3 Easy Steps to Get Sales with Video

14th May 2019

written by George Hughes

3 Easy Steps to Get Sales with Video

Video is dominating the digital marketing space at the moment and the statistics speak for themselves. According to Google nearly 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store and video ads have an average click-through rate of 1.84% – the highest of all digital ad formats. (Business Insider). But what’s the best way to drive sales for your business with video?

When it come to sales, Google describes the consumer marketing journey in its own framework “See, Think, Do”. In short, these are the 3 phases a customer goes through before buying your product. First, it is awareness of your product or service. Next, they signal an intention to buy and finally, they buy.

Whether you are a B2C brand selling a consumer product or a B2B business selling a service, you need to create a funnel of interest and leads at the start of your consumer’s journey and then guide them through these 3 steps before asking for a sale. The best way to do this is with either an online advertising campaign, an email marketing campaign or a mix of both.

1. Inform

Run some general awareness video adverts on either Google, Youtube or Social Media. This is for the people that don’t know you and haven’t even heard of you. Get them familiar with your business through targeted video adverts. Identify your audience first, decide where the best place is to reach them, then create adverts that softly introduce you to them. Don’t try to strong-arm them with a sale at this point. Brands that use video marketing grow their year-over-year revenue 49% faster than brands that don’t. (Wirebuzz)

2. Educate

Often, your ideal customer doesn’t know they have a problem that you can solve so begin to educate them. Let them know about the value of your product and why it is a good fit for them. In their buyer journey, when they are in Google’s “Think” phase, they will be seeking out information before making a decision so this is a great time to educate them. In fact, searches related to “how to” on YouTube have grown 70% year on year. (Google) Either send videos to your prospects via email (if you’ve captured their information) or re-market to them via Google or Facebook pixel. As I’ve talked about in a previous blog, think about creating videos that focus on the problem rather than the product. For example, if long distance runner is having a problem with blisters and your product solves that, then create content that unpacks “why” blisters happen in the first place, then how your product helps.

3. Offer

Buyers love a deal so run a promotion and deliver the promotion in a video. Run these videos as either 15 second adverts to the same audience you have raised awareness with, re-market to your existing audience or email them directly. Remember to have a finite time-frame on your offer and a definitive cut off point. The video should have a very strong call-to-action so prospects know how to redeem the offer. And remember to keep your videos nice and short. Nearly two-thirds of consumers prefer video under 60 seconds. (Insivia)

A recent survey by (Buffer) found that 73% of marketers said they’d create more video content if there were no obstacles like time, resources, and budget. But always consider that if you create a well-structured video marketing campaign just once, it’s much easier to then replicate it. It will be worth the time, resources and budget you may waste on less effective strategies.

If you want to talk to us about how to drive sales for your business using video then drop us a line at info@smallfilms.com

The word branded content gets banded around quite frequently but what does it actually mean? How does it specifically apply to video? And how can I use it to win more customers?

Wikipedia (always to be taken with a pinch of salt) defines Branded Content as “the practice of marketing via the creation of content that is funded or outright produced by an advertiser” as opposed to “content marketing” which “is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online.” Surely then that’s different to advertising which Wiki describes as “Advertising is a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea”?

Confused? You are not alone. I’ve sat through many talks with industry leaders who often find it hard to put their finger on the true definition of “branded content”. The lines between advertising and content marketing are often blurred, but one truth remains; branded content offers value to the audience but serves the brand that created it.

If you are interested in what counts as branded content and how to define it then here’s a series of examples from the Haagen Dazs Youtube Channel…

This is their advert. No two ways about it. They are showing the product and pushing their agenda.

But then look at these three videos and their different forms of branded content.

This film was made by well-known filmmaker Morgan Spurlock. It’s a mini documentary that is sponsored by Haagen Dazs. So its branded content right? Seems simple enough.

And what about this video? It tells the story of the Jam Stand company. Seems like a classic bit of content marketing; an interesting story about these entrepreneurs, with a bit of product placement toward the end.

But then it gets slightly confusing. This video is an amazing 360 VR experience looking at the plight of the honey bee. Its a great bit of content that adds value for people watching. But it was commissioned by Haagen Dazs to shout about the social purpose work they are doing so it’s strongly pushing their agenda. So is it branded content or a clever bit of advertising?

Ultimately semantics aside, there’s one thing that unites all three pieces of branded content; they all put the “Audience-First” by offering value to the audience rather than being just a straight-up advert. And when you are creating video, this part is critical if you want to generate more interest in your company, greater customer allegiance and sales.

So how do I create branded content for my business?

Its actually quite simple to create your own branded content. It just takes a bit of planning and a strong understanding of your target audience.

Think about your customer demographics and what interests them. Then start to build a content plan around that. Remember, you are putting your “audience first”, not your company agenda. So all the videos need to be informative, educational, interesting or entertaining. Don’t push the company agenda too heavily. Give your audience something first and then be grateful when they give you their allegiance.

For example, if you are a tech company that’s developed a new app to help people find car parking spots then what content would your customers find useful? A video guide to all the different ways you can pay for parking? Videos with insider tips on parking in major UK cities? You can even start to look at concepts that are less directly aligned with your company’s purpose like “DAB Radio Stations reviews”, “How to avoid road rage” and “Cheap fuelling spots in the UK”.

