Different types of video should be used at different times to help your audience connect with your products and services. A new prospect has much different needs than an established customer.
Find 25 ways to use the right type of video at the right time to increase traffic and conversions throughout the sales cycle.
1. Increase Conversions With Product Videos
Since website visitors are anywhere from 64% to 85% more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it, create short promotional videos that show off the main benefits and features of your products and put them on your website.
For example, if you have an apparel store, instead of just posting photos, add a video of a model wearing your clothes. If you offer a service, use video to explain what problem your service solves and how it goes about doing so.
Produce the video yourself, go with an agency or use tools such as Wideo orPowToon to create an animated video. Don’t be afraid to be creative and take some risks.
Just insert photos into a cool template with nice transitions and text, and add some background music or other audio.
2. Drive Traffic With How-to Videos
How-to videos catch viewers with prime buyer intent. They have a problem they want to solve or something they want to learn. It is up to you to show them how to do it. In fact, nearly 1 in 3 Millennials say they purchased a product as a direct result of watching a tutorial or how-to video about it.
Come up with and share uses of your product. For example, explain to consumers how to tie a tie or show home cooks how to make certain recipes for your ingredient. Don’t try to sell your product in this type of video, just focus on instructing your audience.
The Home Depot creates how-to videos for projects. Of course, after the video piques customers’ interest, a shopping trip to get the supplies is in order.
This how-to video from Publix teaches users how to recycle used jars into a Mother’s Day centerpiece.
Videos appear in 52% of Google keyword searches and 82% of them are from YouTube, so remember to optimize your video with keywords for SEO. Write detailed meta descriptions about your video and add transcripts of your voiceover. Just like with written works, produce great content that inspires people to engage with your videos.
3. Ensure smooth onboarding With Product Walkthroughs
Ensure your users have a smooth, easy and fun onboarding process, and they are likely to stick with you long-term.
Before you get started, put yourself in the shoes of your first-time users. Choose the most common use cases of your product and do a screen recording. If you’re on a Mac, you can easily do it in QuickTime. Windows users can download something like Screenrecorder.
BuzzSumo created a fantastic walkthrough video for new users to get acquainted with their product.
Go through the use case slowly and clearly, and narrate the process. Send out the link to your onboarding video in your welcome email or direct a new user to it from the sign-up page.
Onboarding is one of the most critical parts of your relationship with your users, so make the most of it.
4. Use Screencast to Cut Down on Customer Service Cases
Just as screencasts can help onboard your users, they may also be used to reduce the number of customer service calls you receive.
Rather than use text for FAQs, create videos with answers to your customers’ most common questions. It’s a way to establish trust and credibility. Plus, many people learn better visually.
These videos can be as long or short as they need to be. NatWest bank did a simple Vine video to explain how to change account preferences.
Upload these screencasts to your FAQ page and have the links ready to send to any customers who call or email for assistance. Don’t worry too much about making it professional. Just be thorough and genuine, and your customers will thank you.
5. Create Social Proof With Testimonials
Ask some of your most loyal customers if they would be willing to record a testimonial for your business. If they are local, invite them to your store or office, or meet them with your camera gear. You can also set up a spot at an event and approach customers there. Have them describe their experience, as well as what problem your product or service solved.
If recording testimonials from your customers is not an option, ask them to do a brief video on their smartphone and either upload it or send it to you.
6. Increase Sales With Video Ads
Online video ads are currently the most effective online ad medium, and 72% of ad agencies say that online video ads are as, if not more, effective than TV advertising. Video has a click-through rate that beats normal ads by a factor of three.
Create video ads for your product and upload them to YouTube and Facebook. You can even do short videos for Vine and Instagram.
Dollar Shave Club received tremendous views and response from their ads.
Use video cards for extra emphasis on YouTube and promote your video ads on Facebook. Be sure to use the most precise targeting possible, so you don’t waste your advertising money on views to the wrong audience.
7. Retarget Website Visitors
One of the most powerful ways to use video marketing is for retargeting people who visited your website or YouTube channel, but for some reason did not convert.
On Facebook, create a custom audience for retargeting visitors from your front page or a specific product page. On YouTube, start a new campaign and create a video remarketing list. Then choose which YouTube video to promote, as you would when starting a video campaign.
8. Experiment With Video Lengths
When it comes to the ideal video duration, a lot depends on the type of video you want to share with your audience. Testing different video lengths will give you an idea of what works best for you.
Before you get started shooting or editing your video, you should know the maximum video lengths per platform. These include:
Facebook: 120 minutes
Twitter recommends keeping videos under 30 seconds
Instagram: 60 seconds
Snapchat: 10 seconds
Vine: 6 seconds
Land’s End keeps most of their Facebook videos under two minutes, despite their 120-minute potential.
