Becoming product led puts the product experience at the center of the organization. Being product led is all about bringing your company closer to your customers and aligning your organization. Every part of your organization should be focused on the product so that it becomes the way you acquire and retain customers to drive growth. Product led growth is most often used in software companies, but it is catching on and being used in other industries.
All companies can learn from this product led growth strategy. It makes it easier for your prospects and clients to do business with you. Product led combines the best of sales driven and marketing-driven companies. I would say this is in part because they have a better handle on customer-centricity.
I think that the term ‘product led’ really is all about customer-centricity. Product led companies are seeing success because they have lower customer acquisition costs; which helps them to grow faster than their sale-led counterparts.
In B2B sales, product led companies go directly to the user and let them influence the C-suite buyer. The end-user and the executives want different things. Being product led allows you to focus on answering the question, “How does your product make the users life easier?” Product led companies are more successful because their customers are more loyal.
Product led growth with video
Product led companies use video at each step of the product journey. Using video for product led growth is more than just creating a product video, even though a product video is an important video to have.
Unfortunately, most of the videos that companies create are of no value for the viewer or the company and a waste of money. I like to call these ‘vanity videos.’ They provide no benefit but someone at the company feels better about themselves. Using video to be product led will help unify R&D, sales, marketing, and customer success.
When we add video to your customer journey, we shorten the onboarding time and reduce churn. Your organization also starts to get clear on your message. Remember, the conversion funnel is chaotic. If you’re a software company, 50% of the sales happen after the trial ends. This means nurturing on and offline is still important.
The customer journey is chaotic. You need to use all the tools available to you to engage your prospects and clients. Video is the preferred way to learn things for most people. It gives you the opportunity to show and tell. It also allows you to track their engagement.
The first stage of the journey is making them aware, or more aware, of their problem and your solution. This is your introduction to the market place but it is important to spread the money out. If you have an awesome product, this awareness stage is easier.
Next, you need to educate them to become a trusted advisor. Use a combination of pre-recorded videos and live videos. Take advantage of this opportunity before they get distracted. Use video in your email to nurture them. The videos should not stop once they have made a purchase. Use video for onboarding and then finally use video to keep them engaged after the sale, to be there with an upsell or when they are ready to buy again.
Use social media as a sales tool
Social media is an important step to being product led because it allows you to be part of the journey. Many brands stay away from social media marketing because they don’t understand how to get new clients from it.
For just a second, let’s put the idea of getting new clients aside and just use social media to talk to people who have already shown interest in our brand. Maybe they gave you a business card at a trade show or visited your website. Maybe they watched 75% of your video. You can continue to follow up with them online in those moments between your emails and calls from your sales team. These people are your most valuable audience because they already know something about you.
We call this a ‘retarget strategy.’ Retargeting is the ability to send more videos to those who have already watched one of your videos. The most powerful tool you have in your buyers’ journey, on sites like Facebook especially, is a retargeting campaign.
Let’s say I am looking to hire a new CPA for my business, and I watch one of your videos. You can set up a tracking pixel so that if they are signed into Facebook you can retarget them on Facebook. Google and LinkedIn also have retargeting capabilities that you should consider. Don’t just use one site to retarget. Use all of them so you can make sure to be where your prospects and clients are online.
Many B2B brands think that they should only use LinkedIn. Remember, these are people who already know something about you. Continue to nurture them, using the platforms that they use. They are humans. They use social media just like B2C buyers do.
You can also retarget after the sale to stay top of mind of those who have already made a purchase from you. Video is powerful for retargeting because you can retarget based on how much of your video they watched. Try that with a video series.
Give your company a face
Social media was made for people. This puts companies at a disadvantage. The way to overcome this is to give your prospects and clients a real person in your videos that they can connect with. This can be anyone from the CEO to an employee or even an industry influencer. You just need a face to be the guide through the entire customer journey.
If this person talks directly to the camera, you will see better results. Too many companies create videos with graphics or, if they are software companies, show screen shots of the software; which is important if that is your product, but you need that human element. It might be as simple as having a real person providing the introduction and closing of the video.
You should also use a face on your website. Even if you sell an industrial product or cloud-based product, you need to connect with your prospects and clients on a human level. This is best done with images of people on your website. If you can afford it, don’t use stock photography. Hire a real photographer and have them shoot some photos just for your brand with real people: people using your project, people who look like your ideal customer.
Photography has become a lost art because we all have a camera in our pocket. An experienced photographer, if you can find one, isn’t going to be cheap, but the images will have at least a 5-year shelf life. So, consider that when you are creating your budget.
Learn from the best in product-led growth
One of the best examples I have seen of a product led team is HubSpot. It helps that they understand content marketing and that they have really great software. They know the problems that their ideal user has and they do a good job addressing those issues. Their videos feature real people, not just the software, and they are quick to connect you with a real person when the time is right. They make is easy to do business with them.
Not everyone is the same
Use video to help segment your leads. Not all leads are equal. Different people need different things. Create videos just for them.
For example, the reason a CEO buys your product for his company may be different from the people who actually use it. The CEO is concerned about safety and compliance. The employee wants to make their job easier. You only get so many opportunities to be heard and if you are constantly missing the mark by sharing content that is really for someone else, they will start to tune out like that friend on social media who you don’t have the heart to unfollow but you skip anything they say because they never provide anything of value.
Don’t let your brand become that person.
Don’t forget the real world
One misconception of becoming product led is that you don’t need salespeople. I disagree. Product led companies give their sales team a better foundation to work with, making them more successful. Not everyone wants to self-serve. The job of the salesperson is to listen, find the problems without saying things like, “So, tell me what is keeping you up at night?” And then offer the solution to those problems as they relate to your product. They are a real person who your prospects and clients can pick up the phone and call. This is a big deal even if everything you sell is in the cloud.
What will your business take away from the product led growth model?