How to Create Sales Collateral That Can Compete With Cat Videos

It’s 7:30am, and I am waiting in line at Starbucks.  This is my time to prepare for the day, and I am cleaning out my inbox full of content—content that cost thousands of dollars and countless hours to create.  My daily clean-out routine starts by deleting the common perpetrators: winback emails from companies I don’t care about, free offers for things I don’t want, whitepapers shared in file folder urging me to click on them, status updates and tweets from my network begging me to read something they didn’t…

This constant barrage of digital content has made us numb. The sad fact is that most of us would rather watch a video of a cat pushing another cat down some stairs than read your corporate white paper.

So, how can you compete with hilarious videos of evil cats?

 1. Engage me.  Entertain me:  If you want me to be engaged, then make it my story, relate it to my journey, and with a conclusion that applies to me.  Then entertain me, make me laugh, cry—better yet, surprise me!

2. Offer me value. Now: I’m impatient and I need to deliver results. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t need you to solve all my problems right then and there, but at least help me diagnose my problem, or provide a fresh perspective.  But please do not try to sell me, it won’t work.

3. Cater to the web: This sounds basic, but it’s extremely important for the success of your message. A PDF is not a digital content strategy. You have to make sure your content can be viewed anytime, anywhere. Then, remember that we’re no longer confined to scrolling. People want to double-tap, swipe, and pinch their way through exciting new experiences.

4. Be authentic: Show me YOU care about this topic. Show me your passion, share your opinion, forget copy/paste, and put your heart into what you do. You are truly the unique selling point, regardless if you work on the 10th or the 1st floor.

Here is an example of how I have followed these steps to create a white paper using a Prezi.  Notice how it builds different elements into a single story.

Critical Role of Engaging Content

 In his book Convergence Marketing, Richard Rosen asserts that building awareness and engagement requires finding a balance between sales (high-velocity conversion) and marketing (low-velocity conversion). I have leveraged his work to look critically at the SaaS customer journey and the content we use to get a client to commit to our business. Most of the content we use today falls into the categories of “Sell Sell Sell” or “Blah Blah Blah”—neither of which is engaging or meaningful to the customer. Content that hits the sweet spot between these two extremes, on the other hand, offers value to your customers and thereby drives their engagement.

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A visualization of the “trust cloud” of engaging and meaningful content—click to enlarge.The Prezi example above showed how a white paper suddenly became engaging by changing the tool. Can we do this for other content, too?

Which tool engages the audience?

Grab their attention by making your presentation more interactive

For the past years, I have been tinkering with different types of online content, publishing on a variety of platforms, to determine what drives the most views, the most engagement, and, ultimately, the most business.

I have included a table below listing the number of views, and likes, some of my top assets have accrued on various platforms. For example, my SaaS In the Enterprise prezireceived 439,396 views and 1,244 Prezi likes, while the Slideshare version of that same asset—literally the same content, simply reformatted into slides instead of path points—received only 39 views and one Slideshare like.

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Although each platform excels in its own way, the data show that Prezi stands out head and shoulders above the rest. Realize that the number of views directly correlates to rankings in search engines. The likes indicate engagement and are reflective of where most of the leads are being generated. Below are two real comments that I have received on my prezis—the sales practically make themselves.

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“Prefizying” content delivers results across the entire journey

I recently received word from a client, to let me know that the traditional marketing materials we had “Prezified” into a Virtual tradeshow “has grown legs, and has Usain Bolt-ed way past its expected goal lines.”  The prezi was viewed over 25,000 times, and created as many impressions as ten other videos the company had created—combined!  This kind of virality is the result of engaging, entertaining, easy-to-consume online content.

A “view” is worth a thousand words

Not always is the value in the amount of views.  Sometimes all you need is just one single view to make a stellar sale.  Over the past months I developed outreach campaigns for several companies, leveraging their top executives to generate leads. I had each CEO send out a short e-mail asking the prospective CEO to take a look at the prezi and determine if the idea in question was of interest. These pitch prezis are designed by a professional storyteller and are not wrapped up in the technical details. This approach is showing incredible results. I was fortunate to find several of my clients willing to share their CEO-to-CEO prezis to illustrate this example.

All in all, I hope this sparks new thinking about content.  I would truly love to hear from you about your Prezi use-cases.  If you want more information, or if there is anything I can do, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at Jacco@FutureOfSalesIsNow.com or on twitter @IndoJacco

Try out the Apple Speech function to have this article read to you while stuck in traffic.

Did you enjoy this article? You might want to look at this post about why one of the leading communications consultancy firms in Spain and Latin America uses Prezi for its client-facing presentations, or this post about how one startup turned its idea into an acquisition with just one presentation.

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