Did you know that anywhere between 50% to 90% of the buying process happens before you even talk to a salesperson?? This week we have Ali Schwanke with us, the CEO and Founder of Simple Strat. Ali has over 15 years marketing experience and is here this week to explain how she builds trust in the B2B process through video.
Links to Ali's video specific resources:
How to Market Your Business Using Video Guide: http://simplestrat.com/b2b-video-marketing
The Ultimate Guide to Thought Leadership: http://simplestrat.com/thoughtleader
How to Shoot Customer Video Testimonials: http://simplestrat.com/video-testimonials
All Marketing stuff:
General marketing resources/free guides/worksheets: https://simplestrat.com/resources/
You're listening to the video marketing podcast, helping you go a little more viral every day. Here's your host, Matt Johnston.
Matt Johnston: (00:14)
Hello everybody. Welcome to the video marketing podcast. I am Matt Johnston that you so much for being here. I'm always so excited to have another one of these shows. Um, I just, I personally learned so much and I hope you too as well. Um, you can probably hear that my voice is hoarse or, or bad or barely existent. All those things would be correct. I'm getting over being sick or something. I don't know, but a, as Ali who's with me here lamented before we got on the air on the air, um, uh, no, I don't have a great story. I didn't go to a Metallica concert and come up on stage and sing [inaudible] no James Hatfield or anything like that. Unfortunately. Uh, just got a little bit sick but the show must go on. So here we are. Ali is with me. Ali is amazing. Ali, thank you so much for being here.
Ali Schwanke: (01:04)
I am excited to be here. I don't have any cough drops and my voice is great. So let's get this going.
Matt Johnston: (01:11)
Ali. Ali Schwanke, she's the CEO and the chief marketing strategist of simple strap out in Lincoln, Nebraska. Mostly a marketing agency for BDB companies. Serious about growth, 15 years marketing experience both in house and an entrepreneur. Um, Ali is, uh, is really fantastic. She's also the cofounder of brand plan, which is a, which I'd love to talk about a little bit today. I'm a technology startup focusing on helping marketers better plan, visualize and execute their marketing strategy. Uh, and now that I'm done reading Ali is just amazing. Uh, Ali and I met, we were both speaking at a conference in Washington. I always say outside Seattle, but let's be honest, that was not outside Seattle. I flew into Seattle, then drove three hours through farmland. So that's not really outside. It's not really outside anything. No. Uh, but it, but it wasn't, it was a very fun conference and Allie and I got to connect there and sorta hit it off.
Matt Johnston: (02:11)
She, she'd been talking to me about how, I mean, I was there to speak about video. She was there to speak about data and how to leverage data. And we got to obviously talking about how she uses video. And I think that B2B video is something that people often don't know how to attack. I, I made a video recently where I was talking about it a little bit about people, often B to B companies get a little bit sort of, um, they, they sort of get in a bind because they don't, don't know what to produce because they don't feel like they can tug on all of the reasons why video works in their video. For example, I always preach about empathy and [inaudible] response and all of these things. And a lot of in the B2B world I often hear, Oh, I feel, you know, like it's, it's boring.
Matt Johnston: (02:56)
Or it's like SAS software or it's, you know, it's business to business, you know, duh, duh, duh duh duh, duh. But I think people forget that it's people connecting with people at the end of the day. So Ali and I were talking about, okay, well what can we talk about today? And she told me she's doing some really fascinating stuff to, to build trust in the B2B process through video and she's generating a lot of customers for her own business and probably helping others as well. Um, so Allie, I'd love to, I'd love to jump in just a little bit and just, just tell me first a little bit about your background, how you got started in marketing.
Ali Schwanke: (03:28)
Sure. Well, I actually started, um, down the, the visual content, uh, journey with photography actually started as a, as a photographer right at a college. And I'm wanting to rid the world of stock photos. And, uh, the good thing about that was, um, I think now everybody is on board with, uh, realizing how fake stock photos the same and how inauthentic they can seem. Uh, the problem was, uh, you know, 15 years ago, nobody wanted to pay me to do that, uh, because there was sex, like a I stock photo that had just popped up and everyone's like, Oh, this is amazing. And so, you know, I kind of, uh, uh, then just fell back into the marketing side of things, which, which I love. Um, and so, uh, I've always been a proponent of building trust and helping before selling. And I think now we live in a world where the majority of the business to business, um, anybody has a consumer.
Ali Schwanke: (04:18)
But like in the business scenario, you know, anywhere you can, you can look for stats online, but anywhere between 50 to 90% of the buying process happens before you talk to a salesperson. So consumers are out a businesses that are looking to make business purchasing decisions, are out looking for information before they actually talk to a salesperson, which is where if your company, your face, your video, your likeness is out there influencing that decision without them feeling like they're being sold to. Um, that's really where the power comes in. And so we've been able to lever to in our own company and now we're obviously on this, uh, this train of preaching of stuff that their companies and helping them take advantage of it as well.
Matt Johnston: (04:59)
So let's talk first about how you're doing that. What platforms are you focusing on?
