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[Guest post] How Video Helps Sales & Marketing Teams Attract, Engage & Convert

By Bonnie Gibson, Content Creator at RAMP

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Today’s sales and marketing tactics are full of noise and clutter. As a sales or marketing professional, you might be wondering, “What does a lead need to be a customer?” or “What does the customer need to stay a customer?” or even both. The answer lies within Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs, the need for love and belonging. Successful businesses such as JetBlue and HubSpot know that creating a more human experience will allow their business to grow. Producing videos is a way to reach your audience and show the human side of your business. Let’s take a quick look at how video can help attract, engage, and convert your prospects and delight your current customers.

Attract – Your step to gaining trust

Think of this as a “getting to know you” stage. Sometimes that getting to know you phase can be overlooked and misunderstood. Even with the best of intentions, nothing drives me crazier than the use of caps and exclamation points. It reminds me of watching the monster truck commercials I’d see as a kid where the announcer is yelling, “SUNDAY!! SUNDAY!! SUNDAY!!” Video clarifies your messaging the way bold, italics, caps, and five exclamation marks simply can’t.

Examples of videos that attract:

·       Tips and tricks

·       Demos

·       Introductions

Engage – Being as human as possible

Purchases are based on need and emotion. The bigger the purchase, the higher the emotion. So it would make sense in any sales or marketing strategy to cater on the side of emotion to further build a relationship with your prospects. With a video, you can put a face behind the pitch and build trust and  relationship with your potential customer. This is what Vsnap is all about, sending short, personal messages showing a prospect or customer how much you appreciate their business.

Examples of videos that can engage:

·       Follow up’s

·       Thank you’s

Convert – Keep the cycle going

In marketing, we strive for conversions, and we do this by creating a call-to-action. If you’ve ever seen a “register here” or “download now” button, then you’ve seen a call to action. The call to action is the next step you want the customer to take. For a disengaged customer, you might want to send a quick video letting them know you care and what steps to take to keep them involved in a relationship with your customer. You might have a big renewal coming up for a current customer, using video to convey why you are excited about your company can help in getting the customer ready for that new contract.

Remember, it’s not about how big you or your business is, it’s about how your customer feels. When your customer feels the love, so does your business. In the “Age of the Human Era”, isn’t it time you sent them a video to show your appreciation? 

Filed under guest blogs ramp bonnie gibson Video Messaging sales marketing vsnap

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Next Gen Customer Communication Tools From IT Expo

By Dave McLaughlin, CEO at Vsnap

I went to Las Vegas last week for ITExpo – “The Business Technology Event” – and learned about some really valuable communication tools that keep upping the functionality and ease of use for customer-focused business users. I enjoyed the conversations with these guys, and thought I’d share some quick details.

Zoom

Zoom is better video conferencing and online screensharing. Here’s a detailed list of features that will appeal to different users, from people that have satellite teams to those who run online meetings. My favorite aspect of Zoom is the ability to share your screen from your mobile device, even in-app. Screensharing is getting more important all the time, and making it easier and richer and more device-agnostic feels really smart. Zoom should definitely be featured in our free “Tools & Tactics to Close More SQLs” eBook – we’ll add them to future resource lists on this topic. Also, they have an awesome freemium plan.

RingDNA

They’ve organized the briar patch of inbound and outbound calling for sales teams with incredible value-adds in how calls get routed and queued up based on specific rules that sales leaders can define. For example, if you have a rep that is awesome at closing opportunities around a certain line of business, you can make sure those calls go to her.

I love the way RingDNA lets you play to the strengths of your team. It really rewards introspective leaders, letting you transform that self-analysis into productive actions that build your bottom line.

UberConference

They’re making conference calls better. That means no PINs to join the call, and no ambiguity about who’s on the call or who’s speaking. Social data gets pulled up on the fly, so you can sneak a peek at the LinkedIn profile of that new guy Harold in Minneapolis that you never heard of before the call. UberConference also lets you share screens and documents, so you don’t need to pair it with another tool like WebEx.

Business Texter

This product lets consumers text businesses and receive automated responses based on rules that the business sets up. Makes sense to me that consumers want to text businesses to gather information, and that some information can be automated for really easy access. Haven’t played with this but it’s always a good idea to let consumers access information in their preferred format.

Vsnap

For people reading this post who don’t know Vsnap, we make video messaging easy for sales people who don’t have face time with their buyer. An individual video message is the most efficient way to establish trust with the buyer, and our clients are increasing their close rate by as much as 34%.

I represented Vsnap on a panel called “Killer Tools for Customer Acquisition”, along with the RingDNA CEO Howard Brown and Business Texter CEO Aaron Rollins, which was moderated by telecom guru and business strategy savant Larry Lisser.

The big takeaway for me is that there is more specificity to communication tools than ever before. Business users should look to bolt together different products to get the full functionality their specific challenges demand.

Because today’s customer is more empowered than at any time in the history of commerce, and you simply cannot expect to win by doing the same old stuff in terms of engagement, collaboration and sales.

For more IT Expo coverage, check out Peter Radizeski’s blog On Rad’s Radar.

Filed under dave blogs ITExpo ITExpo2014 business apps video tools communication tools

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Revised Release Date For Vsnap 2.0

By Dave McLaughlin, CEO at Vsnap

We’ve decided to delay releasing our new product until October, to give ourselves extra time for testing and refinements on some of the key features. This is a completely rebuilt platform, both front and back ends. We’re really excited about how this product simplifies the process of creating vsnaps, making it easier for sales reps to send short video messages that build trust with their buyers. We’re also super excited about how the new product puts us on a path to iterate more rapidly than ever before. The coming year is going to be super exciting! 

