In marketing his Lexnet Consulting Group, based in San Rafael, Calif., Steve Chipman developed an innovative way to attract leads. Lexnet implements customer relationship management (CRM) software for companies, but in his consulting engagements, Chipman discovered that the process of choosing and buying a CRM solution was an intimidating one for his clients. Delays and hesitations on the part of the buyer sometimes dragged the entire selection and purchasing process out for years. So he established CRM Switch, a website that offers help to these buyers with a seven-step process that ensures they are selecting the right software for the right set of reasons and that they move through the process efficiently.
The Challenge: Finding the Right Video Tools
Chipman was looking for ways to clearly explain the services his firm provides to businesses looking to acquire or switch CRM systems and determined that a video would be the most engaging way to present his value proposition.
“Normally we can’t convey the value of outsourcing the CRM selection process in a conversation without catching the client off-guard,” Chipman says. “An online video would be a great way to educate people on the value of our process before we talk with them.”
But the video production process could be as frustrating as the issue the video was meant to address.
“Tools like Camtasia didn’t give me enough animation opportunities, and a solution like Adobe After Effects would have been far too complicated, requiring me to outsource the production at great expense,” Chipman explains. “I needed a good solution between these two extremes.”
The Solution: Easy-to-Use GoAnimate for Business
In searching for the best video solution to meet his needs, Chipman Googled “simple animation platform,” and the search results took him directly to a blog post that compared screencasting software, including After Effects and GoAnimate. “I didn’t even realize the blog was on the GoAnimate site until I scrolled to the top,” he recalls. “I had subscribed to an individual GoAnimate account previously, but this post reminded me that there was now a GoAnimate for Business. So it led me to feel GoAnimate was taking the next step toward a platform specifically for business.”
Chipman set out to create a video explaining the CRM selection services offered by his firm. He had already developed a PowerPoint show on the topic, and he used that content as his storyboard. Then he produced a GoAnimate scene that corresponded to each slide in the PowerPoint. He transcribed his script and sent it to a professional voice-over announcer. (“Friends advised me to hire a pro instead of using my voice,” he notes.) The announcer recorded an audio file for each of the 15 scenes in the video, and Chipman simply aligned them, uploading the voice tracks scene by scene.
“One of the features I liked most during this process was the pre-existing assets and their flexibility,” Chipman says. “For example, I needed an image of a large TV monitor on a wall, so I simply grabbed a graphic of an iPhone and stretched it horizontally, and it worked. Additionally, it was easy to create some basic movement within the scene to maintain interest without spending a lot of time on it. I also appreciated the fast rendering time that allowed me to see what I had created so far and tweak it. I used GoAnimate’s ability to conveniently stretch or compress the duration of the scene so that it would match the length of the voiceover.”
The Results: More Engagement, More Leads
Chipman distributed his two-and-a-quarter-minute GoAnimate video on YouTube, Dailymotion, Facebook and other sites. In its first two weeks online, Chipman found that three-quarters of the visitors who clicked on the video watched it all the way through from beginning to end. And the ratio of U.S. visitors who viewed the video was disproportionately high compared with U.S. visitors overall, indicating the video was an important attractor to the site.
“Someone from the industry told me he saw our video and said, ‘Wow, that’s great! We need to do something just like it,’” Chipman says. “And executives from a large company surprised us with how willing they were to talk about this kind of engagement, asking us for the service before we brought it up—all this after the video went online.”
Now Chipman plans to create a video for each of his group’s other services, including CRM specification services, assessment and optimization services, data migration services, implementation and training.
For other organizations, Chipman advises simply, “Just get started. Don’t try to start with the perfect creation, but produce the minimum viable video and then build on that.”
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