Ali Schwanke: (05:05)
Yeah. So in the just a business setting, you know, I think I'll take a step back and say, people often ask questions like, um, uh, what videos should I produce and what should I talk about? Uh, and then they ask questions like, well, where should I publish in and what should I, you know, what should I do with it? Um, and those were, I would say those are probably the wrong questions to be asking. So, um, the, the questions that a company should be asking themselves are, um, where do I need to, um, where can I use video to strengthen what I'm already doing and repurpose my content at to start with, cause you probably already have written content. Um, so in our case, we're finding that people are searching for what we call top of funnel content, which is like, they're looking for answers to problems.
Ali Schwanke: (05:49)
They don't know that they need your solution. They just got a problem. So, you know, in our case it's, man, I, I just, I got this tool that's HubSpot and I don't know how to use it. Um, and we're a HubSpot agency, so we know how to consult on the platform. So we actually launched an entire YouTube channel that's called HubSpot hacks. And, um, we are growing subscribers on there teaching people how to do basic things on that platform. Once they engage there, we're then directing them to resources over on our websites. Uh, they download racism courses on our website and then they enter our sales and marketing funnel that way. So that's, that's a top of funnel way to, um, to use video, um, for ourselves. Um, we all, we've also put together a Friday of, um, so each, each service page on our website has a video that says what the service page is about. So if they choose, they want, they can watch that video instead of reading the whole page. So it just gives people options of, um, some people are better learners when they watch. Some people are better learners when they read and we'd rather not, um, miss the opportunity to engage them. Um, and then we can do things like if a, if someone watches half a video, I can actually serve them a different experience cause I know that they've been engaged with the content, which is something you can't do with written texts.
Matt Johnston: (07:04)
So how do you feel that this builds trust? And how's that specific to video? I mean, because the other forms of content build trust, blogs, build trust, regular social media content can build trestle would, what is it about video?
Ali Schwanke: (07:17)
Yeah, so video where especially you have, um, the experts themselves in the video. So it doesn't have to be something that's, that's massly produced. Um, we, um, we advise companies that think about video from an ABC perspective. So a being, ah, like the videos that you might think of, like your branding videos, there are thousands and thousands of dollars. You know, they usually involve some sort of like opening drone shot. I don't know why. There's always like this opening drone shot over a field and then someone appears and they do amazing things. Uh, and then there's the B level video, which you still need to have good audio, good production quality, but it's probably like, I'm actually sitting in our video studio right now. Um, and we have a set behind us. I don't have a backlight on, but, um, the, the quality is clear. The microphone is good.
Ali Schwanke: (08:01)
The contents, well, well thought out. Uh, and then there's C level content, which is like, Hey, I'm at a conference, I know the conference you and I were at, uh, I captured a bunch of, of content and then slice it together into a slide show and now it becomes a moving piece of content that represents the fact that I was actually at this conference. But when you have that B level video content with people in it, so whether it's, um, you might be talking to the developer about how they made a certain piece of the software or, uh, there's a company down in Alabama called Alltech and they work with utility. And so they've got video of their guys out installing things in the field and doing a quick interview of about what they're doing. But what it does is it you, you can't fake that.
Ali Schwanke: (08:43)
So in written content, the number of companies that have contracted with people overseas in different places to essentially farm out and write the content for them when your face is on video, there's no joking that you know what you're talking about. And so I think people tend to trust and buy quicker cause they're like, you know, if I watch, you know, Matt, I've listened to your podcast too. When you talk about video, you can't fake that. You know what you're talking about. You either do what you're doing and uh, you know, video just as another element to that. And it tends to move the process along quicker because they, they see you. And then there's that familiarity that breeds trust and trust is, is how people buy.
Matt Johnston: (09:18)
So let's start, because I always like to give people as much value as possible. And I think that most people listening are saying to themselves, I mean, there's a lot of B2B, uh, founders listening right now and they're probably, they're thinking to themselves, how do I start this for myself because of the, I mean, let, let, let's be honest, here you and probably even me are, are a little advanced when it comes to how much we're using video and B2B and it's never pretty when you first start. Um, and so, um, I think you have to start with a goal, right? So, so, uh, how would you define that goal? Um, and how did you define that goal when you were first starting and to sort of justify it? Because that's always what it comes down to is video is often looked at as something that is so high resource that, you know, it better be helping your bottom line.
Matt Johnston: (10:03)
Otherwise you just got to cut it because it's so high resource. I would take issue with it being high resource. I just don't, don't, I think that that's just a systems thing. Um, but, uh, I, I, I think that you do need to know that what you're doing is funneling into your actual business. Um, and then sort of where to start. So, so, so if we were to start from the beginning, you were talking to somebody where we said, okay, well we need to start marketing B2B through first top of funnel content on video. Where do you start?