Note: While you don’t have to reach the maximum time length, you’re not allowed to go over it. If you really want to get around the maximum video duration on social media platforms, you can post a link to a YouTube video, which will allow you to share longer content. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work on Instagram, where you can’t share links except in ad campaigns.
9. Optimize for Autoplay
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram offer Autoplay as a feature. When users scroll through their news feeds, your video automatically plays as it passes over their screen. This encourages users to watch your video, because it’s already playing.
Feature movement within the first few frames to enhance the Autoplay feature and grab attention quickly.
Alternatively, you can target longer video campaigns to desktop users and see if that increases your views and engagement overall.
10. Add Subtitles
Adding subtitles to your videos lets users watch them on their mobile devices even if they’re in a place where they can’t or don’t want to play the accompanying sound (like a waiting room or a plane).
More importantly, adding video subtitles will allow those who are hearingimpaired to watch and get all of the information.
It’s easy to add subtitles to your video from your computer with any video editing tools. You can also add subtitles to Facebook videos by uploading SRT files with your video.
11. Broadcast Live
Facebook Live video lets businesses and users broadcast videos to their audiences in real time from their smartphones. You can see the number of users watching and users can comment on the video in real time. You can also address comments directly as the video plays.
One study found that viewers spend 3x more time watching live videos than videos that aren’t broadcasting in real time.
Live videos, on average, get more engagement and views than regular videos.
Users automatically opt in to get notifications when someone they follow is “going live,” which increases visibility. Once your live video is complete, you can save your live video to your timeline so users who missed it live can watch it later.
Periscope and Blab also provide platforms for live video sharing.
12. Grab Attention Early
You need to capture viewers’ interest within the first 10 seconds (or less) or they’ll stop watching and move on to something else. This forces you to be concise and get right to the point. Vine’s success with six-second videos proves it’s possible to catch a user’s interest in 10 seconds or less.
Within the first few seconds, the following video tells viewers what it’ll be about, and offers a solution to a problem.
Tell viewers why they should watch your video as soon as possible.
Hooks are an important part of capturing interest, because they explain why viewers should care or be interested. You should place hooks within the first or second frame of the video, before users have a chance to scroll away.
13. Appeal to Emotion
Videos are ideal for maximizing the emotional impact of your content. It can make all the difference to use voice inflections or subtle changes in facial expressions. Videos feel more real and alive than other types of media, and they can help you deliver a big emotional punch in a shockingly short time frame.
OneBlood features video stories about real people on their Facebook page, all of which evoke strong emotions.
For emotional appeal, consider all aspects of the video. Choose language, background music, and even fonts so they come together and match the feeling you’re trying to evoke. Showing uplifting or inspirational content is a great way to leave viewers with a positive association with your brand.
14. Feature Calls to Action
What is the goal of your video? While viewers should get the idea of what you want them to do just from the video, you should always have a clearly stated call to action (CTA).
This video asks users to submit their ideas for what comes next, and offers a clickable CTA.
It’s most effective to place CTAs at the end of the video. Even just a caption telling users that “you can help the cause by signing up at our site” or that they can “learn more at (insert URL),” may be all that’s necessary to motivate them to take your desired action.
The benefit to posting YouTube videos across social media is the clickable annotations, which can turn into clickable CTAs. To date, no other native videos have this feature unless you’re running paid ad campaigns.
15. Post Native Videos
As social media videos boom in popularity, social platforms are increasingly offering native video uploads. Whereas before you might have posted a video to YouTube and then shared the link on Facebook and Twitter, you can now just drop video to sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Native videos are prioritized in Facebook’s algorithm, and seem to perform better on most other platforms than non-native videos. You can also use native videos for on-platform features, like Facebook’s Featured Videos.
Native videos are a major asset over non-native videos because they benefit from greater organic reach on Facebook.
One exception is Pinterest, which doesn’t feature native videos (although you can pin YouTube videos to Pinterest for great results). The opposite is true for Instagram, which doesn’t allow shared links for regular posts (only native videos can be posted).
16. Share Breaking News
What’s more exciting than breaking news and big updates? Sharing big developments on social media offers value to customers and keeps them in the loop. Whether you introduce a new product or announce a change to your business, sharing this information with your followers via video can have a big impact.
Offering video updates for big news is a great way to keep users engaged and informed at the same time.
Even if you’re not comfortable streaming live videos, you can still use recorded videos to keep your followers up to date about events in real time. Either way, make sure you or your spokesperson has a script nearby and has well-rehearsed talking points. The last thing you want is for your breaking news to be incorrect.
17. Add a Featured Video on Facebook
When users visit your Facebook business page, they’ll immediately see some of your posts and your About section. In addition, they can see a featured video placed below the profile picture and the “people who like this page” box.
The featured video is a huge opportunity to make a first impression with your business, or at least your Facebook page. Overviews are great, but you might feature a video to highlight a new product, or tell a story that resonates with your audience.
