In the past, sales prospecting was limited to calls, email, direct mail, and face-to-face pitching. But over the past decade, many new channels have opened up. Today, sales reps can reach out to potential customers via a myriad of channels.
One of the hottest new trends is LinkedIn video prospecting. This form of outreach adds a personal touch to any cold approach — and many sales teams are seeing impressive results.
Want to learn more about this new form of marketing? You’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to discover what LinkedIn video prospecting looks like in the real world, and how you can implement it within your own outreach strategy.
As you probably know, LinkedIn has a messaging system. When you send a message to another user, you have the opportunity to attach a video.
LinkedIn video prospecting is an outreach technique, where sales reps use this feature to deliver a quick pitch or reply via a personalized video. Alternatively, reps can create and post video content that is relevant to their ideal customer in order to start conversations.
Whereas regular messages often get lost in busy inboxes, messages with a video attached tend to stand out from the crowd.
Seeing a sales rep mention your name and deliver a personalized message feels much more engaging than reading a textual pitch that seems generic.
Video is also a popular format on LinkedIn. The numbers back this up: videos are five times more likely to receive a response on LinkedIn than other potential conversation starters.
Another benefit for sales teams is that video pitches are very easy to create. Recording a bespoke video can take just 30 seconds, which is much faster than most of us can write a convincing pitch. Likewise, it’s easier to explain some concepts aloud rather than writing out a long-winded follow-up email.
As we have discovered, the potential benefits of using video in your LinkedIn prospecting strategy are difficult to ignore. The question is, what is the best way to utilize this strategy? Here are some key principles used by top sales teams:
As with any other form of outreach, good video prospecting is based on research. In order to create a tailored pitch, you need to understand who you are speaking to.
This starts with basic information, like the job title of your contact and the size of their company. Using a tool like Datanyze, you can collect this data faster and share it with your coworkers.
You can back that up with some further research on LinkedIn. Alluding to any recent posts about funding, product launches, and other company news gives you the opportunity to prove your interest in doing business. People really like being spoken to individually, rather than receiving a generic pitch.
Of course, research is also important in terms of your end goal: making a sale. Try to gain some understanding of your prospect’s pain points, and create a video message that focuses on these areas.
One of the challenging aspects of delivering a good video message is making sure that you hit all your bullet points, without stumbling or being overly verbose.
The solution to this issue is to create a framework for your videos, or some templates. A good example might look like this:
- Say hello using your contact’s name
- In a sentence, introduce yourself and mention a point of interest from your research
- Explain why you’re sending a message, and mention your call to action (e.g. suggest a follow-up meeting)
- Finish up with a quick thank you, mentioning their name again
Instead, practice using this general structure and devote only a sentence or two to each of the bullet points above. If you need to say any more, you can write it or mention it in the follow-up meeting.
While you can share videos with your connection on desktop, the native video messaging feature of LinkedIn can only be found in the mobile app.
Within the app, open the messaging view for any contact, and tap the + icon next to the text box. This will reveal a hidden menu; one of the options is video. From there, you can record your video message, watch it back, and then hit the right-facing arrow to send.
If you prefer working on desktop, there are third-party tools that will allow you to record and embed videos within the LinkedIn messaging system. Examples include Vidyard and Sendspark. Such tools have additional advantages, such as the ability to edit thumbnails (see below).
While many salespeople use video to deliver a straight sales pitch, there are other ways to utilize this format on LinkedIn.
You could send a video to introduce yourself to a buyer, or to prepare them for a sales meeting. Videos also work well as follow-ups, and you can record a quick clip to summarize any meeting or proposal. Some people even send an intro video after each connection request is accepted. This can be a good way to open channels of communication.
Don’t forget, you can also post non-personalized videos to your LinkedIn profile. If you have prospects in your network, try to come up with a short video that will encourage engagement. Once you get them talking, you can start building a working relationship.
Alternatively, create a short instructional webinar that is likely to be shared between decision makers in your network.
When you’re busy making videos for social media, it’s easy to forget the basic principles of sales. But the reality is that a strong call to action is just as important in LinkedIn video messages as in any other form of pitch.
Your exact choice of CTA will depend on the nature of your business. You also need to consider where in the sales funnel each prospect is located.
That said, there are a few strong options that can work well in social selling:
- For Cold Prospecting – Ask to set up a meeting, or direct the prospect towards a landing page where they can get more info
- For Warm Leads – Offer to book a demo or set up a free trial
- For Videos Shared on Your Profile – Suggest they sign up for your lead magnet, such as a webinar or free ebook
Whichever option you choose, make sure to mention it more than once, and don’t wait until the end of your video!
The one potential weakness of video prospecting is that someone first needs to open your message or play your video to get any sense of the content. However, you can mitigate this issue to some degree by creating custom thumbnails.
A thumbnail is the preview image you see on a video before you press play. By default, the LinkedIn mobile app will use a frame from the footage as the preview or the first few seconds of your video.
However, if you create your video using certain third-party tools, you will have the option to upload your own custom thumbnail.
To take full advantage of this feature, snap a quick selfie while holding a whiteboard or card that reads “Hi [prospect’s name]!” Then, record your video with your chosen tool, hit edit, and add your selfie.
At a glance, the recipient will be able to see that the message has been made specifically for them. This should pique their interest enough to at least watch your video. Expect much improved open rates as a consequence.
If you are selling SaaS or another kind of digital product, you might want to try delivering your pitch while providing a quick walkthrough.
Some third-party video recording tools give you the option to grab a screen recording as you deliver your piece to camera. The two videos are then combined, allowing the prospect to see your smiling face and the product simultaneously.
This can be a very effective way to explain more complex digital products in a short period of time.
Speaking of brevity — whether you are developing an introductory video or a post-meeting summary, make it snappy.
More specifically, we mean keep your videos to 90 seconds or less. That is about the maximum amount of time any busy decision maker is going to spend listening to you, even if you’re really interesting. By keeping within this range, you have a far better chance of achieving good response rates.
If 90 seconds sounds short, you might be surprised at how much you can squeeze into that timeframe if you keep things concise. It also helps if you have practiced a few times…
Ask most sales professionals to pick up the phone and deliver a pitch, and they will manage to talk fluently. But put them on camera, and the pressure is somehow ramped up.
Virtual selling is very different from selling in person, or even having a conversation over the phone. A good video message will get to the point, without too many ums and ahs. You shouldn’t be thinking on your feet; the lines you deliver should be preconceived.
If you find yourself re-recording videos quite often, it might be a good idea to put in some “off-field” practice. Write down some of the key points in your pitch which you can re-use in most videos, and try reciting them on camera.
The more reps you get through, the better your chance of delivering the perfect pitch under pressure.
As this list proves, many ingredients go into a successful video prospecting strategy. In fact, it might seem a little overwhelming at first. But that actually plays to your advantage in the end — because relatively few sales teams have adopted this powerful form of video marketing.
If you were to focus on only one principle, you should make personalization your priority. Video messaging gives you an excellent chance of building trust with prospects, even before you have a meeting.
However, you will only get this kind of reaction if you deliver a tailored pitch.
Research is another important part of your LinkedIn video prospecting process. While you can just skim through your prospect’s profile, you can do so much more with a powerful prospecting tool like Datanyze.
Using our free Chrome extension, sales reps can quickly gather contact and company information from anyone on LinkedIn. If your prospect isn’t on LinkedIn, you can grab the same info via a company website and send them a video email.
All the data you collect is available for your whole team via your online account, and you can even export the information to your CRM.
The best part? It’s absolutely free to try for 90 days. Sign up now and start upgrading your LinkedIn prospecting today!