Humans overwhelmingly prefer visuals to text.
There's a reason for that:
“Words are processed by our short-term memory where we can only retain about seven bits of information (plus or minus two). This is why, by the way, that we have seven-digit phone numbers. Images, on the other hand, go directly into long-term memory where they are indelibly etched.”
- Dr. Lynell Burmark, Ph.D. Associate at the Thornburg Center for Professional Development and writer of several books and papers on visual literacy:
Put simply, visuals give the brain a break.
The average modern human is bombarded by a multitude of data on a daily basis. Television commercials, email newsletters, and pop-over advertisements are frequent distractions. Not to mention the data we actually have to consume in order to competently do our jobs.
With this in mind – I'm sure you'll agree – we need all the help we can get!
And that's precisely where video comes in...
Why Video Marketing Eliminates The Competition
Observe a child watching his first movie, and you'll be reminded of the power of video.
While infographics are a valuable marketing tool, video takes lead generation to an entirely different level.
Video, and how to best use it in marketing, is on everyone's mind, which is why industry heavyweights around the world officially declared 2016 "The Year of Video."
- Watching videos on the Internet averaged less than 3 hours a month in 2008.
- Watching videos on the Internet increased to nearly 11 hours a month by 2015.
- The sum of media requested by, and delivered to, consumers on mobile devices averages at more than 15 hours of consumption a day.
- Nine in ten adults now own a smartphone (and the majority of them are watching videos).
- At least 1 billion videos have played on Facebook every day since 2014.
Yet, from what we've seen, VERY few businesses are actually utilizing video marketing to its full potential.
They are intimidated...
Which means there is room for YOU to step-in and become an industry leader with video.
If the "intimidation-factor" is what has been holding you back, fear not. For the remainder of this article, we'll be discussing 7 simple ways you can use video to eliminate the competition.
But first, a reminder on what you need to get started...
Before you begin publishing videos, there are a few things you need to have in place. NOTE: Each of the following bullets could easily be its own post. However, don't let their seeming complexity stop you from getting started. Your videos do NOT have to be perfect to make an impact!
- Have access to a high-quality camera (an iPhone 6 actually works great).
- Have access to professional lighting (three-point-lighting AND a backdrop).
- Have access to basic editing software (try Wistia).
Once you have the basics, you're ready to begin:
7 Ways to Eliminate The Competition with Video
1. Gate Your Content
Gating content is exactly what it sounds like – placing a barrier between your visitor and your property (in this case, we're dealing with intellectual property).
In exchange for providing contact information, "the gate is opened" and the visitor can interact with your content. Gating is used to take prospects from AWARENESS to CONSIDERATION in The Buyer's Journey.
Gates ONLY work when you have either...
a). Successfully invoked curiosity
b). Provided value in advance
Wistia, an online video-hosting platform, makes accomplishing these goals easy with Turnstyle. The program allows business owners to overlay forms (i.e. gates) over video content at any pre-determined moment. Thus, enabling you to peak interest before requesting contact information.
2. Include Call-to-Actions
This is "Marketing 101," yet many newbie video-makers forget about this step. A Call-to-Action (CTA) is a statement of what you want prospects to do next. Obviously, your directive will depend on what goal you want to accomplish.
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Fail to conclude with a CTA, and you risk losing your visitors' attention. A split test conducted by Vidyard found free trial sign-ups increased by 20 percent when accompanied with a CTA.
If you're just getting started, you can easily create CTAs using both YouTube Annotations and cards. Finally, always finish by telling readers where they can go to learn more about your company.
3. Incorporate Videos Into Landing Pages
A landing page is a web page with one goal: Conversion.
There are no navigation menus, no side-bars, and no distractions. In this way, YOU are leading the conversation. Your main message (ultimately, requesting an action) takes center-stage.
If you're already planning on creating a landing page for lead nurturing, why not add video? CLICK HERE to check-out some examples of companies using video landing pages with amazing results.
4. Create Video Testimonials
Old-school advertising calls it "the bandwagon effect."
New-school marketing calls it "social proof."
Either way, it's the increased likelihood of someone to trust a product or service when it's already being endorsed by others. According to a survey of 2,000 U.S. adults for the American Lifestyles 2015 report, 70 percent of consumers rely on online reviews before making a purchase.
The reason a video testimonial is SO powerful? It's the closest experience we have to hearing an endorsement from a person in real life. The combination of facial expression, motion, and sound make for a more compelling presentation than text alone.
Tips for Success:
- Edit video testimonials to under 2 minutes (1 minute is better).
- Offer preferred customers an incentive in exchange for honest testimonials.
- Don't manipulate; use video testimonials with integrity.
5. Create Process Videos
A "Process Video" (also called an "Explainer Video") takes prospects behind the scenes. In essence, it explains how AND why you do what you do. This technique is particularly useful for product-based businesses and those of a creative nature.
American Giant: The company that sells premium hoodies, infamously had a 2-3 month waiting list when they first went viral. What helped them get there?
Besides a stellar word-of-mouth reputation – high-quality Process Videos that detailed how the most comfortable hoodie on Earth gets made. If you're not their target demographic (i.e. a nerds who are ridiculously passionate about hoodies – yes, I own three), you might find the video boring.
But, for the right person, it's the difference between thinking about buying one for months and actually doing it.
6. Create An Introductory Video
Similar to the Process Video, Introductory Videos give prospects a look inside the business. These videos usually consist of a brief interview with the creator of the product/service. Their purpose is "to introduce" a prospect to the company's primary mission.
Dollar Shave Club: The company is a subscription-based service that delivers monthly razors by mail. CEO Michael Dublin wrote the script and hired a comedian friend to produce the video.
Rumor has it, the video cost approximately $4,500, received more than 11 million views and garnered free publicity via several media outlets.
7. Answer FAQs
Does your company review many of the same questions OVER and OVER again? If so, you may want to consider addressing those frequently asked questions on YouTube.
Online eye-glasses retailer Warby Parker does this with great success. The company maintains an active Twitter presence and is known for addressing consumer questions in the form of "quick videos" on YouTube. The key here is QUICK.
For example, say you're a trademark attorney who is frequently asked: What are the usage requirements for trademarks registered in the European Union? Someone on your legal team could get behind the camera, answer the question, post the video on YouTube and send the asker the link.
Eventually, you could embed all of your FAQ videos onto your Website. Not only will your customers appreciate this, so will your staff! Having to answer repetitive inquiries gets old fast.
Video Marketing Eliminates The Competition
In 1980, MTV told us that "Video Killed The Radio Star."
As we've seen, video is STILL killing it today! If you have been considering incorporating video into your next marketing campaign, don't delay.
Begin right now, and learn as you go along. Master video now, and you'll be LIGHTYEARS ahead of industry competitors in the years to come (especially, if you're a B2B).
Got any questions we didn't cover?
Post them in the comments below.