3 KINDS OF ONLINE VIDEOS THAT WILL INCREASE ROI.
The question I get most from my new clients is “Why Video?” so it is worth repeating to emphasize the advantages that online video can offer your company.
- Instantly grab people’s attention.
- Tell your ‘story’ in less time and with added effectiveness.
- Make Complicated ideas simple to understand in less time.
- Make your site ‘Stickier’.
- Drive traffic to your site (viral video).
- Stand out as an industry leader with user friendly assets.
OK, now that I got that out of the way lets move on. Basically ALL the videos found on the internet can be divided into 3 Main Categories. “Simple Right?”. I categorize them by the desired effect and the location they usually are found on the internet.
- Conversion Videos that live on the businesses’ home page.
- Educational/Informative Videos that live inside a website.
- Viral Videos that live offsite to drive traffic to your site.
That is it. Now let’s dive into each a little and explain a bit more.
Conversion Videos are probably the best use of your video investment dollars as they tend to consistently offer the highest ROI. They almost always live on the company’s home/landing page as they are intended to serve one goal: Compel the viewer to understand your value proposition and have them perform your intended objective.
This is where I generally start with clients that are just beginning to leverage video marketing to their sites as they can have dramatic results increasing conversions in their product or service. In my experience, one of the most overlooked details when integrating video marketing is defining a clear understanding of the ‘goals’ of your page/site and clear understanding of how to position your product and sell value to your prospects and finally what you want your prospect to do after you tell them how great you are. Seems simple, but it is by far the most overlooked aspect of incorporating online video. Sure some sites have multiple goals but it is important to maintain simplicity for each landing page or home page and carefully identify the ‘call to action ’ or conversion for each step in your sales process.
The most common conversion goals for commercial websites can be;
- ENTER YOUR DETAILS - the aim of your landing page maybe for you visitors to give you contact details that can be used for follow-up or opt-in email campaigns.
- DOWNLOAD THIS FILE - in some cases installing a file maybe a first step in converting your visitor into a customer.
- BUY THIS PRODUCT - definitely the most obvious, but often the most overlooked. Converting a visitor to buy product is an art-form.
- MAKE A DEPOSIT NOW - Generally for subscription type sales models and establishes a financial relationship that turns browsers into committed customers.
Once you have defined a clear conversion goal for your landing page, a well produced conversion video should focus on driving users to that goal. Pretty simple. First you have to hold your audience’s attention by having a well produced engaging presentation that follows standard marketing practices like benefit centric approaches and so on. I utilize timeless production techniques that I have been using for years in television (OK, in this case, Infomercials, Direct Response, Short Format-High Impact Advertising.) specifically the use of customer testimonials, product demonstrations, emotional triggers, and product association techniques that will build perceived value and compel to a clear call-to-action. Creating this clear path for the viewer to follow is as important as defining the goal for that landing page. If done correctly you will see results immediately.
Here at the ‘jelly’ creating a sticky visual is not the end of the job. In my experience one of the most overlooked aspects to video marketing is the evaluation stage. After your focused presentation is posted and is a key component to your landing page whereas people know where it is and how to use it. Then I define best practices in terms of usability, then evaluate it. Decide if you want it to auto play, with or with out the volume, combined with other information of how it is being used by visitors can also be captured by site metrics. After this information is examined I usually go into a fine tuning period. That is a bit over simplified, well the title says “simple” and we are starting to stray beyond the scope of this article.
Educational videos are very effective in, hmm, educating viewers. Simple! Well, there is so much more to it. Educational videos are usually found on the inside pages of a commercial website and can bring unbelievable value to your commercial endeavors.
I tend to recommend to my clients to leverage educational videos to establish trust with the prospect, a catalyst in creating a virtual relationship with your future customer, and positioning my clients’ organization as a leader in their space. Visitors that move beyond the landing page and begin to delve deeper into your content and your valued-proposition, are ready to be served up more information and you guessed it, the use of video is a excellent medium for distilling information in a engaging, sit back in your chair and watch, kinda’ way. After 15 years producing and editing visual media for television and corporate clients it has been clear to me for a long time that a well produced video is one of the best ways to move your audience, instill emotion, and create a lasting impression. This in turn will differentiate your company against your competitors.
In a future article I will detail what is a well produced video and why you should think twice before having your traditional web development company produce this kind of media for your website.
You can use video to do what other companies in your market are failing to do well. If your prospects learn the most from you chances are your company will make that ever important ‘impression’ (excuse the marketing terms) and that prospect will return when they are ready to buy. One of the most undervalued benefits of these kind of videos is the ability to guide prospects through a difficult buying decision and ease the concerns of nervous browsers.
Additionally, education videos can help build Mentor-Mentee relationships between your website and your prospects which certainly has a positive impact on the final decision of that prospect of where to buy. It is a virtual relationship builder!
A new trend is using video to take the strain away from Customer Support and other tasks like Human Resources, Training, Corporate Communications, and New Product Launches.
Educational Video may be the hardest type of video to manage in terms of ROI. They are not as highly promoted then the other kinds of videos. They are really positioned and targeted to specific prospects at different stages in your sales cycle. In short, they are a tool to prevent customer confusion and deliver clarity.
Viral Video is the catch word of the moment in the online video world and generally these videos are found off the company’s site in a effort to drive viewers to you. They are served up in a variety of methods but the most notable are video publishing sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and Google. The over simple idea is that these videos are produced in a way that people want to share them like a good joke, or a odd story, ect.
I saved this for last because this form of video on the internet is probably the most allusive in terms of success. Some common recipes for success are creating a original, unusual, unexpected type of video that usually contain funny, mysterious and sometimes even sexy themes/story-lines. I have learned that there are a few other ingredients necessary for your video to go viral such as good ‘ole luck and timing. Short Viral Videos can generate interest outside your site and drive people to come to your landing page to learn more. Viral Video is all about distribution and promotion. I am going to leave this subject ‘as-is’ because there is so much on this type of marketing approach and everyone you ask will have a different take furthermore, I approach this type of effort with advanced creativity and a custom approach that are beyond the scope of this article.
A Final Thought (the gem)
I always tell my clients which comes directly from producing and editing media for television and a bit of marketing techniques acquired from the Infomercial world; When your prospect is watching your media, you have a captured-audience that is listening to your detailed sales message in the comfort of their own space. You have in-effect been invited into their homes and businesses and you get a chance to sell to them without being invasive. Really, if done right it will have a similar effect of a referral from a friend or coworker. Once you have created this scenario of connecting prospects to your product/service without the pushy sales dynamic you are home free and you will notice your sales conversions increasing.
It is Simple! Video Marketing is a form of conversion tool. Most companies just spend money on just trying to drive traffic to their sites, nothing on conversion. I suggest, spend a little on conversion and you will turn traffic into more actual long-term customers. Or, spend less on traffic, the difference on conversion, and receive greater return. Last time I checked that is successful marketing!