There’s a strange double standard going on in online marketing. Have you noticed?
There are all these great resources about how to write great copy. And yet, when is the last time that you read a sales page that really stuck in your memory?
Now, compare that to first video that comes to mind when I ask you to tell me about the best marketing video you’ve ever seen. I’ll bet that the video was a lot easier to remember and describe than written words. Right?
So what’s going on here? Why are videos so much more memorable than text?
According to a recent study, the average user only reads 20% of text on any given webpage. For the non-math majors out there, this means that 80% of your text is not being read. And if your audience is only reading 20% of your words, how are they supposed to understand the message that you’re trying to convey?
This is where video marketing come in.
Benefits of Using Videos Instead of Text
Now, before we get into video, I want to address the common objections to creating videos instead of writing text. “Video is great but I don’t have the time to create videos.” Or “I don’t have the software or expertise, it seems complicated.” I’ve heard all of these excuses many times and they’re all nonsense. With the tools and technologies available today it’s never been easier to create professional videos.
However, knowing how to create videos is only half the battle. You also need to know which types of videos to create. So let’s walk through the different types of videos you can leverage to increase visitor time on site, improve engagement levels and ultimately increase leads and sales.
OK, let’s get to it.
Animated explainer videos are 1-2 minute videos that explain a product or service. They’ve exploded in popularity over the last few years and there’s a simple reason for this. When done correctly, they can significantly increase your conversion rates. At Video Rascal we’ve seen customers increase their landing page conversions by over 80% by simply replacing a block of text with an explainer video.
Similarly, Crazy Egg saw a 64% conversion rate after adding an explainer video similar to this one to their homepage.
There are three things that Crazy Egg does well with this video.
- First, they pique the interest of the viewer by clearly illustrating the pain point at the beginning of the video. This allows the viewer to quickly gauge whether or not the video is worth watching further. It’s important to note that they don’t jump right into describing their product. Rather, they answer their audiences’ ‘why should I care’ questions by succinctly describing the problem.
- Second, they introduce their solution and clearly explain how the product helps solve this pain point without going into too much detail. Provide enough detail so that the product benefits are clear without talking about every feature.
- Lastly, they end the video with a clear and convincing call to action. For any video you create it’s important to give the viewer explicit instructions on what they should do next.
Creating an Explainer Video
So how do you go about creating an explainer video? There are a few different routes you can take. There are a number of creative agencies that solely create explainer videos. If you have the budget (usually $3,000+), this is definitely the route to take. Switch Video is an agency that has a very good reputation.
If you don’t have that high of a budget, you can go on Fiverr where there are a number of explainer video gigs of varying quality. Or go to the freelance marketplace site Elance and hire a designer. I’ve seen this done for less than $500, but choose your designer wisely. There are also DIY animation tools like Video Rascal where you can build the video yourself for much less money.
Whichever method you choose, make sure the video connects with your audience and inspires them to take action.
Educational videos are videos that speak to a topic that your audience would be interested in learning about. When executed correctly, educational videos provide real value to the viewer which in turn helps increase the credibility of your business.
Bertucci’s Restaurant has done a great job of this. With their engaging how-to videos, they teach the viewer how to make delicious pizza and other foods that are prepared at their restaurants. The videos have been very popular and generated a lot of positive customer feedback.
In the video below, notice the style and tone that Bertucci’s portrays. They really are trying to educate the viewer—there is no salesmanship. Viewers can always tell if you’re being sincere, so make sure you really are trying to educate and don’t slip in any sales speak.
Creating Educational Videos
Educational videos lend themselves well to a video series. Because of this, coming up with content is actually fairly easy. For instance, let’s say you have an e-commerce store that sells running shoes, clothes and gear. You could do a series of videos outlining different training regimens and workouts. Take your camera, or even easier your phone (remember to always film horizontal!), and film you or your friends going through different types of workouts—hill workouts, speed workouts, interval training, training for a marathon, weights etc. Each workout could be its own 3-minute video.
Don’t over complicate the process. Take a few minutes today and think about what your audience would be interested in learning about and how it will help you better connect with them.
If you have a web based service or application, you need to be leveraging the power of screencasts. They allow you to explain a product and its features in a way that may be easier for your audience to digest compared to the written word.
