Why You Need an Explainer Video in Your Marketing Strategy

Why You Need an Explainer Video in Your Marketing Strategy

According to Hubspot, 92% of marketers who use video say that it’s an important part of their marketing strategy. But how do you know when to use video and which versions are the right ones? As the trend for video content continues to grow, one of the most popular video types to emerge is the explainer video.

Just like regular marketing content, this specific type of video allows your target audience to receive more information about your products at the right place and at the right time. Let’s take a look further into how explainer videos work with your marketing strategy to help push audiences along their buyer journey.

Explainer Videos Explained

A straightforward explanation is sometimes the only thing a buyer needs to better understand how your product works. Explainer videos make this possible  — all in under one minute! 

Generally, explainer videos are around 30-90 seconds in length (averaging about 200 words in a script). They are educational with simple, straight-forward messaging that additionally captivates your audience using interesting visuals and animation. Think of them as a perfect sales pitch that’s just using a new medium to inform your audience.

An essential element of an explainer video is letting the viewer know what solution you offer, how it helps your customer, and why it’s the best option. By focusing on the viewers’ problems, the audience can more easily identify and envision themselves with the product. Take a look at an example below!

 

You can also find more additional examples of explainer videos here.

Explainer Videos As Part of Your Marketing Strategy

When

The best time to introduce an explainer video is in the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey. This is the stage where buyers have identified their problem and begin researching the best solution. 

An informed buyer will scope out all of their potential options — including your competitors. With an explainer video, you are putting the information buyers seek front and center to further educate themselves on how your solution fills their needs. These videos not only nurture these potential leads but leave a lasting impression on buyers, making you more a memorable alternative when it comes to the decision stage.

Where

 As buyers search for information about your products, you want to make sure that information is available to them in the right place. This is why the best place to put an explainer video is on your website. SmarkLab’s Creative Specialist, Cameron Carney, elaborates more on why:

“As soon a someone hits your website, you only have a few seconds to hook them and catch their attention. A video is more likely to keep visitors intrigued and engaged on your website. To further combat people’s short attention span, using a quick, concise video, like an explainer video, additionally keeps visitors interested.”

Why

In addition to informing and helping potential customers complete their buyer’s journey, explainer videos also help with the following:

  • Brand recognition & awareness

Your explainer video should match your brand tone and guidelines, especially when dealing with the script and animation style. While these videos elaborate more on products, viewers will also get a preview of who you are a brand. Use video tone and style to make a statement and have you stand out from the rest.

  • Improved engagement 

According to recent Hubspot research, video is the most preferred form of content, and people enjoy entertaining and informative video content most. Because explainer videos are some of the most well-received content, they can also help improve conversions and sales.

  • Increased SEO visibility

As recommended before, your website is the perfect place for an explainer video. While your explainer video provides website visitors with pertinent information, it also encourages viewers to stay on your page longer. If people begin to spend more time on your page, Google and other search engines take note of that and will start to rank your website higher in searches, giving your company better visibility online.


Explainer Video

Leave your next video project to the B2B experts. SmarkLabs aligns your B2B marketing strategies with our award-winning video production services and B2B expertise, allowing for high-strategy impact through high-quality content. Let’s get started today!

Using Inbound Selling Effectively between Sales & Marketing

Using Inbound Selling Effectively between Sales & Marketing

Traditionally, Sales and Marketing have used inefficient, outdated, outbound methods to monotonously relay their “message” about their products. These methods rarely ever listened to prospects’ pain points or found solutions that fitted their needs.

Now, when a buyer identifies their problem, they have access to an abundance of information — finding the solution online in a matter of seconds. To adapt to this new age of informed buyers, it’s crucial for Sales and Marketing to work together, so customers know their product is the right fit.

Inbound Selling Defined

Here’s where inbound selling comes in. 

Essentially, inbound selling is the way to sell so that prospects will buy. It’s a modern sales process method that adapts to the buyer journey by looking at prospect’s pain points and then acting as their trusted consultant.

Where does marketing fall into the equation? Both sales and marketing enable each other to achieve inbound selling. When each team’s resources work together, it creates a better, more tailored customer journey for initial prospects to become clients.

Where Inbound Selling Becomes Cross-Departmental 

Targeting Prospects

Considering that the power has shifted from seller to buyer, it’s inherently essential for every member of your organization—in both marketing and sales—to know your buyers. When both teams have a common understanding of who your buyer is, it’s easier to keep messaging consistent and provide your prospects with a more personalized experience.