Ali Schwanke: (10:36)
Yeah, so, um, one of the best places for any company to start is to come up with the top 10 questions that people ask you all the time on the sales process. So this is something that, you know, if you have a sales agents in the field, they're probably answering these questions on a daily basis, you know, for us. Um, we're getting questions about, you know, what's the difference between you guys onboarding us on HubSpot and HubSpot doing it with us. And so we have a video that talks about the difference between agency onboarding and hotspot onboarding. Um, you know, when you, when you're a business where you've got, um, uh, let's say, let's say you work for sprout social, which is a software company, um, you know that people are going to compare sprout social to buffer. So why don't you have a video that walks through the features of each and just when you control that conversation, you have a much better chance of, uh, getting them to trust you because, um, you know, they're asking the question and so go ahead and put the answer out there.
Ali Schwanke: (11:30)
So there's those top 10 questions. Um, and then have your sales people be the ones that record those videos. And, and for the first time that you engage in, in video content, um, it's going to be awful. I'm just gonna I'm just gonna say like most of the time, um, people are scared about the technology when in fact they should be more focused on how I create content that's engaging and does a good job of answering the question versus having the lights look good. The audio is good, you know, how long should it be? Well, it should be long enough to answer the question and compelling enough to keep me watching the whole time. You know, those are, those are things that are very, like, it depends. So that's where I'd encourage them to, to start if they haven't done video much at all.
Matt Johnston: (12:15)
Okay. So we've got these 10 questions. I think that's great. I think that's really useful. Um, and so we're just turning these into pure value content.
Ali Schwanke: (12:23)
Um, are you thinking like, is the next question you're not asking? Like where do I put them? What do I do with them?
Matt Johnston: (12:29)
Ah, right. Well, sort of like what these, what these videos feel like too. I mean, do they simply feel like videos where you're just coming to deliver value, not trying to sell anything?
Ali Schwanke: (12:41)
Yeah, I'd actually start. Um, so there's, there's again, what we call top of funnel content, which are, people are unaware that they have a problem that you can solve, but they have a problem that, that, so it might not be that let's, let's use a, uh, plumbing, uh, example. So you might need to unclog a toilets. And so you try to YouTube that and then a plumbing companies has a video on how to unclog a toilet. But the deeper problem might be like, Oh you actually have tree ruts in your pipeline and so this isn't your problem at all. And so then the next video that follows that might be, you know, Hey, here's how we go. Did that not work? Here's how we, here's how we help you. Um, but I think when you're creating that, that the 10 questions, those are for people that are already having conversations with their sales team.
Ali Schwanke: (13:25)
So think about it this way. When you're engaged, this is more like middle of funnel con. Yes. I'd actually, I would suggest starting with middle of funnel content things people ask you about all the time, um, that you're already having conversations about. Um, cause it can do two things. One, it serves as, you know, in a sales process, especially B to B, you have multiple touch points usually before someone buys. Rarely is it. Like I was looking for a solution. We talk the next day you buy, it just usually doesn't work that way. You have a lot of nurturing that happens. So if you're nurturing them with this sales content, um, you have additional touch points that can get your face and your expertise in front of them in a way that isn't like, Hey, checking in again, checking in again, checking in again. Cause that's how a typical sales process via email works. Right? Um, so if you start with that middle of funnel content, then you can work your way up to the top, which is where, um, you know, you're talking about problems that exist that they don't know they need a solution yet.
Matt Johnston: (14:24)
So what you're talking about is a, from a distribution standpoint, these are videos that can exist that your sales team would just, they would just email along. So instead of a check and it would be like, Hey, you might be, you, you might have X objection. This would help deal with that.
Ali Schwanke: (14:40)
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, in our case, it's, um, you know, it's inevitable that from marketing agency standpoint, you might have the question of, uh, you know, well, how much should I, should I pay for X service? And so, or I don't have the budget for that. So you know, when someone says I don't have the budget, they've realized that they need marketing help, but then this is their objection. So how do we create a video that teaches them how to budget for marketing services because they didn't know that that was their issue until they got to the point that they're like, well my budget is you know, X. And we found that the majority of companies are underspending of Martins cause they don't know how to appropriate a budget for growth.
Matt Johnston: (15:18)
So these, this is actually video that isn't necessarily public. I mean this is video that lives on a Wistia or a Vimeo video that you would just send a link along in a sales process.
Ali Schwanke: (15:28)
Yeah, the best case scenario would be something that's hosted. You know, you'd have an area on your site, uh, that you have videos. And this comes down to this strategy of how your whole company produces and releases content. Cause you might embed a video like this in a blog post that already exists. Um, that's another really great way to get started with video. Go look at your best performing content on your site already and create a video out of that content. Um, and then, you know, if it's not anything that's proprietary, it certainly can you live on YouTube if it's something that people are looking for, uh, an answer to. So in that case, for us how to set a marketing budget to work with an agency is probably a question that other people are asking around the world too. That would be advantageous. Um, asking you about a feature specific thing inside of our service model, probably not something that we need to put on YouTube cause it's not something that people outside of our sales process would find helpful.
