Editor's note: This post was written by Tim Rickards, Hearsay's Managing Director of Social and Content Strategy. Tim and his team provide consultative services to Hearsay Social customers to help them maximize their social selling activities and investment.
From infomercials to live streams to what we might call “good old-fashioned advertising,” video reigns supreme in today’s marketing landscape. And despite the viral flash of TikTok and Instagram, this is not really a new thing. Certain Saturday morning commercials and watershed cultural moments from my childhood remain vivid memories; I may be getting worse at finding my car keys but will never forget “Leggo my Eggo!”
Within the context of social selling, video’s power to connect and spur recall only grows stronger because individual people (vs. a brand or corporate entity) are sharing ideas and information to make connections with other individual people. Being personal and authentic drives higher engagement, and video allows your agents and advisors to be the most “personal” version they can be via an electronic medium.
There are a bunch of behavioral reasons why video works so well. It communicates on multiple levels simultaneously (sight, sound, body language), engages our instinctual mirroring behavior, and activates empathetic responses. Video allows us to “show, not tell” and removes the distance between the person posting content and the person reading/watching it. Also, let’s be honest, it’s way more fun—cat videos crush cat GIFs on the entertainment scale.
I’ve collected a few statistics at the bottom of this post to provide you with a strong rationale for increasing video activity within your Hearsay program. But I think it’s more important to provide guidance on HOW you can get started.
We have divided this process into three steps:
1. Define the business need
Get specific about what you need and expect from video by answering these questions:
- Do you have a particular user group in mind?
Consider focusing on a group that’s already active on Hearsay Social. Doing video will be hard for people at first, so be realistic about who you’re asking.
- How will you measure success?
You could shoot for increased adoption and publishing or engagement rates compared to other content types. Defining these metrics will make it easier to display your success.
- Do you want to focus on a particular social network?
This is more important than we might think. What people post on LinkedIn would be different than Instagram, for example.
2. Develop an implementation plan
It’s vital to treat video with the same level of preparation as any new marketing strategy since it represents a significant behavior change for your field folks. Some useful actions your plan should include:
- Engage early with your compliance, field, and marketing colleagues
This coordination will help you refine #1 and uncover unforeseen blockers and challenges.
- Define your video review/approval/archiving process
Be sure to update lexicon and imagery standards to take advantage of automated speech-to-text review and flagging of inappropriate words and imagery.
- Develop training materials for agents/advisors AND compliance partners
However you’ve defined your best practices for implementing change, follow them here. It’s vital that all participants understand the process and expectations.
- Provide easy-to-use templates and formulas to help people get started
These can range from topics and talking points to scripts and set suggestions. To make video content easier to find in your content library, consider using dedicated tags containing “video” in them.
3. Launch and assess
Once you’ve completed #1 and #2, it’s time to start posting videos! Make this an event to encourage adoption, be sure to highlight great examples, and report out on your measurements. All of that can help build and maintain momentum moving forward.
Finally, three rules of thumb that I believe will help you encourage more and better use of video by your agents and advisors.
- Get comfortable with “connection not perfection”
While professionally produced videos work well and ensure you’re on brand, they are not ideal for social selling. You want your field personnel to show up like the interesting (and imperfect) people they are in real life.
- Start simple but aim to improve over time
The initial “person talking to the camera” post is great. But video works even better when we “show don’t tell,” particularly to clarify a complicated topic like investing or insurance needs.
- Remind your agents and advisors they are the stars of the show
Video provides the opportunity to “be more human” and share their lives. Encourage them to share personal interests and community involvement.
And, as promised, here are six statistics on the impact of video:
- Three-quarters of consumers who are viewing more online video content say they plan to maintain their watch time post-pandemic
- 96% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service
- Around 70% of Instagram users watch video content in the form of Stories on a daily basis
- 50% of attendees at Hearsay’s recent “Show, Don’t Tell” webinar on video consider it a growing part of their marketing strategy and investment
- Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text
- When it comes to making a decision about a product or service, 9 out of 10 consumers say video helps them with their choice
Hearsay customers: our Content Strategy and Customer Success teams are here to help you! If you’d like to book a dedicated conversation about these or other topics, please contact your Customer Success Manager or connect directly with me.