Video marketing can be an extremely powerful way to promote your software as a service (Saas) company & product but it can also be confusing to know where to start. So I’m going to break down the different types of videos you could be using to boost your SaaS business to the next level and touch on how to implement them in your overall marketing strategy.
Why videos are awesome
Before I go into the different types of videos, let’s look at some of the benefits.
Video allows your users to see and learn things that words and pictures alone can’t show, for example a demo of your software platform in action. When you add people into the mix, videos can humanise your customer experience,
because after all, they will be buying a people-powerd service as well as a digital product.
Video is trackable – hosting services like Wistia offer analytics so you can see how much of your video your user is engaging in.
And Video converts – You can add call to actions and lead capture forms into your videos and turn them into conversion tools.
Start with a video marketing strategy
It’s always best to start with an overall video marketing strategy and to let that determine which videos you’re going to make. We love getting involved at this stage, because it can really help to maximise marketing budgets if you have a plan first. Some videos will be designed to move your potential customer further down the sales cycle, with your ultimate aim to end in a sale. For example product demo videos, customer testimonials or case studies.
Some videos are there to keep existing customers happy or educate them of new features, such as training and FAQ videos. Some will position your company as a thought leader, drive traffic to your site or help promote up coming events.
And others can be used as lead magnets to generate and qualify leads for your sales team, which can save them a huge amount of time and of course money.
What should your Call to Action be?
Another important part of your video strategy is what call to action to include in your videos and this should be based on your website’s main call to action. Most SaaS company’s primary call to action, above the fold on their homepage,
is either “Request a demo” or “Start a free trial”. So you’ll more than likely want your videos to all work towards that goal too.
What videos could you have on your homepage?
So let’s look at all the different videos your visitors will find when they come to your homepage. If they come to your website cold and don’t know anything yet about your product, they may skip past your primary call to action so they can find out more before they sign up – that’s when you hit them with a video – so your secondary call to action would be: “Watch this video”.
This first video needs to deliver your value proposition. So explain what issue your product fixes, why do they need your solution and what benefit is it providing them. Then it should explain how the product fixes these issues,
so briefly showing some features and then the all important call to action. Here you can explain how easy it is to get started, (as this is a big objection for people to sign up to a new Saas tool).
Some companies want your credit card details when you sign up to a trial, but if you don’t need this, it’s a good idea to mention this clearly in your call to action as it will increase your conversion.
Now there are different formats you can use for this top homepage video.
Animation is a great way to explain the concept of a software product in an engaging way, although tends to be on the more expensive side of video production.
A big advantage however of animation is that you can future proof your video against UI updates,
because you’re explaining a concept without actually showing the platform itself.
This also works well if your platform is not fully ready yet!
The alternative to animation is to go for what-we-call an online advert style video.
This is normally a voice over lead narrative with live action video, motion tracked elements and animation to bring the technology to life. The idea here is to explain the concept of the product you offer while touching on the benefits to the user and all done in an engaging and easy-to-understand way. We created two videos in this style for Episerver which are featured on their Commerce and CMS product landing pages.
Example of an Online Advert we created for Avalara
Example of an Online Advert we created for Episerver
Screen capture demo
The (usually) lower cost option is a screen capture, demo style video, but of course that can date.
It’s also not the best way to explain complex concepts but this may not be an issue if your software is very simple and you just want to show off the platform. You can go as slick as you like with the screen capture and a lot is done behind the scenes to make it look smooth and flow seamlessly. The top of the range option means recording it in 4K and then animating to add zooms, transitions or to make scrolling elements smooth. Whether you go for animation, an online advert or screen capture really depends on your budget, whether your platform is ready to capture, how simple the “why” of your platform is and for how long you need your video to be relevant. For more information be sure to check out our screen capture demos page.
Some Saas companies don’t feature their homepage video above the fold, to keep the focus on the primary call to action. If you want to go down that route, you can always have a Hero background video showing off the product.
This would be on a rolling loop and up to about 25 seconds long – the shorter the better for loading speeds.
It works well to have a mix of lifestyle and over the shoulder product shots in the these videos. Take a look at Episerver’s website for an example of this. Another of our clients, dotmailer, use a background hero video, but also feature an animated gif of the platform just under the fold. Because your homepage is so important, you may want to try these different strategies out with some A/B testing and then see what works best for you.
Lead magnet (video training series)
We’ve noticed there’s a trend in some SaaS companies to use a demo video series as a lead magnet.
Your prospect is offered the chance to “watch a quick demo” on your home page. This then sends them to a landing page with a sign up form where you can collect contact details to pass on to your sales team. The copy on this landing page needs to explain, with a good headline, sub headline and in bullets to follow, what they will learn from the demo and the benefits of the software.
Lead Magnet Formula
To make your lead magnet video series, I would advise you make a 5-10 minute video for the main features of your software, starting with the pain points each feature addresses and the benefits of using each feature. This intro could be someone from your sales team or one of your training team presenting to camera, which adds a human element and helps build authority, trust and likeability in your brand. These are all mental buying triggers to help move your prospect towards that all import call-to-action.