Matt Johnston: (16:19)
Okay. So we started with this middle of funnel, objection busting content. I like this. I'm going to make some [inaudible] right after this. Maybe I get, when I get my voice back. Um, you know, I, I think that sometimes some of us, myself included, I mean, I make tons of video content, but I, I don't make anything right now except for like personal videos. Uh, in the sales process, I don't make anything that is not meant to be like a public video right now. Like, so it's interesting to just use that as part of the sales process. Just sort of saying that, you know, it's, it's part of a sales cycle and just using it that way. Um, interesting. So you would start there and so then would you move to top of funnel content?
Ali Schwanke: (17:03)
Well, depending on where the company is and what type of company it is. Um, we've actually got, um, so I think you're going to put this in the show notes map, but we've got a video marketing guide on our website that Chronicles all the different types of video that we would suggest for the different parts of the sales and marketing funnel. Um, but especially if you already have customers, one of the best ways that video can, can work is helping you, um, repurpose your time. So if you have, um, customers and go through an onboarding process and they definitely need personalized support at some point, but you can help, you can create a three step video process to get them into the, let's say, your software or here's how to fill out the first Google sheet that we send you that we need you to fill out before we can start your contracts.
Matt Johnston: (17:48)
I don't, I don't what the steps would be in each company, but, um, videos can actually work to bring that same human experience into a place that, um, you know, from an ROI standpoint, a lot of companies are more apt to spend money on the customer engagement side first because they know that when a customer is happy, they'll lead. It'll lead to referrals versus top of funnel where they think, Oh, well, you know, Ali, I got 2000 views on my video, but where am I leads? Okay, that's harder to wrap together if you haven't done a good job on the customer side first.
Matt Johnston: (18:18)
That's fascinating. It's not something that I've thought about for sure. I mean, making internal video and putting resources into that. Uh, but I suppose at the end of the day, if that's, if that's the ROI, um, from, from referrals that, that makes a lot of sense. Um, okay. So what about public facing videos? Let's talk about public facing video strategy. What are we doing to cold audiences?
Ali Schwanke: (18:45)
Yeah, so it depends on what your, um, what your audience is looking for. So one of the first things that, uh, we advise our clients to do is, um, you know, find out what types of, of questions that people might be asking, uh, higher up in the funnel. And to do that, you might have to do a keyword research. I know you and I have talked about a tool called to buddy. Um, so if you're going on YouTube and you're using a tool called to buddy, um, uh, I'll give you an example of a, um, let's say that your company, let's go back to the plumbing example. So people might search for how to unclog a toilet, how to stop a leaky faucet. It, um, those would be consumer driven kind of things. But if it's a business, it might be how much does a business renovation cost and how much is a plumber going to run, you know, so on and so forth.
Ali Schwanke: (19:27)
Um, figure out what those phrases are and then plug those into specific, um, uh, tools like two buddy and SEMrush or HRS. These were all like keyword research tools to find out what are those search strings that people are looking for. And that's the forward facing video that you're likely going to lead with. Cause if you, if you record that and then put that out on social media, um, that's going to be the type of thing that people are looking for on LinkedIn, on YouTube.,
Um, and then you want to send out like with an email.
Matt Johnston: (19:57)
Right, So how do we move these people down the funnel?
Ali Schwanke: (20:00)
Yeah. You want to have a call to action, um, within each of those. So, you know, there was a different episode on your podcast where, um, I can't think of the, uh, I can't think of the gentleman's name.
Matt Johnston: (20:10)
I just love it when I have fans on the show. Just makes me feel so,Ali Schwanke: (20:14)
you know, I'm just a, I'm just a podcast addict. Unfortunately for everybody's sake. My phone has, my phone has so many podcasts. Uh, ask me your favorite and I'll give you my 50. But um, uh, but they were talking about like, you know, on YouTube, people tend to consume several videos before they take action. So your CTA, if you start at the top of the funnel is like how do you get them to watch as many videos as possible before you create this like curiosity gap of like, okay, alleys talked about this video marketing guide five times, man, I need to go get this on her website. So that point you want to make sure that you're pointing them to our property that then you can build a larger relationship with. That's either getting them on your email list or pointing them to resources, you know, Hey, go follow, go join our Facebook group.
Ali Schwanke: (20:58)
Um, if you're a business to business, you're probably gonna want to drive them back to your website and then once they get to your website, um, whatever that next step in the, the, the processes. So let's say for us, you watch all these videos on how to use, how to use video, you go to our website, get the video marketing guide, the next step is, Hey, let's help you get started with your first video. Here's another resource you can, you know, so then we're nurturing them through email and through retargeting to help them. Um, so there's going to be videos in that point too, but at that point they're in a sales funnel and so we've got a little bit better of a journey figured out for them to go down.
