Most people would rather watch a movie than read the book that it’s based on.
In general, video is an entertaining and informative type of content that people love.
It’s strange, then, that so few businesses use video to improve the results of their online marketing.
Videos can attract more attention than regular text content can. And since people can’t really skim videos, most will watch the entire thing if it’s interesting.
The biggest benefit of using video is that it typically raises your conversion rate. A video on your landing page will increase your sales, while videos on your blog posts will improve your email opt-in rate.
You should think about incorporating video into all steps of your sales funnel.
To truly appreciate the power of quality marketing videos, let’s look at a few case studies.
1. StacksAndStacks.com, a seller of a wide variety of home products, added videos to some of their products. As a result, they found that the visitors who viewed the videos were 144% more likely to purchase than those who did not.
2. A jewelry store Ice.com found that those who viewed a video on their site converted 400% better than those who didn’t.
On top of that impressive increase, they also observed that their overall returns decreased by 25%. We will go over why this happened further in this post.
3. Retail Touchpoints reported that incorporating video increased their conversion rate by 174%.
Although video definitely works better in some niches than others, it has a positive effect on just about any business.
A Treepodia analysis found that visitors who watched product videos converted better than those who didn’t in every single niche. In some niches, they converted over 100% better.
In this post, I’m going to break down the main ways you can use video in your business to attract more traffic to your website and convert visitors into customers.
If you’re interested in improving your conversion rate, read on…
4 reasons why video converts so highly
Video is content just like any blog post you create.
Isn’t unfair to say all videos convert well because some videos will actually hurt your conversion rate.
Just like there are low quality blog posts, there are low quality videos, which aren’t going to produce results.
So, while I am going to outline four different ways you can use video in your online business, you need to understand why video works before you can use it effectively.
There are four primary reasons why video can help hold attention and traffic.
Reason #1 – You can simplify complicated topics: As someone who writes a ton of content, I’m familiar with the limitations of writing.
Writing is great when you’re explaining straightforward concepts, but once you try to describe complex situations, it gets tough.
Here’s an example: Imagine you’re writing about how to do an oil change in a car. How many words will it take to explain how to safely prop up the car, find the oil plug, and complete the rest of the procedure?
My guess is it would take at least a few thousand words.
In a video, though, you could explain it all in a few minutes.
Not only that, the video provides much more context than text does.
You see where the oil plug is located in relation to all the other parts of the car, and you can also see exactly how each step is performed.
So, not only do you get all your information in less time but you also get it in a much more clear and practical way.
Actionable content is what drives visitors to take action, whether it’s to follow a tutorial or buy a product.
And then there are other topics that simply can’t be explained effectively through text. Some things need to be shown rather than described.
For example, if you are doing a blender comparison, it’s easy to show which one is better just by running both blenders in a video:
From a consumer point of view, I’m much more likely to buy a blender after I see it work flawlessly in a video rather than reading someone describe it in text.
Reason #2 – It’s more authentic: Another limitation of written content is that it’s hard for the reader to connect with the writer.
I include a picture in the sidebar of my blog posts, but your experience of seeing an author’s picture is not the same as seeing or hearing the content creator:
Video is one of the best ways to connect with someone even if it’s a one-sided conversation.
What happens over time is that your readers will read your other content in your voice, just like when you see a picture with a quote from a movie, you’ll often read it in the actor’s voice.
Although I don’t use video often on my blog, I have done various interviews and talks over the years that anyone can easily find on YouTube.
I’m aware that most of my best readers know what I look and sound like from stumbling across one of these videos at one point or another.
Reason #3 – Products are best seen in action: There are many factors that stop people from buying products online.
One of the big ones is that they are unsure how the product will actually look, feel, and act in real life.
Until 3-D simulations become possible, the best option we have is video.
In a video of a product being unboxed and tested, you can easily see important things like:
- how big it is (relative to other things in the video)
- does it look as good as the professional product pictures?
- do the main features work as described?
If you have a good product, you want these questions answered. Then, your visitors will have one less reason not to buy it.
Reason #4 – People are lazy: Finally, reading is tiring. It takes mental effort to stay focused and to make sense of all the content.