Buyer personas are an effective way to keep track of who your organization is marketing and selling to. Most people believe buyer personas were created for Marketing to target their content at the right prospects. But in fact, Sales should also leverage buyer personas, as they are proven to have several benefits throughout the Sales process. 

Sales can take advantage of buyer personas beforehand, in preparation for the sale. Sales reps should review buyer personas to refresh themselves on the pain points, goals, and common objections to prepare for any questions that might come up. Most importantly, buyer personas allow Sales to spend their time the right way, on the right leads. By continually attracting potential buyers who fit into your personas, you will inevitably generate more qualified leads. 

Empowering Sales Processes

Researching Leads

In reality, there isn’t enough time in the day for Sales to spend hours prospecting for the right leads. Inbound selling enables Sales to lean on Marketing for some of the heavy lifting. Marketing can provide pertinent prospect information, including details about when and how inbound leads convert. With this information, Sales can then work with Marketing to learn more about why the lead converted and then tailor their sales process accordingly.

Monitoring Leads’ Engagement

Marketing and Sales can closely monitor how a lead is engaging with their prospecting efforts with marketing automation software. Using these insights, they can then better align their strategies and move leads further through the sales funnel. For example, say a prospect downloaded a case study about how practice management software increased efficiency. This prospect is most likely at the bottom of the funnel, which triggers Sales to move forward in reaching out to initiate a meeting or discussion.

Connecting with Prospects

When a lead comes in, it’s essential to engage with them right away. However, your efforts will only be successful if they strategically align with positioning yourself as a trusted advisor and expert in your prospect’s industry. 

Thankfully, Marketing can provide materials meant to educate, inform, and engage with prospects for each stage of the buyer’s journey. With these available resources, Sales can develop an understanding of which content should be used in which situations. 

For instance, it wouldn’t be practical to present a prospect who is just researching their problem with a case study. With the knowledge of content marketing, the sales rep would know to instead send them an email that includes an eBook describing a broad theme in their industry.

For inbound selling to work, Sales and Marketing need to speak the same language.  When both teams understand their roles in finding, engaging, and converting prospects into leads, inbound selling is sure to be successful.


Learn more about how SmarkLabs can help you align your sales and marketing teams.

How Product Positioning Works in a B2B Market

How Product Positioning Works in a B2B Market

Whenever you hear the phrase “product positioning,” you most likely associated it with a B2C market. This is common since most B2C products are tangible and more clearly defined, making them easier to position in a market and compare against competitors.

But even as a B2B company, your “products” still pertain to a specific mindset with your clients. So, the important question is, what is your positioning strategy doing about it? 

The Top 4 Things to Keep in Mind for B2B Product Positioning

 

The Product Itself

Okay, this one might seem obvious, but many times it can be overlooked. If you don’t know your product inside and out, how will you position it effectively? 

First, evaluate your “product.” Ask yourself these questions:

  • What client needs does it fill? 
  • What is the top benefit? Does is provided additional features?
  • How is it different from your competitors?

In a B2B space, ask the additional question of “How does my product better help other businesses?”. To fully understand your product, you must honestly consider why clients should purchase it. Once you break down and comprehend the who, what, why of your product, it will be easier to strategize your product positioning. 

The Buyer Persona

Building a buyer persona can be done in 5 easy steps, but applying it to a B2B positioning strategy maybe a little more complicated. 

Product positioning is an implementation tool under the STP model (standing for Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning). This model helps marketers identify their most valuable customers and then develop products and marketing messages that suit them. This range of customers is then represented by a buyer persona, based on their behavior patterns, motivations, goals, and demographics.

Personas give you a better idea of the market and who your targeted clients should be. So when you’re developing your product positioning, you can have a better understanding of who your customers are and how your products fill their needs.

Your Competitors

Time to do some digging. 

A deficient comprehension of your clients’ alternatives can make for a poor understanding of the market and who you are actually up against. You need to understand how your customers see your product against your competitors to impact how you market and position your product.

Know who your competitors are and, more importantly, study them —  the good, the bad, and the ugly. Have an idea of what you’re up against. Then, combat it by providing the necessary, need-to-know product information in your sales spiel and marketing collateral, so clients have everything they need to make an informed decision. Would you rather your potential clients formed impressions of your product from your organization itself or a lowly Google Search?