Matt Johnston: (21:32)
Hmm. Fascinating. Okay. So you actually, you're, you're, you're taking them from YouTube video to lead magnet with very often I see that, um, we, I, I do it too on our, on, on my YouTube channel, and then you're putting them into another lead magnet. I love that. That's great. That's wonderful. A lot of people go in for the kill at that point. So, um, it's, but I guess it depends on what you're selling, right? I mean it really does depend on,
Ali Schwanke: (21:58)
yeah, I mean if you're selling, let's say, you know, you're an insurance company and you're selling business insurance, um, and, and the way you might use top of funnel content, so, you know, there's people searching on YouTube for, you know, how do I budget for insurance or how do I get cybersecurity coverage? You know, what does it cover? What do I need? That kind of stuff. But don't forget that that very same person is going to their personal network on LinkedIn looking for who they know. That might be a resource that isn't going to sell them something. Right? We all want to go find the answers to things without someone saying, I'll give you the answers, but only if you give me $1,000. No, like, don't do that. So video on LinkedIn, if that's what this insurance, you know, representative is going to put on their personal LinkedIn and I'm connected to that person.
Ali Schwanke: (22:43)
I'm going to see, let's say his name's Bob. I'm going to see Bob teaching about the five common myths that happen when someone goes to buy business insurance or five things that have gone wrong. When someone's gone to their own. Let's say it's a self service site and bought their own insurance and then here's what's happened. So here's how I help you avoid those potential disasters and that's top of funnel content. They'd eventually then get back to the website to go, um, you know, learn more about the guide, the guide to buying business insurance for, you know, B2B companies of five employees or more. I don't know. That's just an example.
Matt Johnston: (23:17)
And you're, you're, you're using your website is the main hub here.
Ali Schwanke: (23:21)
Yeah. I mean ultimately you want to be able to drive people back to your website, um, large largely for business, a business that's still, that, that's still the journey because they really want to do, um, they want to check out the, are you talking about things that you know? Yes. Okay. If I go to the site, this is where this is where your sat experience is so huge. If what you say on video is one thing and they go back to your website and they find something different, like, Hey, we do this. And then you get to the site and they're like, wait a minute, what's going on here? I don't understand. This isn't congruent with what you were talking about, then you've lost them. So all of your marketing properties have to work together as a video. Can't just be a, a way to do something new and exciting cause it doesn't fit with the rest of your strategy. Hmm.
Matt Johnston: (24:05)
Um, how do you get people to watch this content? I mean, this is the main thing that, that, that people struggle with, especially when it comes to resources. Uh, because, and you know, it's largely what I talk about. I'm always talking about by reality and everything because that's what my experience has. But at the same time, this process, um, and a lot of folks are, uh, especially, you know, there's a lot of folks listening to this podcast, I'm sure right now who don't have an agency as big as yours currently. Um, maybe there's solo PR. Uh, so what is the word? Solo Trepanier reserves. I don't know. Um, and you know, there's like, or there may maybe, maybe there's two or three, but it's not, it's not something where there's like a constant stream of traffic coming into their site. Um, but they want to figure out how to leverage videos.
Matt Johnston: (24:51)
So they do all this work to make a YouTube video. Maybe they listen to one of my podcasts earlier with like Jesse, so, so they know how to do their SEO and everything on YouTube. And then they sit there and they're like, here we go, one view a day. And we, because that's what it looks like on YouTube very often, one view a day or less some times. Um, what do you, how do you deal with that? I mean, I often look at it as a mindset issue, but also you do have to have a distribution strategy for this content, right?
Ali Schwanke: (25:20)
Yeah. Yeah. So I think when it comes, this is the same thing you encounter when you do written content, social content, a pref, I mean, it's most comparable to, to a blog scenario. Um, or, or an email newsletter. So you've got two things with human behavior. One is, it's interesting and I want to go down a rabbit hole, but I'm not, it's not something that sustains me long term. So you know, you might spend a day, excuse me. No, I got the cough. You might spend a day rolling down this rabbit hole of, of how to do this special, you know, thing on your computer that makes all your windows in dark mode and whatever. But like you're not going to go back every week and learn how to do that cause you learned how to do it once, right? But so that's what you might call like search driven content.
Ali Schwanke: (26:04)
So there's search driven content and then there's series content. So series content is establishing expertise in a certain area that you show up consistently, every single, how often you're going to do it daily, weekly, monthly. Usually I'm going to advise at least weekly to build that trust with people. So they may not watch every single one of your videos, but if every single week you're showing up and publishing videos on LinkedIn about X, even if they don't watch them, the residual effect of your network saying, man, you're publishing a lot of videos about this. You guys must be experts in this. I've had people that have watched us, published about HubSpot, I guarantee you they've probably watched two or three of our 50 videos and yet we are the experts to them because they've seen us consistently pump out video content, um, about that specific topic. So I think, I think people have to think about are you going to be creating series content?
