Feb 14 2017
Content production is now a commodity.
Anyone focused solely on quality isn’t really a marketer- they’re a tactician. Pure production quality doesn’t necessarily set you apart- although it doesn’t hurt to have. The most effective investment in creative lies in strong implementation of that creative work, and avoiding common mistakes.
But we do know what doesn’t work, what will never work, and sadly, we see countless examples of ineffective corporate video that just won’t ever return revenue, no matter how well-produced the video might be. We want to help brands and companies understand what mistakes to avoid and how to most effectively use the atomic power of video to grow.
Where does it all go wrong?
Pitfall #1: The video is buried on the website
It’s like buying expensive jewelry and then instead of wearing it, throwing it in a sack and burying it in the local park.
Many marketing teams make two crucial mistakes with online video. Producing original video (or any original content) is a significant investment. A video isn’t a blog post that you can churn out in four hours- it can take weeks to craft both strategy and production. Even a quick testimonial shot on a smartphone requires a more proportional level of investment over other content. Original video is a swing for the fences, and we are all invested hoping it will be a home run.
But too often, marketing teams either bury the completed video, or embed it so small that it isn’t intuitively obvious to the website visitor. Why invest so much without also investing in the website real estate to help reach its maximum potential?
According to Unbounce, a firm that specializes in reducing the bounce rate (the rate at which website visitors view your site and then immediately leave), video on your landing page will increase conversions by 80%. That’s almost doubling the effectiveness of your website.
The average visitor will view 2-4 pages on a b2b marketing website. If video is buried where a visitor will have to spend 3 clicks just to find it (and a fourth to play the video), you’re statistically going to be missing out.
How to fix?
Original video content should be your introduction to every single visitor. It’s too big of an investment to bury. Put it front and center- at the top of the sales funnel, beginning of the conversion journey, whatever you want to call it- everyone should see it and be presented with the opportunity to take action.
Further to the online experience, an in-video call to action will double your conversion rate on video versus off-video calls to action. Viewers have given you one minute of their day to watch your video- don’t leave them hanging. Guide them to the next step. A good Call To Action is your golden lever to revenue.
Consider implementing video in your website as a background. Short looping videos that play automatically don’t require a single click and can communicate so much in 20 seconds or less. Video backgrounds add depth and a raise the perceived quality of your website. This kind of design can be easily implemented into most WordPress or Drupal themes at minimal cost. Just make sure that you keep website load times down (use Pingdom to test), host your video on YouTube, and have a fallback image for mobile devices that do not auto-play video.
Pitfall #2: Making long videos
The golden rule of sales applies to content. Two ears, one mouth. Use them in that proportion.
Consider that according to online research firm Visible Measures, 45% of video viewers will stop watching a video after one minute, and 60% are gone after two minutes.
We live in the era of the 8 second attention span. Content on the internet isn’t read, it is scanned. There is just too much to consume (US adults watch about 5.5 hours of video per day) that if video doesn’t blow us away in the first 8 seconds, we move on.
Unbelievably, there are marketers and production companies that still make 7 minute corporate videos of CEO interviews. 90 seconds or less, and if it doesn’t grab attention in the first 8 seconds, then prepare to be passed over.
How to fix?
See your visitor’s time as the most valuable gain in your marketing. Be sure to work with a team or agency that understands this value, and understands how to craft video to communicate an effective proposition that influences an audience. As with Pitfall #1- be prepared with a valuable call to action that makes your online experience worth their time.
As an entrepreneur, think about time from your perspective. How much time in your day do you have to listen to other companies market to you? If you won’t take than 60 seconds to watch a video and listen to a pitch, then chances are that neither your clients, contemporaries, nor prospects do either.
Pitfall #3: Basing value on volume
Everyone on the planet lives right next door to each other on the internet. Most b2b services can’t be everywhere on the planet and certainly can’t serve the whole internet.
Marketers and companies tend to focus on the volume of content. How long is it and how much info can we stuff in it (see pitfall #2), how many shares does it receive, how many views will it get, will it go viral.
Essentially, the internet and the allure of “going viral” has resulted in marketers thinking in terms of quantity and quantity.
This isn’t the usual quantity vs. quality prescription- we want to redefine what quantity actually means to your company and brand. 100 views from highly qualified prospects likely to convert is exponentially more valuable to b2b growth than 100,000 views from anywhere on the planet.
Consider that even with virality (a largely consumer-based outcome), an effective Business to Consumer conversion rate online is about 10% percent. For b2b- a good conversion rate drops to 2%. The cost of client (customer) acquisition in the Business to Business world is just so much higher, but the lifetime value of that client is also much higher.
How to fix?
Focus on making an investment that will convert phenomenally well among the 50 people that matter to your growth, rather than poorly across a random selection of 50,000 people. Define your smallest audience that has the potential to lead to exponential growth for your revenue, and be prepared to follow up with them consistently.
Don’t value quantity, but define what quantity means to your brand and business.
Simply, video is the most powerful investment you can make in your brand to achieve growth and revenue. But without proper implementation, the potential will never be fully realized, and with poor implementation, video can be nothing more than a sunk cost into something that was pretty esoteric to begin with.
Be quick, be strong, inspire and call your smallest and most potent audience to action.
If you’d like to read more of our thoughts on the future of branding and video, check out the rest of our blog, and if you’re feeling truly inspired, reach out to us. This is our passion, it’s what we love to do, and we’re always happy to have interesting discussion.