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By: Rhoan Morgan on August 13th, 2020

How To Leverage Video Marketing In Today’s Environment

Being adaptable and relevant in today’s market requires a powerful marketing strategy and incorporating video is a great place to begin. In this episode of Revenue Rebels, host Rhoan Morgan is joined by CEO of 522 Productions, Alisa Vossen, to discuss how to leverage video marketing effectively.

Alisa shares her team’s latest “rebel act,” how video improves the customer experience, and how to measure success and ROI.

No time to listen? See the full transcript below:

Rhoan Morgan (00:01): Hey everyone. Welcome to another episode of Revenue Rebels, the podcast that brings marketing and sales rebels together to share their stories and thinking on all topics related to accelerating revenue, generating activities in the B2B world. On this show, we talk about the strategic vision of marketing-led customer experience that unleashes the combined power of technology, content and data. Are you ready to rebel? Let’s get into the show.

Rhoan Morgan (00:35): Hey listeners. Welcome back to another episode of Revenue Rebels. Today. We are going to talk about how to leverage video marketing in today’s environment. And I’m super excited today to have the CEO and VP of Client Services of 522 Productions Alisa Vossen joining us today. And I have to say just before I do a really quick intro that I’ll let everybody know in full transparency that we’ve actually been working with 522 now for probably a few years, maybe even a little bit longer with a really successful partnership where we’re working with them around developing really incredible videos for our clients, working with us on the strategy in terms of that content and making it truly aligned to our client’s needs in terms of, you know, the buyer journey.

Rhoan Morgan (01:28): So I’m really excited to be talking with Alisa today because we’re going to be able to share a little bit about how they approach that and how they think about video marketing. Alisa, we were actually just talking about this, that what makes 522 really unique is that you’re not just there to produce the next video, but actually really think about what is your client’s audiences needs, where are they at in the buying stage or the journey or experience, and how does that impact what you’re going to create for your clients? So I’m really excited to have you on board. So thank you for joining us today.

Alisa Vossen (02:03): Thanks Rhoan. It’s really great to be here. And I’m actually really excited to talk about video marketing within the marketing parallels that we have today, because I think a lot of customers and brands out there really need to know how to adapt and being adaptable and relevant in today’s market really comes with video strategy in a kind of powerful marketing strategy that’s really going to resonate with customers.

Rhoan Morgan (02:28): I totally agree. And when you were saying that, it made me think of the clients that we’re working with today jointly, and they’re producing the video content. And I actually see them really beating out in many, many ways their competition. Before we get started, before we dig into this very juicy and exciting topic, what I’d love to be able to do is kick off with our Rebel segment. If we can just talk a little bit about, you learn a little bit more about your background and maybe some surprising facts. But if you don’t mind, let’s start with a little share around something that you would consider a rebel act in your life during your career that maybe had some surprising outcomes.

Alisa Vossen (03:15): I think one big surprising rebel act that we did over the last few years was we sort of pumpkin planned the business. So part of pumpkin planning is a book and I highly recommend it for anybody. And it’s so relevant not to just business, but to just any piece of your life that you really want to sort of like fix. And it comes with a lot of risk and also comes with a lot of. You have to have a stomach for it because some things will hurt and some things won’t. But when you do the pumpkin plan the gist of it is essentially if you look at your garden and you’re like, Oh my gosh, I have some great flowers, but I have all these weeds too.

Alisa Vossen (04:53): And the weeds are pulling down my flowers. I don’t have time to keep up w ith all of it. I’m being distracted by all kinds of different things. Once I do this over here, I pluck this weed I’m back over here. So the idea of the pumpkin plan is to just weed the entire garden bed and just let the flowers grow. And once you do, you will have this most vibrant and beautiful partnership with your flower garden, where there’s no weeds pulling at you, or like kind of changing the time that you’re working with stuff. And so what we ended up doing is saying, we are going to pumpkin plan 522, and we’re going to not work with everybody. And we’re only going to work with organizations that we know that we can create an impact for utilizing the skills and the expertise that we have.

Alisa Vossen (05:38): And that is basically working with organizations who have a mission who need to change perspectives. Maybe it’s how people see them, how they see their products. It could be a financial industry where they have a bad reputation and we need to change the way that people see how they work within the industry. It could be any organization that needed a major shift in their perspective, whether it be within internal, because we also do recruiting and training videos, whether we need to shift cultures for employees. Or if it’s external, we need to shift the audience perspective. We ended up plucking all those, “Hey, we just need a video. Can you make a video for us?” To, we want to work with organizations that really need a change. And so we decided a bold act was that we put on our website, very large emboldened, said we, our mission was to rid the world of cheesy videos.