Ali Schwanke: (27:01)
And in that case, serious content is meant to build an audience over time that will consistently drive get value from you. Then you could translate into sales for are you creating videos based on a specific search string or an SEO driven strategy. And in that case you needed to deploy all the stuff that Jesse talked about, about optimizing, you know, your title and your tags and how quickly you have asked them to subscribe and all of that kind of stuff. Cause um, you know, you won't get any traffic if you can't get people from YouTube because you titled your video is something that they'll never,
Matt Johnston: (27:33)
sorry. As far as your, you've mentioned LinkedIn a lot. I'm interested to see how you use LinkedIn video. Um, maybe just, I'm gonna let's talk about that in three minutes cause I want to make sure we get to the bottom of the funnel. Is there a video you're using at the bottom of the funnel? It seems like a strange place to use video. I'm like, I'm, I'm like sort of picturing like a, somebody who's like super hot and your sales guy sends them an email of him just shouting, buy in already. Stop waiting. So what, like what could you be doing at bottom on the fly? Is it more objection busting? Is there something different there?
Ali Schwanke: (28:07)
Yeah, so definitely objection busting video content, um, helps. I think when you're at the bottom of the funnel and you're, you're engaged in the negotiation, you're engaged in proposals. Um, there's a, there's what we would call, um, you know, sales driven video. And so at that point it's usually one to one personalized video. So you're not creating content that's going to be shared to all your customers. It's, it's jumping on loom, it's jumping on soapbox. I'm doing any sort of screencast where, you know, um, couple things like one, you may have sent a proposal and it's been a week since they've checked in and you haven't heard from them. So you know, you fire up your loom video and you know, Hey, it's Allie, I'm checking in with you guys today. Had a quick idea for you. Um, with, with platforms like loom, you can actually tell when they watched the video and how much of the video that they watched.
Ali Schwanke: (28:56)
And so that helps you from a, um, getting insight on what they're thinking about. If they haven't watched your video, um, there's a good chance that they are not engaged with your proposal either. So that's, that's one way to use it as like a check in at the bottom of the funnel. The other way that I've used it has been, and we have advice companies use it, um, has been, if, so we prefer to have that sales proposal conversation over zoom or in person. What happens when the company says, you know what, I just need a proposal by the end of the day, send it to me. I need it regardless of what happens. So I'll S so I'll send that proposal over with the video explaining the proposal because the thing that you're missing when you send a document, even if you write a bunch of stuff in it, if you've ever been in a sales meeting and you G you hand them a 12 page document, what are they? Do they flip to the back page to see the price before they read the 11 pages before it, regardless of how much you stop them. So when you send a video along with the proposal, most likely they watched the video because you leave out details that you want to put in the email. So you use the kinds of things that Matt, you talk about, give them curiosity of like, well, what's in this video? And you can't type out what's in the video. So you have to watch it.
Matt Johnston: (30:12)
This is, I think why everybody loves Ali so much. She just always makes you feel like you're her best friend. Right? It's like, it's like physically have known each other forever. You're like, this is what you talk about Madden. And when I listen to all your billion podcasts episodes, I'm over here just making content and avoid and you're like giving me meaning. Um, but anyway, uh, yes, great, great tip. Everybody should do that. I actually do that as well. I always send a loom video with my proposals, um, just because I want to remind them why they liked me. You know? I mean I, I feel like I just want to like get that rapport in there so they remember I'm a human being and it wasn't just this like transactional, like very like this very personal conversation where like I feel like I want to work with this guy cause I think he's a cool guy.
Matt Johnston: (30:56)
I think that they would do a good job for us to all of a sudden it turns into this document with all this like formal stuff in it. It's an ended, it, everybody's just worried about money because of our relationship with money in America. And it always just comes down to how much does this cost. Um, I like to do that as well. I just sort of, I sort of go through a sales process in those videos as well. I'll build rapport again, I'll be like, you know, whatever, walk you through, et cetera, et cetera. I think that's really good. Let's talk about, um, I just wanna end here on, I think we can talk about this forever. And I think it's really interesting because I talk a lot about B2C cause it's a bit, it's an easier game and it's certainly easier to, to, you know, for a lot of this stuff I talk about by reality and everything, a lot of it is B to C, but you can certainly do it.
Matt Johnston: (31:39)
And B2B. So first of all, um, I talked at the beginning about how there was sort of a misconception about B2B, how like as if there weren't humans involved, like we were just robots pitching things to each other. And I think that's a misconception. Um, I also think, and this is probably something that you've dealt with, you and I are both the faces of our respective companies, right? Um, but then I know I sometimes get in to this and you probably have thought this as well. To what extent does this video, it goes to LinkedIn to, to what, to what extent should this video be Allie or Matt or should this be simple? Strat and guide social, you know, so it, it's, it's very hard to know because often I'll say, okay, well here's what I want to do. I want to make sure that all of this content is coming.
Matt Johnston: (32:24)
You know, my, my company's called guide social. I want to make sure that all of this video's coming from guide social so that this Bay, this brand transcends me, you know, so that it can become something else other than just Matt's company. Like Matt's Mark, Matt's video company. Uh, but at the same time, I also know that the reason most people are going to buy is because of the relationship that they develop in me because people buy from people and my content and whatever personal brand you have a personal brand too of course. And like what, what these personal brands but leverage they have for our business. How do you deal with that? How do you think about that in your business?