Yes, you could say that it’s kind of sad that most people don’t want to read much anymore, but it’s a fact.
Compare that to a video, which takes just about zero effort to click “Play” and watch.
A survey by Usurv found that users are 39% more likely to share and 36% more likely to comment on an online video compared to a text article.
But you can also optimize your content for both the lazy and non-lazy visitors, which I’ll go over shortly.
1. “How to” create videos that attract viewers with buyer’s intent
I laid out two goals of video content: traffic and conversions.
Let’s start with a way that will help you accomplish both goals: create “how to” videos—videos that show viewers how to do a particular task.
People particularly love to turn to videos when they’re searching for how to do something.
For the reasons we discussed above, videos are much easier to follow along than a text article.
As an even bigger benefit, many “how to” searches are made right before someone decides to make a purchase.
Why? Because people are looking to solve a problem:
- “how to bake a cake?”
- “how to edit videos?”
- “how to make beef jerky?”
If you have a video that outlines all the options and links to the products you use in the video, you’ll get a solid conversion rate.
But even if you don’t have your own products, you can use this type of video to sell affiliate products.
Sometimes, the product creators don’t even create their own videos, which means you can rank highly and get thousands (or more) views on your video.
For example, Adobe doesn’t have any videos showing up for Photoshop-related searches on YouTube, which allows everyone else to have a chance to show up:
And on top of searches on video sites like YouTube, videos also show up in about 70% of Google searches.
In addition to creating videos that show people how to do things for specific products, you can also make a series of videos that show people how to do something more general.
For example, Pat Flynn created a very popular video series on how to create a podcast from scratch.
In these videos, he mentions products like his favorite mics, software, etc. that he can link to and get affiliate commissions from.
Step #1 – Find keywords with buyer’s intent: This is the toughest part of the process. You need to identify keywords that actually get searched for.
According to Reel SEO, you should look for keywords with variations of “how to” and related phrases.
- ‘How To’ in the title generate an average of 14K views
- ‘Tutorial’ in the title and description generate an average of 16K views
- ‘How to fix’ in the title and description generate an average of 17K views
- ‘How to do’ in the title and description generate an average of 24K views
On top of those phrases, try to think of words relevant to your niche. For example:
- best (keyword) products
- performing (keyword)
- how to perform (keyword)
There are two main ways for you to find these types of keywords, but I’ll warn you upfront: it takes some time and effort.
For both methods, it really helps to understand your niche as much as possible. If you’ve been teaching in your niche for years, you can probably guess most phrases without any tools.
Otherwise, let’s go through the two options you have.
First, type in Google search the above phrases plus one keyword from your niche. This will bring up a full list of commonly searched for terms related to what you typed in.
For example: “how to do seo”:
You’ll need to write those down.
Then, repeat the process using all the different variations of “how to” as well as different keywords in your niche.
For SEO, here are some phrases you could try:
- how to build links
- how to create blog posts
- keyword research tutorial
- link building tutorial
- how to use schema
Get the picture?
Your second research option is to use the trusty Keyword Planner.
Start by entering a broad keyword for your niche (e.g., “seo”):
The point is to find related keywords that could be combined with “how to” or related phrases.
Once you have a large list of related keywords (e.g., link building, local SEO ranking, keyword research, etc.), you can look for specific keywords to target.
Put the “how to” phrase in quotes in the tool, which will tell the tool that you want the words to show up in that order. Then, add each of the related keywords you just found, one at a time.
“how to” keyword research
Out of that test search, I found two phrases that get a decent search volume per month:
- how to do keyword research
- best keyword research tool (could compare 4-5 of the best options)
What you’ll probably end up finding is that for most searches, you get a lot of irrelevant results.
If so, click the “Keyword options” option in the left menu:
Once you click the pencil icon, click the first button to turn it on (it should be blue now), and click “Save.”
Now, you’ll only see phrases with the exact keywords you typed in (you probably won’t have many).
Using both these methods, you should be able to get at least 20-30 video ideas to start with.
Step #2 – Create a high quality video: Content marketing doesn’t really work without great content. The same applies to videos.
