prospect to enabling customer success.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of businesses use video in sales conversations, according to the 2019 Video in Business Benchmark Report. And why not? Almost one-fifth (19%) of B2B buyers say that one-to-one video is their media of choice for solving business problems, reports SalesHacker.

Want to know what video for sales looks like in practice? Check out the video below. I made it just for you, reader!

5 Myths About Using Video for Sales: Debunked 1

We’re proudly part of that 24%. Since December 2018, the sales team at BabelQuest has been using video to provide a personal touch when we first make initial contact with prospective customers and guess what? We’ve seen an incredible response rate!

But don’t take our word for it: Using video in the sales process led to a 4x increase in opportunities for HubSpot. And when Trend Scout overhauled their sales strategy and added video to their process, it led to a 400% lift in new business.

The data speaks for itself. So why are many of us still shying away from the camera?

Here are five of the most common video objections we encounter—and how to overcome them.

5 Myths About Using Video for Sales: Debunked 2

1. ‘The Sales Team Hasn’t Got Time for Video’

The most common misconception about video is that it has to be perfectly crafted: No stumbling over words, no mistakes. This thinking imagines videos as carefully planned, costly to execute, and time-consuming to produce. Luckily, that’s not the case.

In fact, for personal videos used in the sales process, the opposite is true. We want our prospects to know we’re human and be able to relate to what we’re saying. Basically, we don’t want to fall into the trap of being a corporate zombie with no personality. This is a case where a bit less polish works in your favor.

Videos that play out like the start of a conversation offer your prospects insight into you and the culture of your business—and if your response rates improve, you can save time on follow-up by using video there too!

2. ‘We Can’t Afford to Do Video’

Worried that you don’t have the video skills you need in-house or the budget to hire an external professional to get everything set up for you? Fear no more.

This is the beauty of modern video technology: It’s accessible, affordable, and quite often falls into the ‘pick-up and play’ camp.

For example, with Vidyard GoVideo, you can record, trim, and add CTAs to your videos. And, you can also easily insert them into sales emails (and quickly set a GIF as the video thumbnail to capture your recipient’s attention).

Not sure why you’d go to the trouble of putting a video in an email? Email video distribution has grown from 36% in 2016 to 55% in 2018, according to the 2019 Benchmark Report.

3. ‘Video Doesn’t Convert and (There’s No Way to Track it if it Did)’

Remember when I mentioned that you can use a tool like Vidyard GoVideo to easily add CTAs to your video? This is probably my favorite feature in Vidyard.

All of the videos we send out as part of our sales process allow the viewer to book time with us straight from the video by embedding our HubSpot Meetings link. They don’t need to go anywhere else to take action, making them much less likely to drop-off.

If you’re a Hubspot user, this is how you can add your calendar as a CTA in Vidyard:

    1. Navigate to ‘Meetings’ in Hubspot, set up a meeting link if you haven’t already, and click on the ‘Embed’ option
    2. Copy the code on the screen
    3. Login to Vidyard and select ‘Events’ from the content menu
    4. Add a new event, choose the CTA style (we use fullscreen), select the ‘HTML’ tab, and paste the code in there
    5. Record your video (or use one you already have) and add an ‘Event’ in the ‘Player’ view
    6. You can choose where you would like your CTA to appear in the video (most likely at the end)

Of course, having people be able to book meetings directly from your video isn’t the only useful feature when it comes to sales. You can get a really good idea of how engaged your prospects are throughout the process, and get an insight into which messages or video styles are working best.

For example, using the Activity Stream in HubSpot to see when the emails are reopened and the notifications from Vidyard to tell you when the video is being re-watched, gives you an insight into the interest the buyer has, and when the right time to contact them might be. (Hot Tip: it’s now.)

We found that calling a prospect within minutes of them re-watching the video led to a rise in successful call connections from under 10% to over 60%, and an increase in the rate of meetings booked from under 10% to over 25%.

4. ‘Only Actors Can Be on Camera’

While it may once have been the case that all videos starred professionals (sometime around the era when all movies were silent and filmed in black and white), nowadays anyone can be in a video.

Maybe your sales reps are worried about how they’ll look on camera. (“But what do I do with my hands?!”) This is completely understandable and I’m sure a lot of people can relate.

We live in a world that bombards us with polished video and photoshopped content every day. Most of us can’t bear to hear the sound of our own voices (listening to your own voicemail message? Pure torture!), never mind watch ourselves on film. We’re a self-conscious lot. But encouraging a culture of video can change that.

In the same way that it’s time to stop thinking of video as an expensive marketing tool, it’s time to stop thinking of video as a tool altogether. Imagine instead, a team that turns to the camera automatically when they need to explain something to a prospect or walk a customer through a demo.