Featured videos can offer you control over a potential customer’s first impression of your brand or page.
To add a featured video to your page, click on your page’s Videos tab. From there, select the option that says Feature a Video on Your Page. Choose a video from your library, press Enter, and you’re all set.
18. Take Viewers Behind the Scenes
One reason users follow brands on social media is the illusion of transparency. People believe they’re getting to know what your brand really is and what it stands for. Because of this, videos that take users behind the scenes can be powerful brand-building tools.
Show users how products are made or who makes them, for example, which can lead to major increases in brand loyalty. This follows the same psychology as storytelling, where users can connect to real people.
This video shows viewers how some of their favorite products are made.
Behind-the-scenes looks can increase brand familiarity and loyalty, which are huge benefits.
19. Fine-tune Your Video
You can use video editing tools to improve the quality of your video or make it more interesting. Because the competition for video views is stiff, taking advantage of video editing tools can give you an advantage.
Some video editing tools are part of the social media platform. Examples include Snapchat’s photo editing features, and the ability to add captions or subtitles on Facebook. Instagram lets you pause and resume while filming, and delete frames of video.
Snapchat has editing features like drawing and text-adding tools.
There are also off-platform video editing tools that serve a variety of different purposes. Software like Lightworks lets you add voiceovers and background images or delete sections of video. You can then upload these videos to different platforms. Apps like Lapse It can turn your videos into a time lapse or slow motion clips.
20. Choose the Right Headline
The video headline may be the first thing followers see. Ideally, write headlines that are specific while still making viewers curious enough to watch your videos.
The caption “Wine time has arrived” is brief and to the point, grabbing users’ attention.
Your headline needs to be interesting and accurate and give users an idea of what the video will be about. When possible, place keywords in the headline to increase rankings in the site’s native search engines.
When in doubt, you can A/B test your headlines to see which perform best with your audience.
21. Feature Fan Content
User-generated content (UGC) is a hot social media marketing topic right now. Sharing UGC across your social networks offers massive benefits, including increased engagement and brand loyalty. For example, in 2014, Crowdsnap found that UGC video content made up almost one-third of video consumption of Millennials.
Good news: UGC is just as valuable in social videos.
This video features a compilation of UGC.
Whether you share an entire video from a loyal customer or compile UGC from different users into one video, you can increase social shares and engagement on your content.
22. Add a Logo
You’ll want to add your logo to your video to provide instant brand recognition and make it easier for users to associate the content with you. Choose a logo that is relatively small and unobtrusive and place it into a corner where it won’t impede the rest of the video.
Adding your logo to your video can increase brand recognition, even when different viewers share it.
23. Focus on One Message
Focus on one message or story per video. This helps you keep it simple, and make the video brief enough to perform well on social media. There should be one point to every video, and one point only.
This animal rescue has videos focusing on one dog at a time, increasing the odds that people will connect with that particular dog and come in to adopt.
You don’t want to clutter your video with too many stories, points of view, or messages. Always remember to include the singular CTA at the end of your video. If you’re adding something to the video that doesn’t contribute directly to that CTA, delete it and add it to a different video later on.
24. Tell Stories
Storytelling is powerful. It allows you to connect with your audience. Stories, especially those about real people, give viewers a concrete message from your business and leave them with something to remember.
Videos are perfect for storytelling on social media. They’re the most dynamic form of media we have in our toolbox. Even a 30-second video lets you share a more thorough segment of information than a picture or regular post. Telling stories in videos also gives you more control in choosing what stories represent your business and how those stories get told.
This video tells the story of a real person, while focusing on a cause and promoting a brand.
Stories in social videos should have a beginning, middle, and end. You should be able to edit your story enough for all three of these to fit into a 30-second video. This means that you should focus on one message or plot.
25. Track Engagement, Views, and Clicks
Tracking video performance across platforms is essential, whether the posted videos are paid campaigns or regular posts. Facebook’s Insights has a screen devoted to video analytics, showing you the number of video views your page has had, and the number of 10-second views your video had. You can also see the reach, views, and average view completion rate for individual videos.
Facebook’s Insights gives you valuable information about how many views your videos are actually getting.
Twitter Analytics shows your total video views for the past 28 days, as well as information on views and completion rate on individual videos and the average number of minutes your viewers watched per day.
YouTube’s Analytics has information on number of video views, average view duration, estimated revenue, and specific engagement such as comments or likes/dislikes.
Understanding how your videos are performing is essential to creating highperforming content.
Instagram doesn’t currently have an analytics platform, but it’s coming soon.
When possible, focus on the number of shares, the amount of engagement, and the number of clicks to your site. Clicks can be measured on video ad campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, and can be evaluated on all YouTube videos if users click on an annotation via Google Analytics.