From online streaming services to YouTube, Instagram and beyond, videos have become an integral part of how we live. Studies show that internet users spend close to 25% of all their bandwidth watching video content. A good chunk of this bandwidth is spent on content produced by businesses to increase their branding and visibility.
2018 has proved to be massive in terms of video content generation. There has been more video content generated in the past 30 days than has been produced by U.S. television networks in the past 30 years.
One study predicts that at the given rate, more than a million minutes of video content will pass through global IP networks each second by 2021.
Despite its popularity, videos are still primarily used by marketers for branding and exposure purposes alone. However, videos deliver high engagement rates among viewers and this makes it a great format for lead generation.
Here are some important tips to help you turn your videos into lead generation machines.
Email Gating Your Videos
One of the most effective ways to capture leads with video is through email gating. Viewers to your site are granted access to watch the video only after inputting their email or phone credentials.
It needs to be pointed out that this strategy does not work all the time and is not applicable to all types of video marketing campaigns. For example, if your objective is to make a video viral, it is important to distribute your video freely across all social media channels. Gating your content may fail to deliver results in such cases.
However, email gating works really well for content that the viewer is desperate to access. Examples for such content include webinars, paid content (that is free for users who provide their email), and copyrighted content (that is not easily accessible).
Using CTAs Appropriately
Call-to-Actions (CTA’s) are by far the most popular lead capturing technique. With video marketing, there are two different strategies a marketer could adopt.
The first strategy is the use of annotations and end-cards on channels like YouTube. Annotations allow users to include links to other videos within YouTube while end-cards allow them to take the viewer to a third party link — a landing page for lead capture, in this case. The CTA may also be provided as part of the description field on a stickied comment.
The second strategy is the use of oral calls to action by the video presenter. This is an effective strategy when your video marketing campaigns are distributed through influencers. Influencers are YouTube — or Instagram, as the case may be — users with a significant following of users from your niche. An oral CTA urging viewers to sign up for a free trial or to download an ebook can be quite effective.
Using Live Video
Social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook now allows users to stream videos live over these platforms. Viewers love watching live streams not only from industry events but also of training classes and ‘behind the scenes’ videos from your organization. One study published by Research and Markets predicts the video streaming market to be worth $70 billion by 2021.
From a marketing perspective, live video streams offer a great opportunity to capture leads. There are a number of different ways to do this. One very popular strategy is to market the event sufficiently before the actual date and capture the leads of target customers who would like to be notified when you go live. Another strategy is to capture leads of users who missed an event and would love to get a copy of the recorded event. If the live stream is highly targeted to a niche, you may also use vocal CTAs during the stream to nudge users download an ebook or sign up for a limited period free signup.
Creating Meaningful Content for Sales Teams
Quite often, sales get left out of the video marketing experience. To increase your chances of quality lead acquisition, you must integrate different video marketing techniques into the sales process. Video voicemails, product demos, and customer testimonial videos can work magically for you.
Including links to such videos from your email signature or as part of your marketing brochures can bring in a steady stream of new leads to your business.
Studies show that personalization can help marketers improve conversion from their lead generation campaigns. You could make use of tools like Blender and Lightworks that are free to use and have powerful features to repurpose your marketing videos for each client.
What Type of Videos Work Best?
There are a number of video formats that work best under various circumstances. Here is a short list of such formats and how you may generate leads with them.
Explainer videos: These are top-of-the-funnel marketing videos that serve as a sales pitch to what your business does. A well-executed explainer video strategy can help build engagement and intrigue among viewers and nudge them to take action.
Educational videos: This includes webinars, industry-focused YouTube videos, and viral mini-documentaries. Such videos are in high demand among target viewers. More importantly, they help establish your business as an authority in your industry that also contributes towards branding and awareness.
Video testimonials: Video testimonials deliver a lot of social proof value and credibility to your brand. Testimonials, by themselves, are not sufficient to convert viewers into leads. However, when deployed in the right context (as a part of an email conversation or at the bottom of your landing page), they offer viewers the much-needed nudge to convert.
Case studies: Case studies are a healthy mix of explainer videos, educational content and testimonials packaged into one product. They explain the problems faced by a client and also educate the viewer of your business’ capabilities to solve these issues. This consequently has a relatively high conversion rate since it uses a story-telling technique to sell your brand offerings.
Promotional videos: Promotional videos include both sponsored video content as well as viral videos that are produced for the sake of branding. While sponsored video content often come equipped with lead capture forms, this is not the case with viral videos. Not surprisingly, viral videos tend to have the largest reach with a significantly lower conversion rate.
Success with video marketing cannot be pinned down completely to science. As a marketer, you must feel free to experiment with different approaches to create a strategy that works perfectly for your business.