5 Reasons Why Explainer Videos Can Help You Boost B2B Sales
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It goes without saying that 2020 was a challenging year for most businesses across all industries, and increasing profits through sales has become even more critical for many business owners. As a result, marketing departments face more pressure to deliver sales qualified leads to support growth objectives.
The new reality of sales
In 2020 the state of sales had changed. According to an annual report published by LinkedIn, Covid-19 directly impacted the sales cycle, with 44% of survey respondents concerned over the sales cycle increase. On top of that, almost half of participants anticipated a decrease in their potential buyers’ responsiveness, resulting from employees working remotely.
According to Forbes, today’s B2B customers progress more than 70% of the way through the decision-making process before ever engaging a sales representative.
So what does it all mean for your business?
First off – sales just got more digital. With limited face-to-face meetings, digital channels have only become vital to sales success, forcing traditional salespeople to seamlessly adapt to a new environment. Sale acceleration activities such as boardroom product demos and sales pitches had to be moved online to allow prospects to make a more informed decision about their next purchase, without having a face-to-face conversation.
The role of explainer videos in business-to-business digital selling
Inbound marketing is known for generating significant, reliable ROI, and throughout 2021 content marketing will become even more relevant for lead-generation activities. Amongst endless content formats, animated video explainers are still firmly one of the best performing.
Video explainers are a great tool to accelerate B2B sales. Branded video content brings business storytelling to life, allowing buyers to look into the companies they’re interested in and make authentic connections to keep them informed about the latest developments. Providing your prospects with this insight allows them to learn more about your services before making initial contact.
Not sure if a branded animated video explainer is worth the investment? Here are the key considerations you should take into account when planning your digital sales strategy.
How does animation boost sales
Animated explainer videos help you grab attention and convey your message.
There is no better tool to present your offering than a personalised video when it comes to a virtual product demo.
Explainer videos are short, dynamic videos (usually between 30-120 seconds long) which guide your user step by step through how your product/company works.
By appealing to both the auditory and visual senses of your audience, you are likely to increase their understanding of your pitch by 74%. This means that explainer videos can help you catch, hold, and convert your prospects’ attention to boost your profits.
Animated explainer videos work immensely well for start-ups since they convey even the most complex or abstract ideas clearly. Thanks to their ability to support an audio explanation with related visuals to reinforce concepts, animated explainer videos make every sales pitch more coherent and engaging. This is especially effective for businesses without a tangible product, like tech providers, or financial services.
Dropbox is often held up and the gold standard of simple yet robust video content, and for good reason.
Case Study – How Dropbox used an explainer video for their elevator pitch
Dropbox, the popular file hosting service, was faced with the challenge of growing their customer’s user base during their start-up phase and diminishing the high cost of paid advertising. Drew Houston started Dropbox as a Minimum Viable Product. To avoid wasting years developing a product nobody wanted, he decided to put his idea in front of a wider community of early adopters for further validation. With this being easier said than done, the remaining question was: how to reach a global audience of anonymous users and explain to them a breakthrough development that no one apart from Houston had access to?
Drew Houston decided to record a simple, three-minute video demonstration of his product to achieve this objective, which cost him nothing but his time. The Dropbox demo’s original version was merely a screen recording with a voice-over from the founder, which included jokes and humorous references relevant to his target audience thrown in to keep engagement up throughout.
Drew recounted, “It drove hundreds of thousands of people to the website. Our beta waiting list went from 5,000 people to 75,000 people overnight. It blew us away!”
Following the enormous success of their in-house explainer video, Dropbox later invested in a professional version that attracted even more users.
Animated explainer videos are easy to understand.
Product knowledge is critical to sales. And in times when your customers mostly depend on digital to understand your business, the importance of having self-explanatory content is greater than ever.
Let’s take Dropbox as an example.
Instead of basing their entire communications strategy on written content that could be confusing to their external audience, the platform opted for a more engaging way of passing that information on – a video explainer. As we know, that worked like a charm, and the waiting list quickly grew by an astonishing 1400%.
And why is that? Because it takes significantly less commitment to watch and understand a video than to go through detailed written documentation. After watching a few-minutes-long video, any potential customer can immediately understand what Dropbox does, what their unique selling point is, and the value proposition for their users.
The ability to pass product knowledge on in a highly-efficient way is crucial for the B2B sales cycle which involves multiple stakeholders at different seniority levels.
So, because the B2B sales cycle can be a complex and lengthy one, animated explainer videos are a fantastic way to ensure awareness and understanding of your brand’s offering throughout the entire prospective client’s business. They let you present complicated concepts full of specialist terms in a way that can be understood by them, their boss, their bosses boss, and even the director if needs be!
Animated explainer videos can be easily tailored to your audience’s needs.
Personalisation is a very powerful thing, and savvy marketers are taking advantage of it.
With animated explainer videos, you get the flexibility to produce an animated video that can be adapted to suit all sorts of audiences without expensive reshoots or unprofessional overdubs.
For brands with a global reach, if you’re targeting multi-language audiences, adapting animation footage to the language used in a particular country is much cheaper (and simpler) rather than shooting an entirely new live-action video. You might not even need to change the visuals, just the language of the voice over itself – something that’s impossible to pull off without looking sloppy in live action video!
You can also target specific demographics with subtle changes to the script of an animated video, without having to make expensive changes to the visual content itself. Even smaller businesses can reap the benefit of this flexible personalisation. Just include the name of one of your target areas, or mention of a specific use case for your product, for example, and you’ll be sure to appeal to more prospects than a broad ‘one-size fits most’ approach.
Video content works for every stage of the funnel.
From attracting new prospects right through to closing opportunities, a video explainer is the perfect tool to help you achieve your goals throughout the commercial funnel.
Video explainers work across both sales and marketing activities, including social media, online advertising, onboarding and training. This means that investment in a professional, bespoke explainer video will excel at providing you with a decent, measurable improvement in conversion for customers falling out of the commercial journey at various different pain points.
Animated explainers make great content for your top funnel activities like generating brand awareness. Even if those prospects are not ready to buy yet, a well-crafted animation can make your message more ‘sticky’, increasing your brand recall as the buyer journey continues. This is an important consideration, especially if you heavily invest in paid advertising, such as social media ads.
Further down the funnel, video explainers are also effective at supporting conversion rate optimisation. For example, you might want to create a video to explain your pricing and post it right on the pricing page to attract more qualified leads closer to purchase. Or, if you keep receiving the same questions from your prospects, putting video tutorials on your FAQ or product pages could help you drive adoption and reduce the amount of time you’re committing to support queries.
Whatever stage of the funnel you’re trying to optimise, video explainers can supercharge it top-to-bottom.
Animations tell stories.
Animated videos are widely used across many industries with complex, B2B offerings such as construction, energy, healthcare & pharmaceutical, professional, finance or technology/SaaS sectors. And they work for all those industries because they are capable of telling a story.
In 2021, there is a blurred line between B2C and B2B marketing. It’s no longer good enough for business-to-business communications to just be about explaining your service offering. What is essential nowadays are meaningful relationships, and these can be established with high-quality storytelling.
According to research by Google in partnership with Motista and CEB, 50% of B2B buyers are more likely to buy if they can connect emotionally with your brand. It starts with your business’ goals, objectives, mission, and vision. If a B2B buyer sees a common ground, they identify with your brand, which creates a sense of trust.
Animation, unlike any other form of communication, is more than capable of showcasing emotions. A well-crafted animated video explainer allows you to connect with your audience on a more emotional level, which is almost impossible to achieve with regular B2B communication.