1. Keep It Short
With the massive bloom of digital video content over the past two decades, the average human attention span has dramatically shrunk – some experts say that it now rivals the infamous brevity of a goldfish’s. In fact, over half of all videos published online last year were less than two minutes long, which gives you a sense of the span your content ought to fall within. Knowing that your video has only a few brief seconds to earn your audience’s attention (before they click over to watch something else) means that your creative hook–whatever it may be–has to arrive on-screen immediately. Make it so compelling so quickly that they cannot turn off your video – the longer they watch, the better chance you have of converting them.
Similarly, the sooner you can place a call to action or encourage viewers to click-through, the better. In a perfect world, they would watch until the end before taking action, but we don’t have that luxury anymore, so make your case ASAP. There are multiple ways you can do this. Some platforms even allow you the option of including lead capture forms in your video content. If you do choose to try that, place the form somewhere in the first 10-20% of your video, where it will have a significantly higher conversion rate than if it occurs later. Without a confident call to action or prompt, audiences will rarely take the next step to engage with your brand.
2. Focus On People
There’s a timeless marketing adage that goes: “Customers don’t buy from brands – they buy from people.” No matter how slick your brand is and how well you present it, ultimately potential customers will not feel connected to your product without a human element present. The same is true for video content, which can be a terrific method for conveying your brand’s humanity to potential buyers in a persuasive, genuine manner. Think about the countless Instagram and YouTube influencers whose entire careers are based around generating fake intimacy with their audience. Customers buy from people – so how can you get them to buy from you?
Including a human face in your video thumbnail is one step towards making your content more approachable and empathetic. If the human featured is making direct eye contact with viewers and has a smile on their face, they will be much more inclined to trust (and make purchases from) your brand. During one test where a company compared the results of a smiling thumbnail versus a non-smiling thumbnail, the former increased profits by over 10%! After all, wouldn’t you rather buy from a happy, satisfied-seeming person? Additionally, be careful when you select a spokesperson for your company – figure out who might gel with your customer persona, and why.
3. Make It Personal
With so many brands constantly vying for their attention, it’s no wonder that customers can begin to feel a little detached or alienated from ecommerce. Customers are smart enough to know that in the grand scheme, they’re all just numbers on a spreadsheet for most companies. It becomes your challenge to prove them wrong through video content that authentically speaks to their pain points and needs. The better you treat your customers, the more they will come to value your brand in turn – studies show that when it comes to making a purchase, 64% of people find customer experience more important than price.
Personalization is one excellent way to show customers that they matter in particular. More than 78% of customers say that they will only pursue offers that have been customized to their previous interactions with a brand, which means that your audience is paying attention to whether or not you are paying attention to them. Try using a service like AdGreetz or Hippo Video that allows you to generate thousands of personalized videos addressing potential customers by name, their location, job title, and more. 52% of consumers and 65% of business buyers are willing to switch brands if they don’t receive personalized communication from vendors, so create custom videos and capitalize on this trend!
4. Closed Caption Everything
Did you know that 83% of all online videos are watched with the sound turned off? And did you know that number increases to 92% for mobile viewing? If your video content is dependant on an audio component, the vast majority of digital viewers will have no idea what you are trying to communicate. Considering everything that we’ve already mentioned about attention spans, your chance at converting these audiences will drop to zero. Luckily, closed captioning can help your brand overcome this challenge, and allows potential customers to more easily engage with your video content on the go.
Closed captions are also a great tool for making an international impact. Because captions are more easily swapped-out for different languages than dubbing (or shooting multiple versions of your content), they can help your content reach totally new audiences around the world – not to mention making your videos accessible for those who experience hearing loss. For all of these reasons, closed captions cannot be just an afterthought. They are a necessity if you want your branded content to speak loud and clear, even when the volume is set to zero.
5. Prioritize Mobile Viewing
In 2019 and beyond, every brand needs to start thinking outside the desktop. 75% of all video content is now viewed on a mobile device, which means that if your video content strategy isn’t putting mobile first, then your brand is potentially missing out on the vast majority of your online audience. But emphasizing mobile isn’t just about the sheer number of viewers that you will be able to connect with – it is also about their specific viewing behaviors. Mobile users are three times as likely as desktop users to watch video content, while 92% of users watching video on mobile will share video content with others. So why go fishing in a stream when you could just shoot them in a barrel instead?
As we already mentioned, one way to optimize for mobile viewing is by closed captioning all of your video content. Different platforms have different aspect ratios that work best with mobile, so experiment with multiple versions of the same video depending on where you’re hosting it. Ideal ratios can vary based on what type of content you’re sharing, too. A demo might work better as a perfect square, for example, while behind-the-scenes video should be horizontal. Overall, the more that audiences are able to intuitively engage with your video content on the go, the less effort you will ultimately need to contribute for their eventual conversion.
Video is a massive opportunity for every brand, but only the boldest and most forward-thinking will be able to take true advantage of its capability to convert viewers. You need to not only think about the content itself, but your follow-through as well. If your video content successfully gets a viewer to click, what will be waiting for them on the other side? This is just one part of a content strategy, and conversion will stay out of reach if you cannot make the conversion process itself seem appealing.
Make sure to review your existing content and try to think of ways that it can be enhanced, optimized, and evolved through the power of video. And remember, while none of these tips are magic bullets on their own, when used in tandem with each other and the other aspects of your robust content strategy they will allow you to make a serious impact on audiences worldwide. A new customer can be created in a moment, so make every moment of your video matter.