Online video is a great way to:
Motion pictures have been working in this capacity since the early days of film. Video truly proved itself during the age of television. Now, online video is set to do in a few years what television took decades to accomplish.
Your Company Can Benefit or Just Watch
The Internet has made us all TV producers. Not everyone has embraced this new reality – the "couch potato" companies – and many of those who are embracing it are imitating what they've seen on TV.
Most of the television we've watched during our lifetime has been about generating advertising revenues. As commercial corporations, we aren't looking to sell advertising.
We want to sell our products and services. We want to get a reaction from those who are watching; a reaction that will put money in our pockets and grow our bottom line.
Here are the formulas that will turn your video into a lead generation and sales tool.
Creating Video in the Laboratory
At its core, video is produced by combining motion and sound.
Figure 1: The elements of an online video
This double-whammy of motion and sound stimulates the human "lizard brain" that seeks to protect us from predators. However, this cave-man-era brain quickly loses interest when we realize the video isn't a saber-toothed tiger.
I'll also show those who think they're making TV commercials how to make video that generates leads and sales instead.
Let's look at a special kind of video called conversion video.
The term "conversion" means converting a viewer into one of the precious metals:
Figure 2: We seek to create the precious metals
A lead is a prospect that has invited you to continue communicating with them by giving you their contact information and permission to reach out to them.
Sales? Well that's what makes your business a business. If I need to expand on that point, this isn't for you.
Here's the reaction we think we're going to get from our video:
Figure 3: Video and traffic alone won't react to generate sales
Our assumption is that, if we create a video and people see it, they will buy from us.
The Fallacy of the Viral Video
This is the trap too many of us are falling into. We think that if a video "goes viral" (gets spontaneously passed around the Internet) that a multitude of sales will ensue. Most of the time, it's not true.
Some sales may be generated by the sheer volume of traffic:
Figure 4: Viral video alone may generate some sales
But the cost of generating the traffic (traphite) will outweigh the revenue from sales.
Viral traffic must be seeded with paid traffic. It isn't free.
Conversion Video Is Different
We need to add a reason to keep watching, a "what's in it for me?" aspect.
We need to make a promise, a promise that, if someone keeps watching, they will be entertained, or their life or career will improve.
In the ad world, we call this an offer (offerous).
Figure 5: Elements of a conversion video
An offer does not have to be an offer to buy your product or service.
It can also be a call to buy from you.
Conversion Video Generates Traffic
Won't an offer in the video decrease viral traffic?
Much of the time, yes.
An offer in your video would be expected to reduce viral traffic because the offer makes the video more promotional.
This is OK.
Do you want lots of viral traffic that doesn't generate business, or do you want less traffic that makes the cash register ring?
Search Engines Think Video Is Hot
Conversion video not only generates free traffic, it works to convert those visitors into buyers, new clients for your business.
Right now, the search engines are giving special treatment to video, and you can take advantage of this to bring visitors to your video who are interested in what you sell.
But, as we've seen, traffic and video alone won't generate leads and sales.
The Video Landing Page
Our video should live on a special kind of web page, a page that will help the search engines find us, and work to convert visitors into leads or customers.
We call this a video landing page.
Figure 6: Elements of a video landing page
When we combine our video with an offer and a form that asks the visitor to do something, we create a special kind of page called a landing page (landinum).
Landing pages are single-minded pages designed to get a reaction.
Visitors love landing pages because they can find exactly what they are looking for without hunting through a whole website.
Landing pages typically convert much better than home pages.
Traffic and Video Landing Pages REACT
Our landing page, which contains video, offer, and form (formaldehyde) is now going to convert our visitors into leads and buyers.
The precious metal traphite (traffic) can be generated by advertising, email, search engine marketing, social media marketing, or any of the many options we have to get eyeballs.
Figure 7: The landing page REACTS with traffic to create leads and sales
We now have a conversion video strategy that:
Creating a Video Landing Page in the Laboratory
One simple way to lay out a landing page is shown in Figure 8. This style benefits from having the promise, video, offer, and trust-building elements above the proverbial "fold" where all are likely to be seen.
Figure 8: The basic layout of a video landing page
See a sample video landing page and watch Getting a Reaction from Online Video, an extended video version of this column.
To leverage the power of video in your marketing, you need to add some offer into the mix and create a video landing page. When you drive traffic to this page, you create the sought-after precious metals of leads and sales.
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With 15 years of online marketing experience, Brian has designed the digital strategy and marketing infrastructure for a number of businesses, including his own technology consulting company, Conversion Sciences. He built his company to transform the Internet from a giant digital-brochure stand to a place where people find the answers they seek. His clients use online strategies to engage their visitors and grow their businesses. Brian has created a series of Web strategy workshops and authors the Conversion Scientist blog. Brian works from Austin, Texas, a place where life and the Internet are hopelessly intertwined.