Alisa Vossen (06:33): And so once we did that, people’s customers started coming to us and saying, I don’t want to choose the video really great, cause we don’t know how to make them. So if you really want like a video, a powerful video, that’s going to change your content, your digital presence, you’ll be working with us. But if you need a quick video, if you need like some iteration of you want to make this video for somebody else, a competitor, I can refer you to other people. And that took a lot. It takes a lot to turn away business and it takes a lot to say “no” to people. And it really took a lot for us to focus. But once we did, the lives that we got to be involved with, the things that we got to change, we got to work in some amazing organizations to really help them kind of evolve and make a bigger impact. It took us a while, but the outcome was really great because we were able to really focus. And I think that’s what true value means.

Rhoan Morgan (07:26): Well, and I think that in terms of a rebel act as a business owner, that’s no small move, right? That takes some bravery and some guts to do. So it’s a pretty exciting one. And and not a lot of companies or, or, or business owners are willing to do that. So that’s very cool. Now, when you’re working with your customers, still sort of continuing with that rebel segment, you know, I’d love it if you could share with us how you’re helping customers to kind of, as you put it, you know, not, you don’t want to make any cheesy videos, how do you help them rebel against the norms when it comes to the use of their videos or even to the content of their videos? You know, do you have a success story that you can share with us really quickly?

Alisa Vossen (08:12): I would say for us, when customers come to us, we really have a knowledge with them and a discovery call that basically allows us to look at their business from an outsider. And when we come in as an outsider, we’re able to see things that customers aren’t able to see in the ground floor. So an example would be if we’re working with a nonprofit organization and they have a very siloed audience where they know that only certain people want to work with them and they have a certain method and a certain strategy and maybe a certain fundraising aspect, They’ll come to us and say, can you help us make a fundraising video? We politely say, we have to throw everything out, right? If need to hit a certain dollar point, then we’re going to come in and we’re going to give you a suggestion on how we’re going to get there because we know the end result.

Alisa Vossen (09:04): A really great example is over this past few months, especially in relevant times, we had a nonprofit that we worked with. We’ve worked with them for a few years and we’ve created this legacy luncheon product for them every year. And it follows a certain fundraising model. And this certain fundraising model sends the person who’s going to be attending the luncheon. They have to follow certain protocol. They have to do certain things. Then they sit down, they have lunch and they watch a video and then they donate. And so they couldn’t have it this year. And so we had to make it a virtual event, which is the first time in like their entire existence they have done this luncheon completely different. And so they try to kind of instill the same mold of the fundraising mold, but we had to come back and say, this isn’t going to work.

Alisa Vossen (09:54): Here’s why it’s not going to work, but here’s what will work. Finally, we were able to do social videos. We did cross promotion for them. We had an amazing attendance for this virtual event, which is the first time they’ve ever done it because they are, they provide elderly care senior services. And so it’s a different audience. So they saw such great success through this whole thing, but they had to be willing to adapt, but they also had to be willing to have us come in and say your current model, isn’t going to work. And so to have that mutual respect that we can work together was really, really super awesome to go through.

Rhoan Morgan (10:31): What I was just thinking is it takes a lot of trust to be able to do that. And you know, you either, you can certainly earn that over time. But you can also earn that with your reputation. I love that example and very timely. I mean, that’s what a lot of companies are going through right now is having to shift to finding ways of doing everything virtually depending on where you’re at, especially in the world. So, okay. So let’s take a moment to shift into what I like to think about as the Dream Team, which you know, to me, you know, and to everybody at the company at any company is very, very important, but I’m really passionate about the partnership between marketing and sales. And I think that this is something that we need to highlight as much as we can, especially when there are great, great partnerships between these teams.

Rhoan Morgan (11:22): So I’d love to be able to talk a little bit about how marketing and sales are working together in terms of video marketing. We’ve seen more and more people coming together. More and more often, we’re seeing these teams coming together to support each other. I think, especially now that as I said, and as you were just talking about things are going virtual. So I’d love it if you could tell us a little bit about who are the people that you’re typically working with, are you seeing sales kind of come into the picture more? If yes, how, if not, what do you think about that? Should they be?

