It’s no secret that video content is really popular online right now. Just look at your Facebook feed, and you’ll see it filling up with videos. Or take a look at YouTube, where hours of video is uploaded to the site every second of the day.
Of course, a lot of these videos are about funny cats and all those other topics we love to pass around to our friends. But take a closer look, and you’ll find that many of the videos you enjoy – including those funny animal videos – are actually promotional videos. See those links at the end? Yep, that’s because the video wasn’t created solely for your entertainment. It was created because the video marketer wanted you to take some specific action when you finished watching the video. Here’s the good news… Video marketing is no longer reserved for those with five-figure production budgets or for their own in-home video studios. Chances are, you have almost everything you need to start putting video marketing to work for you. And that’s exactly what you’ll find out in this ‘crash course’ on video marketing.
- How to choose a product to promote.
- The best format to use to engage viewers.
- How to craft a compelling call to action that gets you plenty of clicks.
- How to distribute your video to rack up a ton of views.
And much more. By the time you’ve finished this article, you’ll be ready to roll out your own promotional video! Now, there are plenty of ways you can use video marketing to grow your business. Examples include:
- Growing your list. You can offer a free ‘how to’ video that is useful yet incomplete. Then, you’d present a link at the end of the video to your lead page, where viewers can get more information by joining your mailing list.
- Driving traffic to your site. The idea here is to create a viral video, such as something entertaining, humorous, inspirational or even controversial to drive traffic back to your site, to your Facebook Fan Page or anywhere else.
- Building your brand. A series of highly useful informational videos work well to build your brand, or you can build brand recognition with a well-done viral video that gets hundreds of thousands or even millions of views.
- Selling products or services. You can sell your own products and services as well as affiliate products or services with the help of Video Sales Letters.
The key to good video marketing is to know your goal before you start creating a video. For the purposes of this article, I’m going to focus on how to create videos that presell your products and services. The next step is for you to find out what type of video format to use for your promo video. You might be surprised by the options. What’s the best format for your promo video? Basically, there are three main types of videos for you to consider. This isn’t an exhaustive list of video formats, but these three tend to work well for promo videos. Take a look: 1. Talking head video. 2. Slide-show presentation. 3. Demo video. Let’s look at each of these separately… Talking-Head Video As the name implies, this is where you sit in front of the camera and talk. Generally, you just need a nice backdrop and decent lighting for this video. This format works well for many different types of videos, including product reviews, ‘how to’ videos, tips videos and so on. TIP: Here’s a good example of a talking head video: TED talks. These videos generally just show the person talking on a stage without any other visual aids or props. Of course, you don’t have to film yourself on a stage – just sitting in your office will do – but nonetheless, these are good videos to watch in order to learn about how to engage people on an emotional level. Next up… Slide Show Video These videos are basically PowerPoint-style presentations. The various slides may show graphics as well as the most important text. Take note: sometimes you see these slide-show videos with music, which requires the viewer to get the information by reading all the slides. Don’t do that. Instead, narrate the video. This keeps the viewer engaged and interested in your video, and then your text slides only need to highlight a few of the key points. Next… Demo Video This is where you narrate the video, but you don’t show yourself nor do you show slides. Instead, you show the product. For example:
- Screen-share video. This works well when you’re reviewing digital products such as ebooks and software. For example, you can take viewers through a tour of the software by showing them the dashboard, its features, and how it works.
- Product-demo video. If you have a physical product, you can show how to use this physical product. An example is showing how a blender works or showing the various features on a laptop.
- Strategy-demo video. If you’re selling an info product (like an eBook), you can demonstrate tips, tricks and strategies from the book. For example, if it’s a weight loss book, you can give a demonstration of one of the exercises.
And now for the question of the day… Which format should you choose? The answer to this depends on what you’re selling. In most cases, combining formats and including a demo component is your best option. In other words, you can do a slide-share and demo video, or you can do a talking-head and demo video. In other words, pick the option that works best for your needs (either slide share or talking head), and then plan how to work a demo component into your video. What’s your video about? You’ve got a product to promote, and you’ve got a format in mind. Now you need to decide what your video is going to be about, and how you’ll present this content. There are two approaches to take:
- Direct promotion approach. This is a sales video. You might demo the product, you might review it, or you might just directly promote it by sharing all the benefits of the product. (eg. create a mini sales letter.) You can even share case studies or testimonials in the video.
- Soft-sell approach. This is where you share information, such as tips or even a step-by-step guide, and then recommend the product to viewers. The idea is that your video is useful yet incomplete. It solves part of the viewer’s problem, but they need to purchase the recommended product in order to get the rest of the solution.
