In part 14 of our Masterclass Series on "Building a Strategic Marketing Plan for Your Business," host Eric Dickmann interviews Ben Amos. Ben is the Founder and Creative Director of Innovate Media, one of Queensland's most sought-after online video strategy and production agencies. Engage Video Marketing, which was founded in 2015, aims to guide businesses in implementing effective online strategy so that they can be confident in using the right video, at the right time, in the right way.
Ben Amos is an online video strategist, international speaker, podcast host, and Founder and Creative Director of Innovate Media. He has over fifteen years of experience in the film and video industry and is the founder of Australia's only purpose-built video blogging studio space and facility – Vlog Pod. Ben also hosts Engage Video Marketing Podcast, where he explores the power of online video to engage audience and move them to action. Amos is very passionate about helping other business owners fully understand the value of video marketing to their businesses. Ben is currently writing a book that aims to help many online entrepreneurs and business owners worldwide.
The Power of Video on the Web
Video marketing done right can create a significant impact on your business's marketing strategy. Video is a powerful marketing tool to humanize relationships and build deeper connections with potential customers. In a noisy world with so many distractions, video is a way to break through and capture a visitor's attention in ways that paragraphs of text cannot.
It's no surprise to anyone who is active on any digital platforms that video is everywhere, These days, every social media platform is a video platform. And video as a form of communication, I think is one of the most powerful forms of communicating a message to someone, so very powerful tool for marketing,"
Many businesses use videos to educate their potential customers about their products or services. Ben Amos points out that the ultimate goal of web design is to get people's attention, then get them to explore and engage with your content. Since the website's goal is to educate prospects on the brand and products, using video provides a way to communicate ideas much faster and more effectively than through text. Keep in mind that 65% of the world's population are visual learners, and strengthening video marketing can help increase engagement and reduce visitors bouncing off the site.
Video in the Hero Section
Ben adds that both from a branding and visual impact perspective, the opening scenes or shots with a video in the hero section of the website need to hook people emotionally to capture their interest. Having an impactful headline at the top of a website, together with the hero video can quickly communicate a brand's value. According to Amos, buying is an emotional thing. Your hero video should help communicate your brand story. It doesn't require a lengthy presentation but how you communicate and the visuals you use can quickly help prospective customers understand if they've landed in the right place. SocialMediaToday shares with us the five benefits of uploading a video on a company's website:
- Selling is about storytelling, and videos are one of the best ways to tell a story.
- Videos keep people on your website longer and encourages them to engage with the company website's content
- Videos help people get to know the business even more
- A video keeps audience interested with the business' product or service
- Sharing information through videos is fast and convenient
Building an Emotional Connection With Customers
Many businesses are often focused on the features of their product or service but fail in building an emotional connection with their customers. The differentiator between your business and a competitor may not be about the quality of the offering, but on the degree of emotional connection built with prospective customers. You want to communicate that you understand their problem and share how your products or services can address their needs.
Amos shares that our subconscious mind makes decisions based on gut feel and emotional connections. Businesses should remember that their ultimate goal is building trust by communicating they understand how potential customers feel and fully recognize the pain points that pushed them into the market. This is where video can be extraordinarily effective . Businesses can craft videos targeted specifically at the stage where their audience is at in their buyer's journey. Not every video needs to be the same format, length, and message; the content should help answer questions and provide value targeted specifically at where potential buyers are in their decision process.
There is often a temptation by businesses to always be selling. With this mindset, websites are often designed to push products and collect customer information. Instead, businesses should redirect their efforts to creating content that provides value, builds connections, and helps solve problems. Ben Amos likens selling to dating. On your first date, the goal is to impress your date by wearing the best outfit, putting the best foot forward, and trying to establish an emotional connection with that person. On the next encounter, the objective is to further strengthen the bond with that person by getting to know him/her a little bit more and animating the encounter with fun and interesting stories. Using the dating analogy, try to imagine if you decided to convert those leads immediately like kissing your date on the first meeting without introducing yourself or showing off any of your desirable qualities. The worst-case scenario is getting slapped on the face, or worse, having your date walk away. Ben informs us that just like dating, businesses need to connect with their customers first using visual and written content before making any product or service offer. Again, the duration of selling to your niche has no specific time frame because it varies from industry to industry. Sometimes that process can be very fast for a low barrier to entry kind of a product or sale, but particularly for more involved decisions, it can often be a long journey with multiple touchpoints during the sales cycle.
