Great marketing strategists bring their products to market by finding creative ways to help their universe of potential buyers solve problems faster, better, or cheaper. It's called utility marketing and it's about delivering interesting content to interested parties, instead of interrupting them in their tracks with pesky ads.
We are bombarded by brand messages and numb to advertisements. Ozgur Alaz illustrated just how difficult it is to break through the noise with this compilation of devastating stats for the traditional marketer. Few people click on ads. The vast majority doesn't even trust them. For a product to get our mindshare, it needs to earn its way.
Last year Jay Baer took utility marketing to the masses with his New York Times best-selling book, Youtility. His book explains how modern marketers should construct a process to continuously provide help and information that will attract buyers. It now seems a marketer's job resembles a training program developer crossed with a strategic communications professional.
For a perfect example, look at Marketo's resource section. When someone asks me for advice on new marketing tactics, I point them to Marketo's ebooks. They are among the best providers of up-to-date digital marketing education. It's not salesly. It's helpful.
While ebooks have become a go-to for marketers, video has an extraordinary ability to transmit more knowledge and skills faster. Not to mention, people generally prefer to watch a video rather than read a lengthy document. So if modern marketers want to embrace their new hybrid role as a trainer and communicator, video is a must-have format.
Surprisingly, the most useful video content is also quite simple to produce. Screencasts, whiteboard sessions or repurposed webinars provide how-to type video content that is more likely to convert than flashy top-of-the-funnel content. This content becomes even more useful when it's presented in a central repository, a video resource site, where it's easy for you to manage and simple for your audience to navigate.
Let's look closer at a few video resource sites that deliver value to potential buyers and accelerate funnel conversion. Across these examples, we'll illustrate five common traits of useful video resource microsites.
Diverse Video Content Types
The best video resource microsites have many different types of video content. They mix customer testimonials, excerpts from live events, webinars, product tours and more.
SnapLogic, a cloud integration platform as a service, does a great job providing content across topics for multiple audiences. Their videos cover hands-on product demos, high-level company vision, customer stories and more.
Clean User Experience
In the SnapLogic example above, the microsite has a clear navigation. Videos are easy to access. They can be searched from any page. The categories make it simple to navigate to any video in just a few clicks. By using tags, they help prospective buyers find exactly what they need fast.
Smart Video SEO Strategy
A major benefit of video resource microsites is enhanced SEO. Search engines not only index the content on the page, but also index the video thumbnail if properly configured. This happens when each video lives on a landing page of its own. The URL, heading and text on the page reinforce the search terms.
This example, from SafeNet, goes the extra mile by providing the transcript directly on the page.
A big part of being useful is enabling your audience to self-service easily. Break up longer form content with interactivity so your viewers can jump to the most relevant content.
In-video interactivity, such as chaptering and calls-to-action, lets your viewers guide themselves. When tied into your video analytics, these interactive elements also give you insights about what people find interesting and how they engage with your video content.
Video Lead Generation
When you provide value, your audience is more apt to trust you. Use your more advanced video content to collect lead information or ask someone to opt in to your communications. These videos have smart lead generation forms integrated at strategic moments.
Some are fully gated, such as with Tiburon. Others present the form after a preview.
Together these five common traits of useful video resource microsites demonstrate the importance of your collective video experience. As you develop video, think about how your content and the delivery of your content will work together to provide meaningful information to your audience and promote your desired action.