After this intro, you then show them a screen capture demo, which is the how-to part of the video. This can be recorded live, by the same person who introduced the video, talking the viewer through the actions and edited to make it more fluid. This method is quick and also makes it feel more personal. The videos are arranged in a play list, can be watched in the viewers own time and hopefully by the end of the video series your prospect has been soft-sold the platform and is now a hot lead. It’s important to have your next call to action available under each video.
Lead Magnet Call to action
You have two options here: ‘book a one-to-one demo’ could be a good option if you’re an enterprise level product with a high customer value. Alternatively ‘sign up for a free trial’ could work better for your product or if you’re not able to offer one-to-one demos.
The benefit of this lead magnet video series is it will save your sales team a massive amount of time and in turn save you money, as it effectively automates the first demo process. When people eventually sign up for a one-to-one demo the leads have been pre-qualified and your sales teams conversion rate will be higher. Or if they don’t take action, you’ll have a chance to follow up using the data collected, giving you another chance to convert them to customer.
If your product’s integrations are a big selling point and you feature them briefly on your home page,
then an integrations overview video would be a great to include here as well. If you also have a dedicated integrations page or a landing page for each integration, then you could make a video for each, showing how it works and explaining the features & benefits.
Case Studies & testimonials
Case study videos are very powerful too. One of your challenges as a SaaS company is to explain who your platform can help, whether that’s an industry or job function. You can create a customer case study for each of your main sectors. Having someone explain in these videos how your software benefited them or helped their company grow is marketing gold. Video testimonials have been proven to be some of the best tools to convert viewers into buyers, because they are so authentic.
If you’re clever with your design you can use a thumbnail image that shows the most important information:
the company sector, the company title, a short written quote, the employee name & title and a lifestyle photo.
And not forgetting the video play button. These thumbnails serve as a static version of the video just in case someone chooses not to watch them and just having them there will already instill trust.
The second s in Saas stands for Service and it’s quite common to have a section on your home page or website dedicated to this. Here you’ll really benefit from a short video summarising the main benefits of the services you offer.
You can get across a lot in a 2 minute video and it works really well to have your staff members delivering the main points in an interview format, because they are ultimately the ones who will be dealing with your prospects when they convert into a customer. Then you can add some b-roll footage, which are supporting video clips that we edit over the interviews to make things flow and look great and show off your offices as well. Because there’s a large human element involved in a successful Saas company, it makes perfect sense to show that off in a video.
What videos can you have through-out your site?
So continuing through your website now, you’re also more than likely to have platform features landing pages and these are an obvious place to have videos as well.
These would be different to your lead magnet course as they would be shorter, more high production value videos,
between 2-4 minutes and purely focused on showing the features rather than explaining the concept behind the feature.
These work well as screen capture demos but aren’t really tutorials, they’ll act more as a showcase of the feature.
Under each of these you could have your lead magnet call to action or get them to request a demo.
An example of a screen capture features demo we proudced for dotmailer (dotdigital)
Your training hub will be aimed at educating your customers in how to perform certain tasks with your software and learning new features. We found splitting these videos into bit sized sections and presenting them in a play list works really well. For example you could have 10 videos explaining a certain feature. These are in-depth tutorials from 5-30mins long. Recorded live by your training team and edited to make them more fluid. And if you include a filmed intro by the trainer you’ll add that all important human touch.
We found a cost effective way to create these for our clients was to specify what audio equipment and screen capture software they needed to buy and then do a training session with the trainers to get them up-to-speed on how to record the tutorials to a high level themselves. We filmed the intros and were then sent the tutorial files once the trainers had created them so we could edit and produce the final videos.
If you put on events, shout about it, make a video to share on social media
and put a highlights video on your website’s events page to attract more people to your next events.
Events are also a great place to catch some short customer testimonials,
without having to take up extra time of your clients or pay for an extra day of filming.
If you are putting on a seminar, you can have the whole thing filmed
to then push out as valuable content to those who couldn’t make it.
All this will also help to place you as an industry leader.
Investor relations videos
We’ve made investor relations videos for Saas companies too.
Peter Simmonds the CEO (at the time) for dotmailer reported that the inspirational milestone video we created for them,
which showed off the passion and people behind the business, totally stood out from other company’s power point presentations. It really helped them to get noticed by stake holders. Visit our Media Brighton Investor Relations page for examples and more information.
Social Media Videos
And finally, anything you make, can be used on social media but cutting it down into snippets.
The more videos you make, the more stuff you’ll have to re-purpose and re-use.
Any blog posts your write for this purpose can be filmed, for example as white board sessions or vlogs and this in turn will help your YouTube channel to grow, because let’s not forget, after Google it is the second largest search engine out there and not to be ignored!
I haven’t mentioned all the options here yet and I could do an entire blog post and video dedicated just to social media videos. As you can see there is loads of scope for video for SaaS companies and we’ve worked closely with several on their video marketing strategy.
If you’d like to pick our brains on how we can do the same for you, get in touch. You can fill in the form on (the top right of) this page and we’ll get in contact with you. Or alternatively give us call on 07766306310 or 07789712314.