Alisa Vossen (12:00): Here’s, maybe this is another rebel act, but I have a different approach to the philosophy of this kind of sales and marketing leading charge. Right. And I actually think it’s more internal than it is external. And so the idea is that it’s a whole company approach to marketing efforts because you need everybody, everybody on the same page in order for sales and marketing to be successful, if you have a sales and marketing team that is super high dense, but the internal operations and customer success teams are not on the same page, then everything that you’ve put effort towards is going to kind of just crumble to the ground. So I almost take the opposite approach that once your internal team is stable and has that rock of like a culture of care that sales and marketing, it makes their jobs so much easier because customers can feel it and they will see it in the way that they work with your team.

Alisa Vossen (13:03): Right? So in terms of where video comes into play is it is the only medium that can play a holistic part from sales enablement all the way down to the kind of ambassadorship, you know, so advocacy at the end, should be super easy. Where you have loyal customer evidence that allows you to even start the sales cycle all over again. So we look at more of like the whole company approach and when we actually do video content and they say, we need a sales video, I’m like, that’s awesome. Let’s do a sales video, but let’s talk about your operations first. And let’s talk about how you actually function internally so that I can understand what we’re actually selling. And then once I understand what we’re actually selling, then we can go back and create a sales pitch video, or it’s a thought leadership video, or we can recommend whether it’s a direct email with our product explainer or feature influencer generated type of video. So it’s really kind of starting from the ground floor and working your way up than it is starting at the top at awareness and working your way down to advocacy.

Rhoan Morgan (14:13): Yeah, that’s interesting. So, but who is it that you’re actually working with when you’re creating the video? So a buyer comes to you, is it marketing to me and believe me, I completely agree with you. And if you look at our book “Change Agents,” which I think we wrote in 2017, it talks about everything from initial awareness, all the way down to loyalty. So I’m on the same page with you a hundred percent that it’s gotta be it’s most ideal, let’s say when it’s a whole company effort. Now that’s a little bit harder when you’re working with a Fortune 100 company and you’ve got tens and tens of thousands of people across the globe and they’re regionally based and they’ve got different, you know, drivers and motivations and that sort of thing.

Rhoan Morgan (14:58): So I guess what I’m really asking, especially for our sales listeners is what kind of work when you sort of get down into maybe the tactics of it, rather than the higher level sort of thinking, what is it that sort of happens when you’re working with your initial buyer, who from our perspective is marketing, right? But we know we’re here to enable and support sales, ultimately video is, can be used throughout the entire journey as we have talked about. Can you share a little bit about how this sort of works at that stage and then can develop throughout the organization? I think right.

Alisa Vossen (15:40): Going back to top question, which is like the “who,” right. So for us, unfortunately, the, “who” is all over the place. So we work with account directors, agency directors, CEOs, CIOs, marketing directors, marketing communications, specialists, digital content producers, creative directors, program officers, contract officers, human relationship officers. Ultimately at the end, it depends on where it fits into the ultimate business goals at the top. And so when we’re working with sales enablement, we usually starts with the marketing teams, but at the end of the day, we still are working with the front end sales associates who are working with the customers, whether it’s a pitch or not. So we will work with marketing most often, but then we will bring in, especially the CEO’s, like tell us who the customers are. You’re entrenched with your customers, you know, who is going to be buying faster, who needs more nurturing, who needs more information, who needs more education, who doesn’t, how do we get to decision faster by taking them on this journey and what that journey looks like? It’s often funny for us where our buyer is different than our actual collaborator. And I don’t know if you guys see that as well, but we tend to start with like a set of stakeholders in the beginning of the sales cycle. And then we move to a whole nother set of stakeholders.

Rhoan Morgan (17:08): Yeah, I would say that we do see that in a number of cases and that’s actually, because going back to something we were talking about a few minutes ago, is that what we’re doing and what you guys also do? It reaches into many, many teams within an organization, you know, and it can impact the customer at so many different stages that we have to communicate. It’s not like a dictatorship, right? It’s not, you know, marketing comes in and says, this is how it’s going to be. Actually it’s super collaborative. Those are, those are the really important and most impressive sort of campaigns and programs that are sent out right, are those that are highly collaborative.

Alisa Vossen (17:52): I will also add that in sales enablement, we find a lot of success with customer experience because often times we ask our clients, can we actually talk to your same and your customers, can we actually hear from them the experience they had, what they liked. And didn’t like, and that’s challenging. That’s very challenging for customers to give us up their clients to talk to. But once we do, we’re able to understand and have a better insight into their sales cycle that allows us to bring a different perspective that they wouldn’t have as they’re kind of ingrained in their own business.

