2016 has seen video take on an even more prominent role than written, static webpages. In some cases, this is because the average human looking for ‘how to’ do something will learn more quickly and easily by watching how that thing is done than by reading about it. For example, if I were to challenge you to learn 10 facts about how to skydive, which would you prefer:
1. Learn by watching this three-minute video?
2. Learn by reading these multiple, long, imageless pages?
If you are still with me, I suspect you’ve chosen the video, right?
People prefer educational information online to be delivered in bite-sized, visual chunks rather than long discursive theses. The same goes for commercials, and the rise of the digital marketing company has enabled powerful marketing messages to be delivered worldwide.
There is a ton of information online about why you should be using video to promote your business if you are not already doing so; the point of this article is not to rehash any of this or pitch you on video.
Rather, the point is this: once you have video made for your business, how do you get qualified prospects to see and act upon it?
YP.com, YouTube.com and other video repositories are loaded with hundreds upon hundreds of local corporate videos that cost thousands to make, but which practically no one has ever seen. The quality of these videos is usually high, but with no visibility they are essentially creating cyber-dust.
Nobody will ever see your business through the medium of video if you never shoot a video and get it out there on the internet.
Many business owners run the risk of ‘analysis paralysis’ when they overthink the mechanics of video or what suitable content might be available. Do you find yourself making the following excuses?
If so, analysis paralysis is the likely underlying cause.
Corporate video can be as simple as a 60-second interview with an employee answering a question you know your customers have about your business or services.
Corporate video could be a quick ‘how to find us’ description lasting 45 seconds.
Corporate video could be an explainer video telling the world what you do. It can be as simple as using your iPhone to shoot a quick, real-time interview or as complex as a professional studio green screen technology, as well as everything in between.
What is certain, however, is that you must get footage shot and online to get the word out about your business.
‘All roads lead to Rome’.
Do they? We’re not so sure. But notwithstanding the veracity or otherwise of this statement, effective digital marketing involving video needs to incorporate some of the same logic.
Think about how people might find you online through video:
One important step many YouTube channel owners miss is the opportunity to provide a funnel for all these possibilities back to their website. After all, you want your prospects to see your video, and take some kind of action, don’t you?
Here is an example of a YouTube channel, in keeping with our skydiving theme:
Just above the red ‘subscribe’ button on the right-hand side, there is an opportunity to specify social channels. This gives viewers a way to follow up and get in touch with the company, or at least get to know more about them. However, The Sky Diving Company has not inserted their social media profiles. It is worth adding that doing this not only provides users with a better user experience, but also confers SEO benefits on the main company website if, as it should be, it is included.
Are all skydiving YouTube channel owners this naïve?
Let’s look at another skydiving channel:
Again, we can see that there are no social profiles added.
Some businesses are really switched on and have a focus on YouTube. Go Pro, the camera vendors who have filmed a number of exciting video sequences including sky diving, are one such company:
Notice the social media profiles above the subscribe button? Notice also have the main site, GoPro.com, is included:
Here is an older version of the same channel:
In addition to social media profile and website inclusion, GoPro has also smartly included a “showcase video” which comes up on the channel homepage:
This is another excellent tactic which can help with both brand awareness and lead capture, depending on the strategy you are adopting with your channel. Note how in the example above there is a “subscribe” call to action within the video thumbnail. This is a third ninja tactic being used by the same channel.
Another inside-baseball tactic – not widely known and seldom used – is that you can link from individual videos, as well as the channel, to your business website. Here is a really good example:
If you examine this video carefully, you will see that at the end there is a clear call to action with an invitation to click the link in the actual video. This link leads to the business website. Additionally, there is a link in the video description going back to the business website.
Note that you can use video description links creatively. For example, one way to make this video even more powerful would be to link back to a lead capture page, rather than the home page, to generate more leads.
The ultimate goal of any lead generation video is to generate leads. A good way to do this is to capture attention as fast and effectively as possible, before delivering your message. A proven way to achieve this, as well as separate yourself from the crowd, is with a professionally made ‘stinger’.
