Senior Director, Solutions Marketing
As a leading customer relationship management firm today, Salesforce.com knows a thing or two about making a connection. Michael Peachey, senior director of solutions marketing, spoke with eMarketer for our B2B Perspective series about how the company uses video to reach its business client—and why shorter, bite-size video moments have the best impact.
eMarketer: What makes a good story for video?
Michael Peachey: What it comes down to for us is really demonstrating the customer’s success and making that one-on-one connection. At the end of the day, people want to see people just like themselves having success, and they want to understand how they can be successful too. That even comes down to who is in the film—a C-level executive or an administrator—and also seeing someone in their industry.
Someone who might be working in an airline might be able to look at Virgin America’s incredible story of how it’s connecting to employees in an entirely new way to make its customers’ experience better than ever before. It really comes down to that one-to-one interaction and helping people see the individual success they might be able to have as well.
eMarketer: How long should a video be to be effective?
Peachey: We want snackable content more than ever before. We’re used to working in the feed today—we keep track of our Facebook feed, we look at photos, we might watch a video clip as we scroll through our feed.
“It really comes down to that one-to-one interaction and helping people see the individual success they might be able to have as well.”
So we want to make sure we try and keep our video content anywhere between 90 seconds and 3.5 minutes. What really needs to be emphasized here overall is that as long as the story is compelling and amazing, it can be stretched out as well. It’s all about the story at the end of the day and telling it in the right way.
eMarketer: Does Salesforce.com believe all videos need a storytelling element?
Peachey: Another type of video we produce, of course, is product demo films. Not just about the customer story, but where we demonstrate the features and capabilities of our product. You know our customers and prospects are looking for more detail as they move down that funnel, and our product demo films are some of the most successful. Our customers dive in and want to know key elements of the product.
Even in those demo films, we try and make the story front and center and not make it merely about the features available in the product. Product videos have to have a narrative and the power to connect employees and customers.
eMarketer: How are these videos fitting into your marketing mix?
Peachey: I think it comes down to the power and quality of the story. At the end of the day, you want people to really to be able to view this content, watch this content, and on a social network share this content. You want that story to be so compelling that people think it’s amazing and share it with friends, peers and colleagues.
[You want] to show how the power of your product has helped transform a company just like the ones people watching work for and how they could do this as well. We know there are viral videos today. You know something can go viral on a social network because people find it funny and engaging.
“Product videos have to have a narrative and the power to connect employees and customers.”
eMarketer: Is your strategy hoping that things go viral?
Peachey: We certainly highlight these videos in our feed; we have a Facebook feed, and of course we have a Twitter profile as well where we’re sharing this content as it becomes available. We have a social media command center here at Salesforce.com that’s powered by our Marketing Cloud.
We don’t just publish this content; we have a conversation with our customers about it. Once we share one of these pieces of content, we can listen to what folks are saying with the power of the Marketing Cloud. We can engage with them, answer questions and even point them to some further content if they want more information about how they can achieve some of the success demonstrated in our videos.
eMarketer: Is video becoming a larger part of your marketing mix?
Peachey: We’ve seen video increase substantially over the past few years. We’re doing more and more video storytelling to the point where every customer story we want to tell is done through video. In fact, Salesforce.com has been using video for quite some time now, not just through our customers’ stories, but also through our events we run in local venues around the world.
We will continue to see this grow further and explore new uses of video. For example, we’ve just launched our brand new studio here at Salesforce.com around Salesforce Live, where we’re doing regularly scheduled program content every week, and that’s a new way to try different kinds of content on video.
eMarketer: How are you measuring the impact of video?
Peachey: Everyone can understand how many views a video has had on YouTube. But we are marketing to our customers—we want to understand the impact this has in terms of driving this business for us, our leads, opportunities we have, and eventually, the revenues we produce.
“YouTube has really been the most successful place for us to deliver content. We want to go where people are.”
It all comes back to revenues and numbers for the company overall. We can use our Marketing Cloud product, for example, to market to customers, whether we’re publishing a page on Facebook or sharing a piece of content. We can track that through Marketing Cloud, understand the return on investment of that content, and track that through the conversion of leads, opportunities and eventual sales of product.
eMarketer: Are you using sites besides YouTube today?
Peachey: YouTube has really been the most successful place for us to deliver content. We want to go where people are. We’ve seen a major shift during the past few years, from when email was the dominant way for us to reach folks, and then that moved to social networking in 2009 and 2010.
I think the next shift for us is to make sure content is more mobile than ever before and make sure people can access that content successfully on their mobile device. More and more people want to access video on their mobile phone in what we call these micromoments—whether I am waiting for the bus to go to work, or I am waiting for a plane to arrive at the airport for my flight.
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