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Did you know that 93 percent of B2B buyers use search to begin the buying process (Source: Marketo). What’s more is that most buying cycles are 70 to 80 percent complete before companies are even willing to engage with sales people (Source: SiriusDecisions).

With statistics like that, wouldn’t you want to ensure your online assets provide the most compelling information about your products and services? After all, the goal is to get prospective customers to the finish line, preferably with you.

Enventis, a Cisco Gold and Unified Communications Master Specialized Partner, did just that.

They know prospective customers have a lot of options when it comes to selecting a data center for their network, server, and storage needs. Enventis also knows those prospective customers would have to travel great distances to visit their facilities located in Edina, Minnesota. So they created a virtual tour to help save on travel time and money, while providing an accurate view of what their data center looks like.

Want to see their tour? Watch the video below.

I chatted with Enventis Senior Marketing Specialist Elke Zimmermann about the making of the Enventis Data Center Virtual Tour video, the results that came out of it, and tips for creating your own virtual tour. 

Channels Blog: What spurred the creation of the Enventis Data Center Virtual Tour video? Was there a missing element in your sales force’s toolkit?
Elke Zimmermann: We wanted to be able to give prospective customers a quick, engaging, and realistic impression of our services and features. Creating a virtual data center tour saved travel time on our end and on our prospective customer’s end by highlighting the benefits and setting expectations ahead of scheduling an onsite tour.

We also took into consideration that many of our prospective customers that would use our data center as a back up or disaster recovery site would’ve come from quite a distance to visit our facilities located in Edina, Minnesota.

CB: What kind of results have you seen from the creation of this video?
EZ: We received multiple leads that turned into orders. Simply by sharing the video URL, our account executives had access to a sales tool with much more engaging results. It was as simple as copying the URL and sending it on to a prospective customer.

CB: What does it take to make a video like this? Any tips and best practices for companies looking to create videos like this?
EZ: First, we engaged our data center employees to appear in the video and asked them to go through the process of viewing the data center in the same manner a prospective customer would. Then, we worked closely with our product management team to ensure the accuracy of the content and that all of the features we wanted to highlight were included in the virtual tour.

We also worked with a professional script writer, voiceover talent, and a video production company to create the video. We highly recommend working with a professional video production company for this type of marketing asset, because there are some challenges and special equipment needed to add interesting visuals, graphic elements, and work with challenging angles. For example, we had a situation where people were entering the building while we were filming and we needed someone to have the editing capability and manpower to deal with those challenges.

A benefit of creating a virtual tour video is the ability to track the views through YouTube analytics which allows us to better position ourselves in search engines through YouTube’s tagging feature.

CB: Why did you choose to keep the video simple and light on motion graphics?
EZ: Our competitors typically create graphic intensive and futuristic representations of data centers in their virtual tours. We felt our target audience would be more engaged when viewing our virtual tour video if we stuck to the facts and presented a realistic version of our data center.

The video allows our audience to get a real sense for the size of the facility, the security features, and the full benefits of using our location, as well as the amenities on site. In other videos, the viewer doesn’t get a sense of whether the racks are on a concrete floor or a floating floor. Prospects place value on those details.

CB: What happens after someone watches the virtual tour?
EZ: At the end of the video, we provided a number that directly leads interested viewers to call a sales representative. The data center video drives more viewers to call and engage with sales for more information or a quote.

Want more tips and best practices to help you execute your marketing activities?
Then be sure to check out Partner Velocity. You’ll have access to live and virtual events, innovative marketing solutions presented by industry experts, and Cisco marketing offers.

Thank you, Enventis, for sharing the value of using videos for lead and sales generation. And for our other partners, we’d love to highlight some of the innovative tactics you use to generate leads. Share your comments with us.

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