DRTV: DR Online Video
Online video marketing is being used widely and effectively as a direct marketing medium to generate leads, build mailing lists and convert prospects and past buyers into new sales or contributions.
As a central delivery vehicle for your message, online video can leverage email marketing, social media, as well as direct mail and other marketing distribution channels. When your videos resonate with your audience, you have implicitly earned permission to reach out more frequently with even more free content.
Just as direct mail comes in different formats, video can be deployed through a number of approaches, or formats, as well. Here are five video strategies that work, with any one of these being applicable to most direct marketing organizations:
1. Opt-in Lead Generation: This video approach enables you to distribute free, open content to build a story, credibility and trust over time. It's classic lead generation: You give enough information to generate interest for someone to opt in to your mailing list, call you or take other action.
2. Personal Marketing: For company owners, and people in personal development or self-help, videos of the individual on camera can be a tipping point to generate response. Seeing and hearing the individual allows an authentic voice to be communicated, which can instantly build trust and the confidence from the prospect to take action.
3. Fundraising: Video is an outstanding vehicle to use for fundraising. When your prospective donor can hear from people inside the organization or, even better, from the people served by the organization, you can build an emotional appeal that tugs at the heartstrings.
4. Product Demonstration: If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth 10,000 words. Showing how a product works, pointing out all its features and associated benefits, can bring it to life on video. Studies have shown that 57 percent of online shoppers are more confident when they watch a video before making an online purchase.
5. Video Advertising: Using direct response broadcast techniques, you can create short pre-roll, mid-roll or post-roll advertisements that are included with the long-form videos of others on YouTube, BrightRoll or other video hosting platforms. It's a way to use direct response techniques to generate clicks that lead to a landing page, or calls via inbound phone.
No matter what type of product or service you offer, video has the ability to infuse new energy and turn around direct marketing campaigns. Here are examples of three of those video techniques in action:
1. Opt-in Lead Generation
For a new product that has a fascinating story to be told, video can be highly effective at helping you build an opt-in email list of prospective customers. In this example for a health-related product, a short opt-in video was created and placed on a Web landing page.
It begins by telling the first part of a long story using voice-over, stock video, stock photos and words on the screen to hold the viewer's interest. At the end of the video, the viewer is encouraged to opt in with an email address to immediately watch the next video in the series, which tells more of the story.
The benefit of this approach is you can pace the delivery of the somewhat complex message, or story, and over time build understanding, trust and anticipation from your audience.
2. Personal Marketing
In this example, the owner of a firm offering security guard services explains his unique selling proposition. The video appears on the home page of his website. It's hosted and optimized for organic search on YouTube, making it available to attract inbound search.
The video was recorded in front of a green screen, which allows for any background to be used. Words on the screen along with stock photos reinforce the narration and keep the video moving along.
A discussion guide was created in advance of the recording session. An interviewer was off camera asking questions, but the company owner looked into the camera, not with answers to the questions, but rather with self-contained statements, as if he were having a conversation with the viewer.
The way to make this approach work is to have the interviewer state a starter sentence for the interviewee. Instead of "What did you have for lunch today?" the interviewer delivers a starter sentence, such as "For lunch today, I had a hot dog." This approach allows the interviewee to know where to begin so that the conversation naturally flows, and the interviewer is edited out of the video so as to not distract from the message. This approach also allows easy editing, and allows the person being interviewed to be credible and natural in delivery.
This fundraising video tells a story and stimulates emotion using interviews of young people whose lives have been touched by this organization.
This video won in an A/B/C split test of length to see which style would bring in the highest number of contributions. The three lengths were about four minutes, seven minutes and 10 minutes. The winner was the seven-minute video, bringing in more donations from first-time contributors than the other approaches.
We suspect the reason the seven-minute video worked best was there was more time to tell the story and arouse emotion than the four-minute video, and the 10 minute video was too long. Still, a seven minute video is longer than many, and reminds us that we shouldn't be afraid of longer-form videos to tell our story and successfully generate response.
Gary Hennerberg is a direct marketing consultant and copywriter, president of Dallas-based direct marketing consultancy The Hennerberg Group, and author of the blog Online Video Marketing Deep Dive. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reinventing Direct is for the direct marketer seeking guidance in the evolving world of online marketing. Gary Hennerberg is a mind code marketing strategist, based on the template from his new book, "Crack the Customer Mind Code." He is recognized as a leading direct marketing consultant and copywriter. He weaves in how to identify a unique selling proposition to position, or reposition, products and services using online and offline marketing approaches, and copywriting sales techniques. He is sought-after for his integration of direct mail, catalogs, email marketing, websites, content marketing, search marketing, retargeting and more. His identification of USPs and copywriting for clients has resulted in sales increases of 15 percent, 35 percent, and even as high as 60 percent. Today he integrates both online and offline media strategies, and proven copywriting techniques, to get clients results. Email him or follow Gary on LinkedIn. Co-authoring this blog is Perry Alexander of ACM Initiatives. Follow Perry on LinkedIn.