Ali Schwanke: (33:01)
Yeah. So I think for small companies like, like yours, yours in mind, we ended up with, um, you know, the vision of what we, we know is a couple of years down the road and being able to bring someone in. But then part of that onboarding process is creating trust around the entire team so that when a client comes on board to temp civil Strat, or even in your case, um, they're working with people that are not the, the figure head. Um, because you can't be all things to all people. But I think as you move up in companies size, this is where you have to find the people that have the, um, have the knowledge in the company. So in many cases, you know, if it's a, let's say it's a biomedical company, um, you're going to be doing interviews with the scientists and you're going to be, you know, going behind the scenes and asking, what are you working on today?
Ali Schwanke: (33:49)
And you know, what is the latest discovery that we had? And they're the ones that are going to be at the industry events. And so as a marketer creating B2B video, in that case, you're spending a lot of time brainstorming with those individuals about what does our audience need to know? How do I interview you in a way that you don't give me a bunch of scientific buzzwords? And instead we actually get down to what's important to our audience. So when you're a marketer playing the role of creating video content, when you have multiple people involved that are not you, like when you're not on video, it's a lot more like being the producer of content and being a producer behind the scenes. And then you're coaching people to be on video. You're coaching them to say it in a way that's compelling. You're writing the scripts, um, and you're not reading the scripts, but your, here's how you're gonna open. Here's how we're going to close. It's, you're doing a lot more of the architect instead of kind of being, um, onscreen and just answering questions, if that makes sense. No, what do you do? You have a longer,
Matt Johnston: (34:48)
you have the simple Strat YouTube channel, right? And you have the HubSpot YouTube. So, so, but, but you don't have a personal YouTube channel, right?
Ali Schwanke: (34:55)
No, not yet. Not yet. I'm working on lunch and I hear this month. So stay tuned. Stay tuned. Um, so the, the way that we've approached it here at [inaudible], um, when you work here, so for a while we don't do this anymore, but for a while, everybody who sent in an application had to send in a video application. Um, cause I just believed that you can't fake who you are on video if you're awkward. I don't care. I just, when you say, um, Hey here, I'm going to describe myself and I wouldn't have believed this had I not had to uh, apply to be part of an accelerator program and they had me send in a video application. And after I did that, I was like, this is, this is really hard, but this is who I am. And I said, if you can't be comfortable with who you are authentically, um, you're not going to be a very good marketer because you have to accept where you are today. Um, but, uh, but we have, we have everyone in our company get on video at some point. Some people are better than others and you get better than where you do it. So we actually have multiple people on video on our HubSpot channel. Both my partner and I are the experts there. So we bounce back and forth between who's on video and you'll see that in our thumbnails of, of who's on what video.
Ali Schwanke: (36:06)
So that's how we kind of handle it internally. And then with clients, we, uh, we coach them as to who, who is the right person on this video? Um, how long should it be? What should we talk about? What's the CTA, what's the goal of it, the video. And that determines who needs to be on it.
Matt Johnston: (36:20)
Hm. Yeah. Interesting. I mean, I think this is something a lot of personal brands deal with is, is where should I be posting this content? I mean, I feel like I am in many ways at the top of funnel for my business, whether it's the podcast or all the con, all the social content I make or the YouTube channel or whatever it is, they come through like me as a human being, they don't come into my company's like online intake process. And so then when you're going into that content creation stamp, what you're saying. Okay, well, I mean I always preach over and over and over again that you're not, I mean, none of the content you create is for you, like not a scrap of it. It's all for the people that are going to watch it and if they want to you and that's going to give them the best chance to move to the next stage in a sales funnel.
Matt Johnston: (37:05)
So point, why not give them you? I think it's V it's just something that I grapple with very often, uh, because, uh, at the end of the day I know that the goals of the video could often be mass that's met that way, but the goals of the company might be best at, um, by, by diversifying it a bit more. So it's a very interesting question. And then when you have LinkedIn, it's a whole different thing because you're definitely going to be able to get more engagement from your personal stuff then you're going to be able to get from your company page unless you're running ads. So then where are you putting that video content?
Ali Schwanke: (37:39)
Right. Yeah, I think the thing that, um, you know, LinkedIn's serving up a lot better organic reach than most of our other platforms when it comes to just not putting money behind content. Um, specifically from personal profile pages, um, company pages are a little bit more challenging. Um, because then with company pages, yeah, a lot of the success of companies, uh, with a B2B strategy on LinkedIn, on company pages is going to have employees and advocates actually go and share and interact with that information within minutes of, after it's published. So if you have a video that you know, has, you know, a lot of value when you publish it to your company, page one makes sure that it has captions enabled to make sure you have a good intro as to why people should watch the video. So, you know, go ahead and listen to all the things you talked about with Huck. How do you write the copy so that they actually want to watch the video below it, right? And then within minutes of publishing, invite a specific subset of people to go and interact in an authentic way. So, um, you know, you somewhat trip that LinkedIn algorithm to get it in front of people.