If your company has a social purpose or passion that you are aligned with, then explore creating content around that. So if your Parking App company also campaigns for the promotion of electric cars or you back an environmental charity then why not start a web series interviewing interesting people about those subjects?

Back when I worked in the TV industry in the development department, we’d cook up ideas for television series in a brainstorming meeting. Once we’d considered the TV channel we were pitching to and its tone of voice, as well as the viewer demographic we were appealing to, we’d come up with ideas that we thought they might like. We’d then plan out every episode of the series with post-its on a whiteboard until we had a well-formed plan to pitch to the commissioners at the TV channel.

The same plan of action should be taken when creating a branded content plan. Think of your Youtube channel as your own TV channel and you need to create different TV series to populate that channel. How frequently do you want episodes to show? Once a week? 2 per month? And how many months will the series last before you assess its success?

Why bother when I can just run paid adverts?

The online landscape is saturated with advertising. We are bombarded with it day in, day out. People are becoming desensitised to advertising and we’re learning to tune it out. Not to say that online adverts don’t have their place; they absolutely do. They are great for brand awareness, direct calls to action and can even go viral in their own right. But if you want to cut through the noise and engage your customers on a more meaningful level then you need to be creating your own branded content video plan.

I truly believe that brands can be the driving force behind meaningful video content that adds value to people’s lives. And the good news is you don’t have to be a multi-national conglomerate to do it. In fact, for startups and SMEs, branded content can be one of the most affordable and effective ways of generating new business. So what are you waiting for?

If you want to talk to us about how to create branded content for your business then drop us a line at info@smallfilms.com

Video is now the undisputed king of content marketing formats. By 2022, video internet traffic will account for a staggering 82% of all consumer internet traffic, and with its increase in popularity and advances in digital technology, video is becoming more and more accessible and affordable to small and medium-sized businesses as an effective marketing tool. Of course, it’s not rocket science, but commissioning a business video for the first time can be a little confusing. Should it be short or long, animated or live-action, optimised for mobile or desktop devices? Will you be needing music, voiceover, a professional cast – or even perhaps a filming permit? And what on earth does bandwidth have to do with it?

The starting point with any marketing campaign is the strategy – so if you’re having problems understanding your POVs from your OVPs  – here is Small Films layman’s guide to creating an effective marketing strategy and concept for your business video.

Define your business

Who are you? Start by taking an overview of your business. What is your ‘brand’ – your business character, your values, your mission? How does your audience currently perceive you and what do they need to know about you to make better purchasing decisions?

Who are they? To target your video correctly you need to know detailed information about your audience. What is your customer base? Do some market research in the form of surveys, questionnaires, interviews or social media polls. Develop insights into your customers base’s demographic, character and purchasing behaviour. It might help to create some user personas of typical customers to focus your efforts (you can find some tips on how to develop these here.)

Define your goals

The stats say that video is the most effective content marketing tool for businesses – but a video for video’s sake will not bring the desired results. Create some measurable objectives. What exactly are you trying to achieve – what’s your key message? Do you want to educate about your product, raise awareness of your brand, foster emotional connections with your audience, drive web traffic or generate sales? Be specific, set KPIs and make sure the outcomes from your business video campaign are measurable and fit in with your wider business goals.

Define the market

Who are your competitors and what are other people in your industry space doing with business video and content marketing? What are they doing well and what elements are they missing? What styles are they using and how are they using them? There’s no point doing exactly the same as the competition, even if they are doing it brilliantly. Find your niche. How can you be different or better? What can you do with business video to stand out in your industry space?

Define your platforms

Decide how you want to distribute your business video – will you be using it in email, embedding it on your website, advertising on Facebook, setting up a YouTube channel –  or do you need your video to be optimised or repurposed for several platforms?

Define your budget

Make sure you have a ballpark figure of how much your business is willing to spend on video. If you are considering using a video production company or freelancer, any reputable professional will need a rough estimate of the budget to give you an accurate idea of what sort of video you might expect to get. A business video could cost anything from £1500 to £30k depending on the length, effects, location etc, so being transparent at the beginning of the process is the best way of managing everyone’s expectations.

Define your creative concept

And finally the fun bit! You know you need a business video. You’ve defined your marketing objectives and target audience, reviewed the competition, set the budget and you’re ready to go. Your final challenge is to come up with THE IDEA. That creative nugget that will strike a chord and prompt a (positive) reaction with the people that matter most – your potential customers.

Depending on which type of video you have decided to go for in line with your business objectives (case study, explainer video, brand film, interview, special event etc), decide what specific problem you are aiming to address. Then get brainstorming! Look at lots of examples of business videos across industries and make a note of styles, themes or approaches that you like. Come together in a team to review your ideas and make sure you are all on the same page. Do you want quirky, funny, professional, informative or inspiring? Pick one concept and then brainstorm specific ideas for how these might be executed. Think also about whether you would like extras such as voice over, music, special effects or animation. Again – don’t be afraid to use real examples  – any extra information you can provide will ultimately help your video production company come up with the best solution for your business.

Now you have everything you need to get started with video for your small business. If you’d like to chat about how Small Films could help you take your business video strategy and concept further, contact us here.

Small Films is a video production company. By combining strategic minds with creative flair we create powerful stories with videos that deeply resonate with audiences, supporting our clients to achieve their ambitions in growing their organisation, brand or campaign.
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