Penwan Blog

  • Let Distributor Sales Reps Leverage Video Marketing

    As Steve Jobs said, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.

    Videos are a great way to show purchasing decision makers and influencers what they want – your product or service.

    But how do you get that video in front of your niche audience and how do you make them watch it? That all comes down to your sales force and the art of video marketing.

    Step One – Know the Buyer’s Journey

    The art of video marketing aligns closely with the Buyer’s Journey. Many of you in marketing and sales have heard of this metaphorical journey, based on A LOT of research. If you haven’t, Google it! The metaphor suggests that buyers follow a certain purchasing process. 

    Most examples break down the journey into 3 to 7 steps.

    1: Awareness
    First, purchasers realize they have a problem…

    2: Research
    …so they seek possible solutions.

    3: Investigate
    When they find a solution that sounds good to them, they investigate it deeper.

    4: Compare
    Then they compare it to other solutions.

    5: Preference
    Eventually they seek a balance in the cost of the solution versus its value.

    6: Demonstration
    If the ROI meets their criteria, they may seek further information or even demonstration.

    7: Purchase
    It’s important to note that the Buyer’s Journey does not necessarily end with purchase. The process is really cyclical. You want to continue to feed your buyer with information even after purchase, so when they become aware of a new problem, they look to you for another solution.

    Step Two – Put Your Content on the Path

    The key to successful video marketing is to put your video where your potential buyer will find it along their information seeking path. Fill it with content that satisfies their particular level of interest. Don’t get ahead of them and don’t hang out too long. They’ll move away from you. Instead, develop a series of short, targeted videos for each phase of the journey. If your buyers like what they view at each phase, they’ll follow you along their path toward purchase.

    Your series should include videos that generate awareness, followed by videos that feed buyer interest and illustrate general solutions. Going along, Call-to-Actions will lead your potential buyers to videos that highlight specific features and benefits. If actual purchase is somewhat complicated, you may need a video illustrating how to actually purchase your product. Then show how to use it.

    Step Three – Leverage Your Scouts on the Path

    Effective B2B video marketing strategies ensure that potential buyers find your marketing videos online, during a search for a solution to their problem. But why not leverage a great asset, someone who already knows the path your potential buyer travels?  Your distributor sales rep.

    Leveraging the DSR-customer relationship is a great way to get your videos in front of your customers because DSRs are already on your buyer’s path. They have a relationship with your buyers. And they can determine where your buyers are on their journey and provide information (via a 45-second video) appropriate for each phase. We all know that DSRs have limited time to provide information to purchasing decision makers. That’s why targeted videos make such a great format for providing it.

    Step Four – Make Your Scouts Loyal

    Great, but anyone who works with distribution knows controlling what they do in the field is much easier said than done. If you directly employ your sales reps, you may have it easier. But if you contract them or partner with a distribution company, it’s a little more complicated. Why should DSRs focus on your particular product or service and share videos about them with your shared customers? They have to do that for about fifty other products in their bag. Some of which are not highly technical. Why pull yours out first?

    One way to persuade them to care about your products above the competition is to show you care about them. Not only do you need to generate awareness and nurture the attention of your buyers, you need to also capture the interest of your sales force. Sure you could tie in selling incentive or a spiff. But you could also be more organic by applying the art of video marketing to your distribution strategy.

    Guess how? More videos! But this time, DSR facing videos. See below for an example.

    Step Five – Go Where Your Scouts Carouse

    So now – you’ve got all these great DSR facing and customer facing videos. How do you get them in the hands of DSRs? Find out where they hang out online and post them there. Hmmm, like:,, and even (for animal health) and (for dental). I think these organizations also have distributor
    facing mobile apps where you can post your videos. 

    A Video that Nurtures DSR Mindshare

    Just as you would with your customer, you want to meet hardworking distributor reps on their path and show empathy for their pain. A big source of pain for any sales rep today is consolidation, particularly losing an account because it got bought up by a bigger player.

    Let’s say you’re a glove manufacturer. Why not create a short awarenessgenerating video that calls to mind the pain of consolidation but ends with offering a solution? Your DSR facing video should mention how your company can help them leverage the opportunity brought on by consolidation. End it with a Call-To-Action on how to find out more about how your glove making company can help them leverage consolidation and then capture that reps contact information so you can nurture your relationship with them even more.

    I know it’s painful to consider investing in a video designed to encourage sales reps to leverage consolidation without mentioning the specific benefits of a product. But, the reps who see the video will appreciate its encouraging and unique message. If she needs a refresher on features and benefits she knows where to go to find that information…in an F&B style video on your website. Either way, you’ll stay top of mind.

    An awareness generating video like this is also effective because its content is fresh – consolidation is a current concern. And because it does not push a product but instead offers encouragement, it helps humanize your brand.

    Tips on Managing Marketing Videos

    Remember, there are many types of marketing videos. Don’t spend your whole budget on only one kind. Advertisements or showcase videos that provide an overview of your company or demonstrate how a particular product works are great for those potential buyers who are nearing the end of the buyer’s journey. But, there are less of those buyers. Imagine a funnel. You need lots of videos for the wider part of the funnel and less for the narrower part. To successfully funnel potential buyers into actual buyers, you need videos for each phase of the journey, especially those designed to generate awareness.

    Another key thing to remember is that demonstration videos are very far from the beginning of a Buyer’s Journey. And yet, this is where many sales talks begin. While there may be no end to the Buyer’s Journey, the path definitely starts with awareness.

    So what does an awareness generating video look like? Generally, as opposed to listing features and benefits of a certain product or service or showing how it works, an awareness generating video addresses pain points. It doesn’t mention a specific product or service. By first addressing pain points, the video captures potential buyer interest, enough so that buyers want to be your walking partner for a little while longer, long enough for you to feed them more information in a subsequent video. At the end of an awareness generating video, a call-to-action tells the potential buyer how to request more specific information.

    Contact Penwan for more on aligning video marketing with sales strategy.

    This article appeared previously in "Connect" the quarterly newsletter for Professional Women in Healthcare,