Here’s a common trap many business owners and marketers fall into nowadays without even realizing it: overreliance and overdependence on first-time sales.
Don’t get me wrong; closing a sale is huge, and most of the time, it should be your priority.
But that’s not the same to say that that’s all there is to the buyer experience! And assuming so is a surefire way to miss out on a huge pool of potential that could dramatically improve your company’s bottom line.
After all, if you solely focus on catering to new customers, you are letting your existing customers go by the wayside!
It is a particularly egregious problem in the tech and software sector, where fierce competition and steep entry points often make things like customer delight and smooth onboarding invaluable tools for user retention and repeat business.
So, in today’s piece, we will focus on this (often neglected) aspect of the sales cycle, and tell you everything you’ll need to know about delighting through onboarding users with video content.
Before we get too deep into the how, though, let’s ensure we have all the basics covered right from the start to make things easier down the road. And for that, we need to talk a bit about user onboarding and customer delight.
‘Customer Delight’ refers to an aspect of marketing that revolves around surprising customers by exceeding their expectations and generating a positive emotional impact.
It goes beyond mere customer satisfaction – the ideal baseline from interacting with your product – and strives to nurture brand loyalty, improve their overall experience, and generate word of mouth that will impact your future sales.
Think of it this way: If inbound marketing is all about making a great first impression and bringing potential customers to you, customer delight is all about making lasting impressions that keep them around (and coming back for more) long after that.
‘Onboarding’, on the other hand, refers to any education you provide to new customers and users as they have their initial experiences with your products or services. It is not just about teaching them how to use a product – although that’s a big part of it – but also about helping them find new value and better results with your products.
Onboarding also extends through a user’s lifecycle, pursuing new goals and providing new objectives each stage of the way, and continuously helping them get the most out of the experience.
As such, it’s not difficult to see how a well-developed, well-designed user onboarding strategy can do wonders for your customer delight efforts! As it will ensure a positive experience with your products and build value around your brand, improve client retention, and foster long-term profitability!
Now, there are plenty of ways in which you can tackle user onboarding: slideshows, instruction manuals, in-depth text guides… But none of those mediums come even close to matching the power of video content in terms of engagement and effectiveness – especially when you have customer delight in mind!
In this regard, the numbers speak for themselves. Almost everyone (97%) agrees that videos excel at welcoming and educating new customers, and you only need to think about it for a second to understand why.
Remember, it is not so much that companies are producing video content to promote their products and people love it; it is because people love the medium so much that companies gravitate to it! And on that note…
We all instinctively understand that having people invested and interested in our brands and products is a desirable thing. However, the value and raw potential of an engaged customer base simply can’t be overstated.
Studies show how customer engagement performs in terms of sales numbers: a 90% increase in the frequency of purchase and 60% in spending per transaction!
And it doesn’t stop there. In terms of customer loyalty, these are people that are five times more likely to state they’d only buy from the same brand in the future and would try a new product or service from the brand as it comes out.
Numbers like these present a reality that could drastically improve – if not wholly overhaul – the way most businesses operate, opening avenues of improvement that might not have been accessible otherwise.
As good as that subtitle sounds, it’s still probably a bit of an understatement.
You see, How-to videos and similar types of tutorials earn the most attention of any category on YouTube – the single biggest video platform on the planet. And that’s including things like music clips and gaming content!
Let that sink in for a moment; even purely entertaining content – which most would say is the backbone of a platform like YouTube – takes a backseat when it comes to user attention. Remember, delivering value is the core engine behind digital content, and a piece of content that will directly and immediately deliver “more bang for your buck” is instantly valuable in users’ eyes.
So far, we’ve focused upon the fact that customer delight – and user onboarding video content by extension – is a fantastic way to tap into the (often) unused potential of repeat and existing customers. But a solid video user onboarding platform will, more often than not, end up bringing in new customers as well.
About 75% of loyal customers will tend to recommend a brand they like to friends and family, and is it that surprising?
Think of it this way: You buy a product to solve a need and are – to your pleasant surprise – greeted by the company with a host of useful video content. These videos not only help you accomplish whatever it was that brought you in the first place but help you get even more benefits out of your initial purchase, exceeding your initial expectations.
Wouldn’t you want others to enjoy the same level of satisfaction? An effective, customer-delight-oriented onboarding setup will always lead to positive word of mouth and attract new prospects in turn.
Like with any other piece of your company’s marketing puzzle, successful customer onboarding hinges on careful planning and developing a sensible strategy – especially when you bring video content into the mix!