This kind of camera-friendly culture won’t happen overnight, but you can get there by taking the time to practice shooting, recording, and watching your own videos in a safe, controlled space.

I’ve been a firm video advocate since December ‘18. But rewind a month prior and I’d never shot a sales video in my life, much less sent one to anyone. It doesn’t take a long time to get comfortable, you just have to do it. Practice making videos until it feels as natural as picking up the phone.

5. ‘Our Industry Doesn’t Do Video’

First of all, it’s not likely that’s true. Video is everywhere, from financial services to construction.

Second, if it truly is the case that your industry doesn’t ‘do’ video, that’s a competitive advantage for you, not a downside. Be the early adopter. Video can help you stand out from the crowd.

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11 of the Best Free Video Marketing Tools Out There in 2019

For anyone who thinks video marketing is expensive, I have a big secret to share. (Shh!) There are hundreds of free video marketing tools out there to help you at every stage of the video process, from ideation and scripting to naming, planning, editing, and distribution. They make video accessible, which is important. A massive 87% of marketers now rely on video and the race to create great video content is on!

Try these (mostly) free video tools to make your videos the best ones. (And try to keep this between us!)

1. Free Video Ideation: Content Idea Generator, by Portent

Cost: Free

Screenshot of Portent's Content Idea Generator, a tool to brainstorm video ideas, displaying the suggestion: "20 Ways to Become the MacGyver of Video Marketing"

To get the creative ideas flowing, sometimes it helps to assess a bunch of random ones. Enter a keyword or phrase into Title Maker and it’ll assemble a title Mad Libs-style.
Some results are really bad, but good bad: They get you thinking. Others are helpful, and set you down an interesting path that you hadn’t considered. And some results, like “11 Video Marketing Secrets the Government is Hiding From You” are tin foil hat-level paranoid, hilarious, and sorta make the search worthwhile.

Bonus: Even better, browse a library of videos other marketers have made with Vidyard’s free Video Inspiration Hub.

2. Free Video Planning and Storyboarding: Storyboarder, by WonderUnit

Cost: Free

Screenshot of Storyboarder, a video planning and storyboarding tool by WonderUnit

Save yourself some paper and a load of time with WonderUnit’s free video storyboarding tool, Storyboarder. It lets all of us non-artists sketch out what we’re thinking as fast as we can think it, rearrange the cells, and share them with colleagues and coworkers.

You can also record audio, in case your team can’t tell that that box you drew is a car. Doesn’t anybody know a Prius when they see one? Geez.

Note: To use Storyboarder, you’ll have to download it. It works for both Mac and PC.

3. Free Video Scripting: Celtx

Cost: Free, with a paid option (from $7 to $10 per month)

Screenshot of Celtx, a video scripting tool

Celtx is something of a video project management software where you can write out your script scene by scene, shot by shot, and then view it as a shot list or a series of index cards. You can save media files and notes as you go, share work with your team, and comment on in real-time. If you’ve already begun writing your script elsewhere, no worries: You can upload it to Celtx.

The upgraded versions of Celtx’s free video marketing tool include more features, like budgeting, scheduling, and interactive story maps, and cost $7 to $10 per month.

Pro Tip: As a rule of thumb, each page of script in Celtx will be about one minute of screen time once filmed.

4. Free Video Planning: Words to Time

Cost: Free

Screenshot of Words to Time, a tool to calculate read time for text

Words to Time shows you how long it’d take to read your script out loud. This is useful, because without it, you actually have to read your script out loud and time yourself each time you made an edit.

More often than not, Words to Time will give you the bad news: Your script is too long and you’ll have to cut it down. The good news is that it’ll save you a lot of time trying to fix things in post-production.

5. Free Video Creation: Biteable

Cost: Free, with a paid option

Screenshot of Biteable, a free video creation tool

The name is a little misleading—Biteable is not for ordering food. It lets you quickly create content like infographics and explainer videos in a simple drag-and-drop interface. This free video tool is for when you run out of time to produce a film, but still need video content.

You can choose from lots of video templates and while the color palettes might seem restrictive, they’re actually a blessing: This free video tool makes it difficult to design things that look bad.

Biteable is free to try, but if you want to download and use what you create, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan for $20 per month.

6. Free Video Editing: Adobe Premiere Rush

Cost: Free, with a paid option

Screenshot of Adobe Premiere Rush, a video editing tool

Adobe Premier Rush is a versatile, affordable, all-in-one, free video editor and post-production tool. It’s good for all levels of experience, and the capabilities are near endless. Upload your footage to cut and rearrange scenes, add audio, add transitions, adjust colors and lighting, and export for use anywhere.

