At INBOUND 2018, HubSpot introduced their new concept for attracting, engaging and delighting customers using inbound methods – the flywheel. There’s nothing new about the ‘inbound’ part, it’s the flywheel that is the game changer.
What Is The Flywheel?
Sarah (head of our tribe) made a great video sketch about the flywheel and the different components that make it ‘spin’:
HubSpot have developed the flywheel to replace the traditional marketing/ sales funnel, claiming this model is broken. The reason? As buyers (whether consumers or businesses) become more digitally savvy, the less they rely on sales people or promotional content to find and research products or services. In addition, ‘word of mouth’ has evolved to become digital as well. Product and service reviews are everywhere and considering 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review (G2 Crowd and Heinz Marketing, 2017), this digital word of mouth currency is more valuable than ever.
So, what does this flywheel analogy mean in real terms? It’s quite simple: delight your customers. Treat them well, provide good, friction-less service and add value to their purchase, and they in turn will have positive things to say about their experience with your business. The concept isn’t rocket science, nor is it revolutionary, but considering buyers have so much choice and access to information, it makes sense to increase the likelihood of customer retention. This ‘customer first’ attitude needs to be applied across the whole business for the flywheel to spin, through every team and every member of staff – it must become part of company ethos.
How Can Marketing Help?
Changes in buyer behaviour has also meant a shift for marketing. Gone are the days of churning out branded, promotional messaging with a ‘one size fits all’ attitude. Marketing isn’t just about creating awareness of a brand anymore, it’s about engaging the buyer at all stages of their journey, and position around the flywheel. With that in mind, marketing must find ways to add value through meaningful, and more importantly, useful content. This production of useful information helps other parties within the business on the way to delighting customers. It can be used by sales to answer buyers questions, especially effective through social selling, or by customer services to demonstrate how to use a product or service after purchase.
Using Video Around The Flywheel
The use of video marketing has been on the rise for several years, according to the State of Video Marketing Survey by Wyzowl, 81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool — up from 63% in 2017. This makes sense considering where both video and text are available on the same page, 72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service (Wyzowl).
With video being such an effective way to educate and engage prospects and customers, it’s an ideal tactic to use around the flywheel. Remember, the flywheel is about engaging the whole business so the creation of video content should be seen as a resource for multiple departments.
Access to technology for recording, posting and analysing video is widely available and now is the time to take advantage of video’s capabilities. Here are some ideas on how video can be used during each phase of the flywheel:
Formerly ‘top of funnel’ content, in this phase the video content should be relatively high-level and not too in-depth. Viewers are looking to be educated around the pain points they are experiencing.
- ‘How to’ and explainer videos. At this stage, this type of video doesn’t have to be long or complicated, instead opt for an educational yet snappy approach. The benefit of learning from a video is that it can be done almost anywhere at any time.
- Brand vision videos. Instead of writing about your company’s values or visions, why not make a video to demonstrate them instead? This way potential customers get to see the people behind the words, video is great for expressing your brand story in a way no other medium can.
- Thought leadership. Thought leadership is an important part of creating valuable content, 121 chats with thought leaders within your business or industry is great for attracting people to your brand, especially via social media. Put your internal, influential employees on the small screen to share their expertise and educate your potential buyers.
- Animations. Here at Tribal, we use Biteable to create short animations. It’s a simple and effective way to create videos with top tips and tricks around your subject area. Using a tool like Biteable requires little resource, can be produced quickly and the results look professional.
Content for the ‘engage’ phase should be focused around the consideration process of the buyer. The buyer is now aware of an issue and they’re in the process of evaluating the options to solve it, and potentially purchase. It’s time to start nurturing; adding further value and demonstrating why yours is the best solution.
According to Vidyard, 40% of video should be dedicated to evaluation stage content. At this point you can use video to start personalising the experience with your brand. It also provides an opportunity to learn more about your prospective customers, content should be of higher value so requesting contact information is a reasonable exchange for some content at this stage.
- Use video on your website. If someone is visiting your website, what better way to demonstrate what your product does, or service provides, then visually representing it. Using video is a way concisely sharing your value proposition without users having to read through long winded content. Of course, this type of video shouldn’t be gated.
- Case studies. Case studies are valuable assets to have in any form, make them more engaging and easier to consume by turning them into videos. Highlight stand out stats, talk through results or turn them into digestible animations.
- Testimonials. As mentioned above, word of mouth is extremely important in today’s connected world. What better way to show how effective your product or services have been, then asking your delighted customers to talk about their experiences!
- Product (or service) Demo. Video is probably one of the most powerful tools for being able to demonstrate how to use products, remotely. Let your potential customers see what they will get before they buy. Video can be used for product demos but also for service demos, for example give an overview of the service a customer will receive, the results they can expect and importantly, how your solution will solve their problem.
- Personalisation. Providing personalised content based on previous content consumed can be adopted for video marketing too. Marketing can use video in nurture workflows/ email marketing (although video isn’t very email friendly, there are ways around it). For example, sending useful videos related to subjects or content a potential customer has viewed recently, or answering common questions your buyer is likely to asking at this stage. As for sales, why not send a video message along with a proposal, explaining the information included? Or how about sending a personalised meeting invite or thank you message using video? With technology today, these little touches don’t take much effort (and actually, are likely to save time) but make all the difference to the prospect/ customer experience.
And finally, once you’ve educated your buyer, engaged them with content, made them feel valued with personalised messaging, it’s time to add the cherry on top; delight. This is where previously, bottom of the funnel content lived, but using the flywheel analogy, we’re nearly back to the start. Customers become promoters, this word of mouth promotion attracts strangers and the wheel spins again. So how can you use video to close the loop? Customers should have already had a friction-less experience as they’ve moved through their buying journey around the flywheel, but this stage is critical for turning customers to promoters. No one wants to feel valued through a process only to be dropped when the deal is done.
- Detailed ‘how to’ or product demos. Once a customer has made a purchase, don’t close the door on them. They may still have questions around how to use a product or service and you should be the one to provide this information. Video content is extremely valuable here, as customers can access it any time they need it, removing the friction of needing to contact or speak to someone for help. Don’t wait for them to ask, send the content at or just after the point of purchase to show you’re thinking about their requirements.
- Product specific FAQ – Much the same as above, being able to answer questions around specific product features is valuable at this stage. If something isn’t working, or your customer needs a quick answer to a question, being able to watch a video that answers the query is invaluable.
- Personalised thank you messages. As in the ‘engage’ phase, personalised video messaging adds a human touch to your communications. Saying 'thank you for purchasing' via video will make a customer feel invested in and reminds them why they chose you over the rest!
- Customer check ins. In addition to having catch up meetings or calls with customers, why not send them a quick video message? It doesn’t need to be long and can be recorded at your desk or on a mobile. Ask how they’re getting on, how they’re finding the product and if they need any help.
Many organisations shy away from video as it’s seen as expensive and time consuming. But you don’t need to produce a 2 hour long epic to engage your prospects or customers. It’s simply a way of allowing them to consume content more easily. Do this through each phase of your flywheel and you’ll have it spinning in no time.