Matt Johnston: (38:38)
Are you doing these on your personal LinkedIn page? Yeah, you are. Okay. And you are, are you doing it on the simple Strat a business page?
Ali Schwanke: (38:48)
Uh, yes. We have some video content there. Um, if you get to know me, you'll know that I'm always testing and experimenting something at any given point in time. Um, so we, uh, we've experimented with, uh, posting video content natively with YouTube links, um, varying between posting with no engagement posting and boosting as an ad. Um, and we've found that the most effective thing for like as simple as it is, is posting in native video on LinkedIn, on a company page and then having people go and interact with it and share it. Share a comment within the first couple of minutes that is posted
Matt Johnston: (39:21)
on the company page. Yeah. [inaudible] one of the things that I'm thinking about testing, I dunno if you've thought about testing it too, is testing a personal brand as a company page on LinkedIn. And you might say why you do that. Well, you probably know the reason I can do that is because I can run ad spend behind it then, right? Yeah. And boost it out and I, I could theoretically get in front of decision makers. I mean, this is what I often like we, we do a lot of YouTube advertising. It's one of the things that we do and sometimes people will come to me at with the B2B, like high level B2B stuff, they're like, Oh, I want to get in front of executives. And I'm like, go somewhere else. Like your audience is on LinkedIn. Go there. And they're like, and they don't know what to do. It's still like really it's blue ocean over there and a lot of ways. Um, but anyway, that, that's something that I've been thinking about, uh, playing with myself. But then it's just another thing to fuel with content.
Ali Schwanke: (40:14)
I mean, before, before you go there at what I'd actually encourage you to consider is, um, put together a, what I call like your own little pot of people on LinkedIn that, I mean, I'll, I'll raise my hand and be part of one of your pods. Um, but if you, if you post a video on your personal profile, try sending a message out. So here's what I'll suggest. Uh, here's what I've tested in. What is, what has worked well is I'll post a piece of content and then DM that content on LinkedIn to 10 specific people. Um, saying, Hey, you know, we had an a like very, very relevant, Hey, we had a conversation about X, Y, Z 30 days ago or last week or whatever. I just released a video that actually, um, you know, summarizes a lot of those key points we talked about. If you find it helpful, would you mind sharing or dropping a comment in it? Thanks so much. Let me know how I can return the favor. And by doing that again, tripping that algorithm, then S LinkedIn says, wow, this is, this is getting activity. I should serve this up more. And it just kinda builds on itself, especially if it's [inaudible].
Matt Johnston: (41:11)
Ah, that's a really good tip. Everybody should use that. Say, well, I, I would, I would also assume that you're getting your, you're kind of killing two birds with one stone there too, because you're also potentially moving them along a sales process.
Ali Schwanke: (41:24)
Yeah, yeah, definitely. Yeah. I mean, outside of video strategy, one thing I strongly believe is you're always going to have a subset of fans that never going to be your customers, but they spread the words so well for you. Um, that those are the people that you can actually use as a little bit of your fan the flame. And then you've got customers that, um, sometimes they're just lurkers and all of a sudden they come out of the woodwork and they'll say things like, uh, like I've had someone tell me, you know, I've been watching your videos for a year. I'm like, Holy moly, I've been in your feed for your click anything. Yeah. Yeah. So it is, it just goes back to that mentality that we want to be unknown until we're known. And a video helps you, helps you do that,
Matt Johnston: (42:05)
right in that very personal way. Yeah, for sure. Ally, this has been really, this has been really useful. A B2B I think for a lot of people is a really tough game to crack. Um, you and I both have B2B companies and you know, it's always, it's always a tough game. And I, I think that when it comes to video, a lot of the message here is don't be afraid to be personal when it comes to video. Uh, definitely, even though you're B2B. Yeah,
Ali Schwanke: (42:31)
for sure. Well, and I encourage, I mean, anybody who's listening head over to [inaudible] dot com forward slash video marketing, um, you can actually get all of our marketing resources. We've got, uh, a variety of, uh, uh, guides and you know, how to use on the sites, uh, as well as like, if you just want to start getting started using video inside of the sales process, we've got, um, you know, steps on how to do that if you're not quite ready to put it into the marketing side of things.
Matt Johnston: (42:58)
There she goes. She does, she answers my question before I ask it. You know, I'm always, of course I always ask guests at the end, we find out more about you. And she's like, listen, you've got to go here. This is the place I set this up for you. Yeah. Fantastic. No, that's great. You should definitely go alleys, alleys, super smart, and uh, uh, this, this B2B stuff is hard. So having that guidance and super useful. Allie, thanks so much for joining me. It was such a pleasure and thank you for [inaudible].
Ali Schwanke: (43:23)
Yeah, thanks for having me. It was fun.
Matt Johnston: (43:25)
Yeah. Cheers. Thanks so much for joining us on the video marketing podcast. Uh, as always, if you got value from this, and I certainly hope you did leave us a review on iTunes, it helps more people find us and they can get value too. I hope you're well and I'll see you next week.