You’ll need to invest time, money, and effort to create high quality videos that people will actually want to see.
How do you do that? That’s a topic for another post in the future.
For now, I have to assume that you have a little bit of experience creating videos.
Step #3 – Post it on the best video site for marketers: Have you heard of a little site called “YouTube”?
It’s by far the largest video site out there.
You always have the option of uploading videos to your site using a player like Wistia. This allows you to do some cool things like collect emails directly from the video.
However, unless you have a large following, you’re probably better off uploading your videos through YouTube.
On top of that, your videos will be on an extremely authoritative domain, which is why YouTube videos rank so well in Google.
Assuming you are one of the 1 billion users, you can upload a video using the “upload” button in the top right corner of any screen:
Then, select your video to upload:
Finally, you can fill out the basic info for the video.
This basic info is a large part of how YouTube ranks videos for different searches.
While you don’t want to keyword-stuff, you do want to add the keyword you’re trying to rank for in the title.
Include its variations in the description and tags as well:
In the description, you can also post a link back to your site. You should point it to the page you create in Step #4…
Step #4 – Embed the video on your site, and add a transcript: If you only uploaded the video to YouTube, you’re not making full use of it.
You should also create a new post or page on your website and embed the video in it.
To embed it, click the “Share” button just under the video:
Then, click the “Embed” tab, and copy the HTML code.
If you paste this on a page, you will get a nice embedded player.
Ideally, you want to rank this page as well as the video for the keyword in Google (you could have two front page spots).
Without content, however, it’ll be difficult.
To fix this, just write out the main points that you went over in the video. This also gives some visitors the option to read if they prefer that format.
2. Tell stories to gain lifelong customers
Many brands are only figuring out now that people love stories (interesting ones at least).
When every business out there is producing content, and most now are, it’s hard to tell them apart.
As a reader, whom should you trust?
Getting to know the people behind the products and the brand is one of the ways readers can decide if they can trust you.
And if they trust you, they will happily buy from you.
In general, there are three main types of stories that are perfect for online businesses to tell in a video.
For each story type, I’ve included an example that you can learn from and emulate.
Story type #1 – Who you are: Readers (and potential customers) want to know who you are.
And not just you, but also the brand you represent.
In this type of story, you focus on introducing the employees of the business (however many there are).
On top of that, you tell the viewer a little bit about your brand and your main products.
You could even go into the backstory of what went into building the product. This is a great idea if consumers in your niche are afraid of anything (like chemicals in the products or unethical work conditions).
An example of this kind of story is on the GoPro’s About page.
The video has over 190,000 views even though it’s set to “Private.” I think that proves that people really care about stories like these.
Story type #2 – Explain why you exist: No, I’m not talking about having any sort of spiritual discovery. I’m talking about why your company (or the one you work for) was created.
In this type of video, you want to answer questions like:
- Who does your company serve?
- How does it help people?
- Why do you care about these people?
- How are you different from competitors?
An absolutely brilliant video of this type was created by Dollar Shave Club.
The video, which is essentially a commercial, went viral and probably led to thousands of new customers:
The video features the founder talking about why the rest of the industry is silly, and why he created Dollar Shave Club.
If you watch it, you’ll also see a lot of humor, which can help videos spread.
Story type #3 – Show experiences your product makes possible: As much as you care about your product, your consumers don’t.
What they care about is the result of using your product.
They don’t care about a blender. They care about making and enjoying smoothies.
They don’t care about the craftsmanship of a table. They care about how it looks in their living room.
In this type of video, you want to show those end results—those experiences. These videos do very well on social media, so incorporate them into your social media strategy if you make them.
If your brand is big enough, you might be lucky to have your customers make the videos for you.
Airbnb is a great example of this. Their Facebook page has several videos that customers sent them about their experiences:
The videos are all about positive travel experiences and welcoming Airbnb hosts. Here’s an example:
3. Stop giving customers manuals
I don’t think I know anyone who actually likes instruction manuals that come with products.
Usually, they’re filled with extremely boring pages of text.
Even digital products often come with guides that no one really wants to read.
