It is becoming much more difficult to keep people's attention- especially online. This is not only because attention spans are decreasing (Microsoft study) but also because there are so many other things they could be doing online. When a person clicks on unknown website link, they have to be stimulated in order to continue spending time on the site. Websites are like parties; if the party(page) is boring, guests want to leave. Consequently, websites that can keep visitors engaged get more sales and social network shares. In fact, Google uses the time spent on a site as an SEO ranking factor. It is for this reason that people are using video to keep their viewers engaged. When videos are planned and executed properly, they can be an effective way to convert visitors into loyal brand ambassadors.
This article covers: - The benefits of using video over other forms of media.
- A step-by-step guide to creating an effective video cheaply, or even for free.
- Examples of how individuals can utilise video content for a competitive advantage.
- How to promote a video in a cost-effective manner. - Ways to measure the return on investment of your video.
##Why Use Video?
There are so many reasons why videos are a good website promotion technique. Below are the most important ones.
The internet is a highly competitive place, and trust is everything. The fact that you have created a video makes you look more professional. It shows that you are serious about what you do. This is because there is a general consensus that great looking videos are expensive. Therefore, it is a great way to raise yourself above your competitors. I don't know about you but I have ordered goods from websites simply because they had a great introductory video, coupled with a stunning website. Likewise, I have quickly exited websites that looked like they were made by an 8-year-old in Microsoft Paint. I am not alone because research shows that websites with an introductory video have a bounce rate that is on average 40% lower than their video-less competitors.
###Allows you to convey your website/offering more effectively
The fact is videos stimulate our senses of sight and hearing- and when done right- they stir up our emotions. Therefore, you can use a video to succinctly explain what your website is about. On average, videos increase understanding of a product or service by 25%.
###Videos get shared more
In fact, 92% of video viewers share videos they like. This provides an opportunity for your website to reach a wider audience. However, the type of videos that get shared aren't run-of-the-mill corporate videos; otherwise known as "talking head" videos. No business video with someone just staring into a camera and talking has ever gone viral- and for good reason. Further into this article, you will find out how to create a video that people just can't wait to share.
###Allows you to show your product/service in action
One of the fundamental elements of persuading people is that of proof. If a car manufacturer tells you that they have just created the best car in the world, you are unlikely to believe them. However, if they show you a video of the car in action, and all the wonderful things it can do, you are more likely to be convinced. It is for this reason that videos are a great opportunity to convey your offering in the best possible light.
Videos are a great way to convert visitors into 'warm leads'. A lead is anyone who has expressed an interest in your product or service. Once a lead buys from you they become a customer. Most businesses will attest that this can be the most challenging part of running a venture. Videos can smoothen the process. In order to maximise the return on investment for your video, add a call-to-action, for example: "As a reward for watching till the end you get a 10% discount. Just quote Video10 when you get in touch." By doing this you can convert visitors to customers in an efficient manner.
##How to create a video cheaply.
We have established that video is an awesome promotion technique. The issue is that many people find it challenging to create one that is effective. I am now going to take you step-by-step through the process.
Firstly, you need a video script. The video script details exactly what you are going to say and the accompanying visuals. This is where most people get stuck. We will break down a video script further in this article. In order to create an effective video script, you must know the elements that make for a good video. They are:
1) Relatable to the target audience- For maximum effect the video has to be based on solving problems for your target audience. This is why you see legal firms using old and intelligent looking actors for their videos. They know that their target audience wants a lawyer that can help them to win cases. In a similar vein, your video should relate to your audience. For instance, if your target customer is a bargain hunter, mention that you are proud to offer great quality products at reasonable prices.
2) Facts & Figures- This increases the credibility of your video; thereby making people more comfortable with the idea of spending money on your website. For instance, a consultant's video script could include: "In my 25 years as a consultant, I have helped hundreds of people to make more money.". That sounds more convincing than "I am an experienced consultant."
3) Curiosity- Writing your video script in the form of a story increases the likelihood of people sticking around till the end. After all, what is the point of creating a video if most people don't stick around to see your amazing 'call to action'.
4) Call to action- Speaking of call to actions, they invite the viewer to take an action. It is best to only have one. Psychologists show that if you give people too many options, they tend to make none. Therefore, don't ask them to like your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter, give you a call, and buy a product. Based on your objectives, choose one thing you want them to do. For example, "Give us a call today for an amazing offer."
4) Short- Keep your script succinct. Avoid unnecessary language. We will dissect a script later on in this article.
5) Originality- In this world where business videos tend to look alike, being original will stand you in good stead. For instance, a blogger could record a video showing how they create post ideas. If you want a great example of a video that exemplifies originality, check out Evian's 'Baby and me' campaign on Youtube.
###Example video script
A client in the agriculture industry came to me for a video script. I use this as an example because if you can understand how manure can be sold through video, you can create an effective video script for just about anything.
Here is the exact script:
"Hi there! Here at Salvador manure we have grown from strength-to-strength by remaining true to our core beliefs. In a recent survey, we found out that we had created 80 jobs for young adults who would have otherwise been in gangs. Half of our 216 clients have been with us since we were founded. This is due to our commitment to providing great quality manure, improving the areas in which we work, and providing our employees with a great salary and other benefits. Here at Salvador manure, our aim is to keep our customers and workers happy. In the end, everyone wins. Get in touch today for a 10% discount by quoting SALVADOR10. From the Salvador manure family with love. Thank you."
The video had a duration of 35 seconds and include scenes from their factory, the workers happily working, the impact they were having on the local community, and quotes from happy clients. As you can see from the script, it had everything required to influence clients. In fact, they spent less than $400 on targeted YouTube ads and brought in 16 long term clients who typically spend thousands of dollars per order. Let's breakdown the script.
