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  • Writer's pictureOmri Yaniv


Updated: May 26, 2020

By ICX Media - May 02, 2018

How Zendesk uses video

When it comes to customer service, Zendesk takes the cake for innovation and client engagement. They practice what they preach and their mission statement includes a nod to their broad-reaching priorities:

“Much like the art of Zen, the path to customer service excellence is a continuous journey that involves product, people, practice.”

These three pillars permeate their entire business strategy, from client communications to the people they employ to the products they develop. So it’s no surprise they broke the mold when it comes to traditional customer service and how they market their business. Early on, Zendesk realized the potential of video and quickly integrated it into their content marketing strategy to give the company life, personality, and a human connection.

Zendesk has been able to use its video content to build a certain rapport and relationship with its prospects and clients that transcends the norm. Most notably, they designed video content that connects to their prospects at every stage of the customer journey. By utilizing video, Zendesk elevated the brand and set it apart from its competitors because their marketing strategy was different and memorable.

Let’s look at how they divided the customer journey and developed video content for each stage of the sales funnel.

Top of funnel content

The top of the sales funnel is “the ‘awareness’ stage, where people are looking for answers, resources, education, research data, opinions, and insight,” according to HubSpot. In order to make the case for its business, Zendesk decided to produce two types of video content that created awareness about their brand. Their top of funnel content includes comical and explainer videos, which all broaden awareness about the company and helping the consumer consider Zendesk as a vendor of choice.

This one-minute TV commercial hit the right chord with Zendesk’s target audience because it acknowledged common customer service struggles while mixing in some humor.

The commercial is reminiscent of the relationship interviews featured in the movie, “When Harry Met Sally.” The older couple, known as the business and the customer, convey their love story and how it didn’t start off on the best foot. However, with Zendesk’s help, they turned their relationship around and have been together ever since. It’s a cute play on a recognizable movie, but still conveys Zendesk’s value. From this commercial, viewers can easily glean what the company offers and because of its light-hearted nature, are likely to remember and recall Zendesk when they are in need of a customer service provider. That is what top of funnel content is supposed to do!

On the flip side, explainer videos are fantastic for communicating a company’s value proposition. However, there is a delicate balance between giving viewers the information they need and confusing them with too many details. This is where Zendesk excelled.

In the above video, “The Zendesk Omnichannel Approach,” viewers learn quickly (as in less than 90 seconds) what Zendesk offers its customers in layman’s terms. There are no graphs, statistics or overly technical language used; they simply lay out what you get from them if you’re in need of a customer service program. The simple visual design and word choice make this explainer video approachable and that’s exactly what every business strives for in their top of funnel content. Zendesk has a number of explainer videos that all speak to its core offerings, but in innovative ways that make each video fresh and worth watching. For someone who is unfamiliar with the brand, these clips create credibility and brand recognition.

Middle of funnel content

Once potential customers get to the middle of the funnel content, they’re in the “‘evaluation’ stage, where [they] are doing heavy research on whether or not your product or service is a good fit for them,” says HubSpot. Zendesk took this opportunity to create content around their unique selling proposition and their inherent differences from their competitors. They focused on two types of content: customer case studies and work culture videos. Each provides insight into the business in valuable ways.

The customer case studies speak for themselves and allow customers to praise Zendesk in a genuine way. Return on investment is top of mind for any business considering a product or service, and by using real success stories, Zendesk tapped into this important conversion point.

The John Lewis Partnership customer story shows how Zendesk improved productivity through less headcount, but better response rates, and how they now offer personal service without feeling like their customers are speaking to a machine. Each of these points is of interest to those considering a customer service solution, and by hearing and seeing real results, Zendesk is able to express their value.

Similarly, they have a series of culture videos that speak to what it’s like to work at Zendesk. One of their earliest videos called, “This is Zendesk,” walks the viewer through a day-in-the-life of a Zendesk employee, showing the office space, local lunch spots, and even the front desk staff. This video connects real people to the business and humanizes a technology company. By taking a behind-the-scenes view of the business, Zendesk broke the barrier between their customers and their computer screen. They put their people front and center and want prospects to know their employees are engaged, happy, and ready to serve.

On a more topical note, Zendesk produced a “Women at Zendesk” video, which showcased the mentorship, camaraderie, and space for women in this technology company. With the prevalent gender bias in tech, this video shows a good selection of their female employees, all of whom speak to their feelings of being supported and professionally developed at Zendesk.

This video makes an impact and reinforces the company’s mission statement about people being a priority. These ‘softer’ elements of a business can play a major role in someone’s decision to work with a company, so by being transparent about their beliefs and emphasis on equality, Zendesk made their viewpoint loud and clear, which surely resonated with many of their prospects.

Bottom of funnel content

Last but not least is bottom of the funnel content, which serves “the ‘purchase’ stage, where people are figuring out exactly what it would take to become a customer,” according to HubSpot. By this point in the customer journey, prospects are familiar with a company’s services, differentiators, and value. Zendesk developed instructional and “how to” videos in order to make sales conversion and turn a prospect into a customer. Again, through straightforward design and language, their guide videos walk the viewer through processes, such as adding a functionality or agents to their account, in a seamless way.

This type of content is so important to the sales process that they started a whole video series entitled “What’s Good.” The video series features new products and how-to guides for using Zendesk. Each video gives the viewer a sense of what it’s like to use the tool and how it would benefit their customers. The following video discusses how using support and the new guide feature in tandem enhance the customer experience.

These videos are effective because they use the platform and reinforce how simple it is to use. They remove any hesitation about being able to install a feature or successfully utilize all that Zendesk has to offer, regardless of how tech-savvy one may be. This notion is critical for sales conversions as it leaves the viewer feeling empowered and ready to use the system.

Zendesk has been around for a little over a decade and continues to gain market share. It remains a leader in the customer service provider industry largely because of its amazing products and its video content marketing strategy. Video transformed how people came to know Zendesk by adding a human component to their marketing alongside helpful use case examples and instructional content. It just goes to show that any business could take a page out of Zendesk’s book and improve their sales funnel with the help of video content.

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