So, before jumping into the many ways you can use video for onboarding, let’s do a quick overview of the five objectives you are trying to achieve with your onboarding content.
Information delivery sits at the core of every onboarding effort, and there’s a good reason for it: it can have a dramatic effect on your bottom line.
A staggering percentage of user drop-off can be directly linked to a lack of understanding of a product, which isn’t surprising. A user without the right framework and baseline information needed to achieve whatever outcome they had in mind for your product will be quick to walk away.
Worse of all, they will do so frustrated and with nothing positive to say about your brand! Turning, instead, to look for an easier or “more effective” solution in your competition.
A robust onboarding video strategy keeps that from ever happening to you.
Ensuring your new users engage with your products at least twice during the first week is a classic retention goal that stems from human psychology. After all, if you can have someone carrying out a task repeatedly over a short period, it’ll be far easier for them to continue to do so (more on this in a bit).
This might sound like a rather tricky thing to accomplish since there are so many variables in play. But the key here is to practice a people-focused approach.
If you’ve been doing your homework until this point – sales-wise – you’ll most likely know enough about your customers’ needs and preferences to customize and use the type of videos that’ll most likely motivate them into action!
Every piece of effective onboarding content should be fulfilling more than one role at all times. Yes, your video content is there to serve as an education tool, but it should also help convey your products’ value and potential!
A customer who isn’t aware of your product’s value, or the potential tied to it, is far more likely to be disappointed by their purchase and leave.
Your onboarding videos should reinforce the many ways in which your product makes the users’ lives easier. Subtly, yet-consistently. Motivating them to always take the next step and get the most out of their purchase.
In and of itself, successful onboarding is all about improving retention – and your onboarding videos should reflect this!
It is not just about enriching your user experience, either. Even a slight improvement in your user retention can have an exponential financial impact later down the road. Boosting repeat business and lowering your client acquisition costs.
Now, onboarding occurs (mostly) as new users are getting acclimated to your products at the beginning of the post-purchase relationship. But your onboarding video content should always be laying the groundwork for a longer-lasting relationship once the initial bases have been covered by establishing patterns.
This part goes back into the basics of retention and the things you should do to keep users engaging with your products.
Once the honeymoon phase is over, and your client has gotten used to your product or systems – which usually occurs between the first 30 to 90 days – your onboarding process is all but finished. But that doesn’t mean you are off the hook as far as client management content goes!
All through that time, your content should establish touch-points that prompt users to patterns of using your product to maximize their benefits. This way, you are softening the transition from following a more structured content-delivery pattern into a more free-form, on-demand type of engagement with educational videos surrounding your products.
So, the good news is that in today’s world, where half our lives happen online, there are plenty of avenues for you to do onboarding with video effectively. However, when we are talking about using video for onboarding users, some channels will perform better than others!
Here are some of our favorites.
The best thing about onboarding tutorials is the versatility of the medium – which you can change depending on your specific audience needs.
For example, you can use educational videos to provide an initial overview of your product and how it works. You can use the How-to format to create step-by-step procedures that walk your audience through a series of steps to accomplish different tasks. You can even do educational videos in the form of online courses that go more in-depth into relevant topics and take your users’ experience with your product to the next level!
All in all, when you are trying to create memorable and truly helpful onboarding video experiences, tutorials will be your best friends.
At this point, you are most likely familiar with modals (even if you don’t know them by name), and they can give you an interesting opportunity to present your onboarding videos to your audience.
Pop-ups, emerging alert messages, slide-outs… these are all different types of modals. However, what groups them is how they appear at crucial times to deliver information relevant to the task you are engaged with.
Say, for example, that your product happens to be a new, cloud-based CRM platform. A suitable, modal-centric onboarding strategy could have a pop-up, short explainer video that appears whenever new users enter one of the main sections to describe the key tasks they can accomplish there.
The best thing about modals is that they give you a clean, simple, and interactive way to promptly deliver content to users. Content only appears if-and-when it becomes relevant, which can do wonders for your onboarding efforts.
Indeed, Emails have so much more potential than just leads prospecting!
The medium gives you a perfect way to deliver onboarding videos to your clients that requires little input from them, allowing you to reach out to an even bigger pool of client preferences.
While Tutorial courses would require a user to come to your learning base and consume your onboarding content, and Modals depend on their inputs/interaction with your platform, emails let you set the conversation’s pace.
Through emails, you have a perfect via to communicate to your users any information that lets them get the most out of your product. How to access a particular feature, how to overcome a complicated process, or even how to combine the product they bought with others you provide to further expand their capabilities… any and all of those could make for a very interesting and rather valuable video onboarding emails that most of your customers would appreciate.