For example: perhaps you share seven dieting tips in your video, and then at the end of the video you recommend your viewers buy a particular book to get a complete diet plan. Which one should you use? The answer is both. You should incorporate both soft-sell and directly promotional videos into your video marketing. At times, you may even create a series of three to five videos that incorporate both approaches. Let me give you a specific example. Let’s continue with the example where you’re selling a diet book. You might create three videos that look like this:
- A video sharing three to ten dieting tips with a pitch for the book at the end.
- A case study showing the weight-loss results someone achieved using the diet. This case study should include before and after photos, measurements and weight.
- A demo video where you show some part of the diet strategy. For example, your video might demonstrate some of the exercises.
Alternatively, you might show how easy it is to prepare the recipes in the diet book. The point is people don’t often buy a product the first time they hear about it. That’s why it’s a good idea to reach out to your prospects multiple times to show them why the product would be a good fit for their needs. For now, let’s start with one video. Let me give you a few examples of how to promote different products using different video styles. Example 1: You’re selling a blogging guide. Your screen-share video could give step-by-step instructions for setting up a blog with a pitch for the course at the end. Example 2: You’re selling whey protein. Your slide-share video could cover three bodybuilding diet tips. One of these tips could be about getting the right amount of protein, which naturally leads to you recommending a protein supplement. Example 3: You’re selling spark plugs for a 1960’s Corvette. You do a demo video showing viewers how to change a classic Corvette’s spark plugs, being sure to provide an affiliate link to the spark plugs (and tools!) you’re using in the video. Example 4: You’re selling a meal-planning app. You take viewers on a tour of the app and give them tips on how to use it to lose weight. Naturally, the video would include a pitch for the app.
What you need to do now is pick the format that best matches the product you’re selling. How to create a video (even if you’re a technophobe)… Now it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of creating your video by going over some of the technical details for your video. Here’s the good news… You don’t need to be a technical whiz in order to create a good video – you just need a couple of good tools. Let’s take a look at these tools, although keep in mind you may not need all of these items (depending on what type of video you’re creating)… Microphone Whether you’re doing a talking-head video or a slide-share style video, you’ll need a good microphone for the narration. If you’re doing a talking-head video, a good option is a microphone attached to a headset, otherwise, your narration may be muffled if you’re too far from the mic. For slide-share narration, choose a good microphone that seeks to eliminate extraneous noise. The brand Audio Technica and Blue Yeti are great choices for high-quality audio. Digital Video Recorder Chances are, you already have this piece of equipment. That’s because most digital cameras and even some smartphones and tablets provide high-quality video. It’s best if your equipment records in high-definition, but it’s not an absolute requirement. In other words, as long as it provides high-quality film, it doesn’t necessarily need to be high-definition. Slide Presentation Software If you’re doing a slide-presentation video, then you need software to create and present these slides. Check your computer’s hard drive, as you might already have PowerPoint (for Windows) or Keynote (for Apple) installed. If not, check out one of these alternatives:
- Powtoon.com – they have both free and paid plans
- Prezi.com – well known, high-quality presentation software. They don’t have a free plan but offer a 14 days trial plan on all their paid plans.
TIP: Don’t see any options you like? Jump on to Google and search for ‘PowerPoint alternatives’ or ‘presentation software’. Screen Recording Software A good choice for recording your screen (such as when you’re doing a slide share presentation or a software demo) is Camtasia, which you can find at https://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html. Best of all, it has all the editing tools included, so you don’t need a separate video editor. Video Editing Software As mentioned above, Camtasia provides video editing tools. You can even use these tools if you’re not doing screen recordings, as Camtasia lets you import videos from other sources and devices. Lighting and Backdrop If you’re doing a talking-head or demo video, then you need to present a professional background. This doesn’t mean you need to run out and buy $1,000 worth of backdrops and studio lighting. Instead, just follow these tips:
- Provide bright, even lighting. Do some test runs with different lighting to be sure you or your subject matter don’t look washed out from too much light, too dark from inadequate lighting, or have shadows from improper lighting angles.
- Create a ‘clean’, professional environment. For example, if you’re doing a talking-head video, sitting in front of a tidy bookcase adds some visual appeal without being distracting.
