By Greg Ball, President of Ball Media Innovations
No matter how you use videos in your marketing efforts, from website videos to full-blown video presentations targeting prospective clients, your ultimate goal is to generate new sales and increase business. The key is how you accomplish that goal.
One fantastic way to convert new clients is to provide them with something of value. After all, viewers are giving up their time to watch the video, so they want something in return. It can be entertainment, information or knowledge about a subject that they’re interested in.
Before you say, “wait, we’re trying to increase sales,” relax. Because the fact is that by using an educational approach you’re doing exactly what’s needed to increase sales as well.
Become a Trusted Advisor
Clients have changed, and no longer make buying decisions the way they used to. What they did even a year ago is no longer applicable. They now do their own research, compare prices online and do side-by-side comparisons with your product or service and those of your competitors.
The Internet has sparked a whole new generation of curious buyers. Because information is so readily available, buyers now factor information into their buying decisions. If you can become the “expert,” or their “trusted advisor,” you’ll have no trouble selling to them as well.
What you really want to do is to position yourself as a key resource, the “go-to” source for knowledge and information. If you educate your prospects on the value of your product or service, without being too intrusive, you will build the trust you need to be the source they come to when it’s time to buy.
Education and Inspiration
When you think about the time it takes to close a sale, you’ll realize that the sale doesn’t happen when you make the first call. Sales take time, and sometimes the decision to buy comes long after the initial call.
If you inspire your prospects using an educational approach instead of a hard sell, you’ll be building the loyalty you need to become their favorite authority on the subject. After that, it’s all over for the competition!
Some marketers think that if you’re not selling, you’re really not marketing. But that’s a false assumption!
What you’re doing is marketing by using your content and information, rather than your services or your products. Selling itself becomes a part of the background, and instead you’re taking your content and putting it in the forefront. Prospects will respect and thank you for making that adjustment.
Quite honestly, most prospects really don’t care about what you’re selling. After all, you’re message is one of 5,000 to 20,000 brand messages and commercial ads that they’re exposed to each day. Every day!
What they do care about is learning something new and useful. They want something that they cannot only use, but also share with colleagues and friends. That is why it’s so important to educate and teach rather than simply sell.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t show your product or reference it in the video. Just make sure that it’s only a portion of the video, and not the main focus. As long as you provide interesting and valuable information and content along with your product features, you’re not being intrusive and you’re not giving up the “trusted adviser” role.
The client training video below is an example of how we provided educational information for one of our clients’ viewers, and were still able to include information on a product we were promoting.
Notice that the important education in this video is the main focus. The product is the solution to a problem, and given at the end.
Return on Investment Will Also Come
One of the objections to educating rather than hard selling that we often hear is there’s no immediate ROI for the video. But building customers takes time. Customers have to trust you, and by providing educational and informational content you’re building that trust.
It’s based on the same principles as as using social media. Building relationships using social media takes time and effort. There often isn’t any ROI with social media at the beginning either. In both instances, you have to think of gaining ROI as a marathon effort instead of a quick race. ROI will come, but it will take time.
Minimize the Sales Pitch
The second you hit the “hard sell button,” your prospects will tune you out. It’s not their fault, it just happens.
Here’s why: prospects are suspicious. You promised them informational and educational content, so they’re not expecting a sales pitch – especially a hard sell.
If that should happen, you’ll have a problem. You will have lost the trust you were trying to build, because prospects will think you’re just selling something to them and not educating, as promised.
Stick to the educational and informational content that you promised to deliver, but go ahead and show your product. You can even talk about some key features. But do it in a subtle way, surrounded by informational content that viewers can use. It’s a delicate balance, but one that will pay off profitably in the long term.
A call to action is always an important part of developing an ongoing relationship with your viewers. It can consist of offering the prospect an opportunity to view additional educational content. You can also indicate where they can purchase any featured products.
Some clients even build their own educational YouTube channels. It’s great to ask prospects to visit your channel if you have one, because you’re providing more useful information.
Give Rather Than Take
Finally, be sure you give more than expected to your viewers, and they’ll be pleasantly surprised. The more you give, the more the prospect will trust and respect you. That’s the foundation of a successful selling approach. You can’t buy that with advertising, so be generous with what you have to offer.
In future articles I’ll be sharing more with you on how educational content can build sales and increase ROI over time. Be sure to check back often to view new posts.
Give us a call!
If you’d like to learn more about how we produce videos that educate while building sales, give us a call. We’ll show you examples and provide you with cost estimates. Best of all, there’s no obligation whatsoever!
You’re also welcome to take a look at our marketing video production services and samples here. You may also want to check out our experience with producing training videos here.
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