People buy a product so they can start using it. They don’t want to waste an hour reading instructions.
Obviously, this leads to frustration and a bad user experience. This could lead to refunds and fewer word of mouth referrals.
But guess what customers would be willing to do? That’s right, watch a couple of short videos.
It’s easy; they get to see the product in action; and it’s more effective as a learning tool than typical instructions.
If you have a product, I strongly encourage you to create an overview of the main uses of that product and more detailed individual walkthroughs of all the main functions. Send these along with the product (or in advance if you can).
An example of this is WordStream’s video for their PPC campaign builder tool:
It’s 3 minutes long, but it goes through all the main features that a user will need to know to get started. It’s much easier than reading 1,000-2,000 words.
Don’t make products? Make overviews of others’: If you don’t have any products of your own, you can still make tutorials and walkthroughs of other people’s products.
Often, people not associated with a company can make better videos because they have a new customer’s point of view of the product.
For example, videos about complex products like phones often get hundreds of thousands of views.
Potential customers, or new customers waiting for their phone to ship, want to know what to expect when they receive their phone. They also want to know how to use the most important features.
4. Eliminate all doubt in trust elements by using video
One of the most important elements of video that we went over at the start of this post is the ability to connect.
When you put yourself in a video, you put yourself out there for people to see. You’re not hiding behind a screen. On the contrary, you’re standing behind your thoughts and opinions.
Online reviews can have a big effect on your conversion rate.
The problem is that it’s really easy to fake a review.
Some are obviously very easy to spot, but others leave potential buyers unsure of their authenticity.
If you have a written feedback from a customer who loved your product, that’s great. But it’s not going to help you very much with future customers.
But if you can get a customer to review your product on video, it could be worth hundreds of sales in the future. With a video, there’s very little doubt that it’s a real review, which allows you to eliminate a lot of the anxiety and fear that potential customers might have.
You can generate customer video-reviews using two main options.
Option #1 – Encourage video reviews: In order to get reviews of your products, you need to ask your customers for them.
If you sell your products on third party ecommerce sites like Amazon, they take it out of your hands.
After someone buys your product and receives it, Amazon will send them an email asking to leave a review of the product.
However, if you sell on a site that allows you more flexibility, or you sell products directly from your own website, you have an opportunity.
When you ask for a review from your customer, specify that you’d really appreciate a video review from them.
Include simple instructions for how to record a video with their webcam and how to send the file to you (or a link to it).
Here’s an example of a great video review:
The product is a squirrel toy for a dog.
Instead of just writing a normal review on Amazon, Larry took a video of his dog playing with the toy.
Obviously, other people found this really useful since over 1,100 said that “this review was helpful to me,” which moved this review to the very top.
Option #2 – Interview happy customers: Standard video reviews are great and will stand out from all the other reviews (at least for the foreseeable future). So if that’s all you can get, you’ll still be very happy with the results.
For more complex products, interviewing happy customers can be a more effective option.
This is something that Ramit Sethi does occasionally for his products at I Will Teach You to Be Rich.
He flies in one of his successful students and then films an extremely high quality interview, during which he talks with them about their story and what they learned from his courses:
I understand we’re not all Ramit and can’t afford to fly out a happy customer just for an interview.
However, you could easily record a Skype or Google Hangouts chat to create this type of video even though it obviously won’t be the same quality as Ramit’s.
The reason why this can be a better option is mainly because you can direct the “review” however you’d like.
One of the problems with most reviews is that the reviewer talks about whatever comes to mind rather than what other potential customers are interested in.
In Ramit’s case, he asks questions that he knows other potential buyers are struggling with.
When they can get real unbiased answers from a successful student, they are much more likely to make the leap and buy the course.
You know I love writing great blog posts, but don’t think that’s your only option for content.
There are many types of videos that can be used to either drive traffic to your business or improve your conversion rates (sometimes both).
I’ve gone into detail about four different types of videos that accomplish these goals.
If you’re interested in video marketing, start by picking one or two of these types to focus on.
If you have any questions about how you can use video in your marketing, leave me a comment below, and I’ll try to help you out.