So there you have it – that’s all you need in order to start creating high-quality videos. For inspiration, visit YouTube and start watching professional videos. Check out their backdrops and backgrounds, for starters. See how they engage their audience. In other words, reverse engineer these videos to find out what makes them work. Now let’s find discuss how to engage your viewers and keep them interested. The secret of creating engaging videos Doesn’t it almost seem like people have developed a social media form of attention deficit disorder? They check Facebook, they check their emails, they look for text messages, they browse videos on YouTube, and they read a blog post. Their attention is constantly jumping from one thing to another, and trying to get them to sit still long enough to watch your video is like trying to herd a cat. It’s difficult… but not impossible. So, what’s the key to creating an engaging video? You need to ‘edutain’ your viewers. As you’ve probably already figured out, ‘edutain’ combines ‘educate’ with ‘entertain’. If you want to see edutaining content, consider this example: Morning news programs. These provide the top headlines and weather, along with entertaining features, guests and bantering between the hosts. So how do you create edutaining content for your video viewers? Follow these tips… Present In a Conversational Tone Try not to have a monotone delivery. Instead, aim for a light, conversational and friendly tone. A good way to approach it is to talk to your viewers like you’d talk to a good friend. Create Short Videos Aim for something under five minutes long. That’s because people have short attention spans these days, and they know it. In fact, if they see your video is longer than five minutes long, they probably won’t even bother starting it. But if they see it’s just three minutes long, they figure they can risk investing those few minutes. TIP: Once you’ve established a name for yourself in your niche, then you can create longer videos. Your strong brand and reputation will compel people to watch them even if they are on the lengthier side. Naturally, you should test various video lengths to find out what your viewers prefer. Keep Things Moving Don’t get stuck talking about one idea or showing one slide or view for too long. By doing this you’re likely to bore viewers. Keep the video visually interesting. For example:
- Instead of showing static text slides, you might show animated text slides or even a ‘doodle-style’ video. Mix in various graphics with the text to keep the presentation interesting.
- If you’re doing a talking-head video, break up the presentation by showing you at different angles and/or focusing on the product (if it’s a demo video) for a few frames. Be sure to also talk in an entertaining, energetic way.
Add Spit and Polish Most people don’t even realize how much they say ‘uh’ or space-out when they’re doing a video. Do some practice runs first to get your presentation style down. Then run through the presentation multiple times while recording, so that you can edit out anything that’s unprofessional (like the dog barking in the background, someone sneezing, you saying ‘uh’ too often, etc.). Connect Emotionally Finally, one good way to get your viewer’s attention is to connect with them on an emotional level. And one really good way to do this is by telling a story. For example, if you’re selling a blogging course, you can tell an inspirational true story about how someone used your course to make enough money that they were finally able to quit their job so they could watch their kids grow up. If the market is likely to have children, then you can bet that sort of story will really touch them emotionally and keep them engaged. P.S. Now you know how to keep people hooked and engaged. But how do you get them to click on your links and visit your site? That’s what we’ll look at next: How to get your viewers clicking on your links… Keeping your viewers engaged is important. This gets your viewers hanging on your every word, right through to the very end of your video. And that’s because the end of your video should include a strong call to action. Think of it this way… Your whole video exists as a way to get people to view (and follow) your call to action. So while engaging your viewers and teaching them something useful is a big part of a successful video, you also need to get them to click on your links. Now, some video marketers get a little lazy here. They flash a link on the screen and expect their viewers will trip all over themselves to click on it. Guess what? Some will, but the majority won’t. You can increase the odds of someone clicking on those links by creating a call to action, which is where you specifically tell them to click on a link. For example: “Click the link below this video to download this report now – you’ll be glad you did!” Here are two tips for getting more clicks on your links… Give People a Reason to Click It’s not enough to simply tell people to click on a link. You’ll do much better if you give viewers a reason to click.
- Example 1: “Click now so you can drop a dress size by next month!”
- Example 2: “Click now before the price jump!”
Make the Link Easily Accessible Finally, embed links into your videos whenever possible, such as when you’re uploading a YouTube video. (Use YouTube’s ‘annotations’ feature to achieve this.) In all other cases, put the link directly below the video and let viewers know where they can find it. For example, “Click the link below this video…” Getting Potential Customers to Watch Your Video You can have the most awesome video in the world, but you won’t make a single penny if you can’t get targeted people watching it. What you want is for your video to be watched by a target market of potential customers. You want people who have problems that your video and product can solve. And you want folks who’re willing to take out a credit card to solve these problems. How do you get these people in front of your videos? There are quite a few ways to do it. If you would like to know some of the best ways to get viewers and convert them into buyers for your business, give me a shout out.