In a world where reading has become increasingly passé, video is emerging as the go-to tool for businesses to deliver information quickly and easily. Videos give customers information about a product or service without overwhelming them with text. In thirty or sixty seconds, a prospect can learn a lot about a business through a short, impactful video. If a picture paints a thousand words, then a video paints a million.
The upside is that creating videos has become ever easier. Thanks to technology, almost anyone can create an affordable video. Anyone with a smartphone can record video segments. There are also countless vendors that use software programs to create animated explainer videos. But easier and cheaper is not always what is best. Perhaps more than ever before companies must create marketing videos that connect with their audiences. They must have a refined balance of information, visuals, sound, and action. So, what should a marketing video include?
When we think of the work that salespeople do, we generally think of one-on-one selling. For anything that is not a commodity, a salesperson will speak face-to-face to another person and “pitch” a product or service. The ‘traveling salesman’ is the quintessential image of sales. But, obviously, that kind of selling is limiting. It is limited by how much time and how much distance a salesperson can cover. Even in dense cities like New York, Chicago, or San Francisco, a salesperson can only make so many sales calls in one day. And in cities or metropolitan areas that are more diffused, such as Los Angeles, Atlanta, Triangle Park or Miami, traveling from place to place for sales meetings can consume huge swaths of each day.
Because of that, sales teams have always looked for ways to compress the sales cycle and use technology to assist in the sales process. Call centers. Robo-calling. CRM systems. Email. Text messages. And now, video is emerging as a useful sales tool as well. When done right, videos can speak directly to prospective clients and guide them through the sales funnel. But some still wonder if video can really be effective in the sales process. And there are many questions surrounding how to construct sales videos. Should a video sales pitch focus on a product / service features or should it focus instead on the benefits / solution? Can a sales video or series of sales videos help move the sales process more quickly toward the close? And can a sales video actually close a deal? If sales videos are effective, can a company just create sales videos and not have salespeople? Here are what the experts think.
Two of the biggest challenges that regional and national companies face are training new hires and then keeping all staff up-to-date on company changes such as new software programs, updated policies, and evolving procedures. Just getting corporate office staff trained and keeping them current is enough of a challenge. Training takes time and consumes resources. A lot of information is thrust at employees at one time. Meanwhile, productivity drops or stops during training. Customer service suffers and employees are tasked with keeping up with the workload while making time for training. If doing that for corporate staff is hard, then training regional or national employees is even more difficult, especially when some or all of those employees are working remotely from small regional offices, executive offices or home offices. This is particularly difficult in the U.S. due to the country’s vast geographical size. Bringing a cadre of regional or national staff together to one location for training incurs a lot of hard costs and generates a lot of down time not just for training but also for travel.
The challenge for training new hires is even greater. Managers need to share a great deal of information with new employees in a very short amount of time. New hires often report that it is like drinking from a fire hose. This is not the ideal way to retain new information or make a new hire feel comfortable and confident. Bringing all new employees to one central location for in-person training is also hard and expensive. New hire training often can make or break an employee’s effectiveness for years to come.
To tackle both issues, companies are discovering the value of training videos. Video facilitates training and ensures that training is effective. Live Webcasting and dynamic on-demand training modules that employees can watch and process at their own pace help increase retention. And video-based training can be done without travel—at employees’ exec suites, home offices, or even a nearby Starbucks. This minimizes disruption and costs. Here are tips and best practices on how to use video for training.
The video revolution has been six decades in the making. The first video cameras to capture color images were used only in television studios in the late 1950s. They were huge, clunky and connected by wires. In 1982, Sony successfully released the first Betamax camera for news outlets, but this also ushered in the age of portable video camcorders anyone could use. These recorders used uncompressed tape, which limited how much video could be recorded on one tape. In 1986, Sony created the first all-digital video camera but the format was still uncompressed. In 1993, Ampex developed the first compressed digital video camera, allowing hours of video recording on one tape for the first time. That was less than 25 years ago. Compressed digital video opened a floodgate of video products and innovations. Thanks to those innovations, video has become an increasingly useful tool.
The next big leap happened when video recording capability was added to smart phones. Video went from being a useful tool to becoming a vital, ubiquitous device to tell stories, capture moments, save time and even save lives. And new social media sites made it possible to share amateur videos with the world. Indeed, as of 2015, 300 hours of video were uploaded to YouTube every minute. Today, that number is thought to be closer to 500 hours per minute. Police are increasingly using “body cameras” to increase transparency and trust with the public as they serve and protect. Homes and buildings are using surveillance cameras 24/7 to watch over people and property. Video cameras have been installed at traffic lights to deter (or catch) drivers who run red lights. Businesses are increasingly using video to market products and reach today’s video-driven audiences. Now, even HR departments are starting to use video in the recruiting and hiring process, and for good reason. It saves time and money for the company… and its applicants. But beware, there are some possible pitfalls to avoid. Continue reading