This is a guest post by Eric Hinson.
You’re either struggling to convert enough leads – or you’ve got plenty of them, but the vast majority are nowhere near qualified.
This is a problem, right? In order for your funnel to work its magic, you’ve got to generate more – and more qualified – leads.
There are plenty of tested strategies for better lead generation out there. And one of the best opportunities to increase conversions and drive more leads into your funnel – is video.
Video: The Ultimate Lead-Generation Tool
Stats show video is incredible at driving conversions and sales. For example:
- Shoppers who watch video are 174% more likely to purchase than non-video viewers.
- Site visitors who watch video will stay on your site twice as long – and visit twice as many pages – as those who don’t.
- Video increases landing-page conversions by as much as 80%.
There’s just one problem with all this.
A lot of companies (and video producers!) suffer from a serious lack of imagination when it comes to top-of-funnel, conversion-focused video marketing. It seems like most companies create an explainer video or a live-action brand anthem chock-full of stock footage… and that’s it. They slap that video on their homepage and hope for the best. And they’re disappointed when video doesn’t deliver.
The good news? Video is capable of so much more. Video can be a conversion machine. So let’s look at a few ways you can get more out of your homepage/landing page video – and go beyond it! – to create video marketing content that will take your lead-generation efforts to new heights.
Use video as your automated lead qualifier.
Sure, you want more leads – but you also want more of the right leads. The problem with your homepage (and the rest of your website) as a lead qualifier is that you don’t want to overwhelm your audience with copy. So while your copy may be powerful and may drive lots of conversions, those leads may not have enough context to know whether or not you’re a perfect fit for them – which means your sales team spends lots more time on calls, qualifying those prospects.
Why not let video help your audience self-select? Video content – especially high-level positioning videos, like an explainer – gives you the opportunity to spend more time speaking directly to your target audience, speaking to their pain points and offering benefits that are attractive to them. And your visitors who aren’t a good fit can feel comfortable moving on, without wasting their (or your) time on a sales call.
Of course, video content won’t eliminate all of your unqualified leads… but it will certainly thin the herd, allowing your sales staff to focus more of their time on the prospects who are more likely to buy.
Turn your video into a conversion point.
If you’re making use of video as a lead-generation tool, why would you make your audience look elsewhere to follow that CTA? With the right video hosting platform, you can turn your video into its own conversion point.
Some hosting platforms (like Wistia) make this really easy. You can turn your video into a clickable call to action, so viewers can easily move to your landing page and take that next step – sign up for a free trial, schedule a demo, or download a whitepaper.
Or, you can create an email turnstile so that viewers are asked to provide their email address before watching your video.
Don’t worry, you can allow viewers to skip so that they don’t feel coerced. What’s important here is that clickable CTAs and turnstiles take your video from taking up space on your site – and turning it into a powerful point of conversion.
Put more videos in more places.
Homepage and landing-page videos are great, but you’re asking a lot of one video if you’re relying on it to carry the weight of your conversions – especially if some of your visitors aren’t even landing on your homepage to begin with!
You have a golden opportunity to drive more leads with relevant video content placed strategically across your website. How about:
A demo video – or series of demo videos – on your Product page. Sure, you can show off some screenshots of your software, but they aren’t very meaningful without context. That’s why the folks at Basecamp include a 2-minute demo video at the top of their product page.
You don’t just see screenshots; you actually see the software in action. And when your customer actually sees your product or software in action, they’re much more likely to imagine themselves using it. Bonus points to Basecamp for having a member of their product team onscreen to talk about the software!
A company culture video on your About page. So much of the modern business experience happens online, it can be easy for your customers to forget that behind your website are real people. A company culture video is a great antidote for that problem.
Take this video from app-development group Crema:
Just like with a demo video, if potential clients can see real people from your company showing their values and their personality, those clients are much more likely to see themselves working with your company.
A wealth of video content on your blog. The company blog probably isn’t going away anytime soon. But considering that visual content boosts people’s willingness to read a post by 80%, and that 59% of executives would rather watch a video than read text, it would be a big mistake to think you can keep writing text-only blog posts and continue to drive the engagement you want. So why not supplement your blog posts with video content? Not surprisingly, the video-hosting gurus at Wistia are champions of the video blog:
It’s not about replacing text with video. It’s about offering your audience more ways to consume the incredible information you have to share.
If you create more video content like this – and include a strong CTA in each one – you’ll be offering your audience more rich, engaging content, and more opportunities to opt into your funnel.