Moreover, timely video onboarding emails excel at prompting users to engage with your product, which also goes a long way in terms of establishing usage patterns.
So far, we covered the who, why, where, and when of onboarding users with video, but it’s time to get to the fun part and start talking about the what – As in, what videos should I use to onboard new users?
The truth is that, as versatile as video content is, there is myriads of types and styles of videos you can use as part of your onboarding process. And as good as that is, so much choice can be a bit overwhelming as you start to flesh out your onboarding strategy.
To help with that, here are seven simple types of onboarding videos you can use to get inspired and give your strategy a swift start!
Once your customers have their product in hand or log into your service’s platform, it’s always a good idea to send a welcome video their way. One that covers the very basics of usage and provides one or two ideas on how to move forward from there.
Welcome Videos keep your new customers from having to start from scratch or fend for themselves while having to deal with an unfamiliar interface. Most importantly, they are perfect for establishing a baseline of familiarity with your product, which you can use to build upon the rest of your onboarding content.
By design, welcome videos shouldn’t be too lengthy or involved. Just focus on covering the very basics in a very user-friendly way, and you’ll start your onboarding process with the right foot.
More often than not, users will get your products with a clear idea in their heads of what to do with them and what they want them for. And that applies to most simple products, most of the time.
However, we live in a world that’s anything but simple, and many of our products reflect that fact! Something particularly true in the tech industry, where the diversity of available options is a constant challenge.
In most cases, it’ll be a good idea to send new customers a video email shortly after a purchase covering the “first steps” they could – and sometimes should – take with their new products.
This can be something as simple as a video tutorial walking a step-by-step assemblage guide, or as involved an in-depth FAQ anticipating and overcoming potential setbacks your users would otherwise experience.
This one’s a bit more on the digital products side but has also seen a lot of success when combining things like user manuals and phone apps – where QR codes in the booklets can access short tutorials.
The gist of this type of onboarding video content is to deliver extremely short and to-the-point content covering a single piece of information in a detailed manner.
These are particularly useful with products where showing is far more useful than telling. That is, when a text description would lack the effect, or effectiveness, of a video covering the same topic.
For example, complex software solutions can get quite overwhelming very quickly, and adding countless text tooltips will only exacerbate the issue.
With simple, short, and intelligently-placed onboarding video tooltips, you can circumvent all of that and give your users a thoroughly pleasant first experience.
The more you explore the possibilities behind video onboarding, the more you realize the many avenues and opportunities to practice customer delight through onboarding. And developing a video series to establish a learning center around your products is the ultimate way to bring all of that under one roof.
Different businesses with different products approach learning centers in many ways. From a simple video series covering your product’s most relevant functions, to more involved educational platforms where users can even get in contact and form communities to further each other experiences.
Wherever you end up with it, though, start your video learning centers with a handful of core videos that outline a logical progression surrounding your product uses and benefits. Videos that deliver instant value to your new customers.
Only once that has been taken care of you can start expanding it all and tackling more in-depth or tangential topics.
As unintuitive as it might sound at the outset, your onboarding video content doesn’t have to always be about your product. Don’t get me wrong, they should always involve your product in some manner, but it doesn’t have to be all about it, all the time.
For example, say that you sell IKEA-type furniture, and you already covered all the basic onboarding videos about it (welcome, assembly, FAQs, etc.). A great way to expand would be developing laterally-related educational pieces, say, a video teaching about indoor decoration, that showcases your product as part of it.
Or let’s assume you are a software developer and already have a solid onboarding series of videos about it. You could then start introducing videos showcasing how that platform can be used in tandem with your other software solutions to improve results.
Approaching your customer onboarding process – and customer delight, for that matter – with that perspective in mind, opens up a host of possibilities that will no doubt surprise and charm your users.
As much as we’ve talked about onboarding users with video already, know that there are still many, many more aspects of this process that are left to explore out there.
Things like combining your videos with other forms of onboarding content, approaching your specific onboarding strategy in brand-flavored ways, and even producing content to shift from onboarding to reselling or upselling strategies subtly.
However, by following the guidelines and advice we’ve covered already, you’ll have more than a solid foundation to start shaping a robust onboarding process that delights your new users and transforms the way they engage and interact with your brand.
So, it’s time to put pen to paper and fingers to keys, and start brainstorming the types of videos you’ll soon start developing to that end.
And don’t forget to get in touch if you need a hand with that! 😉