The Market

Alongside your competitors, it’s also vital to evaluate the structure of your industry’s market. For example, let’s take a look at this perceptual product positioning map.

Perceptual mapping helps organizations visually analyze how their target market perceives their product. When creating a perceptual map, the axes should represent your customers’ criteria when buying products in your market.

Hypothetically, let’s say this graph represents your industry’s current market (dot size representing market share). Using your knowledge of client perception (either through surveys or one on ones), you’ve landed in what seems to be the center of your market. Looks a little crowded there, agreed? 

When it comes to analyzing the market, it’s crucial to look at market gaps. Why? Because it’s where a potential market opportunity might lie. Gaps could mean untouched customers for your positioning strategy. However, market gaps should be taken with a grain of salt. Gaps can also exist because there is no customer need, or provides unrealistic financial means for an organization.

While market gaps can be up for discussion, there is one thing that is for sure — you need to know your market in order to have a successful product positioning strategy. 


Need some help with your positioning strategy? Leave it to the experts. Drop us a line, and we’d be happy to help.

6 Hubspot Integrations for B2B Businesses to Try

6 Hubspot Integrations for B2B Businesses to Try

Isn’t nice when everything you need is in one place? With the abundant amount of marketing tools and technologies businesses can use nowadays, it sometimes gets overwhelming keeping track of every single one. For this reason, HubSpot created a centralized platform, allowing for the integration and direct use of over 500 third-party apps from a single HubSpot account. With more than 1 million downloads across HubSpot’s app ecosystem in the past year, Hubspot integrations are a popular way for organizations to enhance all aspects of their business, no matter what software they use.

The Value Behind Integrations

Using integrations helps companies differentiate themselves and build additional service offerings beyond the functionality of core HubSpot products. Integrations are also extremely valuable for marketers. Imagine all of your channels, contacts, analytics, solutions (and more) living under one roof. With the benefit of easy, aggregated access, you get a complete overview of all your marketing platforms. Plus, the added advantage of overall improvements with your marketing operations.

In addition, HubSpot has partnered with hundreds of third-party applications that businesses can use in their daily operations. While it’s great to have so many options, how do you decide which ones are the best structural fit for your business? 

Don’t worry; we got you covered. Here are six HubSpot Integrations we recommend for B2B businesses.

Our 6 Recommended Hubspot Integrations for B2B Businesses

Clearbit 

 

Clearbit is an excellent tool for data enrichment. The Clearbit integration goes through a business’s contact data to enhance accuracy and pull specific information relevant to customers and leads. Then, Clearbit works to increase lead conversion using this data. With features like form shortening and marketing automation, this enables B2B businesses to focus only on their best leads. 

Vidyard

 

The Vidyard HubSpot integration allows you to gather insights about your audience through video engagements and interactions. Whenever a viewer can be identified, your contact records automatically receives any information about them. Vidyard and HubSpot work together to understand who your viewers are and what videos they watch so you can better optimize, automate, and personalize your marketing and sales efforts.

OrgChartHub

 

When you’re prospecting, it’s essential to know the business structure of your potential clients. OrgChartHub helps B2B businesses build and store customer organization charts for each of their accounts using features like heatmaps, customized contact cards, sales personas, and more. As a result, OrgChartHub approves businesses’ strategies to win accounts and close more deals.

Sigstr

 

Think about the number of emails your organization sends every day. Yeah, it’s a lot. Sigstr capitalizes on email reach by providing promotional content in employees’ email signatures, allowing personalization and customization based on the recipient. The Sigstr integration then enables businesses to track conversions through their Sigstr campaigns and automatically transfer contacts to their Hubspot records.

Rybbon 

 

Need a way to gain more referrals or survey feedback? Easily incentivize by automating rewards with Rybbon’s integration. Rybbon allows automatic e-gifting through HubSpot’s workflow feature so businesses can send digital thank you gifts to recipients.

LinkedIn Ads

 

You may already know that you can effortlessly manage and analyze your LinkedIn ads with HubSpot’s ad tools. But did you also know connecting your LinkedIn ads with HubSpot allows for syncing leads and creating audiences between the two platforms? With your LinkedIn ads managed in the same place as the rest of your marketing, you can create a consistent narrative for your customers and align your LinkedIn Ads with other client touchpoints.

