Channel Marketer Report


Trend Tracking: New Solutions To Help Channel Marketers Integrate Video Into Partner Programs

Today’s time-starved executives are spending less time with content. As a result, organizations must implement quick-hitting strategies to educate partners and prospects, and effectively address buyer pain points.

To address this time crunch, innovative marketers are utilizing video to educate prospects and customers, as well as optimize demand and lead generation.

The “2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report” revealed that a majority (76%) of marketers plan to increase their use of YouTube and video, making it the top tactic for 2012. Yet many marketers, especially in the channel, are challenged to determine a go-to market strategy for video creation and sharing, according to Jon Whitlock VP of Channel Solutions at Brainshark.

“One of the primary hurdles involves just getting started with video and having limited resources,” Whitlock told Channel Marketer Report. “For OEMs, and companies in general, the prospect of creating video content can still be a bit intimidating, from a skills, time and cost perspective. From a partner perspective, the challenge is really ensuring that the content being created will be used effectively to increase new business. It has to be seamless and partners need to be able to easily access and share the content, and they need to be confident that the videos will actually be useful when selling to each of their specific audiences.”

However, a variety of new technologies and solutions, such as Brainshark for Channels and KnowledgeVision, allow organizations across the channel to create, upload and share videos at a faster rate.

Integrating Partner Offerings And Value Into Videos

While many B2B marketers are eager to implement video on their web sites, blogs and email marketing campaigns, channel partners are hesitant to invest their time and marketing resources. These sentiments are primarily drawn from a lack of including partner value propositions and branding into video collateral, according to Whitlock.

“This hesitation may come from partners wanting to brand and personalize the sales and marketing materials they use when engaging with buyers,” Whitlock said. “So for OEMs, video content needs to be created with that caveat in mind. If the content being delivered also works for the partners’ own value proposition and brand, they’ll be more likely to utilize it effectively.”

For example, Brainshark’s solution allows OEMs to protect their core messaging and content, while also allowing partners to integrate their unique video presentations, introductions, summary sections and insight, while they syndicate collateral across their network.

Developing A Checklist For Effective Videos

According to DemandGen Report’s “Content Preferences Survey,” more visual forms of content, including webinars (72%); videos (44%); and infographics (38%) are coming more to the forefront. Companies can extend content life of PowerPoint presentations, webinars and infographics by developing videos that provide quick snapshots of new research and prescriptive insights.

“Video presents a valuable opportunity for channel companies to provide engaging marketing materials for partners and resellers, while keeping their messaging consistent,” Whitlock said. “Partners are using it on their web sites, in email and social media campaigns, and in sales conversations with their customers. And, the analytics capabilities now available with video, allow companies and their partners to track how their videos are viewed, and use that data to prioritize leads and create more targeted messages for various channel audiences.”

Whitlock provided a 4-step guide to creating compelling video content across the channel. Tips and best practices for video development include:

1. Define and understand your audience. Determine all goals and “calls-to-action” for each video.

2. Create a script that aligns with target audiences, their pain points and market needs.

3. Develop a storyboard to describe each scene within a video, either through words or sketches.

4. Shoot and edit the video.

In order to ensure top viewership and greater interactivity with video content, Whitlock recommended that organizations optimize video for mobile devices. Due to the growing prevalence of smartphones and tablet devices, marketers must equip videos to connect with all on-the-go viewers. This includes being sensitive to Adobe Flash, which isn’t available on most devices. As a result, prospects and customers will be able to view content more seamlessly, and sales teams can present product overviews and other content more easily.

Top forms of content that can be revamped for video include:

  1. Customer testimonials;
  2.  Demos/product walk-throughs;
  3. Webinars, saved and distributed to partners
  4. Interviews, video blogs and other segments integrated into email campaigns; and
  5. Company announcements and training programs.

Marketers also can implement the “Rule of 5,” which was developed by content expert and eMarketing author Ardath Albee. This concept allows organizations to extend the life of their existing content and create more extensive editorial calendars. For example, OEMs, manufacturers and vendors can create an on-demand webinar series based on a white paper or E-book. Companies can then distribute videos to partners to integrate their unique offerings and services, and share across their online channels and lead generation programs.

Organizations also can implement several messaging strategies to connect with prospects and partners. For example, KnowledgeVision allows organizations to integrate PowerPoint presentations, video content, animations and advertisements in a cohesive, multi-dimensional platform. This not only creates a more enhanced video experience, it also appeals to the short-attention-spanned executive that is completing multiple tasks while interacting with content.

The Continued Integration Of Video And Channel Marketing

Powerful marketing and lead generation strategies rely on organizations’ ability to address industry trends and pain points. The continued proliferation of information around the web has caused buyers to be immune to sales speak.

As a result, channel players must think outside the box, remove “salesy” pitches and company offerings, and portray their knowledge of market trends. With more channel marketers striving to be seen as reliable sources, video will become a more prominent channel for partner, customer and prospect engagement, as well as education.

“Online video marketing is extremely hot among both B2Bs and B2Cs right now,” Whitlock said. “Advancements in technology have made video production easier and more affordable than ever before, and marketers are much less timid about investing in video content as a result. The rise in smartphone and tablet adoption has also made it easier for buyers to access video content anytime, anywhere, opening a whole new opportunity for businesses to extend the reach of their marketing efforts.”



About Alicia Fiorletta

Alicia Fiorletta is Senior Editor for Channel Marketer Report. Working closely with industry analysts and experts, Alicia reports on the latest news, technologies, case studies and trends coming to forefront in the channel marketing world. With a focus on emerging marketing strategies, including social, mobile and content for demand, Alicia hones in on new ways for organizations to market to and through their partner networks. Through her work with G3 Communications, Alicia also acts as Associate Editor for Retail TouchPoints, a digital publishing network focused on the customer-facing area of the retail industry.

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