Sojern, the digital marketing platform for travel marketers, uses its own marketing strategy to execute video case studies. These reference videos are very much casestudies-biz-style: authentic, credible and efficient. "Video case studies, in particular, are an excellent way of conveying social proof and enhance the effects of it because reviews and recommendations from video are more likely to be believed", says Conor Tyrrell, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Sojern in an interview with Harry Weiland, founder of casestudies.biz. Tyrell reveals how to make video case studies authentic.
Conor, why does Sojern use video case studies?
Video is the most popular and consumed online content type right now because it's versatile, entertaining and so much easier to consume in comparison to traditional text based case studies. Watching video also requires very little cognitive effort, so in a really short period of time, we can easily attract the attention of leads, educate customers, expedite the sales process and ultimately boost conversions.
At Sojern, I’ve found case studies have helped us establish trust and authenticity, in both our industry and among our customer base, because they evoke emotion (which drives decision making), but also because they also allow our customers to explain, in their own words, how our product solved their problem. And when we add video to the mix, our customers literally get to talk directly to the viewer - and this is what helps us to establish trust. And then of course video case studies, in particular, are an excellent way of conveying social proof and enhance the effects of it because reviews and recommendations from video are more likely to be believed.
In which stage of the sales funnel are they working? How effective are they?
We’ve found video case studies to be effective throughout the sales funnel, but in particular at the BOFU (Bottom of Funnel) stage where you need to convince your customer to buy. At this stage, prospects have done their research and are now looking for proof points and testimonials that substantiate our brand promises and give them confidence in their buying decision. So by providing that to them through video, you’re engaging their visual and aural senses, igniting their emotions and expediting that path to purchase. What’s more effective than that?
What is important in terms of producing video customer success stories? How costly are they compared to the benefits (ROI)?
Our clients range from heads of major global brands to independent providers, and with that comes a range of comfortability levels in speaking on video. You want to ensure your subject is well-briefed on the questions ahead of time and how the video shooting will go - particularly if they aren’t used to being filmed. Let them know you don’t expect them to memorise or overly prepare the answers to your questions, and when you do interview them, do so in a relaxed, conversational way. Make them smile, make them laugh! The best video case studies come from those who are at ease.
From the production side, sourcing a quality videographer and editor is paramount. Do your research, reach out to your network for recommendations, and sample as many portfolios as possible until you find the right team who you feel can fully understand, adapt to and convey your brand’s identity. Provide them with a detailed creative brief, samples of your other marketing assets and share samples of other video case studies you’ve come across to set as a benchmark. Depending on your in-house assets and resources, video case studies can range from a couple of hundred to upwards of several thousand Euros. You’ll usually be paying your videographer on a daily rate, so in order to yield the highest ROI, don’t let that time go to waste and make sure to capture as much content as possible while filming. For example, in addition to the core questions I ask for the case study, I also ask thought-leadership and educational based questions that we can use and repurpose for each stage of the sales and marketing funnel.
Finally, it’s also important to ensure close alignment between all teams involved in case studies so that the process is efficient and the outcome is successful. Working with your Commercial teams to manage customer outreach, ensuring Product Marketing and Marketing teams are in agreement on what the goals are, and creating a detailed filming schedule so all parties are aware of what will happen, and when, will help you produce the most successful video case study possible.
Did Sojern video case studies change ?
Our first few video case studies really hit the mark, and as with everything Sojern does, we always ask ourselves ‘how can we elevate and push ourselves further?’. We’ve played around with adding different elements, filming styles, motion graphics and music types to make them even more compelling. For example, when the customer calls out our key successes / results, we use pop-up text animation to emphasise this point and ensure it stands out to the viewer - and this has proved very effective.
How does Sojern promote them, including spent media?
Given our remit is B2B, from a digital strategy point of view, we primarily focus on email as well as organic promotion through social media. LinkedIn’s algorithm, and it’s users, prefers posts with video - and so we leverage this as much as possible because it really is the best way to scale brand awareness, drive engagement and humanise your brand.
And then with traditional B2B marketing, we use our video case studies in as many customer touch points as possible. From sales pitches, ABM (Account Based Marketing) campaigns and quarterly business reviews, to webinars, PR and industry events - our Commercial and Marketing teams use them as further proof points to show off our successes in the same/similar markets with their own client outreach and brand awareness efforts.
What advice does Sojern have to other video case study users?
Keep the narrative on your clients and make them the central storyteller. Of course the point of our case studies is to demonstrate how we’ve helped a particular brand, but it can’t start there. Each of our clients are different and their challenges are dependent on their size, location, market segment, and customer profile. We seek to highlight them as a brand first and foremost, and how our partnership has helped them find even greater success. Design your script like a story - introduce the character, highlight their challenge, introduce the solution and how it solved their problem, and finish with a compelling ending that peaks the viewer's interest to learn more.
Finally, recognise that localisation is key and if you sell your product internationally, don’t shy away from creating video case studies in other languages - even if you don’t speak those languages yourself! We interview our customers in their native tongue because we know that customers prefer to buy from companies who speak their own language. So by showing a video of our customer speaking their tongue, alongside familiar imagery and relevant messaging, it’s much more likely they will buy.
A video case study in the customer’s native language shows that we have customers similar to them, that we deeply understand their pain points and know how to solve for them. Unfortunately I’m only fluent in English, but by leaning on the language skills within my team, I’ve been able to create video case studies in Italian, French, German and Spanish. If I can do it, so can you!