If any of these recommendations sound like they would be beneficial for your business, you can learn more about connecting them to your HubSpot platform. 

Your options aren’t limited to just this list. There are many HubSpot Integrations you can try, including current applications that your business may already be using. To view the complete list of Hubspot Integrations, visit HubSpot’s App Marketplace and get started with the benefits of integrating.


Get more out of your HubSpot investment. As certified HubSpot experts, we provide the support and consultation you need to maximize your Hubspot account. Drop us a line and let’s get started!

A Beginner’s Guide to Growth Marketing

A Beginner’s Guide to Growth Marketing

If you’re a professional marketer, you know that significant growth doesn’t usually happen overnight. Sometimes, it can take weeks, months, or even years of building up your marketing strategies to produce targeted goals and results.

Don’t you wish there was a way to know if your strategies worked while further helping your business grow to its full potential? Lucky for you, there is!

What is Growth Marketing?

 

Growth marketing, growth hacking, performance marketing… You’ve heard these interchangeable phrases used before, but what do they mean?

Growth marketing is an integrated approach of constant testing across marketing channels with the goal of scaling and optimizing your business. The purpose of a growth marketer is to find new ways to build and engage your organization’s audience. 

A growth marketer is keen, creative, analytical, and scrappy —  all at once. They will test and experiment with new concepts and content until they find an approach that enables significant growth.

For example, have you ever conducted A/B testing? Congratulations, you’re already on your way to being a growth marketer! As the purpose of A/B testing is to test the effectiveness of content based on performance, it’s essentially a growth marketing strategy without the label.

Why is Growth Marketing Important?

Since not all industries or markets are alike, there are unfortunately no clear cut rules to direct and guide everyone’s marketing strategies. While overtime marketing best practices have developed, when it comes to an individual’s brand, there are never any guarantees for what will work and what will not. Traditional strategies usually involve “set it and forget it,” burning through resources like time and money, with no intention of maintaining potential customers’ attention. 

This is where testing and experimentation become valuable. When it comes down to it, brands turn to growth marketing to provide them with creative, innovative, and low-cost strategies to achieve business scalability. 

Notably, growth marketing is exceptionally substantial for content marketers. It helps them discover new ways to communicate with audiences, whether it’s testing a new marketing channel or a piece of content. Using the evidence of analytics, marketers can then integrate the best performing content into their strategies without worrying about its effectiveness.

Low-Cost Growth Marketing Strategies to Help You Get Started

For marketers accustomed to traditional marketing approaches, this level of experimentation can look overwhelming or even impossible. How is it possible to produce large amounts of growth with limited resources? Fear not! Here are a couple of convenient ways to implement growth marketing with content you already have.

A/B Testing

Like mentioned before, A/B testing is growth marketing in disguise. To run an A/B test, you’ll need to create two versions of the same content piece (or just slightly alter a piece of content you’ve already created). This can work for multiple types of content — landing pages, social ads, emails, etc. The ultimate goal is to use analytics and decide which version resonates best with your audience.

Look into search ranking

Investigate where your business ranks when it comes to specific search terms. You can do this with Google Analytics and other SEO tools, or simply conduct a search using incognito mode. Not only does this provide feedback on where your SEO might work, but can also give insight into competitors, ideas for content creation, and more.

Feedback from current users

You don’t have to let analytics do all the talking. As the best source of product information, your customers can provide feedback to improve any current business function, including marketing. Whether it’s with surveys or client one on ones, get the answers you need to encourage business progression.

Audit your current content

Growth marketing is all about staying up to date with trends in the industry and uncovering new marketing tactics that take advantage of growth opportunities. Techniques that worked a few years ago could now not be the most effective way to generate consumer engagement continuously. What’s not performing as well as you would like it to, and more importantly, what’s the solution to fix it? Make it a point to frequently review what you produce so it can achieve its full potential.

Want more examples of growth marketing implementation? You can find more here, but don’t limit yourself to just those. There are several resources out there including SmarkLab’s Growth Plays — a complete playbook of 50 unique campaign ideas and tactics to help prioritize your marketing efforts. 

Assess in your current strategy what elements or content may benefit most from growth marketing and start there. By applying growth marketing, you’ll be able to maximize your marketing strategy backed by data and analytics while contributing to your business’s growth.


Get the most out of your content by letting us help implement your growth strategy. Drop us a line to get started!