Video educates today’s informed consumer

Simon Spykerman

This puts the onus on you to educate prospects on what sets you apart and to provide every resource possible for learning about you online, which brings us to this compelling statistic: when potential customers view a product video they like, their intent to buy rises by a whopping 97 percent, and ties to the brand are strengthened by almost 140 percent (this little tidbit comes courtesy of Unruly, a company that tracks marketing videos for top brands).

Video is an incredibly effective tool for holding the buyer’s attention and guiding them through the entire buying cycle. Visitors to sites with videos stay twice as long and visit twice as many pages. Many marketers claim video is their most effective content marketing tactic.

But even after you’ve decided to produce a video, there are a lot of decisions to be made: what kind, where to put them in your marketing mix and how to deploy them.

Videos in the sale cycle

A solid video marketing strategy puts videos at every stage of the sales funnel. At the top, with branding and awareness, there are commercials, viral videos and “how to” videos. These get uploaded to YouTube and shared on social media.

For example, say you run a hardware store. You could make a series of videos showing how to fix a shower head or paint a room using tools you sell. People find your videos on YouTube while searching for “how to (fill in the blank).” They watch and learn. They’re exposed to your brand as the sponsor, as well as the fact that you’re a source for the tools – a powerful strategy used to great effect by Home Depot.

The next stage of the sales funnel is “interest and consideration,” and these videos should live on your website. People know who you are and look you up online, or they come to your website from a Google search. You should start with a homepage video, where you answer the question, “this is why you should choose us.” You might also use testimonial videos; it’s always more powerful to have third-party endorsement.

After customers get a little deeper into the funnel, you should add product demonstration videos, an “about us” company branding video, and case study videos (expanded testimonials, where you tell the story of how you solved a customer’s problem). At the bottom of the sales funnel – that is, after the sale – you can employ FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) videos, training videos and product support videos, all of which increase retention and garner referrals.

Where should I host my videos?

A lot of businesses make the mistake of putting all their videos on YouTube. YouTube may be the second largest search engine, but people are not there to look for sales videos – they’re there to be entertained or to learn something (this is why “how to” videos work).
When properly optimized, YouTube videos show up in Google search results as thumbnails, which is great because people are more likely to click on a thumbnail image than on text.

The problem is, when you click on those thumbnails, you go to YouTube – not to your website. This is great for brand awareness, but not website traffic. Even a well-optimized YouTube channel sends very little traffic to you (less than .08 percent).

Your sales videos belong on a professional video hosting platform like Brightcove, Wistia or Vidyard. These are paid platforms, but they are worth it because they provide better quality video playback, customizable players with social sharing buttons (Facebook and Twitter), e-mail capture forms and top-notch analytics so you know how your videos are performing. When these videos are optimized, they also show up in search results with thumbnails, but the clickable images lead back to your website. You can also feed data from many of these platforms to popular customer relationship managers (CRM) like Saleforce and Infusionsoft.

Where should I start?

Start with your goals. What are your biggest marketing challenges? If no one knows who you are and you need to raise your profile, consider a YouTube campaign. To increase the rate at which your website traffic converts, consider a homepage video and then try some customer testimonials or a product demonstration video. Once you establish your goals, you can determine the video’s value in terms of impact on your marketing – and then you can determine a budget. Now it’s time to shop for a video production partner. Fortunately, Vancouver and Portland boast an array of top-notch video production companies. View their reels, make sure they offer deployment support, and check their references.

And if there’s a video on their homepage, you’ll watch it.

Simon Spykerman is the CEO and creative director for Spykermedia, a Vancouver-based video marketing firm. You can reach him at 360.991.4746 or simon@spykermedia.com.

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