Rhoan Morgan (18:28): Totally, absolutely. Now you were just talking a little bit about sales enablement videos. Do you have an example of something that you are particularly excited about or proud of in terms of just, I mean, just that example. Then I’d love it if you could share one in terms of maybe the loyalty, as we’re thinking about the customer experience, going all the way past purchase, certainly, and into the ambassadorship. I’d love it. If you could start just by sharing maybe a fun example or an example that you think is, is interesting around sales enablement. And then we can talk about one example from the loyalty stage. Absolutely.

Alisa Vossen (19:11): The one thing I’m really excited about in sales enablement is this idea of personalized sales pitches. This idea is creating custom videos for each individual salesperson that allows this relationship with the customer to come off right at the get-go so they can see humans, right? They want to know what the experience is going to be like. And in order to do that, you have to see someone’s face and make it like, look real. Oftentimes you get these emails from sales associates that are just trying to get any type of traction or just to have a conversation, but oftentimes people are going to hit delete because they’re busy and they are more educated and they have more information and more content in front of them to make decisions about what they like and don’t like. And so this idea of personalized sales pitches is something we’ve been working on for the last few months.

Alisa Vossen (20:03): And we’ve been testing it at 522 as well, so that we can actually show the results of them. We actually put our sales team and marketing team on video, and we send them out in direct email campaigns. And we sent them out specifically to different industries, nonprofits, private sector, technology. And each one of the videos had different messaging and they weren’t complicated. They were a very simple approach to it. So that means anybody can produce them. It’s just what type of result did they get? Those videos generated almost a 40% higher traction rate than just plain email did. And we all know that video is going to create a higher, higher impact, but at what cost does it do it? And so these personalized sales pitches really allows your sales team to connect really fast with your audience in a way that they weren’t ever able to do that starts the customer experience.

Alisa Vossen (20:56): Right? I think there was a podcast that you had one gentlemen on and he talked about the customer experience. There’s where it starts. It’s not like the sleazy sales pitch going on. You know, it’s all about being that personal. So, and then the beautiful thing about that personalization is that you can take it all the way to loyalty. And if you’re able to continue that connection, that human connection through the entire way, then your customers already feel a part of your process. You don’t have to over explain anything. They feel part of your organization. They feel the culture, they feel the people, and they want to be a part of that. They want to work with their friends. They don’t want to work with a team that’s going to make their lives harder, not easier.

Rhoan Morgan (21:36): Absolutely. And you know, it’s funny because you reminded me of a online commercial video thing from probably nine or 10 years ago. It was quite a long time ago and it was personalized where you could type in your name and then this guy is singing a song and he keeps singing your name. And I don’t even remember the product to be honest, but he even had like your name tattooed on his bicep somehow. I wrote a blog post about it. I’d have to go back and take a look and see if we can even find what the product was, but it was really cool. But at the end of the day, it was very fun. It got a lot of attention because it was somewhat new, but it didn’t sort of pull all the way. And I think it was a consumer product anyway, but it didn’t pull all the way through into like, okay, what next, so what do you want me to do with that?

Rhoan Morgan (22:19): It’s great. And it definitely, you know, got a lot of buzz, but then, you know, probably it was a couple of years ago or a year ago when the COO here had signed up for some small subscription of something. I don’t remember again what that was because I wasn’t the actual buyer, but, but he showed me, he actually got a video saying welcome. And the guy wrote his name on his iPad, you know, with a pen or something and was like, “welcome Julien.” It was completely personalized. We had no idea how he did it. And we were both just standing there like that is so cool. We have to help our clients do more of that because that’s gonna get attention. You know, I think that’s very exciting to be doing. And nowadays I think it’s even more important. I would love to see that maybe you can share an example of that and we can put it in our show notes for our listeners.

Rhoan Morgan (23:17): Let’s see, let’s talk about customer experience a little bit. I watched your latest webinar series, which was really great. It was around leveraging video to maximize change and drive growth. And we can link to that as well. I’m happy to share that with our listeners. And one of the things that stood out was how you’re incorporating video into each stage of the marketing funnel and how, and we’ve discussed this already, how important and critical you think that is? I think that really sets you guys apart as well, because you don’t see a lot of video production agencies that are kind of thinking those several steps beyond that content piece. Can you tell us a little bit about why you think or how you think video is instrumental in that customer experience with a brand? Right. So how and why is that so important? I think you’ve touched on it a bit, but then also, you know, share a story of how you can weave a single video or maybe a series throughout the entire buyer cycle or customer experience.

