Hi there! Glad you took a break from the video you were just watching to read this post.
Even if you weren’t just watching a video, you’re probably aware that many people are. The rise in the popularity and influence of online video is undeniable and unstoppable.
And it’s not just your kids watching video game livestreams. It’s everyone watching all kinds of videos about everything. In case you need convincing that these trends are important to your marketing efforts, consider that:
- Video drives conversions. Using video in a campaign can increase conversion rate by 34% or more (Aberdeen Group)
- Video is preferred by target audiences. A clear majority of executives (59%) prefer watching video to reading text. (Wordstream)
- Video promotes recall. Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text. (Insivia)
- Video boosts search. Users spend more time and bounce less often on a page with video, which improves trustworthiness in the eyes of search engines.
Strong arguments for incorporating video into your marketing strategy!
But, recognizing this reality, you may get a little anxious. You want to “do video marketing,” but you’re not sure where to start. Or you’ve seen some video production estimates, which can run pretty high, and you want to make sure your time and money are well spent.
In either case, I’d like to highlight six basic steps you can follow on a path to creating compelling video content.
1. Begin with a goal.
In the rush to create videos, some businesses miss this important step. There’s already a sea of video out there. It might be fine for a vanity project or a hobby, but for a business it makes little sense to churn something out and post it just because everybody’s doing it.
A video that lacks purpose will come off incoherent and dull. Viewers will quickly get wise to that and click to something else. So always start with at least a basic notion of why you’re creating a video.
Attracting leads? Driving online sales? Awareness? Social proof of your value? Video can help you advance a wide variety of objectives in the different stages of the sales cycle.
The goal will also help inform what type of video you create — explainer, presentation, vlog post, testimonial, interview, product demo, etc. And this determination in turn will inform how you approach the rest of these steps.
2. Keep it short.
Did you know that, according to Ad Age, 60% of your audience will drop off your video by the 2-minute mark? If you’re going past that, you should have a very good reason (which of course harks back to step 1).
If your video involves troubleshooting a common customer problem, you might be justified in going longer. For a detailed training program, perhaps longer still. But at that point, it’s probably more appropriate as an “opt in” offer wherein someone actively asks for this more in-depth content.
For just about any other purpose, you should be concise. And to do that, it helps to …
3. Keep it simple.
Some people are tempted to dive right down into the details in any content they produce for their business. They cringe at the thought of leaving out some little feature or spec related to a product they’re promoting.
But video is best suited to a more focused approach.
Again keeping your goal in mind, identify the two or three key messages that best support your effort. Think about your customers and their challenges. If you’ve created any persona profiles or customer avatars for messaging purposes, you can also use those outputs for inspiration.
Stick to these fundamental messages, within the context of whatever your video is about, and you’ll be fine. If you include too much more than that, you’ll risk extending your video’s runtime and distracting from whatever you’re trying to achieve. So say it in plain language. Repeat it. Then peace out.
4. Hit ‘em with a hook.
We talked about people watching videos for up to 2 minutes. The bigger issue is that one-third of your audience will stop watching a video within just 30 seconds (again per Ad Age).
Attention spans are short. Woo them or lose them.
As with a headline on a blog post, or the subject line on an email, the mission at the beginning of your video is to intrigue your audience with a morsel that makes them want more. You have a few more words to work with in a video intro versus a typical headline, but not much.
Establish what the video is about and suggest that watching will help the viewer solve a problem or answer a question. A good hook also often includes an emotional appeal. Are you instilling confidence, playing on their fear of making a bad purchase or teasing a secret insight? Any of these could be great fodder for a strong hook.
5. Serve the main course with style.
Viewers have plenty else to do and see. The meat of your video should be focused on providing valuable information that viewers might not find elsewhere.
Give them a moment of inspiration, not a sales presentation. Strive to solve a problem, answer a question or make life easier in a way that nobody else does.
Keep it short and punchy, using strong verbs and avoiding excessive jargon. Strong verbs convey action and authority, while overuse of lingo just makes the speaker sound like they’re trying to sound smart.
You might also want to tell a story, because we humans can’t get enough of them. No need to be a master storyteller to do it effectively. Simply build in the classic components of a character confronting a conflict and finding a resolution. The customer, not you, is the main character, while your business gets to shine in the resolution.
6. Tell them what to do next.
If somebody has stuck around to the end of your video, great job! Don’t miss the opportunity to continue engaging by finishing with a clear and relevant call to action (often abbreviated as CTA).
To determine your CTA, once again return to the goal you identified at the outset. Offering some additional value related to your topic is always a good approach. If you’re looking to fill the pipeline with warm leads, perhaps you can offer a downloadable guide that expands on the key messages of your video.
You had to leave out a lot of details to keep it short, so you’ve got more to say, right?
Don’t overthink the actual delivery of the CTA. A simple, natural segue will do. “If you want to learn more about (whatever you just told them), I invite you to (download this guide, schedule a call, request a quote, watch this training video) where you will learn more about how you can (solve the problem and get the desired result).”
Speaking of which …
If you’d like further help developing a video marketing strategy or content for your business, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.