Another element of video placement on your site is where those videos are located on each page. There have been countless articles written about video placement, but here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Keep your video “above the fold.” Viewers shouldn’t have to scroll down to see your video.
- Choose a thumbnail that makes people want to watch. Make it irresistible!
- DO NOT, under any circumstances, set your video to auto-play. One of the great things about video marketing is your audience’s ability to choose to watch – if you take that away, you’re defeating the purpose.
- Let people know that it’s a video. Make sure the “play” button stands out, include copy around the video that encourages people to watch. Eliminate any friction between your viewer and your video.
Make your lead magnet a video.
So far, we’ve looked at the front end of lead conversion – how to make your videos more conducive to driving leads. But the flip-side of this coin is your lead magnet. Is the offer that you’re using to entice visitors to give up their contact information actually… well, enticing?
Most lists of great lead-magnet examples include video. And it makes sense, right? Your audience could download an ebook or a worksheet, but how much more appealing would it be if you offered them a recorded video webinar? Or a multi-video series teaching them really valuable, actionable information?
If it’s done well, video is an incredible incentive for your site visitors to take the plunge into your marketing funnel. And because it’s so valuable, you could potentially convince them to provide more contact info in your form!
Use video testimonials to showcase real-life happy clients.
It’s a proven fact that consumers love reviews. Online reviews play heavily into conversions and, ultimately, their purchasing decisions. But if you’re an agency or a SaaS company, you’re not getting reviewed on Yelp.
So how do you harness the power of reviews for your business?
I’d recommend recording video testimonials of your best clients. Sure, a written blurb on your site is great – but nothing beats seeing a real, live person talking about your brand. Besides, your audience is way more interested in what your clients are saying about you than what you’re saying about you. So why not make it easy for them to do that?
Use video to avoid missed opportunities and win back unsubscribes.
What about those site visitors who leave, never to return – or worse, what about those leads who have made it into your funnel, only to unsubscribe and disappear into the digital ether? If you’re like me, you are probably up at night wondering what you could have done differently.
This is your chance to get really creative. Having a hard time getting visitors to convert? With the right software, you can add video to your exit-intent lightbox that offers viewers additional engaging content – which could make them reconsider bouncing.
Or, if you’re combating a high email unsubscribe rate, a funny, lighthearted video could remind your audience why they joined your email list in the first place. Groupon’s got a great example of this.
Obviously you won’t turn every site visitor into a lead, and you won’t be able to talk every unsubscriber into hanging on for another email, but video is a great way to inject some personality into your marketing hail-marys and give your audience another reason to stick around and listen to what you have to say.
Just don’t forget your conversion video!
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that – even though you need to go beyond the homepage explainer or top-of-funnel video – you certainly shouldn’t skip it! Remember, these bad boys can increase conversions by up to 80%… so don’t knock ‘em.
Top-of-funnel video has been shown time and again to drive action. Here are a few examples:
- Neil Patel’s CrazyEgg saw a 64% increase in conversions with an explainer video – and it resulted in $21,000 in extra income every month!
- In their early days, a top-of-funnel video increased Dropbox’s signups by 10%.
- When software company CaseComplete launched their homepage video, they saw a 23% increase in conversions in just 2 weeks.
The best part of all this is you don’t have to just trust that video is increasing conversions and helping you crush your lead-gen goals. You can actually measure your success! Platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, Vidyard and – our favorite – Wistia all allow you to track important metrics. You can see how many people who land on your page are actually watching your video, how much of the video they’re watching, and most importantly, whether or not they take the action you’re asking them to take. And, of course, you can test things outside of the actual video, like A/B testing the size, placement and prominence of the thumbnail – or even whether the page performs better with or without video. You can use all this rich data to optimize your video strategy, just as you would any other element of your digital marketing efforts.
Naturally, video isn’t a stand-alone solution for boosting your lead generation efforts. If you’re not incorporating videos into a larger digital marketing strategy, you’ll likely be disappointed by the results (or lack thereof).
But if you offer your visitors a wealth of informative, engaging video content placed strategically throughout your site, you’ll be giving them even more of the content they demand – and make it more appealing for them to convert.
So… how will you use video?
Eric Hinson is the Founder and CEO of Explainify, which makes short, animated explainer videos that tell stories, engage customers, and drive sales. Oh, and he has a free storytelling guide you should check out, called Cut the Crap and Close More Deals.