How Video Marketing Can Impact Your Website
There are many ways video marketing can help tell a company's story and impact a customer's buying decision. The great thing about video marketing is that businesses don't have to follow one specific format for the strategy to be effective. Customer testimonials or product explainers can help bring to light your product or service features. As such, video marketing plays a significant role on a website. Ben asks us to picture having a single-page website. He then asks us to imagine that the ideal customer is scrolling down the page. It would be nice to have the brand story video above the fold on the website, on top of the page . This is to get emotional buy-in before pushing a sale. One objective of the video is to allow prospects to view themselves as the hero of your brand story.
When the company has the customer's interest and have successfully hooked them emotionally, that builds trust that they've landed in the right place to do business. They will then be more likely to continue scrolling down further and diving deeper into the business to learn more. This can be likened to your second or third date because this is the stage where they actually want to get to know you better. Ben mentions that additional videos can support the middle of the funnel. The middle of the funnel, or what is often referred to as the consideration stage, is when people weigh up their options to determine whether they want to pursue their interest in your offerings.
Using Video Throughout the Sales Funnel
It's important for businesses to create content that is helpful, valuable, and highly informative. Short educational clips that address frequently asked questions are a good way to proactively overcome objections and remove barriers to a sale. Explainer videos give further valuable information so that people understand what the product or the service does or provides an example use case. The goal of your video marketing strategy is to provide helpful, valuable content that will overcome objections and explain how your offering solves a potential customer's problems. Giving more of what they need will make them more likely to scroll further down and explore more.
If they go further down the website, then the videos have done an excellent job. Your audience is now at the stage where they're considering whether or not they'll convert and make a purchase. Going back to the dating analogy, the business may have successfully brought them in emotionally, but they are still in the process of assessing the rational stuff, such as whether or not the person they are dating has a job, has the level of income that they are expecting, and all the related factors. Amos tells us that it is the same situation with customers on your website. They are thinking- "Am I actually going to make the right decision if I buy from these people?" Again, this is where videos at the end of the funnel are helpful in overcoming any final objections.
The video at the bottom of your single-scrolling website should be able to address all your prospect's concerns and objections. Ben shares that these are called- "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)", videos, but they're answering the questions that are holding people back from buying. The video can cover multiple areas such as refund policy or delivery processes, testimonials, or recommendations from recent customers. Having videos like these reduces the prospect's uncertainty. Ben points out that at the end of the funnel, the video must be very rational and not emotional because the goal at the bottom of the funnel here is to address that rational aspect of the buyer's mindset. Remember that the website is a microcosm of the bigger overall marketing strategy in supporting the buyer's journey. DreamGrow shares with us the eight powerful reasons how video marketing can help your business:
- Videos build trust with your audience
- Video marketing boosts sales and conversions
- Video marketing shows excellent return on investment (ROI)
- Search engines love video content
- Videos appeal to mobile users
- Videos can explain everything
- Video marketing can engage even the laziest buyers
- Videos encourage social shares
How to Use Video on Social Media
While it ideal to get prospects to your website, that's not always where they'll come across your content. Prospects should see your presence on social media channels and other places on the web as well. Businesses may be able to get away with a two-and-a-half-minute explainer video on their website, but if they're doing a Facebook post or something on Instagram, everything gets abbreviated once you start to talk about video on social media. Ben tells us that if companies want their video marketing strategy to be effective on social media, you have to first understand the user intent of that specific platform. Amos informs us that people are on social media to engage with friends, family, community, and some select brands and pages that may follow. They're there for the social aspect of the platforms. You need to put content that adds value to their experience on the platform. The goal is to catch people's attention and provide them an easy way to learn more. It's about that initial interest stage, not a deep dive on product features or functionality.
Ben suggests businesses design their video marketing strategy in a way that can work for attracting cold audiences or people who haven't heard about a company's brand before. This is where paid social media strategy can work. Storytelling or brand videos helps put your brand in front of the right people at the early stage of their decision-making process. If people like post or follow a company's social media page, they're likely in a consideration phase. They may have bought from you before, and could potentially buy from you again, or maybe they are interested in your product or service but haven't yet bought from your company before. Using video content that adds value, educates, informs, inspires, and entertains your prospects can be an effective way to engage prospective customers. Keep in mind the value your videos are providing to the target audience. If your video marketing strategy doesn't offer any value and is only aiming to sell a product or service, then don't use it! Amos believes that social media is all about that consideration phase and content should be designed to address the specific questions and needs of potential buyers in that phase.
