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How many videos does a software or technology company need?

How to calculate how many videos you need.

This methodology works for all types of business software, platform and technology developer.

It’ll stop you guessing and enable you to plan.

One of the PLAIN ANSWERS series by Producer Kevin Rossiter

  • plain answers



Recently, I had a customer who needed 55 videos. Now, they're a medium-sized software company and they asked for 55 videos.

They already had seven promotional videos for their seven vertical markets and a raft of tutorials to back it up, so why 55 more? It's a lot.

More importantly, how did they know their video needs so accurately?

How does any software or technology company figure out how many videos it needs?

To calculate this, we have to start at the beginning.



All technology companies start with a homepage promotional video so site visitors can match the basic proposition with the solution to their particular problem.

The video goal could be a free trial, a demo request, a newsletter subscription, or a contact form enquiry.

Tutorial videos follow soon, reducing the hours and money spent answering emails or talking on the phone.



Some of you will need a screen-based demo video.

Others will need workflow style problem-solving tutorials, or an onboarding video to reassure and explain the smooth migration to your system.

You may need in-depth explainer videos to help customers really understand what they're getting into. Educate them.

User testimonials and case studies to build confidence.

The list goes on. So how do you figure it out?

What's the methodology underlying all of this?



What brings all your video needs together is customer lifetime value.

From knowing your customer lifetime value, you can very quickly figure out how many videos you need. That way you maximize this value and also you fix where you might be losing value.



Now to break this down usefully, you can look at customer lifetime in three stages:

  • The winning stage where you acquire customers
  • The keeping stage where users adopt
  • The growing stage where you sell more

Now, imagine the whole of your customer lifetime for your package. Think of all the problem points where you might lose revenue, or increase costs, or miss out on opportunities.



In the winning stage, the first problem obviously is winning them. That's why all software and technology companies deploy video to kick off the sales winning process, because winning new business is critical, it's win or die.

At the minimum, this winning stage can involve a short 60 to 90 second promo video, a more detailed two to four minutes explainer or demo video, plus pre-sale access to your tutorials so customers can figure out what needs to be learned and what's involved.

And as we know, customers today do 90% to 95% of their research online before they'll ever get in touch with you, so you've got to have the materials they need to do their research. Otherwise, they'll pick someone else.



Getting users “using” is the problem - increasing adoption rates.

- you can lose customers because they can abandon your package.

- getting them to use without a grudge because they feel somehow you made it difficult for them

- and users who adopt slowly because generally they dislike the way you teach. They find the tutorials complex. They find them difficult. They're reluctant to learn. They're adopting slowly.

Coping with the flood of support calls and emails is costing you time and money because the customers can't solve what they think is their special problem. They’re not ringing you up over basics - some are - but often it's their special problem. That's why they plucked with the courage to rise or ring, it's a nuisance for them to have to do it, but they've got a “special problem”. 

The thing is, you know, it's actually quite a common problem because you've got the support call stats to prove this.

Now you can solve all these common problems with dedicated workflow videos because they're designed to resolve specific common issues.

I'll give you some examples.

How to customize the package?

Show people examples of three different ways it can be customized, not “how to customize”, like, “Do this, change that field, do that.” Point them in the direction of solutions that you know are common customizations and show them how to solve the problem.

The same thing applies to reports.

They want more than the standard reports that you offer, but they don't want to just know “how to generate a report.” 

Show them how to make three useful reports that you know that a lot of customers do want.

The same thing on day one.

When they first get started before they do anything, have a watch-me-first video to get them shoehorned in, make them feel really comfortable with what they're about to learn.

Now, this dedicated workflow video approach is how you keep users happy.

The goal of making users happy has to be an embedded attitude in your culture.

It has to be if you want to keep them.



You can use video in so many different ways here.

You might be selling add-ons or other services or consultancy or version upgrades.

You want users to recommend to their friends and colleagues through testimonials and case studies.

You want to be visibly showing how you're leading the industry with landmark new ideas, technologies and packages.

Video proves you're a thought leader.

Now you can promote each of these customer-growing activities by sending them a video, and pushing video at them in social media.



How do you put all these ideas into action?

Count up all the different pinch points in your customer lifetime that ultimately affect value.

The winning, the keeping and the growing stages - look at them separately, it's a good way of breaking it down.

Do it quickly in your head now.

Just quickly think through the problem areas, the pinch points in each of those three stages.

This customer lifetime value approach enables you to determine the number of videos you're likely to need over the next year. 

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That's it. Now you know how many videos you need by solving your customer lifetime value problems.

Okay, back to work.


Author Kevin Rossiter has been producing business video for 30 years, won 14 awards, worked in many countries around the World, and is a regular blogger on business video topics.