Current users will be moved into free trials (no credit card info will be taken), as outlined in earlier communications. That will just happen in October rather than on September 1. If you have any questions, please let us know. 

Finally, this is a reminder that we are doing away with free Vsnap accounts. If you already know that you do not want a free trial or will not be moving into a paid account, we want to remind you to log in now to download the vsnaps you’ve created if you want to keep them. 

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Vsnapper Spotlight: Nineteenth Amendment

By Trish Fontanilla, VP of Community & Customer Experience at Vsnap

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(Pictured: Nineteenth Amendment co-founders, Amanda Curtis and Gemma Sole)

I don’t think I could pick just one Vsnap Value to represent Nineteenth Amendment’s CEO Amanda Curtis. It’d probably be a tie between “Only Help” and “Be a Doer”.

Nineteenth Amendment was born out of an idea Amanda had when she was a designer. She wanted to create an easier and less expensive way (“stiletto-strapping”) for people in the fashion industry to launch their first line. After two years of incredibly hard work and curating a list of amazing designers, Nineteenth’s site launched this past June. They’ve been getting a lot of great coverage, and somehow in between all of the chaos, Amanda found some time to chat with me about community, brands they love, and using our new Viewer API.

Tell us a little bit about the Nineteenth Amendment community.
The Nineteenth Amendment community is the greatest emerging fashion talent from around the globe, paired with shoppers who love being at the forefront of unique fashion and the future of trends. Our designers and consumers value individuality and it is our mission to give them all a voice in the future of fashion.

Are there any designers or brands you look to when it comes to engaging with your community?
We think that Alex and Ani, as a brand, does a superb job of engaging with their community - from non-profit Charity by Design initiatives to a policy of leaving no tweet unanswered that the founder, Carolyn, made sure was in place since day one. You cannot fake that kind of commitment to community, and valuing everyone’s voice.

How do you use Vsnap?
We use Vsnap to welcome new designers to our platform and engage with our shoppers. We also use it to follow up on in-person meetings we have with potential designers, employees, and investors. Occasionally we use Vsnap to reach fashion’s VIPS, like the Anna Wintours of the world!

You were one of the first companies to test out our API, how’d it go?
Using the Vsnap Viewer API helped us communicate our brand, while providing our customers with a personal and transparent experience. The API was easy to implement and we were able to create unique calls-to-action that enrich the consumer experience.  

Any interesting reactions from people who have received vsnaps from you?
Our designers love it.  So much in fact they often share our vsnaps with their personal networks, especially on Facebook. Terry Lundgren, the CEO of Macy’s, loved our vsnap to him.

And of course, what’s your favorite pie?
Gluten-free whoopie pies from Trish*!

(*Totally not a planted comment, we do what we can to accommodate our guests when they visit!)

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Thanks for the interview, Amanda!

What about you? Do you want to share how you’re using Vsnap in your business? Contact our team at info@vsnap.com or fill out this form and you could be in our next Vsnapper Spotlight!

Filed under trish blogs vsnapper spotlight nineteenth amendment

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Thank You, Trish Fontanilla

by Dave McLaughlin, CEO of Vsnap

This post is a thank you to Trish Fontanilla, our Vice President of Community and Customer Experience. She will be moving on from Vsnap next month, and we’re really going to miss her energy and passion, which are truly extraordinary. 

Trish has not decided yet what is next for her, but my guess is she will be creating and nurturing online and offline communities at some awesome, values-based company, helping them nurture conversations and inspire amazing customer evangelism. 

But then again she might just decide to solve global warming or some other big, gnarly problem instead. Whatever she does, she’s going to be outstanding, and if anyone needs a reference, please get in touch with me at dave at vsnap.com. Set aside some time for that call though, because the list of Trish’s Awesomeness is longer than you can imagine. 

At Vsnap, we’ve refined our focus through a series of iterations, as most startups do, and now we are about to launch a new product that is very targeted to people in sales. Given that focus, we have less of a call to invest in the kind of broader community efforts that we’ve been engaged in, and that Trish has been so great at leading. 

An example of this is the Customer Love series, which we started three years ago to bring together a cross-section of businesspeople who believe that making customers feel loved is the fastest and most enduring path to growth. We’ve held an annual Customer Love Summit on Valentine’s Day each year, and we’ve put together semi-regular meetups on this theme both in Boston and New York. It’s been fun and valuable, but given our refined business focus, the Customer Love movement is a little too broad for us to really invest in growing. 

I bring up Customer Love as an example, but it also brings me back to Trish. In our conversations, she talked about how important that community is to her — and we agreed that she should own the Customer Love brand after she leaves Vsnap. So I’m happy to share that she will continue to convene that conversation, and I hope that Vsnap can continue to be involved as a participant. 

I know people will be curious about our immediate hiring plans at Vsnap. The truth is I haven’t decided on that quite yet. I want to be very specific in terms of who we’re looking for, and I need to take a little time to do that. 

Trish was the first person I hired at Vsnap. She started as our Community Manager, and she just kept taking on more and more responsibility. Honestly, I never could’ve anticipated how influential she would be in our company. She’s just so good, and her voice has so much power, and her name carries so much cred. I’m deeply grateful to her. 

If you know Trish, I hope you’ll reach out and congratulate her on her many, many accomplishments here at Vsnap. And if you don’t know Trish, I encourage you tweet at her and say hello. She’ll change your life. 

Filed under dave blogs trish fontanilla vsnap