Video tutorials are seldom used in digital marketing, yet they can be a highly useful type of content for attracting and retaining customers. This can be attributed to our growing propensity to learn through video, as we become better adapted to the digital space with each passing year.
Webtrends, an agency which provides software solutions for digital marketing as well as analytics for web, social and mobile, is no stranger to video tutorials, with an extensive tutorial library that they consistently use to grow their user base. We interviewed Chris Mann, Webtrends’ Creative Services Manager, to find out just why they’ve focused so much of their marketing efforts on tutorial content and what benefits they’ve seen from this investment.
1) What role do your online video tutorials play in the business?
We help some of the biggest brands in the world use technology to connect with their customers in new ways. For marketers and technologists like our clients, there’s always a learning curve, whether it’s staying up-to-date on new products and features or leveraging their customer data in new ways. Video tutorials help us differentiate ourselves from the competition by offering clients and prospects simpler ways to educate themselves on what’s possible with Webtrends. If people come to us to learn because we’re helping them get over that learning curve faster with more relevant, useful and intuitive content (e.g. video tutorials) then that’s a huge win for our business. Video tutorials help us build trust, loyalty and awareness by making it easier to acclimate to the evolving digital world out there.
2) In your experience, how important are online video tutorials in the overall online marketing space?
More and more marketers are becoming the users of technology products. These are smart people who are quickly inheriting more IT and technology related responsibilities. As a marketer, you’re operating on a landscape that’s constantly shifting, so being able to educate yourself quickly and efficiently is a critical part of the job. At Webtrends, we do whatever we can to enhance and streamline that education process. We believe it’s important to embrace video’s unique ability to communicate and educate in highly engaging ways. People tend to gravitate toward products they understand so video tutorials are also great vehicles for building loyalty. We’re putting significant resources into building a new video library on our website for clients and prospects to easily find, learn and share videos that will help them grow their businesses (hopefully with a little Webtrends magic).
3) In your opinion, how does the effectiveness of a video compare to that of visual graphic online? (social media, websites, emails, etc.)
The stakes are higher for videos when you take into account the time and money required to produce them. You’re also asking for more time and attention from your audience (a hard thing to get). Unlike a video, someone can consume an image with some copy in an email or social media post in just a few seconds. That means your video has to draw your audience in with a relevant subject and enticing introduction. You have to use visuals and audio together effectively and have a clear narrative. The important thing to understand is that with videos there’s a higher ceiling for success, but also a higher risk of failure. Videos aren’t easy. They can be very ineffective and costly when done poorly, but if you do videos right they’re undoubtedly one of the most effective mediums available.
4) In terms of lead generation, which medium of your services do you feel are the most effective and why?
We’ve found a lot of success generating leads by focusing on high-utility content. The more useful our content is in making people’s everyday lives easier, the more it gets shared and drives leads. A lot of marketers like to stay fluffy and high-level because they’re worried that getting too educational will bore people. However, we’ve seen how creating content that actually helps people accomplish something important establishes your brand as an expert and gives you the opportunity to weave in how your business can make their lives easier. The key is to educate people in the areas they want to learn and do it in a way that isn’t boring.
5) If you were to provide your clients a top tip for integrating video tutorials into their online marketing strategy what would be your recommendation?
My recommendation is DO IT. I know that doesn’t really answer the question, but I rarely see brands integrate video tutorials into their online marketing strategy. Video tutorials ensure your customers are getting the most out of your product, which is a win for everyone. If I get a video in my email telling me “how to do something cool using [a product I already use regularly],” I’d be all over that! Who wouldn’t? Apple essentially does one big video tutorial for all their new products every year and that seems to work out pretty well.
6) How do you think online tutorial videos have already affected the industry and what future changes do you anticipate in the next 5-10 years?
Video tutorials haven’t just affected the industry; they’ve affected how we learn and adapt as a culture. I’ve personally saved a lot of money using YouTube to develop new skillsets with online tutorials. In a world that changes so fast, being able to learn new things quickly and effectively is just part of life. Tutorial videos have emerged as a leading medium for learning and I expect that trend to continue. As the information age continues to become more dynamic, brands will incorporate more video tutorials into their marketing as a way of keeping customers familiar with all the great things their products can do. If you aren’t a big user of video tutorials, I’d recommend you give them a shot, learn something new and think about how your company could leverage videos to build loyalty.