In a recent study by the Keller Research Center it was found that cold calling has a meager 2.5% success rate. The study concluded that experienced salespeople can expect to spend 7.5 hours on cold calls alone just to get one qualified appointment. Yep – that’s nearly an entire workday of “no’s” and “call back later-s” to get a single person to agree to a follow-up chat. And that one person may not even be the key decision maker.

These discouraging numbers are the reason inbound marketing and social selling tactics have become so popular. That, and the fact that today’s buyer has become so informed. Today, a whopping 77% of B2B purchasers say they won’t even speak to a salesperson until they’ve done their own research first.

Video + Social Selling

While buyers are becoming less trusting of salespeople and advertising, they still have confidence in the preferences of their peers online.

This is reflected in Unruly’s study, which found that enjoyment of a video rose by 14% amongst viewers that had watched a video following a recommendation. Additionally, brand recall and association rose by 7% amongst viewers who were recommended the video versus viewers who found it by browsing.

These results indicate that if someone sends you video content you’re far more likely to pay attention and recall what you’ve seen. Ultimately, this positive association can become your competitive advantage.

As a salesperson using sites like LinkedIn you can start creating (or curating) videos that speak directly to your buyer’s needs, and sharing these assets via social channels or email as an improved method of initial contact. By serving as a helpful content concierge, you can become part of your buyers’ circle of influence even before they are problem aware. IBM has found that 55% of all buyers do their research by using social networks, and sharing video via social is almost like getting to deliver a message in person.

Personalized video content best practices

After you’ve done some social listening to discover people you are qualified to help, try reaching out with a quick video made just for them.

If, for example, you discovered in a LinkedIn group that a potential customer was asking about how to pass leads from a landing page over to a specific CRM with a webhook, you could compile a video of two best practices you know about, and mention some relevant resources they could follow up with.

You could host this video privately on YouTube, or on a simple video sharing page. In a personal email to that same potential customer, or even in the LinkedIn group in which he asked the question, you can introduce yourself and link him to the video you made explaining some options he has based on your knowledge of his situation.

Bonus points if you never mention what your company sells and simply offer up your valuable information for free – that’s the whole point of this type of initial contact and a social selling approach.

Scaling your message

When it comes to delivery, you may also want to scale your message and create top-funnel explainer videos. In this case, you’d create a high-quality top-of-funnel video (maybe covering a specific solution), and embed this video on a campaign-specific landing page.

Developing especially relevant Facebook ads to attract your target audience to the campaign specific landing page is key in this scenario, or – if you’d prefer to skip the ad route – you could always send personal emails to your prospects with the link to the landing page featuring your video.

All in all, whether you create short personal style videos to link to from an email, or even broader videos in which you explain a solution with a personal touch, video is a powerful tool for initial sales contact and could change the way you make a first impression. A custom video says, “I invested a lot of time in answering your question,” which can be very powerful.