NBC’s introduction stinger is a decent example of what can be done. Professionally made does not equal expensive. The difference between you and your competitors can be instant when these are done right.
Calls to action are equally important if your videos are to get the necessary response. Here is an example of a simple, ‘street level’ video with a good call to action:
It says ‘call us today’ and then gives the phone number. Depending on your market or conversion strategy, an effective call to action could be as simple as this.
A key improvement, however, would be to keep the phone number on screen for longer than the 4 seconds this one shows up for. That way, the viewer is ‘forced’ to take action and is less likely to be distracted by another video.
Drafting an outline of what you want to say is critical to the success of any video.
For many businesses, an effective video script consists of the following four steps in this order:
Let’s go back to skydiving. An effective video script for a skydiving instruction business might be:
Asking a pertinent prospect-related question
‘Hi there, let me ask you a question: are you looking to find out the safest, easiest and most exciting way to make your first sky dive?’
Explaining briefly who you are
‘I am David Michaels and, as an experienced and fully qualified sky diving instructor, I help folks like you get ready to make their first jumps with a revolutionary and highly successful training programme based from my skydiving centre here in Fairfax, Virginia’
Explaining what you have for the prospect, in a benefits-rich way
‘Combine the excitement and thrill of leaping from 15,000 feet with the comfort of knowing you have one of the world’s leading safety experts with you every step of the way, as often as you need me. With state-of-the-art technology and training before you even leave the ground, you will know exactly what to expect in any situation. We also pride ourselves on our results: 77% of our pupils are jumping on their own with 90 days of training with us. Recognised for our safety procedures with the 2016 Virginia Community Award for Safety, we pride ourselves on serving you with the most exhilarating but safe experience available anywhere in the world.’
Explaining how they can get those benefits (call to action)
‘Having us instruct you is no leap of faith at all! Get in touch by calling 408-335-3434 today and booking your free 15-minute consultation with one of our experts.’
Once you have this written, it is important to understand that as far as possible people buy from people. For this type of business (an imaginary local sky diving instruction business), having the instructors present the message, or the business owner, is relatively important.
As stated above, people buy from people. If your videos are overly corporate, they will not have the ‘human connection’ element that prompts prospects to get in touch or decide to buy.
Let’s take a fundamentally ‘unhuman’ product: home insurance. It is hard to make home insurance sound hip or exciting. It does not have the excitement of skydiving, the allure of a Lamborghini car, the aesthetic appeal of a cosmetics site or the obvious benefits-rich appeal of a doctor or dentist. So how would video work for this type of industry.
I hope I have already answered this question: you humanise the experience.
Look at how this US insurer did it:
Note the eye contact made between the presenter and the viewer. The simple, uncluttered background minimizing distraction, the call to action at the bottom of the video and the link (‘Click here to visit us now!’) leading back to the website.
That said, this video could be improved by being ‘more real’. The actress who is presenting this video is unlikely to be a real employee of the company. What would have worked better is to have real agents within the company answering real questions from real customers.
Make sure you use language that ties into the market you are targeting. For example, ‘call us today and we’ll get you fixed up’ might suit a car dealership but if a surgeon were to use the same words, it might raise a few eyebrows.
The script will be unique for each business depending on its positioning, brand and market message. However, guard against using excessive jargon, especially if your services or goods are technical in nature. For example, if you are promoting the latest Nokia phone avoid phrases such as these:
They are too technical for the typical buyer and many will simply tune out and look elsewhere, concluding that you ‘are not really what they are looking for’.
Instead, try the benefits-rich approach:
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, you can have an amazing video adding real value that’s capable of generating engagement in the market, but nonetheless worthless if no one is looking at it. So how do you get eyeballs on your videos?
When uploading your video on YouTube, taking the following steps can improve visibility in both YouTube and Google:
All that now remains is for you to look again at Tip #1 and…. take action!