How to Incorporate Video into your Supplier Engagement Strategy

Last week I shared my reasons to incorporate video into your Supplier Engagement Strategy. If you missed it or are yet to be convinced - I suggest you start there.

Now hopefully preaching to the converted, here are some thoughts on how you can incorporate video into your Supplier Engagement strategy.

Video is great at growing understanding and motivation – the foundations of engagement for any project. Therefore, there are potentially multiple areas within any given project where using video would be beneficial.

The first job is to pick what style of video will be best for your chosen topic. I try to keep things simple, so here are my two key styles of video:

  • Explainer
  • How-To

Explainer videos

When launching a new project or initiative, a simple video can provide great introduction. Often projects are driving change and I believe there’s nothing more powerful when managing change than telling a compelling story to explain why it’s happening and why the supplier should get behind it (…more to come on this subject in the future). And telling stories through video is a no brainer.

Treat an explainer video as your elevator pitch and remember to include these key points:

  • What is happening?  (Grow understanding)
  • Why it is happening and what are the benefits of the change? (Grow motivation)
  • How does that affect the supplier and what do they need to do now? (Grow understanding and motivation)

Generally, I try to keep explainers below 2 minutes long - any longer and you’re at risk of losing their attention.

How-To videos

How-to videos are perfect for helping Suppliers to understand:

  • Specific tasks without needing to train them on an entire system
  • Tasks which are completed less frequently

How-To videos are a way of visualising system processes. If your Suppliers need to complete tasks like the one described above, you can dramatically reduce the time it takes for suppliers to come up to speed and potentially remove the need to add cost into the supply chain by Suppliers attending expensive training sessions.

The key to making How-To videos successful is breaking tasks that a Supplier needs to complete into bite-size processes. For example, you may need Suppliers to submit their product specifications for review. This task is the sum of multiple processes – perhaps creating the product in the system, adding the ingredients and components and adding nutritional information.

Breaking these tasks into smaller steps makes the information much more accessible and digestible to new and old suppliers alike. Just think - if you forget one step of an eleven step process, would you really fancy scanning through a 45 minute webinar to find the tiny piece of information on the step you needed?

Keep each video focused on a specific process lasting around 20 to 30 seconds maximum and tie these together with a guided learning path (a fancy way of saying a list of videos to watch!).

Sharing your video

In my experience, email and online supplier portals are the two main channels used for Supplier Engagement. We typically combine the two when trying to drive action or awareness within a project.

Start off by uploading your video to the internet and embedding a copy which suppliers can stream to your supplier portal. We always embed video to be streamed as suppliers can access the information much quicker and some may not have access to download files. My advice is also to avoid YouTube. Many companies block their employees from YouTube at work. Couple this with the torrent of ads makes it far from ideal.

Add a screenshot of your video to the email and link this to the embedded copy of your video. Small touches like adding a play button to the screenshot increases the likelihood of suppliers clicking on the image, viewing the video and ultimately seeing your message.

Always remember to add an ordinary text link to your video within your email too. This is for those Suppliers who may not load pictures within emails.

Reviewing performance

Using video can dramatically increase Supplier Engagement. However, to see this for yourself you should regularly review the performance of your communications activity, and video is no different. Some metrics we keep our eyes on are:-

  • Open rates (How many Suppliers are opening the email?)
  • Click rates (How many Suppliers are clicking the link to the key document or video?)
  • Video engagement (How much of the video do the Suppliers watch?)
  • Number of Supplier queries

By reviewing these metrics, not only can you demonstrate the value of video in your organisation, but you can constantly review and optimize you content to increase that value.

But remember, video is a powerful additional to your Self-Help toolkit, but needs to be part of a multi-media solution, alongside simple text answers, documents and images. When used in the right context and with the right content video can form an indispensable part of your Supplier Engagement strategy.



Tags: Supplier development, Supplier engagement

David Taylor

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