A 2021 practical practical and idea-packed guide to the most suitable types of video for convincing buyers
By Tim Cumming and Helen Pain, updated 26 Dec 2020
In marketing, we don't like to admit that occasionally, we've no clue what to say. We may have loose ideas, messages, short fragments, sentences, straplines, or a clear sense of the big picture. Yet, we lack the weekly, monthly, or daily narratives that are required to communicate a simple message.
There's a very good reason for this: it is fabulously complex. Without some kind of map, or orientation to guide us through the maze of the different occasions customers might be searching, browsing, interrogating, or comparing, we haven't got a chance to nail down the exact format or message, or level of daring in terms of asking for the business.
This article will help you see beyond Google's somewhat vague 'Help, Hub, Hero' model into a more practical way of using video to convince leads to commit.
Convincing is about slaying objections
Google's search-orientated approach
Google likes to see moments as a three category system: Hero, Hub and Help moments.
This is for when a customer is prepared to be impressed, to sit back and absorb your positive sales messages at a light or high level. The videos you might use would be proposition, services or product explainers, tasters, or stories revealing features and benefits. Hero pieces are usually more glamorous, high budget and make a more showy statement.
Google argues that customers are willing to journey inwards, into your website or social media, to discover or learn. These are distinct from Hero because the customer is looking for something - the known, or unknown, information. These video types are interactive, explainers, testimonials, case studies, or videos about your specialisms, events or insights into markets, sectors, processes or other forms of narrowed down content.
These are about how to use the service or product you are selling and include demos, how-to films, tutorials, client or staff trainers. Google, being Google, looks beyond the classification of the content into how advertising can be sold around these types of content and the usefulness and volume of searches performed by users.
You might take all or this with a certain pinch of salt, or you might not. If you're a search-orientated company, i.e., if your customers tend to find you via search engines, this kind of model is more helpful for you. Videos that fit into these categories will be useful and match the kinds of journeys your customers go on in order to discover you.
If your business is not a predominantly search-driven business, like most small and medium sized firms, the Hero/Hub/Help pieces will have some utility, but will fall short in a number of real world customer moments. A different approach which reflects nine different groups of moments, is less dependent on search and more likely to represent the varied ways the customers find you. These can include not just search, but social, blogging, email, and offline forms of communication such as networking, events, and snail mail.
The nine levels of interest are:
These moments typically reflect the various levels of interest, purpose or intention that your customer might bring to their search for a solution to their problem.
This all important last stage of your online content is about providing sufficient evidence and relevance to a prospective client for them to commit and close out a deal. It's unlikely the content alone will perform this function, however, it is about providing convincing content that removes the possibility of doing nothing, and doing something, with a competitor.
A sales convincer, for example, might seek to model the first year of an account with your firm and you might seek to split that into four or five parts, give them names, and walk the client through what those parts look like, feel like, and deliver in terms of outcomes. This is a brilliant way of visualising and explaining at the same time a future which the client may not yet have considered.
Of itself, it's not going to deliver a signed contract, but it may well be the convincing moment in the client's journey, where they finally cross over to make a committed decision to open an account. A named point of contact, such as 'call Terry for further details', is your CTA.
The right kind of tone to strike includes an element of starkness, candour, a modelled future, and a simulation of how the client is most likely to gain benefit from working with you. These pieces are often best told in an unadorned way with very simple video styling, predominantly talking heads. Examples include:
An implications video helps your viewers to understand the significance of events and it helps you to reveal your grip on a product, trend or issue. The aim is to use specific examples to illustrate a trend/issue in a broad framework. We will encourage you to talk in a way that allows the trade, commercial, technology, social, economic, corporate, or political implications to shine through.
This tells your ethical and social story to all stakeholders, providing them with a flavour of your beliefs and ideals, your connection to the world beyond business and with a sense of responsibility and activism. It's ideal for shaping new kinds of awareness among target audiences. And it's pretty useful later on in the marketing funnel for buyers who might be seeking a little differentiator before they make a purchasing decision. By revealing your firm's life and aspirations beyond mere commerce, you're opening up a more personable, committed and likeable view of your firm and its people.
Testimonial videos prove your success in an indisputable way. They reveal the pains buyers faced and how your product or service overcame them to the obvious satisfaction of the buyer. This type of video brings proof to your Youtube/Vimeo channel and provides buyers with a believable account of the usefulness of your product or service. It's great for proving your track record to future buyers, intermediaries or other stakeholders.
- Tone: Identify the appropriate tone and and the most candid feel that you can possibly create with your video company
- Simulation: discuss and plan a scenario for your client with your video agency.
Already got this covered?
If you already have business videos and they're not generating response, there's much above that will help you improve their performance. But what would be even better than your current business videos?
- Cross-check all your business videos largely follow the above suggestions, or deviate for good reasons
- Ensure you've used on-site CTAs which match your buyer journey moments
- Ensure your social videos, articles and posts have off-site CTA's that match your buyer journey
- Check your business videos match the messaging your audience needs to hear
- Check viewing behaviours - if audiences aren't watching to the end, revise your video
What's at Risk here? A one-minute test
The risk of doing something wrong always hinders us as decision makers. And equally, the risk of doing nothing lurks behind that too. Both carry the risk of failure. So why not delay - deferring looks safer. Like a Whitehall mandarin. Is that the kind of decision maker you want to be? Thought not. So here's a helpful checklist for wise decision maker inside you that's aching to be heard.
The One-minute Decision Checklist
- Do buyers want to know what you're like?
- Do buyers want proof of your success?
- Should you provide buyers with the information they want?
- Do buyers want a sense of what will happen to them if they buy from you?
- Do buyers need to find you easily via search and social media?
- Do you need to be seen as relevant and modern?
- Goal setting: choose a video agency that can offer you all levels of interest
- Understanding: realise the full potential of videos, and implement into your project
- Strategy: choose your effective performance measures of your video
- Implement: choose an agency that can capture sentiment
- Achieve: use key moments to track response and increase audience capture
If the answer to any three of these is yes, you should almost certainly proceed with this. Or at least be questioning why you have so many no's.
By defining moments in a client's journey, you hugely increase their discovery of you and their connection with you, securing the prospect of future business:
The very process of considering what your video content should say will generate more ambitious thinking. This way, your marketing will have greater attention and conversion.
So, now you've considered using a Convincing video in the buyer journey, you've moved closer to your goal. Time for a chat about success with video?