It’s 2:15pm on Tuesday, March 9th. I find myself sitting by a campfire eating a granola bar, sharing ideas with other marketers (and some guy named Buck) about how to use creative video content to surprise and delight customers and create advocates. Yes, it’s just another day at Advocamp (read recaps from Day 1, 2 and 3) where we geek out about advocate marketing and eat s’mores to our heart’s content. What a life!
But how does video content specifically relate to customer advocacy, you ask? Good question, let me explain.
- First, consider the power of video as an engaging and emotional content medium. When was the last time you laughed out loud while reading a whitepaper or eBook? Or got choked up and emotional while perusing the latest infographic? I didn’t think so.
- Second, video is a content medium that respects the time and attention span of your audience. The brain processes live imagery and video content 60,000 times faster than text-based content—that’s a scientific factoid. And that’s why you get more information and value from a 3-minute product demo video than you do from reading whitepapers for 15 minutes.
- And finally, video provides the opportunity to put a face to your brand, and to humanize the customer engagement experience in this all-too-sterile digital world. It’s very tempting to hide behind your keyboard and manage the entire customer lifecycle through email messages, newsletters, automated notifications and other digital signals. But that’s no way to create advocates that are truly invested in your success. Nor is it a great way to build brand trust or loyalty.
Video can play an important role in helping you build better customer relationships and create true, heartfelt advocacy. It can strike an emotional chord, make your customers smarter and help them get to know you as people.
So, I want to share with you the top five ways that our team here at Vidyard uses video content to surprise and delight our customers and create passionate advocates in hopes you’ll find some inspiration to do the same.
1. Putting a fun spin on how we share key content assets
Our team pumps out a lot of content every month to satiate our customers’ thirst for knowledge and best practices. Despite our love of video, it’s true that we also publish eBooks, guides, infographics, research reports and other forms of content that provide a foundation of knowledge for our customers and prospects. But when we create anchor pieces of content, we often use fun and engaging videos to help promote them and share with our base.
Take our Video Marketing Handbook as an example. This one is a beast—over 100 pages of thoughtfully-written content on how to create and implement a video marketing strategy. So we really wanted people to read it! Instead of sending out a boring email message saying “please come download this big honkin’ eBook”, we created a lighthearted video to introduce the new guide in a way that would make our customers laugh while showing the faces of some of the folks who were actually involved in the guide. Take a look:
This quick video created a fun, memorable moment for many of our customers when it was entirely unexpected. And as you may have guessed, the conversion rate on downloads of the guide were well above average and in the end we have happier, smarter and more engaged customers.
2. Surprising and delighting with 1:1 personalized videos
This one may be cheating since we’re using our own technology, but wow, does it ever work! Pretend your name is Buck and the video below showed up in your inbox just before the holiday season. Not only do you see that delicious play button but also your very own name on that gingerbread house. Wait a minute, WHAT?!? So you click play (how could you not?) and you watch this fun, engaging, highly personalized video:
What just happened? Well, first you smiled, then you laughed, then you felt appreciated. Did you feel yourself moving one step up the advocate ladder?
For a little more inspiration, you can create one of these holiday videos with your own name in it (or send it to a friend) on our holiday landing page, or enter your name in the form on the Personalized Video homepage to see your name tattooed on one of our employee’s arm (and that’s only the beginning).
3. Going the extra mile for onboarding and support
To ensure our new customers get off to a good start with our brand, we create thoughtful onboarding, training and support videos to help them get up and running quickly and efficiently. It’s also a great way for them to “meet” the members of our customer success team! Some of these videos include “talking heads” of our customer team sharing ideas and knowledge, while others include screen captures offering step-by-step instructions on how to complete common tasks.
Once a customer is up and running, they’ll that find many of our support articles and FAQs include short videos with clear and concise information. This is all a part of creating a premium experience that makes them feel confident and well supported. If you’re not doing this today, it may simply be because you hadn’t considered it, or it may be because you feel it’s too difficult and time consuming to do. But the reality is, the tools needed to create these videos are readily available and inexpensive, if not free. And the talent to do it may be sitting in the seat next to you (hint: they don’t need to be a ‘video producer’ or a ‘creative director’).
4. Creating culture videos that show we’re human too
Well, human may not actually be the best term when using our Addams Family parody “The Vidyard Family” as the example:
Videos like this are created by our in-house video producer in much less time than you probably think. They are a wonderful way to celebrate holidays, share company milestones or simply have fun with your audience at different times throughout the year. We call these Culture Videos. They are purely meant to delight our audiences, and to remind them throughout the year that we still care and are real people just like them. If comedy is not your thing, don’t worry, these don’t always need to be funny. They just need to be lighthearted, transparent and true to your culture and brand. And—most importantly—let your employee’s passion and commitment shine through.
5. Bring your customers into the story—literally!
Many businesses are now producing video-based customer testimonials to highlight the success of their top clients and to show other prospects the art of the possible. But we took this one step further in a recent campaign that had particularly good results. The Tale of Two Marketers is the story of two marketing professionals with very different approaches. “Post and Pray Pete” is just after the fans while “Strategic Sue” understands the importance of engagement and ROI. It was done as a fun animated “storybook” video, and long story short, Pete fails and Sue is successful. The real twist comes at the end when the viewer finds out that…(this is your last chance to watch it first!)…
…Strategic Sue is in fact a real marketer! Her real name is Bhaji Illuminati and she’s the Director of Marketing at Taulia, one of our customers. At the end of the short video, the viewer is encouraged to download the full case study to learn more about Bhaji and how she’s been successful with our solution. Not only was this a great campaign for educating and converting our prospects, but it generated amazing buzz amongst our current customers and rumblings of “who will get to be the next Strategic Sue?” I was tempted to kick off a fun challenge to our customers to win a chance to be featured in our next video, and in fact, I think I may do that soon!
So there you have it, my campfire story in a nutshell. Hopefully you’ve found a bit of inspiration in here, and maybe an idea or two that you can implement within your own customer marketing and advocacy programs to surprise and delight your customers. And if the team at Vidyard can help you expand your video engagement efforts or get started with a personalized video project, just hop on over to www.vidyard.com and let us know!
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