Video Prospecting: What is it and Why You Should Use it?

One of the most challenging activities in sales is finding new prospects and influencing them to take your desired action. That’s why some businesses opt to upscale their sales strategies with video prospecting. 

Video prospecting combines the best bits of cold email outreach with email. This guide will discuss why you should try it for your business. Before we get into the main part of the article, let’s define video prospecting.

What is video prospecting?

Video prospecting is a technique that sees you recording and sending personalized videos to sales leads. You commonly run video prospecting campaigns with messenger platforms or email. In the video, you tell them a bit more about your product or service and how that can address your prospect’s pain point.

The great thing about video is the amount of information you can share. People can consume the equivalent of 3-5 pages of content in a two-minute video. You’d struggle to get a person you’ve never met to read a 3-5 page pitch. Most people just don’t have the time or the interest.

The image below nicely illustrates what a video prospecting email might look like.

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You can see the message is shorter, and the video thumbnails are engaging.

Importantly, emails that contain videos are also different. You won’t find many videos in your inbox, which makes your cold outreach email stand out.

With video prospecting, you can increase your chances of responses and even conversions. Just look at the statistics. Sales reps who use video when prospecting get five times higher open rates. They get eight times higher open-to-reply rates, too.

How to Create Your Prospecting Video

In this section, I’ll quickly walk you through how to create a sales prospecting video. We’ll then finish things off by discussing the five benefits of video prospecting.

There are three main parts to video prospecting:

  1. Your outreach email
  2. The sales script
  3. How you shoot the video

I’ll walk you through each of these points.

1. Video Prospecting Outreach Email

You are messaging somebody you have probably never met before and want the recipient to act on your message. Unfortunately, that means if the prospect doesn’t understand the value proposition of your email immediately after opening the message, it is likely to go in the bin.

Your outreach email should be short and to the point. 

In a few sentences, explain who you are, why you messaged them, what you have to offer, and what they should do. Then, direct them to your video.

Here’s a nice example of a cold outreach email from someone pitching an affiliate service.

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The email is just two paragraphs with a postscript.

Your email should be just as concise. Read this guide to email prospecting if you’re looking for more tips about how to write your message.

2. Write Your Script

Once you’ve written your outreach email, you need to think about your video. The script you use will play a huge role in the success or failure of your campaign.

You want your prospect to know you’re not just about selling. Your pitch needs to be focused on how you can help solve the pain points of the recipient. So, before writing the script, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why am I making this video?
  • Who is the intended viewer?
  • What value does the video provide to viewers? 

If this is your first video script, I recommend you follow some type of loose template. There are lots of great copywriting templates you can use that work well for video. For example, there is the Attention, Interest, Desire, Action formula.

The other thing you should keep in mind is that with sales, showing what you can do is a lot more powerful than explaining what you can do. For example, we work in a competitive niche. There are a lot of great B2B web design agencies.

When I’m pitching to a prospective client, for example, I always discuss the work we’ve done for previous clients and show the impact of a web redesign on lead generation. Showing what you can offer, rather than just making a claim, is more powerful.

Your storytelling should be such that people cannot stop themselves from responding to your outreach email. Make your prospects believe you genuinely care.

3. Shoot Your Video

The last thing you need to do is shoot the video. Find a suitable location with good lighting and a nice background. Make sure that the place is quiet. Shoot the video with you initially talking to the camera. You can cut to a screen share later on if you think it makes sense.

The quality of the video needs to be good, but it doesn’t have to be great.

The camera in your computer or your mobile phone is ok for a basic video. If you want to invest in production, use a high-quality DSLR camera and clip-on mics for excellent audio quality. Viewers need to hear what you say clearly to make a decision.

Before you sign off on the video, ask for feedback from a friend or a colleague to make the necessary edits. You should be able to create a basic outreach video in a couple of hours.

The initial video is a proof of concept. Don’t invest thousands of dollars creating a video without first testing if your outreach messaging works. Improving the quality of your video will only generate an incremental improvement in your conversion rate.

3 Benefits of Video Prospecting

Running a video prospecting campaign is straightforward. Yet, few companies put effort into video pitches. Here are three reasons why you should experiment with video prospecting. Let’s run through the list.

1. A Video Pitch Stands Out

Most sales representatives rely on emails and calls to reach out to prospects. The fact that everyone is using the same channel is proof that this approach is effective. However, the trade-off is that if everyone is using the same channel, response rates drop.

That means prospects are tired of getting too many calls from people trying to sell them something. If you use a different medium, you’d be the odd one out. That’s a good thing.

Even if you use email to reach out to prospects, using a video in your outreach email will make you unusual. That is something I touched on in the opening section of this guide to video prospecting.

Another good thing about video prospecting is that it is flexible. You can use video prospecting to sell insurance policies, your SEO services, or medical instruments. It works in almost any niche. Furthermore, Video prospecting is channel agnostic.

You can use video marketing in cold outreach across most marketing channels. You can do video prospecting via email, LinkedIn, Facebook Messenger, etc. 

Keep in mind; you don’t need to restrict yourself to sales. You can use video prospecting to build an audience. I know some marketing agencies that have used this type of prospecting to secure leads for online webinars, for example.

2. You Can Share a Lot of Information & Make a Connection

People pick up meaning from the intonation of your voice, the clothes you are wearing, facial expressions, and more. With text-based prospecting, you lose those elements of your messaging, and that impacts your response rate.

Then there’s the prospect’s “unconscious bonding” with you because they can see you on a screen. David Meerman Scott said human “mirror neurons” make people believe they already “know” the people they see on a monitor. “Our brain tells us that we’ve been in their personal space because of the feeling of proximity to them as we are seeing them up on the screen,” he said.

If people watch your video through to the end, they’ll feel like they know you. You’ll probably find yourself talking about the outreach video on your sales call.

3.  You Can Run Personalized Campaigns

Video helps you take personalization to the next level. With video, you don’t just get to address a prospect by their first names. You can also personalize your activities in your video so your prospects can relate more to them.

Here’s an example from Frank Weschler of Dynamic Signal, a mobile communications platform. Frank was assigned the Buffalo Wild Wings account. So, what does Frank do to get the attention of his prospects? He eats Buffalo Wild Wings chicken while making his pitch!

Source: Vidyard

The result? Frank managed to book a sales meeting with Buffalo Wild Wings.

Creating a unique video for each email makes sense for high-value clients. For example, if I were pitching for LForm, I’d probably create a unique video for each outreach message. It’s worth me investing time in pitching clients because of the value of a contract.

That’s the approach Frank Weschler took when pitching Buffalo Wild Wings.

However, if I were selling a product or offering a service that cost a couple of hundred dollars, I’d create one video per campaign. That video would discuss the pain points that prospects likely face and show the value of the service without providing unique insights.

The approach you take to video prospecting should align with your campaign.

Bottom Line

Video prospecting is an effective top-of-the-funnel marketing strategy for B2B businesses. Video prospecting is most commonly used in conjunction with email to contact potential customers and share information about your products or services. It’s very effective because it’s underused. Most people simply can’t be bothered to go through the hassle of creating a video.

That’s an oversight. Video is a great way to connect with your audience, regardless of the niche you are operating in. Furthermore, you can run these types of campaigns at scale, sharing the same video to each recipient, or create a unique video for each recipient.

This guide walked you through how to run a video prospecting campaign and discussed some of the main benefits. If you plan to use video prospecting, consider your outreach email, write your video script, and then shoot the video.