The corporate video production industry is buzzing with content about video marketing and how video is set to become the new driver of lead gen. And while there is no shortage of content and opinion on the subject, it’s hard to know how to get started. How do you actually use video for lead gen?
The answer is simple: you make a video, put it in your lead gen machine, and then catch the leads as they pop out the other end.
If only things were that easy!
Fear not though, here is the ultimate guide to using video for lead generation.
We’re assuming you’ve covered all your basics: you’ve set your objectives, defined a lead, done your audience research and now you’re putting together your video production brief (because you’re not going to try to retrofit a lead gen strategy to your existing videos, are you?) to create videos for lead gen. But how do you really use videos for lead gen? Here’s how:
YouTube Cards / End Screens
These are clickable icons that appear during (cards) or the end of (end screens) your YouTube video. They can take the viewer to:
One of your videos or a playlist
A button to subscribe to your channel or someone else’s
A link to your website (note you need to be a YouTube partner to do this)
It’s the link to your website that is your video lead gen mechanism – you create a compelling video that persuades viewers they want your product or service, and during or at the end of that video, you give them the opportunity to click right through to your landing page and find out more or make a purchase.
If you’re using cards and end screens, then you need to make sure your they make sense within your video: when composing your shots, make sure there is space for the clickable link to your landing pages and also ensure that it makes sense alongside your script.
We’ve recently launched our first Udemy course, The Ultimate Public Relations Masterclass (find out how we made it) and we created a promo video for the course, because, according to Udemy, students who watch a well-made promo video are 5x more likely to enrol in your course. Yup, a good video can have a dramatic impact on landing page conversions – and Neil Patel agrees!
An alternative to using video to increase landing page conversions is to embed your lead gen form directly into the video. There are loads of ways to do this, with video players like Brightcove, Wistia and Vidyard all offering self-service tools that enable this.
We find it easier with Wistia, because you start with the video itself. And the best practice is to integrate your forms with your CRM system (although most platforms charge more for this).
Here’s our example that we created on Vimeo:
An email gate requires the viewer to input their email before being able to view your content. This can work well for mid-funnel content (if you speak marketing). But probably more helpfully, ask yourself what type of content would you be willing to exchange for your email address before you have watched the video? For us it would probably be:
A case study showing how one of our competitors achieved something we are jealous of (landed a big client, won an award, generated millions).
Inside information on a product, service or event.
The only place on the web could learn about generating leads through video.
We probably wouldn’t for:
A funny video.
A product announcement.
Your Christmas party video.
Here’s our example that we created on Vimeo:
A video card is a small video player that you can upload your content to and send out to your prospects. We’ve used video cards in our own award-winning marketing campaigns in the past to great effect (a 20% conversion rate and £300k+ worth of new business generated off an investment of less than £10k).
Video cards currently work because they are surprising, memorable and shareable. However, there are some things to keep in mind if taking this approach:
They’re expensive (around £10-30 per card – add to that the postage cost and the cost of making the video) so should be reserved for high quality, qualified targets.
The companies that sell them are hard to work with. We ended up having to upload the videos to our cards ourselves because there were so many issues with the service provided by the video cards companies we used – the cards arrived with no sound, poor quality visuals, they weren’t charged – grrrrr.
They’re basically single-use electronic devices, which means they aren’t great for the environment. We probably wouldn’t use them again for that reason.
There are two ways to use personalised video: batch and realtime (or technically it’s called Personalised Video API) and you can do these on Vidyard’s platform.
With a personalised batch campaign, you create a video with spaces for personalised graphical elements. Vidyard will provide technical specs and advice on this. You then give that video to Vidyard, along with a CSV of all your contacts and personalised data, and then they connect the master video to the CSV and then out comes 1000’s of links to the video with the relevant personalised bits. Remember you are not getting 1000’s of individual videos, you’re getting 1000’s of links. So you can’t use these videos in other forms like video cards or sharing on other channels like LinkedIn. It’s restricted to email marketing.
The emails are blasted out by Vidyard, but can be masked to appear like they come from you. You can have as many personalised elements as you like, however up to 4 is best and it requires investment.
A Realtime campaign, or Personalised Video API, is where your sales person uses the Vidyard GoVideo tool (Wistia has an equivalent called Sopabox) to create outbound emails instantly to prospects. For instance, our outbound sales pro has started sending out videos in her emails to prospects, and the thumbnail (either still or GIF) is her holding a whiteboard with the person’s name on it.
She does this manually by writing it on, but you can use a Realtime Personalised campaign to create some wizardry where she only needs to record a single GIF thumbnail of her holding a blank whiteboard, and then when it comes to her sending a new video, she just types in the name of her prospect and the thumbnail is generated.
Using video to drive traffic to stores
Then there’s the traditional old form of advertising that sends viewers to your bricks and mortar store. Except that now, these videos can be viewed online, in interactive advertising displays and personalised video cards.
Here’s our example of a video to drive traffic to our store office.
We now operate in a social media marketing era that is truly owned by video. From Facebook to YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter it’s now widely accepted by marketers that video increases engagement and lead gen potential of social ads. But that’s the subject of a whole other blog post.