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Online video that caters to each stage of the sales funnel

B2B marketers often produce online video programming that comes off like a novel, in which people view a video once (maybe twice) and cast it aside, according to Jon DiGregory, founder of Web video marketing company Cantaloupe TV. To make more of a lasting impression on customers and prospects, Cantaloupe deploys a magazine model that enables marketers to create regular series of online videos targeting different stages of the purchasing process.

“We did a 180 from the traditional video, which, back in the day, if you’re spending $30,000 on a video, it better be right,” said DiGregory. “Well, we’re showing that we’re not perfect. By doing that, it’s that ‘transparent marketing’ aspect. Our process is quicker, more nimble, less expensive and takes 90% of the burden off the client.”

Cantaloupe’s unscripted videos feature informal interviews with business managers talking about a particular aspect of their products and services and, in some cases, demonstrating through profiles what separates their company from the pack.

Crafted as mini documentaries, the videos are shot in a relaxed, yet informative style, with an emphasis on storytelling and building emotional bonds with consumers.

Cantaloupe starts the process by breaking the client’s audience into four buckets, or “USML,” which mimic the sales cycle. The acronym stands for: Unaware audience; Short-term audience; Medium-term audience and Long-term audience. There are specific metrics tied to each audience, ranging from click-through rates to the amount of time spent on the site. 

The company offers three types of videos that encompass the four audiences: Short.Story, Full.Story and Epic.Sodes. Each type of video, in turn, is targeted to a particular stage of the sales and marketing funnel.

For example, Epic.Sodes are designed to spark an emotional appeal so the viewer can learn more about the company and how it can help him. Full.Story videos cater to people who are already in the purchasing cycle and are eager to buy while Short.Story videos are designed to build on the conversation with existing customers.  

Before shooting the videos, Cantaloupe conducts a “pain score,” on a scale of 1 to 10, for each type of audience to determine the number of videos that may be needed for each particular audience to get viewers from one stage of the sales cycle to the next. The pain score also determines the style of storytelling, the level of “intensity” for the message being conveyed and the distribution model, DiGregory said.

The frequencies for each of the series vary, depending on the goals of the client. However, typically clients run an average of one video a month for targeting prospects and an average of six times a year for long-term customers.

“People are in different spots and they need different messages to resonate to help them get from one side of the sales bucket to the next,” DiGregory said. “The unaware and short-term buckets are all about that gut feeling and the medium and the long-term buckets are all about the secondary emotional connections, which are all about [providing] facts and figures.”

Short.Story videos start at $3,000; Full.Story videos run $5,000 and Epic.Sodes run about $7,500. Each specific video, which takes about three weeks to produce soup-to-nuts, is then distributed throughout the client’s marketing channels. 

RJE Business Interiors, an Indianapolis-based contract furniture dealer, has been working with Cantaloupe since 2006 and spends about $11,000 annually on video programming, according to Denny Sponsel, president of the company.

“It is a strong differentiator because none of our competitors are doing it,” he said. “In these videos customers are getting a personality of our business that a static website and picture cannot provide.”

Cantaloupe has produced 12 online videos for RJE, including Short.Story and Full.Story videos. For instance, one video features several students from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) talking about the benefits of a collaborative-work area at the university that RJE created.

“We are an industry in which people expect us to be creative, and the videos are symbolic of that creativity,” Sponsel said. “They make a statement about our business, the way we run our business and what we can bring to [customers’] businesses.”

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