November 2016 Feature

Video Marketing for Double-Digit Growth

5 Tips to Help Channel Partners Sell More

by Robert Cassard, Voodoo Video Marketing Magic

The New Buying Process

Robert CassardYou and your partners are dealing with radical changes in how people research and buy IT products and services. The tables have turned away from cold calls, belly-to-belly meetings and copy-heavy brochures and websites. Everything is turning toward online user reviews and what we now call “content” — which loosely means any type of valuable information that doesn’t overtly try to sell.

With the advent of easy web searches and user-generated opinion sites, this shift makes total sense. When you stand in the buyer’s shoes, the questions are obvious:

  • Why trust a self-interested salesperson when you can instantly get the truth from real users?
  • Why read a boring description of something if you can watch an entertaining video instead?

The Same Old High-Growth Demands

What hasn’t changed in all this is the demand on channel chiefs to drive double-digit growth. That’s why the new buying process poses such serious problems. If your partners don’t have currently relevant digital marketing tools and content (and know how and when to use them), they simply won’t sell all the stuff you need them to sell.

Most partner portals and toolsets are bloated with outdated materials based on the old selling and buying processes. Take a look at your own portal with a critical eye.

The Most Under-Utilized Partner Enablement Tool

With its raw power to communicate clearly and effectively, video allows you to replace ineffective and outmoded elements of your channel enablement programs and generate exponential change. With everything loaded into your partner portal, how much video content is available for your partners right now? How valuable are those videos (content vs. advertising)? And how easy are they for partners to use?

I’m surprised how few IT vendors prioritize video as the top marketing tool it deserves to be. And many partner enablement programs treat video as an afterthought. That’s a major missed opportunity for reasons like these:

  • Viewers recall 95% of what they see in a video, but only 10% of what they read. (Online Publishers Association)
  • People are 64% more likely to buy after watching a product video. (ComScore)
  • Adding video to social media and blog posts increases engagement by 10 times. (Content Marketing Institute)

These stats, and many more like them, are all over the web. Why then do some channel leaders still avoid investing in video, instead clinging to tools that simply don’t engage and arm partners effectively and ultimately don’t generate the sales results everyone needs?

Video Can Be Complicated, Mysterious and Expensive

Many channel chiefs would prefer not to deal with these risks, but I assure you there’s no reason to fear video if you employ the right team. Quite the opposite. When it comes to achieving high-growth goals, video is your loyal ally and #1 asset to achieve the sales and marketing breakthroughs you need.

Channel leaders who move decisively to make video a cornerstone of partner enablement, and do it with the new buying process in mind, can gain a massive advantage and powerful differentiator for their brands.

Video Best Practices in 5 Simple Tips

Over the past 10 years, Voodoo has helped IT vendors, distributors and partners launch thousands of video campaigns to millions of prospects. Our reams of data offer important insight into what works and what doesn’t, and I want to share that information so you can use video for partner enablement and get the ultimate result you want: partner empowerment.

Tip #1: Convey value over brand. Here’s the single most important thing for you and your Marcom team to keep in mind when producing any video: The question isn’t “what are WE selling?” but rather, “what do THEY need?” Most vendors make the mistake of treating all video content as advertisements to push and advance their brand identity. Especially during the top-of-funnel (awareness) stage of the sales process, videos need to touch pain points and offer value, preferably without pushing a specific brand or product. Help your partners get their foot in the door first and only start promoting specific branded solutions after they’ve built trust.

Tip #2: Narrow your targets. The easiest way to double or triple the effectiveness of video content is to know exactly who you’re talking to and specifically address what they care about in their language. Vertical industry-targeted videos yield high engagement and help partners market more strategically. (For production efficiency, you can produce multiple vertical versions of a video based on a single content core that’s relevant to general business.)

Tip #3: Enable partners to leverage their own lists. Inbound marketing is often over-hyped and simply doesn’t generate enough opportunities. Meanwhile, every partner’s customer list is a goldmine of upgrade, up-sale and cross-sale opportunities. Partners’ vertically segmented prospect lists are equally full of sales potential. Your video partner enablement program (video content + broadcast tools), should make it as easy as possible for partners to do consistent, valuable and trust-building outreach to their own lists — hundreds of thousands of contacts you otherwise won’t access, leaving millions on the table.

Tip #4: Make sure your branded videos are co-branded from the partner and personalized from the rep.Many buyers are skeptical about the claims of vendor brands. To get past that skepticism, they need to work with someone they perceive as an “unbiased” advisor — someone they trust and like. Make sure your branded vendor videos are automatically framed with: a) your partners’ co-branding (logo, colors, tag line) and, b) the personal contact information from each individual rep. Voodoo’s data shows these localized elements yield a dramatic increase in response rates. In other words, reps get more appointments.

Tip #5: Read the book and get started. After years of watching channel leaders postpone video enablement at their own peril or dive in with no knowledge of best practices, I decided to write a book to help them avoid common pitfalls. Video Growth Hacking for Channel Chiefs: Simple strategies to help your channel partners achieve double-digit growth shares real-world cases studies and do’s and don’ts for how to leverage the power of video in successful partner empowerment programs. I hope you enjoy it and would appreciate your questions and feedback.

Download the complete book free, courtesy of CCI.


About the Author

Robert Cassard is Co-Founder and CEO of Voodoo Video Marketing Magic, a video content producer and software platform for channel marketing and sales.

Robert, known as the Video Growth Hacker, is a web video pioneer, award-winning writer/producer and #1 bestselling author. Robert has helped scores of established and emerging companies grow rapidly through video marketing. His strategies have generated hundreds of millions in incremental sales for IT clients including Avnet, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Logitech, Mitel, Sprint and many small and mid-sized businesses and non-profits.