Top digital marketing agencies in the US and around the globe have suddenly started using videos. While we have seen marketing agencies usually use videos in their campaigns, the rapid adoption got us curious to deep-dive and understand what has changed;most importantly how these agencies are using videos.
Video emails have been there for a while now. In fact, 90% of marketers use videos in their marketing campaigns, says wordstream. However, In the past 12 months, the rise in search for video emails have more than doubled.
While we noticed a spike in the use of videos or specifically video email from different groups of users such as digital marketers, teachers, online instructors, and technical support teams, one particular group of users stood out.
In order to explore this trend, we interviewed 60 agencies and studied their success strategy.
What we found was a systematic process of using videos to generate leads, to efficiently manage accounts and run marketing campaigns for clients.
What has changed for digital marketing agencies
With the digital ad spends($201 billion) finally overtaking the television industry ads spends ($178 billion) in 2017, the digital ad market was expected to reach $348 billion by 2022, the overall outlook for digital agencies looked positive.1
However, things have taken a drastic turn and the post-COVID expectations of digital marketing agencies are completely different compared to a few months ago. A recent study by Ad World Masters found that,
57% of agencies expect that their annual income will be lower than in 2019
42% of owners and top managers believe that many agencies might go bankrupt.
With companies refactoring their media spends, ‘offline events’ one of the biggest lead generation channels for agencies almost wiped out and direct meetings becoming a thing of the past, digital marketing agencies were forced to be creative in their approach for landing new clients as well as delivering results for their clients. And videos seem to be one such creative step taken by the digital agencies.
How Digital Marketing Agencies using Videos
1. Using videos to prospect and generate leads
When we assessed the growth trajectory of an online marketing agency, we noticed that during the early stages, most of them are built around networks, contacts, and events. As soon as agencies gain expertise in the business they reach out to people who they can help.
However, when there is an opportunity for growth, the need for a structured sales process kicks in.
According to a survey report of 1400 agencies by Hubspot – 2019 the State of Agency Selling found “The lack of a clearly defined sales process can hold major implications for how agencies find, and close, new client business” as the major roadblocks.
Generating leads and having a structured sales process was a challenge for marketing agencies even before the global pandemic. The survey reports,
31% does not have a defined sales process at all. 13% found it difficult to get in touch with and connect to, prospects12% struggled to inspire urgency with prospects and encourage them to buy now, versus later.
This is because prospecting for an agency is very different from product prospecting. Here companies are outsourcing one of their core operations which would directly impact their top-line revenue.
Hence they want to be sure they are partnering with the right agency with the right expertise.
One of the agencies we spoke to sends out 150 targeted video emails per week. The agency has crafted the well-polished short pitch, shot a video, and had a cadence scheduled using Hubspot.
Each week they were reaching out 150 to 200 prospects. And these video emails are performing better when compared to the cold emails. As one of the Sales Director of a Spain-based agency explains,
“It is not just about the increase in the responses, the way the prospects respond has also changed for the better. I believe it is because they are able to see us as a person, our enthusiasm, voice and this helps us build trust as opposed to cold email.”
Another independent boutique agency based in the UK has a team of 4 salespeople. Every day salespeople are tasked with sending out 20 introductory video pitches recorded by the sales reps themselves which were followed by a more personalized sales pitch for people who have watched the videos.
When asked about their journey towards video adoption, the CEO of the agency says,
“It took us nearly 2 months to get the process right. While some of the sales reps were initially camera-shy, they quickly got on board as soon as they saw it worked for the other team members. While this process of prospecting is not scalable, we are happy with the number of leads they have generated.”
A few other agencies also employ a lead magnet such as useful resources, blogs, ebooks that they want to give away and brief it in a video recording.
2. Using videos for account management
Adweek reported that “58% of digital marketers are telling us that they need to prove ROI in order to justify spend and get approval for future budget”
True story! Agencies are accountable for several reasons. In fact, their abilities to provide high-quality results are attached to their data-driven marketing strategies.
So it is important for agencies to showcase their client’s success in a way that will attract new acquisitions and expand to upsell.
The agencies we interviewed only knew it too well. Customer reports, projects, and proposals can become extremely long when presented in a pdf format, however, when they are delivered in the form of a video, they consume less time and improve comprehension and customer satisfaction.
A Sr. Accounts Manager, responsible for handling large accounts said
“We used to send monthly reports to clients via ppt. But most often they didn’t have the time to read or even if they read it was hard for them to comprehend.
We now send out a quick screen recorded video showing their results and the progress. It is actually working well for us and our clients are appreciating this mode of communication”
Check out how to create a screen recording + webcam video here.
Replace your monthly pdf and ppt reports such as improvement in website traffic, SEO ranking, social media followers & engagement, and no of leads generated with videos.
Have your account manager walk through the highlights in the screen record video format and attach the detailed report as pdf. This is a smart way to keep all your stakeholders informed of the progress instead of sending them pages of reports.
On the other hand, sending them a video showing additional services you provide will improve your chances of upselling and cross-selling. Include a happy customer story to walk them through the case study in a video to add more credibility.
3. Experimenting with personalized videos
The third biggest trend that we observed was the rise of personalized video for agencies in their campaigns. This trend was widely observed among agencies handling large B2C and e-commerce brands. The brands often ran large scale campaigns be it on social media or emails.
These personalized campaigns are not merely creating a merge field with first name, company, or occupation. Here every data the company has captured in its CRM is used for personalizing the offer, be it text, image, or audio.
One of the other agency we interviewed ran an interesting personalized video email campaign for a large fitness chain with over 200+ branches. In response to the COVID-19, the fitness chain launched ‘on-demand fitness programs’ and wanted to promote to its subscribers base.
The agency segregated the client based on the interest of the subscribers based on the activity such as Zumba, Pilates, and Yoga, etc. Then delivered a short personalized video of the program of interest and with Call-to-Action at the end of the video. This was then followed with a series of personalized video emails whenever a new trainer or a program was introduced.
The result was that the agency had over 4X in response compared to social media and cold email campaigns.
Digital agencies in space finance and insurance also seem to be bullish in experimenting with personalized videos. Though many agencies do not have large amounts of data or projects to give us the ROI, experimenting with personalized videos gives them an edge in winning new clients as well. There are also video marketing agencies that are thriving in this game. Also there are certain video hosting platforms which would help these marketing agencies in creating completely customized videos
Check our free 3-part video tutorial series on personalized videos for agencies to get started with using personalized videos in your email campaigns.
The sudden adoption of videos among the digital marketing agencies was predominantly driven by the global pandemic as the opportunity for networking, direct meeting, and avenues of lead generation vanished overnight.
While most of the agencies are still experimenting with videos, many of them have seen positive results. Also, quite a few agencies struggle with adoption.
If in the long run agencies can consistently generate leads, land new businesses, and drive results for their clients, personalized videos are here to stay. If you would like to sign up for a free 7-day trial, please click here.