Building A Video Content Library
One of the best things about the internet is that there are many options available when creating a series of videos for the business. You can choose to create video content on YouTube or organize videos in the organization's website. The advantages of having a video content library on your website is that you've got more control over how it's displayed. You don't have to worry about your content showing up next to a competitor's or surrounded by ads for other products. However, YouTube is essentially a search engine and not having your content there to be found by searches means you're missing an opportunity for prospects to discover your videos. Ben Amos recommends businesses use both strategies with their video marketing because it creates more places to be discovered. Ben adds that businesses shouldn't ignore the use of YouTube's search functionality and SEO value since this is the second largest search engine owned by Google. In his opinion, he says that he would choose to create a library of valuable and educational content on YouTube while also embedding these videos into a section of his website. Integrating your company's video content with articles packed with additional research and resources can provide additional value to visitors.
When prospects visit the company's website and sees all this valuable and helpful content, it's going to help strengthen the relationship with the brand. This strategy means you are giving prospects the option of finding content and embedded videos on your company website or discovering it on the company's YouTube channel. Ideally, the goal is to get prospects back to the company website eventually so any links or calls to action should direct viewers to the website for additional information.
Video as Part of the Sales Process
Companies should also consider using video as part of the company's sales process. Embedding a personalized message as part of a sales outreach is a powerful way to deliver personalized content directly to a prospects inbox. Ben tells us that many businesses have underutilized the use of video as part of the sales process. Only recently, when we were faced with restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, did many companies consider making videos to help engage with customers. Amos adds that using tools to help humanize sales relationships between businesses and customers shouldn't be overlooked. In a high tech world, personalizing and humanizing interactions can make a big difference. Video helps balance automation and personalized outreach. There are plenty of tools out there that you can use to record, create, and edit videos, such as Loom, Vidyard, and SoapBox.
- Loom- There around 1.1 million Loom subscribers from 18 companies worldwide. It is a free screen and video recording software that can be accessed on Windows, Mac, Chrome, and IOS.
- Vidyard- There around over 4 million people around the world using Vidyard to create and share videos. This video creation application allows businesses to keep a human connection with customers and coworkers when you can't be there in person. Users can add videos to emails, website, and everywhere else.
- SoapBox- With a mission to make business more hum. Soapbox by Wistia allows companies to build their brand and business with video. With this tool, you can empower an entire team to make more videos, create a content library in minutes, and upgrade email and video marketing strategies.
During the COVID-19 pandemic and with the tighter restrictions that prohibited physical interaction came the rise of video conferencing, video marketing tools, and platforms that allowed businesses to build deeper relationships with customers despite the distance and circumstance. People have also become more confident facing the camera, answering Zoom calls, and doing business with people from within their homes. Even if people are not fully utilizing the video marketing tools, their fear of being on camera has certainly gone down. Ben points out that for some, there's still that level of fear in making videos and sending them out to prospects. It's takes practice but the effort is worthwhile. Businesses would be wise to encourage their sales teams to make more use of video content to better connect with prospective buyers.
How Do You Use Video to Engage People Longer?
Throughout this Masterclass series, we have consistently highlighted that the purchase is not the end of the journey. Once the customer has made a purchase, businesses should keep in touch with that customer to ensure that he/she is happy with the purchase and aware of additional products and services. Companies can do this by creating different marketing strategies for customers versus prospects. If they are communicating with a loyal customer, they can use video to share important updates on products or other exciting announcements.
Forbes lists some unique ways a business can use video to engage its audience:
- Engage category influencers
- Get personal with your audience
- Discuss a hot topic
- Target a search query
- Create snackable videos
- Stand out with personalized videos
- Do a weekly live-streamed podcast
- Don;t be afraid to use animation
- Convert website case studies to video content
- Make sure the business offers good value to its audience
- Focus on the story, not the sell
- Speak with your brand's voice
- Keep it simple, and don't try so hard
Ben shares that if you can humanize a relationship with your customers, they can often be the easiest people to sell to again. He urges businesses to think about video in that advocacy stage to make customers feel good about their purchasing decision. There is so much untapped potential for many businesses, especially when it comes to video marketing.
Live Stream Replay
Ben Amos is an online video strategist, international speaker, podcast host, and Founder and Creative Director of Innovate Media. He has over fifteen years of experience in the film and video industry. Ben is also the founder of Australia's only purpose-built video blogging studio space and facility – Vlog Pod. Ben also hosts Engage Video Marketing Podcast, where he explores the power of online video to engage audience and move them to action. Amos is very passionate about helping other business owners fully understand the value of video marketing to their businesses. Ben is currently writing a book that aims to help many online entrepreneurs and business owners worldwide.