Today’s post is by Matt Singer, CEO of Videolicious, the leading employee video creation solution that leverages patented, automatic video editing technology to make business-quality video creation possible for every employee. Prior to Videolicious, Singer sold hundreds of thousands of products through the TV shopping channel QVC.
When LinkedIn revealed that video posts now get three times the engagement of text posts on their platform, it sent shockwaves through the social selling community. Knowing that video provides such a significant engagement advantage means creating more video – and creating video with the best possible quality – is critical to making social selling initiatives effective.
In hindsight, it makes sense: If part of the goal of social selling is building the brand of your reps and helping them forge more personal connections online, how could someone truly get to know your reps simply by reading the articles they post or the text comments they make?
Video showcasing your sales team’s voice, emotional energy, domain intelligence, and passion enables prospective customers to emotionally connect in the same way they might in person at a conference or on-site pitch.
Here are four strategies for making the most of the tremendous opportunity of video social selling.
#1: Choose video topics that showcase your reps’ consultative selling chops.
The most successful salespeople can provide value throughout a sales process by not just selling, but also educating customers on how to understand a product’s positioning in a space, the value created, and how to deploy. Thus, when it comes to picking topics for social selling videos that are either shared to the general feed or via an InMail, every rep can either draw upon their own high-level experience advising customers or they can pull from messaging developed by marketing.
Given the complexity of many B2B products, reps can share a variety of learnings, topical analysis of impact, different use case education, and value stories. The goal here is not a direct pitch but an offer to educate based on the specialized expertise your reps have developed. Reps who can master this type of video creation can signal to prospects that engaging with them will be valuable, informative, and worth their time – which is a priceless competitive advantage.
#2: Leverage product marketing footage wherever possible.
The early days of LinkedIn video featured clip after clip of just raw shots of reps’ faces for minutes on end. No video with any professional level of quality showcases a single shot of anyone’s face – it’s simply too raw and monotonous to be visually engaging.
Fortunately, most companies today professionally produce video on a one-to-many basis for their marketing campaigns. These videos feature product demos, screen flows, and value proposition representations (e.g., people in a room working efficiently and happily together for HCM products). These are high-value assets that should be incorporated into social selling videos whenever possible. Companies spend tens of thousands – or even hundreds of thousands – of dollars creating this content. LinkedIn is a great forum to personalize it with a rep’s consultative presentation, using the product marketing footage as “b-roll” (overlaid on top of the shot of the rep to highlight and illustrate concepts in key moments).
#3: Personability is the key opportunity of the video format.
Video’s unmatched power is to give people the chance to experience a rep’s persona prior to engaging. That means it’s incredibly important for the salesperson to come across as personable and likeable on camera.
Many sales professionals are likeable by trade, but the camera can cause people to freeze up with fear. Thus, training reps to develop their on-camera presentation can pay big dividends. It’s not rocket science, but it is a specialized technique just like acting or public speaking. Locking eyes with the lens; smiling at the camera; thinking happy, warm, high-energy thoughts during delivery – these are some of the tricks of the trade that make videos showcases of great personalities.
Being nervous on camera can make the rep appear disengaged, which can be disastrous for social selling. This is the blessing and the curse of video: It shows people’s true colors, but this facet is not any different from handling an in-person sales pitch successfully – the skill is well within reach of any professional salesperson.
#4: Go broad and targeted with videos in the feed and InMails.
There are two main channels for video in social selling – videos for the feed that build a salesperson’s brand, and videos for one-to-one engagement for LinkedIn messaging or InMails. Both can pay dividends in social selling.
While feed videos can amplify a company’s positioning, domain expertise, and thought leadership, the one-to-one videos allow reps to demonstrate their specific understanding of the challenges prospects face. It’s very hard to write a short InMail message that proves a rep’s understanding of a prospect’s business and explains how their company can help. But a video can give a salesperson the right amount of time to show they understand the prospect’s products, market, and challenges.
The key is to still reduce that elevator pitch video into 90 seconds or less for optimal engagement while maximizing all the components above – the consultative chops, product marketing footage, and personability. Get this combination right and the 3x engaging that video can bring will pay off with higher response rates, more meetings, and more closed deals.