So, have any of you heard of this new trend towards what is called, "Video White Papers?"
Video white papers are a relatively new concept, so let's define what a video white paper is. Basically, it is simply an alternate delivery medium for white papers, which relies more on visual elements such as video, animations, graphs, and graphics to convey the message which is usually intended to educate customers and prospects about a particular product or service.
According to Success from the Nest:
"A video white paper is all about the customer and it tells a story. It combines solid copywriting techniques, good storytelling, learning (particularly e-learning) concepts, and interesting supporting visuals to demonstrate your expertise and your story to a potential customer."
Simply defined, a video white paper takes the attributes of a white paper and presents them in a video format. In my opinion, this should just be grouped into they category of "educational media" and that it is just a natural progression to add audio and video to your company's messaging.
Many times white papers are used in situations where the product that is being pitched is fairly complex and needs visual elements such as graphs and charts to effectively convey the position. Many companies put registration forms in front of white papers and use these as lead generation vehicles and traffic generators.
A recent B-to-B study found that 78% of respondents believe video makes online content more compelling (KnowledgeStorm/Universal McCann). In a similar study, respondents were increasingly selective about what types of content appeals to them most, with educational white papers topping the list at 71% (KnowledgeStorm/MarketingSherpa).
Here is a video white paper that I feel is particularily effective - IBM created with Accela Communications:
Here are a few things to pay attention to that I feel make this white paper particularily interesting.
- Registration | Lead Acquisition strategy: The video will only play the first 30 sec. before promting users to register for the white paper. This is an excellent way of generating qualified leads as it engages the user who has already invested 30 sec of their time to watch the video. Most likely, a user who has watched it for this legth has a good idea already as to whether the product being presnted is useful for their business purposes. That being the case, IBM is smart in that they target qualified customers and cut through the clutter of emails and bogus registrants that may register just to see the white paper before realizing it is not for them.
- Interactive Navigation: The video features interactive navigation to allow the users to jump around different facets of the video white paper without having to sit through the entire video presentation. The viewer can click on the different topics in the paper so I don't have to stare at the video for the entire duration!
So, what do you think about video white papers? Are these a useful new trend? Or are these just the natural result of a progression towards everything online video? Tell us your thoughts below. Thanks.