1) It begins with mention of the company. This way if people get distracted or decide to exit, atleast they know the company's name (brand recognition).
2) The script shows that they are proud about what they do -- exemplified by stating achievements not linked to money. This is very important because the aim is to create warm feelings with regard to the brand.
3) Social proof- In order to add credibility, I added the number of clients they have. You can achieve a similar effect by including the number of sales, website visitors, email subscribers, and so forth.
4) Relatable- Although they are a B2B enterprise, I decided to not include any corporate jargon. For instance look at how it ends- "From the Salvadore manure family with love." This creates a sense of enthusiasm. People like to buy from those who love what they do. Furthermore, the whole script has a dose of humanity in it. I took something as basic as manure and made it about their workers, clients and the environment. This is what the biggest advertising agencies do. This conveys that you aren't just buying manure but buying into a company with a good heart.
Hopefully, after that, ideas are firing off in your head about ways to approach your own video script. If so, great! However, hold onto those thoughts for a little while. We are going to delve into how you can create a video yourself.
A video script is no good if it isn't turned into a video. Below is a step-by-step guide to creating an effective video from your videoscript.
1) Firstly, you need some footage. You can record your own or sign up for a 7 day free trial at Videoblocks. They have a range of HD-quality footage that can be used for commercial purposes. You may also need some images. If you don't have any of decent quality, visit Pixabay and search for keywords pertaining to the image(s) you require. Images from Pixabay are free, royalty free, legal, and available for commercial use.
2) Now you will need a video editor. Unfortunately, most video editors are incredibly complicated. For an easy to use video editor, I recommend Wevideo. It is a free cloud-based video editor. Therefore, you don't need to have a powerful computer. All the 'heavy-lifting' is done on their servers. Moreover, Wevideo has mobile apps; therefore, you can continue editing your video on the way to work. You never know when inspiration could strike.
3) Wevideo allows you to add a voiceover. Unless you have a studio-quality microphone and good audio processing skills, I suggest you go on Fiverr and pay someone a small amount of money to record the script for you. A majority of the voice-over artists on freelancer have great microphones and commercial-sounding-voices. It gives your video that professional touch.
4) In order to keep people's attention, it is wise to add some background music. Thankfully, Wevideo has some built-in music options that can be used for free.
5) Now you want to sync your footage with the voiceover. This all comes down to timing. Fortunately, there are quick ways to cut down footage and edit audio levels.
6) You can add some text. I suggest adding your contact details (url, phone number etc.) towards the end of the video, right when you add your call-to-action.
7) Now you just need to export your video. It will take a few minutes for Wevideo to do this. Feel free to close your browser. They will send you an email once it is done.
There are other easy-to-use video editing software that produce great results. For instance, there is Explaindio (available for PC and Mac computers with at least 4GB of RAM). Explaindio has built in animated characters, green screen capabilities, and a host of other features. Alternatively, you can try out Moovly and/or Videoscribe.
##Promoting your video
Your video won't be seen by anyone unless it is marketed. Fortunately, there are some free and effective ways of promoting your video. On the other hand, there are some methods that cost money. For the sake of keeping you fully informed, we shall explore both.
Some people like to post links in every comment box and group they see on Facebook. I don't advocate that you do this. Instead, get involved in conversations with your target audience. Once you have developed a connection with them, send them a link to your video. Although this approach takes longer, it yields better results than spamming people with your links. Moreover, when sharing a link to your video, give a quick explanation as to how it is of relevance to the conversation.
There is a forum for practically every topic. Therefore, join forums that your target market are members of. Put a link to your promotional video and website in the signature. Become a useful member of the forum, and traffic will come to your video. In fact, this also helps to boost search engine rankings
If you have an email list- and you should- send them a newsletter containing a link to your new video. Secondly, send an email to past customers and/or website visitors. It can be a nice way for them to take another look at what you have to offer them.
Marketers love Facebook because of the wide range of targeting options available. You can send people directly to your video and pay per click of your link, or for every 1000 people who see your ad. Be as specific as possible about the people who see your ad. After running ads for myself and clients, I have noticed that the 'Audience network' display option consistently outperforms the other options.
You can use Google's massive network to market your video. Adwords allow you to display your video ad to a specific audience.
What better way to make a good first impression than by embedding your video into your homepage?
Once you have created your video and uploaded it to a video hosting site (we suggest Youtube), you need to be able to evaluate how well it is doing. Youtube has a great analytics dashboard that can be accessed through 'Account manager'. It allows you to view detailed demographic data about viewers. This can be fed into your marketing efforts and help refine your target demographic.
Video can set freelancers apart and allow them to rise above the competition. A freelancer could convert their pitch into a video and set a good first impression on potential clients.
Some people use their websites as a portfolio, and a way of gaining employment. A 1 minute video version of your CV and cover letter gives an advantage in a hyper-competitive job market.
A video of your work history is a great addition to your Linkedin page. Headhunters use Linkedin all the time to find outstanding candidates. A video could open the door for a rewarding new job and a higher salary.
###Ecommerce site owners
Showing your product in action is a powerful way of influencing people towards buying from you.
Businesses that sell services or products to other businesses know how difficult it can be to finalize a deal. Business owners want to see the possibility for a good return on their investment. Fortunately, a video allows you to be more convincing via the use of graphs, demonstrations, and video testimonials.
Whether you are blogging for fun or profit, a video can make your blog concept easily understood.
A video is one of the most powerful marketing tactics, it has the ability to capture a users attention better than any other form of media. Not only that, it can show your product or convey your message in a much more detailed and powerful way. With the information above you should now be able to script and look at developing your own video.
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