If you’ve used Adobe video editing tools before, you’ll find that Rush is a major improvement. The company has packaged a bunch of formerly disparate tools into one suite that handles all types of video—desktop and mobile—and is powerful enough for even professional video teams.

Pro Tip: If you pay for Photoshop (part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud package) you may already have access to the full version of Premiere Rush, which includes unlimited online storage and exports.

Bonus: If you want a free online video editor, no download, try ClipChamp. You’ll have to sign up for a free account to use it.

7. Free Video Music: PremiumBeat

Cost: Free

Screenshot of Premium Beat, a tool to source free music for videos

If your video needs music, you can find tons of free royalty-free music just by Googling it. One of my favorite sites is PremiumBeat (owned by Shutterstock) because you can search by mood, and the filtering makes finding what you need simple. There are also endless alternatives like Epidemic Sound, Artlist, Music Vine, and Soundstripe.

Why use royalty-free music? Because in the U.S., Canada, the E.U., and other countries, music is copyrighted. Big music conglomerates use legal firms to identify people using their music without permission. If you distribute a marketing video for all to see and you simply ripped the soundtrack from a movie, you’re making yourself a target.

To use royalty-free music in a video for business, you’ll probably have to credit the author wherever you post your video. Otherwise, you can pay $50 or so for a license.

Bonus: Learn more about choosing music for your video.

8. Free Video Titles: Headline Analyzer, by CoSchedule

Cost: Free

Screenshot of CoSchedule's Headline Analyzer, a tool to choose powerful titles

Use CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer to craft compelling video titles. It isn’t foolproof, but it’s also pretty transparent about how it makes judgements: It scores based on whether the words are uncommon, emotional, or powerful, and provides recommendations.

Headline Analyzer is good for a first-round review, but it’s best to run your title choice by your team. I find it doesn’t grasp humor, irony, or vertical-specific terms.

Bonus: Can’t find a synonym that’s more evocative than what you’ve got? Related Words offers a more expansive selection.

9. Free Video Thumbnails: Canva

Cost: Free, with a paid option

Screenshot of Canva, a graphic design tool that can be used to create video thumbnails

Use Canva to quickly design eye-catching video thumbnails. You’ll have to sign up for a free account to use it, but you can select from a generous variety of templates (or set custom dimensions), drag and drop text, graphics, charts, and backgrounds, and then download your creation.

If you sign up for a paid account ($13 per month), you can export PNG files with transparent backgrounds, add animations, and save your own branding and templates.

Pro Tip: If you want to create GIF thumbnails for your video, you can create them with Canva’s paid version. Create designs, add animations to the designs, then download it in GIF format.

10. Free Video Hosting: Vidyard Free

Cost: Free

Screenshot of Vidyard Free, a tool for video hosting, embedding, and management


Vidyard Free is a lightweight video hosting platform designed with marketers in mind. Upload an unlimited (yes, unlimited) number of videos and they’ll be automatically optimized for sharing. With Vidyard Free, you can start adding videos to your website and other marketing campaigns with just a few clicks. Embed up to five videos at a time. Toggle on and off which videos you’d like to be embeddable at any given time.

Unlike most free video hosting platforms, Vidyard Free has zero ads—so there’s nothing to distract viewers from your content. Just a small Vidyard logo on the video player which can be removed if you decide to upgrade.

Bonus: If you don’t have a video to upload yet, Vidyard Free connects with Vidyard GoVideo, a free screen and webcam recording extension for Chrome, to allow you to create videos too. Just click the extension on your browser to record, and your new video will automatically upload to the cloud, along with a thumbnail. Send it in an email, or copy the link to share the video wherever you want.

Get started with Vidyard Free today. Sign up.

11. Free Video Sharing and Distribution: YouTube (and Vidyard Free)

Cost: Both are free

Screenshot of YouTube, a video sharing and distribution tool

For Getting Your Video Out to the World: YouTube

For discovery, nothing beats YouTube. It’s the world’s biggest social network, used by 1.7 billion people worldwide. Its algorithm recommends your marketing videos to people who are likely to be interested.

To make it work, however, takes work. You’ll need to set up your YouTube brand page, add keywords, and spend time crafting ultra-clickable titles and thumbnails. And then, consistently add videos to attract subscribers. And of course, you do run the risk of your viewers getting caught in a cat video vortex thanks to YouTube’s watch next suggestions.

