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Best types of video to onboard new clients

By Tim Cumming and Helen Pain, updated 14 Jan 2021

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 onboard new business efficiently.

Onboarding is about empathy
Old-fashioned typewriter

Google's search-orientated approach

Google likes to see moments as a three category system: Hero, Hub and Help moments.

Hero

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.

Hub

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.

Help

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.

Graffiti on wall

Alternative approach

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:

  • Attracting
  • Assuring
  • Explaining
  • Persuading
  • Prospecting
  • Nurturing
  • Convincing
  • Onboarding
  • Land and Expand

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.

Car dashboard

Onboarding videos

Ah, the lovely moment when the client is on board. The winning is done. The champagne has been popped, and the congratulations and backslapping are over. Yet, for the client, it's just beginning.

The client's elevated expectations, prior to signing the contract, now need to be met, and what better way to do it than a warm, welcoming, clear, onboarding video, which sets out the path of getting live, and reinforces the expectations that the client had prior to signing the contract.

The value of producing an onboarding video is in projecting your empathy towards the client's point of view - you have a major opportunity here to reassert your promises, which is another way of saying your brand and what you stand for. It's also a very useful reminder to client facing staff of what the company is intending to deliver.

The best CTAs in onboarding videos are personalised and will carry specific client names, and client service team names, to assist with a reassurance of the relationship, as opposed to a generic video that feels less personal.

Do List

Empathy for the client's POV: Instead of seeing assertions of your brand as an unnecessary constraint, view it as a liberating, truthful, and helpful statement of intention in your client's journey.

Photo of the curve of a strawberry

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