If you are making or commissioning animated video for your business, you need to be very clear what that video needs to be doing. Are you selling, or marketing? Not sure?
What is the difference between selling and marketing, and what is the most effective approach for your business?
What is selling?
SELLING focusses on the needs of the business to make money, and seeks to influence the buyer through promotional campaigns to buy a product or service. I have a product and I’m looking for someone to buy it. The focus is on the product, rather than the buyer, and the selling strategy is to concentrate on the product and its benefits over the competition. Selling is for shifting inventory, it’s a small part of the marketing cycle. If marketing has been done correctly selling is easy.
A video aimed at selling would come further down the customer purchase process.
What is Marketing?
MARKETING focuses on the consumer’s needs and wants, looking for what problems they have and trying to find solutions for these. The focus is all about helping the customer. Let’s find out what people want and get it to them. It’s the reverse of the selling model in that way. Marketing is all about producing or finding services and products that respond to consumer wants. The most important stage is research, and building a relationship with a customer base.
A video for marketing would come earlier on in the customer purchase process, and right after buying too.
In this video Simon Sinek shows how Apple cracked their marketing. What’s important is why we do something. Concentrating on what’s in it for the customer, rather than the product itself.
Simon Sinek – Start With Why – TED Talk Short Edited
Marketing is about helping people
“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” Zig Ziglar
Helping other people to get what they want, in order for you to get what you want is essentially the core of marketing. If you have understood your customers needs correctly, they will feel that what you are offering is worth more to them than holding on to the money that it will cost. The focus is not on how much money you can make, but on how much value you can make. Find a solution to a problem that consumers are telling you about and position it in such a way that they feel that they are better off with the product or service than with the money it cost.
Animated video can be used to explain useful information to people, to teach people about an aspect of what you do that is really useful for them, and will help them with what they are doing. Maybe to teach people how to do something for themselves. Maybe by fully explaining the potential problem’s people might face, pre-warning them to do something before it becomes a problem.
As customers become more experienced buyers, businesses must rethink their strategies. Instead of our focus being on our product, service or what we think people need, our focus should really be on what problems people have, what they want and how we can help with that. On a very practical level, we need to find people who are in sufficient pain to want to pay for a solution, and have the means to pay for it.
Selling is about helping people spend money
Some people love to spend their money. It’s “burning a hole in my pocket” is a phrase often associated with money by certain types of people. People do need a reason to spend their money, and if it’s not spent with you it will be spent elsewhere. This is a premise behind selling, reframing the product to fit the values of the customer, to make them want to buy it. However as we all spend money in line with our values, marketing will help you understand the customers values so that you can find the right kind of products for each customer base that you identify. Then they will be ready to buy.
Paul O’Mahony observes in his book ‘Rethink Social Media’ that people rarely buy what they need, and that they tend to buy what they want. For example you need to eat healthy food, but you want chocolate, want tends to win out over need. People also spend in line with their values, so they will say that they “can’t afford” a product or service that they definitely need, but then will happily spend the same money or more on a holiday or something they want that fits their current values. So good marketing would accept people’s values, and find what they actually want, not what they say they need or what you think they need as the solution to their problem.
Selling videos need to be in line with the values of the customer. They need to be a good representation of the pain that the customer feels. They need to offer the solution that works for that customer.
Building Value First
Marketing is essentially about building value for people. Become an invaluable resource, give until people rely on you. Then they will help you.
Social media is a great platform for giving lots of small snippets of animated content to help people understand your content, and become an invaluable resource. Animation is a great way to explain complex ideas, or make boring facts interesting and fun.
In this video Gary Vaynerchuk looks at how to use social media as a marketing strategy, part of the thank you economy, give, give, give and then you can sell. Build relationships based on value first. The Future of Social Media Marketing w/ Gary Vaynerchuk
What do people always want?
It may be said that all people are looking for Health, Wealth, Happiness, and Connection too. So if you can find a way of helping people with these needs, you will always have customers. Most of what we offer our customers will be helping them in one of these areas. Take a Vet for example, you might think they don’t fit this pattern. Well they do, they help with our happiness and our connection, by helping our pets that provide this to us. How does what you currently offer help people with these fundamental needs?
Animation can add a layer of subtlety to your message, it can imply your offer of Health, Wealth, Happiness, and Connection. Use of imagery is a way of giving a subtext toy our message, so that you can imply something without sounding too crude about it. “We make you happy” won’t do much for your audience, but a smiling child cuddling a dog with it’s foot in a bandage, with a mum looking very relieved, will get that message across accurately, behind some more useful text such as “open 24/7”. The audience will feel that happiness.
Products or services with a large how to element are also a profitable way of helping people to improve their Health, Wealth, Happiness and Connectivity. Businesses may eventually outsource the activity they have learnt about, but in these cases they know why they are outsourcing and don’t resent the cost. They have tried it, and understand the skill, knowledge and hours involved. How to and education empowers people to make progress were they were stuck before, and there are many levels of help that people need.
So selling and marketing are related, but they cover different parts of the customer purchase process. The way animation is used will reflect what is needed in the different parts of the process.
Start with marketing. You always have to start with marketing. Selling happens when you have developed a good audience, and a proportion of this audience will want to buy what you offer.
It’s a bit like farming verses hunting. If you hunt, then there is a finite amount of animals to catch. But if you farm, then you can have as much as you can grow. Also growing takes time. Preparing the soil, sowing the seeds, nurturing them, letting them grow. Takes a while before harvest, but it goes much further.
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