When I first started at IMPACT, I was blown away by how often we used video. Not just externally as a lead generation tool, but also for internal communication.
IMPACT’s is a very video-centric culture. I myself have adopted one-to-one videosin the sales process because I find that it helps articulate my message and tone better than any email ever could.
But I will say, if it wasn’t for the help of Zach Basner — our resident video and strategy consultant — I’m not convinced my videos would have landed as well as they do in the sales process today.
Zach has helped to teach me not only the value of video but also the right way to go about using it.
Many clients comment on our use of video and are considering hiring their own in-house videographers, but they aren’t sure what type of content will translate into sales.
If you’ve been searching for ways to optimize video conversion, video consultants can help you drive a tangible return on investment.
Last week, I sat down with Zach Basner and talked about what clients should consider when looking for a video consultant.
What are the benefits of a video consultant?
Zach Basner: Assuming you have an in-house videographer dedicated to producing content for your business, hiring an outsourced video consultant can yield many business benefits. There are three benefits of hiring a video consultant for your in-house videographer:
First is having an expert to review all of video content. By expert, I mean someone that understands not only what a video should look like and sound like but understands Sales and Marketing Strategy as well. Having a third party can verify that the end result is unbiased and helpful and not self-promoting.
Second is guidance on the prioritization of video projects. Video consultants help videographers determine what should be done first or what should be done next that's going to yield the most fruitful results.
Third is assistance with sales and marketing strategy. Videographers are really good at creative and they're really good at the production parts but they're not a salesperson they're not a marketing expert. A consultant can be able to help them think more like a buyer and less like the business.
If I am hiring a video consultant, how can I ensure they’re legitimate? What interview questions can I ask?
ZB: A few simple questions to vet a video consultant will likely be tied to the consultant's impact on bottomline:
What kind of videos are most beneficial for sales?
What kind of videos are most beneficial for marketing?
What makes a good sales video?
What makes a good marketing video?
Can you show me examples of other clients that you’ve worked with that you’ve helped along the same strategy?
If they are legitimate, they should be able to influence change in sales and marketing. For instance, a consultant that understands the value of video in closing deals may help businesses overcome office politics or the struggles of getting buy-in from other parties that may be resistant to being in videos.
For example, a consultant should be able to offer communication tips for how to communicate with resistant teams.
They should be able to provide resources that show evidence that it's going to be beneficial to all areas of the business in their day to day job,
How have you seen video enabling the sales process and how can a video consultant be the catalyst behind that kind of initiative?
ZB: We help our clients become the best visual educators in their space, meaning that they become one of the most trusted media companies in their space. So when we say media company, that means we're helping them adjust to digital.
Here at IMPACT, we take time-tested communication techniques of honesty, transparency, and education and marry that with digital processes and tools.
By helping our clients become the most trusted in their space, we're able to help them shorten the sales cycle. We're able to help them connect with more prospects. And we're able to help them win more deals through things like having video assets readily available to send to decision makers.
Also, a video consultant can help make good on their investment that they're putting into this. For example, a business is hiring videographer, they're buying equipment.
A video consultant is making sure that it's not going to take this business a year to produce great content and revenue, we're making sure that out of the gate, they’re going to be able to tie video back to revenue.
What's a common video content issue that every business is struggling with and don’t even know it?
ZB: The number one thing I see in most of my consulting engagements is that businesses are creating the wrong types of content. Whether it's the person who is managing the videographer or it's a videographer themselves the content isn’t the right content. They see stuff on social media. They have their own bias and strategy without having any sort of data to back it up. They're just going based on gut feel. That’s where a video consultant changes the game.
Do you have any advice for clients who are producing content and aren’t seeing or don’t know how to track the value of the content their producing?
ZB: You've got three metrics that you're looking at that can be impacted by video: traffic, leads and sales.
First, traffic is easy. You're just looking at views, you're looking at unique views, you're looking at search volume.
For leads, you’re looking at lead generation methods - like driving contacts to landing pages or converting directly on the video or whatever you’re tracking.
Sales attribution is a little trickier. You have to have the right technology to actually tie it back into a lead.
But just because you don’t have the technology, doesn't mean that video isn't increasing revenue directly. We know this, because you can still compare things.
For example, take one group of customers that you sent the 80% video to versus a group you didn't. What were the major outcomes of that? You start to see common trends. Like the deal closed sooner than average or things like that.
So with the right guidance, you can still attribute revenue without necessarily tracking it from a granular level.
How can a video consultant help the team shorten the sales cycle?
ZB: The consultant is going to be able to essentially train the trainer. Here at IMPACT, we're training the videographer to be able to train the sales team to use video more frequently the sales process.
For example, you can find one salesperson who is into the idea of using video. Have them start to create one-to-one videos and then begin to track what’s happening with them. Then that sales rep can share a success story with the rest of the team as to what is working.
Video consultants work with videographers to supply the sales team with the content that they need to use in a deal — because if they don’t have at the tip of their fingers, they can’t influence the sales cycle.
What is your advice for businesses who want to do implement video but don’t have a dedicated in-house videographer?
ZB: What we have realized over the last three years of offering video consulting is that this only works with an in-house videographer. Otherwise, it isn’t successful for three major reasons:
First, not enough content is created. There’s usually a bottleneck internally. You have a company that has other things to work on. Therefore, they don’t have enough time to dedicate to creating video content. Our most successful clients on average create two to three videos per week. That’s the minimum threshold of content creation we like to see for success.
Second, thequality of content suffers. A production company is less concerned with the quality of the content and doesn’t have relationships with the people on camera. They just want to make the video.
Lastly, branding isn’t consistent. Your in-house videographer is going to be able to eat, sleep and breathe the brand, understanding the business and understanding the buyer. Without that, the quality of the content will not be the most helpful unbiased, honest, transparent and informative content.
Last question. With your experience as a video consultant here at IMPACT, what’s the most important thing clients should think about before hiring a video consultant?
ZB: I would say that for us at IMPACT, consulting is a teach a man how to fish mentality. That's the way that we've built out the consulting so that we give organizations the tools they need to continue to build out that culture for years to come.
They're going to have what they need to continue to adapt to the new technologies and new platforms — given the foundation that we help them build.
I think people should be wary of consulting that is going to require some sort of ongoing relationship forever because they're probably not giving you everything that you actually need to know.
Lastly, on a different topic. I urge clients to be cognizant of online video for business courses.
While there is a lot of value in online course, I would be careful what so-called experts are saying in their courses. Often times there’s content out there that’s produced for influencers and solo entrepreneurs and it doesn’t translate well for organizations or businesses.
Video consultants will not only teach you techniques and tactics for video success, but they will ensure that every video you produce solves for your end customer’s biggest challenges.