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Board Studios, Inc.

10 ways to communicate, engage and sell with video

This story originally appeared in The Green Sheet Issue 180702 on July 23, 2018.

Studies have shown that while explainer videos are a cost-effective way to reach your target audience and help them engage with your brand, adoption has been slow in financial services. Many product and marketing managers would like to incorporate video but question its effectiveness and return on investment (ROI). Here are two possible reasons why:

  1. They have worked with the wrong team in the past. Nine out of 10 explainer videos are produced by animators and videographers who unfortunately don't grasp the underlying business they're trying to explain. While they may look beautiful, most of these videos fall short of delivering an impactful message.
  2. There's no strategy in place. Video is an investment, and for every investment you need a strategy in order to maximize its ROI.

Following are 10 ways to help think about your video strategy.

  1. Set a business objective

    Choose a business-oriented video production company, preferably one with payments industry experience, that can understand your needs and approach video as a business decision. This will ensure the partner will assess and advise on video that delivers the best ROI for your company. A partner that understands industry jargon will write a better script and visualize concepts accurately.

  2. Make it all about you

    Help the partner take a deeper dive into your business, to understand what you do and the value you bring to your customers. What pain points do you address? How will your customers' lives change if they use your solution? The partner needs to understand these things at a granular level to make explanations crystal clear, the benefits tangible and the visuals powerful.

  3. Create a clear and compelling message

    Your challenge as a product or marketing manager is to get in front of the right people, drive awareness and increase engagement. This means communicating your value proposition and differentiation in split seconds when the video opens. With so many competitors muddying the waters, how do you stand out? It all starts with understanding the real reason behind why clients are working with you and coming back for more.

  4. Drive traffic and lead generation

    On the traffic side, a video on YouTube or Facebook can bring you visitors for less. Typically, marketers acquire traffic on Google Search and pay upwards of $10 a click for someone who reads two short lines of text. Compare that to paying 10 cents to show someone more than 30 seconds of your video. Who has a better understanding of your offering? Yes, intent is more powerful on search than video, but now that Google owns YouTube the company actually gives you great targeting transparency, and you can often reach the same audience for 1/100th of the cost.

  5. Improve conversion rates

    On the conversion side, studies show 50 percent or greater improvement in website conversion rates and click-through rates from video-enabled email campaigns. At the very least, your visitors will engage with your video and spend more time on your site. The result is a lower bounce rate, which can improve both your organic and paid search results on Google. So even if you want to stick with Google search ads, video can improve your ROI because conversions will go up, and your ad ratings will improve as fewer people bounce and more prospects stay engaged on your site. And on top of that, you'll also get an SEO benefit from lower bounce rates.

  6. Increase tradeshow traffic If your company is attending tradeshows, the right video can increase foot traffic to your booth and help your visitors self-qualify. The video should be short and on a continuous loop, so a visitor doesn't have to wait too long for the video to re-start. Large bold messaging on-screen is a must, because you can't rely on audio in a noisy exhibit hall.
  7. Extend your salesforce

    Video can be an effective sales enablement tool, because managers can control the sales message and deliver a consistent message to customers every time. Video tracking capabilities can show how much of a video customers watched and re-watched. Video can also be a great way to respond to a request for proposal by differentiating your company and solution.

  8. Make it interactive

    Interactive video is a technology that's been maturing over the past couple of years. These videos typically offer an introductory segment followed by a challenge question. The customer's response will initiate a self-guided experience throughout the rest of the video, creating a more personalized and contextual experience. These videos can be expensive, because they are still in a nascent stage and have yet to be widely adopted. Providers are experimenting with new business models to make them more affordable, which may include offering free access to a platform or producing video in segments to lower production costs. They have been shown to drive engagement and conversion.

  9. Don't cheap out

    Yes, you can get a cheap video on Upwork or Fiverr, but it can do more damage to your brand than you can imagine. Companies can get burned by looking for the cheapest offering or by working with agencies that aren't experts and overcharge. They may be stuck in the '90s, but you don't have to join them. Become familiar with market prices and how to create effective messaging.

  10. Find your built-in multiplier

    Video is an investment in the thousands of dollars, but many companies do not fully grasp how to leverage a single video and derive a great ROI from it. And that's a shame, because you can get a lot of life out of a one-minute video. For example, a one-minute YouTube video can create short 10- to 15-second videos for Facebook (with some adjustments).

In the end, video is an investment, but in the grand scheme of things, it's a drop in the bucket if it helps you lower your customer acquisition costs and identify the right marketing channel that can scale.