Storytelling

How to Use Video Content to Generate Leads and Drive Sales

You can blend a Rubik’s Cube. Seriously, you can put a Rubik’s cube in a Blendtec blender, and it’ll shred the toy to pieces of sharp confetti. Same with golf balls, glow sticks, and iPhones. I wouldn’t recommend putting any of those in your next smoothie, but I would recommend watching Blendtec’s “Will It Blend?” YouTube series, which shows that any brand, no matter how sexy the product, can use video to drive sales.

The series, which debuted over a decade ago, was one of the first majorly successful examples of video content marketing. Clips helped drive sales of the blender up 500 percent in 2008 without any over calls-to-action.

The takeaway was clear. Video could be so much more than just a tool for flashy commercials and basic brand awareness. Media and marketing experts have been anointing video as the trend of the year for over a decade. The key to turning that prediction into a reality is if brands can figure out how to make video work throughout the entire marketing funnel.

How video content can help drive leads

Videos that build awareness will attract eyeballs and give your brand some necessary visibility. But it’s important to create clips that can have a more tangible impact on your business. After all, you can attract potential customers at the top of the funnel, but there’s no guarantee they’re going to stick around when it’s time to make a purchase.

You need high engagement to retain an audience, and that’s where middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) content comes in. MOFU videos, when done right, accomplish the heavy lifting of sustaining engagement and can turn people into leads.

MOFU content lays the foundation for product consideration, the step before the conversion phase. At least 47 percent of buyers will view 3-5 pieces of content before getting in touch with a sales rep. Naturally, consumers want to see content that helps them make an educated and informed decision as to whether your product or service is the right choice. MOFU content plays a crucial role here because its purpose is to educate customers, who are aware of a brand but not yet ready to purchase.

How does video impact this relationship? A study from Animoto found that 4x as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. Additionally, prospects who watch product demos are 1.81 times more likely to purchase than non-viewers. Product videos, whether they’re demos or instructional in nature, garner high levels of engagement, making them perfect for the MOFU stage.

Even if you can’t create a web series like Blendtec, you can choose a number of other formats including:

  • Explainer videos (focused on industry topic)
  • Live-streams/presentations
  • Q&A videos
  • Video case study
  • Video product tour

Where TOFU videos can assume the form of narrative-driven films or comedic sketches, MOFU videos need to shift focus onto more educational/informative content.

That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a light-hearted. You can implement a tone, visual style and production aesthetic that makes it fun to watch, even if your objective is to deliver facts and information.

How video content can help drive sales and conversions

Video format can also be very powerful when used at the bottom of the funnel (BOFU) to boost sales or even to promote upsell opportunities once prospects become clients.

The stats back this up. Fifty percent of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before buying, and as many as 80 percent of consumers believe demonstration videos are helpful when making purchases.

When video content is personalized, it is even more successful at fueling conversions. Personalized video combines the visual appeal of motion pictures with the increasing demand for one-to-one communications between brands and audiences.

A strong example of personalized success is AFP Habitat‘s video pension statements. The Chilean pension provider had the goal of motivating 2 million members to open new accounts or make additional pension contributions. Understanding that many people have difficulty interpreting text-based pension statements, AFP Habitat opted to educate customers with an interactive personalized video.

The video displayed client pension funds and changes made to their contributions. It also contained a breakdown of their balances and detailed options to optimize their pension plan along with the benefits of doing so.

This is where I come into the story. AFB Habitat distributed this content through IndiVideo, a video platform created by our agency BlueRush. We saw firsthand how the firm’s videos made a concrete impact on the bottom line. More than 70 percent of viewers watched the entire video, 90 percent of viewers reported having a better understanding of their pension statements, and 65 percent of viewers opened another account or increased their pension contributions.

Contrary to popular belief, content marketing videos can be produced with the goal to directly increase product sales, not just for educational or storytelling purposes. Don’t be afraid to adapt content traditionally used for sales teams with video.

An animated whiteboard style may not fit your brand per se, but there are several other formats that could help you drive sales including:

  • Customer testimonials
  • Product comparisons & reviews
  • Personalized videos
  • Marketing emails with embedded videos
  • Unboxing videos (if you sell a physical product)

The key to using a sales/conversion-focused video is presenting it in the right context. In other words, a video that’s aiming to convert should be deployed when your customers have already demonstrated significant interest in your brand and product offering.

Videos can serve as powerful assets beyond the top of the funnel. You don’t need to able to solve a Rubik’s cube to figure that out.

Image by Ilkercekic
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