Alisa Vossen (24:26): For me, I think video is instrumental in the customer experience because it has to do three things and I call them like the three R’s. It has to be relevant, has to be respectful and it has to give results. Respect for me is a big thing because we need to respect our audience education levels. And we also need to respect our audience’s time. And so if you’re able to do that throughout the entire buyer’s journey, you’re giving them this experience of appreciation versus like an onslaught of content. And by doing it with a set of videos, not one, right, you can do all the brand videos you want for awareness and consideration, but if you fail at expansion and the advocacy phase of this without showing the client the full gamut of appreciation of why you are basically honored to have them as a client, then that’s where I feel companies really need to kind of change the perspective a little bit about marketing.

Alisa Vossen (25:29): And I think it’s appreciating that holistic view. And so with video, you’re able to take a brand video, right? So as long as it’s structured well, in a sense that you’re able to hit a bunch of topics within that one video, you can cut it into multiple different areas. That way you can take them through this journey and constantly be at their, their point of information where they need it. We don’t want to keep sending them the same content over and over again. Behavioral targeting has become very kind of inundated a little bit with, okay, if I went and I’m looking at this pair of shoes, this is a simple kind of example, right. Then I keep getting, I keep getting the same type of content, like buy my shoes, buy my shoes, buy my shoes. I’m missing the why and who and how and what it’s going to do to make my life easier to change that. So that’s where we kind of lose the content a little bit. And so having a true video marketing strategy allows us to walk them through that journey and give them that experience of appreciation so that when they get to purchase, you feel a part of the brand already, you don’t need to be talked to, you can like work with if that makes sense. Absolutely.

Alisa Vossen (26:46): Yeah. Now I’m sure that you work with plenty of companies that haven’t developed their strategy yet. Maybe it’s their first video and they’re stepping into this. Where would you, or how do you sort of start with them? Where do you recommend… And maybe it’s even before they pick up the phone or open up their emails, is to shoot you guys a note, where should people start when they want to step into creating video for their companies?

Alisa Vossen (27:13): We have this tactic when we start with companies who are just getting their feet a little bit wet, we kind of go at the approach of the bleeding neck. Like, tell me what is, what is your biggest issue? Where are you bleeding the most so that we can understand the urgency and level of urgency? And maybe it’s not urgent once they start able to talk about like their issues or challenges or goals that they want to hit. Oftentimes it’s really easy to start at high level and just get as much awareness and traction as possible, but that only takes you so far. So when we’re working with a new organization, we really kind of take a little bit of a longer approach with them. We kind of expand the sales cycle and say, let us come in and have a consulting conversation with you at no cost, just so that we can see if we can actually help you.

Alisa Vossen (28:03): And if we can help you, we’re going to make a few recommendations. And whether it starts with a sales video that could also be on a website, or it could be brand video. Maybe it’s culture, maybe they don’t need a sales video. Maybe they need to change their culture. And then once they change their culture, they change their audience. So there’s really a lot of investigation work that comes with starting out with video, because quality does matter. Because quality is a direct reflection of your brand. And if you’re not producing quality that clients want the other customers want, our audience, sorry, wants to watch, then your brand is going to take a hit to it. So we really kind of take a holistic approach and say, okay, where’s, where’s our bleeding next? What are we trying to hit? And then we also look at longevity, right? We don’t want to produce a video that’s going to like only last a month or two months. We want to make sure that the content that we’re producing will have a duration of one to five years in its expansion, because that’s where true ROI comes. If you really have a great piece of content, you can quickly adapt that content at any point and put it anywhere in your funnel and it will still be relevant. And that’s a big challenge for some people.

Rhoan Morgan (29:11): Yep. And in fact, that actually leads to the next question that I was going to ask you, which is around ROI. So many companies now they have to really, especially right now, they’re thinking, you know, they’re really thinking about their budgets and where should they be really investing to make the most of the dollars that they still have. So how do companies measure the success and ROI of video marketing?

Alisa Vossen (29:39): Yeah companies I find this fascinating. So we spend a lot of time in our outreach and distribution and really understanding what people’s metrics are. As well as customers, like where are your social metrics? Let’s see your YouTube page, let’s see where your email distribution is, show us all of the data. And what we find even more fascinating is that a lot of organizations don’t have the data.