There are a few things to keep in mind when creating a screencast. It’s important to plan your video and roughly script yourself before filming. Don’t think that just because it’s your product you can wing the video. When you do this, it’s obvious to the viewer and often comes across as unprofessional. Also, when writing your script, think about the overall goal of your video and who the intended audience is, and tailor your video script accordingly.
Screencasts can be added to your product page, support page, blog or included in your customer on-boarding process. Sending new customers a product tutorial can greatly decrease customer abandonment and increase email click-through rates. A study by Forrester Research found that when marketers include a video in an email, the click-through rate increased by 200% to 300%.
If you plan to include screencasts on your product pages, make sure to keep them shorter in length (less than 3 minutes). Visitors to your product pages probably aren’t customers yet and they don’t need to see every product feature. Provide enough to peak their interest but not too much—you don’t want to bore them or encourage them to leave the page.
Creating Screencast Videos
Screencasts are typically easier and cheaper to create compared to other types of web videos. All you need is a decent USB microphone and some basic software. Camtasia and Screenr are two very easy to use screen capture solutions. Camtasia offers a free trial and Screenr has a free plan.
In the event you need to make edits to your voice-over audio, download Audacity. It’s a free, full featured audio editing program that will enable you to clean up your audio file nicely.
If you’re looking for inspiration, there are many software companies that do a nice job of engaging viewers through the use of screencasts. Instapage is great at this. They have a number of screencasts available throughout their site. Here’s one example from them that you can emulate:
Testimonials help reduce friction and lend credibility to your company. By showcasing the experiences that past customers have had with your product or service, they draw potential clients into your story and encourage them to spend more time on discovering you on your website. According to Reel SEO, visitors that watch a testimonial video will stay on your webpage a minute and a half longer than visitors that don’t.
Creating Video Testimonials
Testimonial videos can be more difficult to implement relative to the other types of videos we’ve discussed. Half the battle is finding a customer that is willing to go on camera and speak the praises of your product. The other half is the technology piece.
If you don’t have experience behind the camera, you may want to set aside a small budget and work with a Videographer. Lighting and camera angles are key and will make a big difference in the quality of your video. A Videographer can usually be found on craigslist for less than $500. If you decide to go the DIY route, you’ll need to do some light video editing.
The videos that grab your attention are the ones that tell a story and don’t just pitch a product. The customer starts off by describing the problem they faced and how it was solved. Finally, they describe their results. The hope is that the viewer has an aha moment and says to themselves, ‘I experience that same problem.’ If this happens, you’ve hooked them!
Before approaching a customer about being included in a video, think about the story you want to tell. It’s important that your customer understands the narrative and is comfortable with the direction before you begin filming. You also want to make sure that whoever is speaking on camera is articulate and comfortable doing so. Having a pre-shoot meeting and providing the questions in advance will help alleviate any anxieties they have.
While customer testimonial videos typically require more work and money to produce, the return on your investment will make it all worthwhile. There’s nothing more powerful than a satisfied customer going on camera, engaging your audience and selling your product for you.
Getting Started With Video Marketing
Start by thinking about the websites you visit on a daily basis. How do you interact with these sites? Are they using video? On the sites that use video, what types of video are they using and why? Most people just browse the web aimlessly, but if you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner you need to be better than that. Think about how other sites are using video effectively and how you can apply what they do to your business.
So here’s your homework (you didn’t think you would get out of this without doing any work now did you?).
First, think about what type of videos your prospects and customers would be interested in watching. Second, think about your overall objectives. Is your main goal to increase sales? Maybe your goal right now is to better engage and communicate with your audience? Once you’ve defined your objective it becomes much easier to determine the type of video to create and how it should be shared with your audience.
Spend today answering these questions, then spend the next 4 days preparing for and creating your first video. Once you’ve created your video let me know how it went by reporting back in the comments. I look forward to hearing about how you’ve engaged your audience with video!
Ed. Note: Beginning Aug. 2015, Elance will be merging into Upwork, and customers will not be able to register at Elance or post new jobs there. Information on registering new accounts at Upwork or migrating Elance accounts can be found here.
This article was originally published by Firepole Marketing