For Creating or Embedding Your Video: Vidyard Free

Vidyard Free allows you to upload, manage, and embed videos. Plus it integrates with Vidyard GoVideo, which lets you capture videos and send them in an email, through social media, or embed them online.

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Pack 1,000 Years of Storytelling Punch into Your Next Sales Video

Storytelling has become synonymous with selling. Why? People respond to stories. They’re more engaging than a string of facts, and our brains are wired to respond to storytelling formats.

Consider that billions of people around the world have seen Star Wars. Millions of kids pretend to be Luke Skywalker in their backyards. They don’t practice tabulating spreadsheets or selling stocks—they fight lightsaber battles, imagining themselves as the hero.

Imagine, then, the power of making your prospects the hero in your outbound sales videos. It’s especially effective in business because buildings don’t write checks, people do. Even general counsels have a sense of humor and want to see things that are interesting, and stories are the most time-tested attention-grabbing tactic.

Your Call to (Video) Adventure

Basic storytelling formats haven’t changed in millennia and, by following them, you’ll give your video structure. The outlines of dramatic structure from the Greek philosopher Aristotle still ring true, and are recognizable from Hollywood tropes to the novels you likely read in high school English. They’re easy to apply, and following them can lead to big payoffs from your video sales pitches.

Tell a story, engage a client.

Let’s look at two storytelling structures: Freytag’s Pyramid, and The Hero’s Journey. Anyone who’s watched any DC or Die Hard movies will recognize these structures, even if you didn’t have a name for them. And if these storytelling frameworks net trillions of box office earnings, it stands to reason they might boost sales for you.

In fact, once you start breaking down the parts of stories, you’ll realize you’ve probably been following some of the concepts all along. But if you can streamline your story, and make it even more relevant to your prospect—the hero—your videos can become that much more engaging.

Let’s take an example.

Say you’re selling widgets. You know your widget is 39% lighter than the competition, works 53% faster, costs 13% less, and has 29% more support.

Your client is asleep by now.

But maybe, three years ago you had a friend who struggled with their widget, who complained about the cost, the size, and how frustrated they were because a widget part broke, and they couldn’t get any support to fix it. So you decided to do something about that. And you designed this better, cheaper widget, and have around-the-clock o-call support, and your friend’s company has now doubled their production capacity.

This story fits the structure of Freytag’s Storytelling Pyramid.

Mockup graphic depicting Freytag's Storytelling Pyramid

Mockup of Freytag’s Storytelling Pyramid. Icons by XnimrodX.

In this pyramid:

  • The hero is the business owner who uses widgets
  • The villain is the bad widget maker
  • The rising action is the business owner’s struggle for a working widget
  • The climax is the new widget
  • The falling action/resolution is how much this new widget has helped his business

Do you remember any of those initial stats cited at the start of this section? Probably not. But I bet you remember the story—the problem and the solution.

That’s the power of storytelling in sales. Now let’s look at the Hero’s Journey.

Your Customer is the Hero

As Julianne Sweat of puts it, “Every good sales story nowadays should cast the customer in the hero role. Customers don’t want to be ‘sold’—they want to participate in how the plot unfolds. Focusing on features and benefits is tired and outdated. It’s the customer’s narrative and triumph over adversity that saves the day.”

They want to be Luke Skywalker beating the Dark Side. They want to be John McClane or Wonder Woman, leaping into a fray, being smart, brave, or crafty, and emerging victorious.

The writer Joseph Campbell famously outlined this archetype in his many books examining human nature, culture, and storytelling. He connects the dots from Homer’s Iliad in ancient Greece to almost everything George Lucas has ever touched. (His book, The Power of Myth, is worth a read; the PBS documentary he did in the ‘80s is also worth a watch.)

In short, the hero’s journey is a circle. The hero is called to adventure (broken widgets put their business at risk), they battle the villain (that awful widget-maker), receive supernatural outside help (you!), and return to where they started—changed forever.

Focusing a narrative around a hero—especially with your sales target as the hero in your highly personalized videos—is so ingrained in us that it elicits unconscious agreement. We like it—and here’s the key: This most ancient of all techniques makes us more likely to respond to whoever’s telling it.

To sell better through video, consider:

  • Who is the hero
  • Who or what is the villain or problem
  • Who or what is the solution
  • What exposition showcases how you understand the problem and how you can lead them to a logical conclusion

Even Short Stories Sell

The good news is narratives don’t have to be movie-length to work. If you’ve done the research about your client and mapped out your narrative, you can create an engaging hero’s journey based on the common Freytag or Hero’s Journey model in under a minute.

And if that minute sticks in your target’s mind like the plot of Star Wars, you’re talking about a heroic boost to reponses, conversions, and sales.

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