How to produce video content that converts

9:00 am in Conversion Optimization, PPC Marketing Blog, Video by Peter Rigg

This is a guest post by Peter Rigg, the founder of Hazelnut Films – an animation company based in London (UK). They produce a series of re-brandable videos that help search marketing agencies to explain their services in 90 seconds.

Producing a video and placing it on a landing page will not achieve much by itself. However, the right content can give a massive boost to your conversion rate if it’s well executed. You don’t even have to hire a professional producer to achieve results – you can do it for yourself. In this post, we’re going to offer an introduction on how you can get started.

Which video style is right for you?

Different products and services lend themselves to different video styles. The key to selecting the right one is understanding the search intent of your visitors. Here are a few of the most commonly used styles in action:

Product demonstration videos

Ideal for online stores where you need the viewer to get as close as possible to experiencing a tangible product. Video demos are far more persuasive than still images or even panoramic tours, and provide a great way of converting cautious customers on the spot. Credit: Kiddicare

Explanation videos

Short, punchy, usually animated and under two minutes. An excellent way of simplifying ideas that are difficult to convey through words. Credit: Hazelnut Films

Screen capture

Visuals recorded from your screen accompanied by a voice over. This gives users a hands on feel for what it’s like to actually use your product without having to sign up. Credit: GeckoBoard

Case study videos

Real customers talking positively about your offer can be incredibly persuasive. Short case study videos help your audience to identify with your existing customer base, and connect with your products and services on a human level. Credit: Intuit

DIY production tools

Production tools are now very affordable (often free) and in most cases you can orientate yourself with the basics within a few hours. For example, you can pick up consumer video camera for under $300 and editing software such as Adobe Premiere Elements and Apple’s iMovie for under $100. Snagit and Camtasia are great for screen capturing, and CamStudio provides an easy-to-use open source alternative.

Explanation videos can be created through programs such as After Effects and 3D Studio Max, however animation is a much more complex discipline that usually takes months (or even years) to learn. However, you can you can find a range of talented producers to suit different budgets through Wistia’s 50 Grove and Commoncraft’s Explainer Network.

Our top tips

  1. Keep it brief: Web users have short attention spans. Think Vitamin increased their conversion rate by 24% through a tiny change to their sign up page – they swapped a 5 minute video for a 50 second overview. There’s a huge lesson in this.
  2. Build it around people: Viewers will be more engaged if they can relate to people in your video. Even if you’re using animation, build the story around the benefits to real people rather than merely describing your offer.
  3. Set the right tone: A sales pitch might seem like a great idea, but most viewers will switch off instantly. Try to make it educational and entertaining so that people actually enjoy watching (they might actually share it then too!).
  4. Choose a great video thumbnail: Don’t use a randomly generated thumbnail – take time to handpick a still image that’s both indicative of the content and enticing to the audience.
  5. Clear calls to action: Firstly for the user to actually play the video, and secondly, from within the video itself for the user to complete the conversion.
  6. Re-think the page layout: Forcing a video into an existing page rarely works. Re-evaluate the entire page layout and follow established landing page principles to achieve the best results.
  7. Measure and refine: Don’t embed it and forget it. Study the video stats in addition to your page analytics – how many people are actually clicking play? How much of the video are they watching? Tweak the video content and the page to further enhance your conversion rate.
  8. Utilise new player technologies: Don’t assume that YouTube is the best option. Tools such as Wistia provide excellent analytics for understanding how people interact with video, while Mixpo allows real-time customisation of your video to match the demographic and location data of individual viewers.

Summary

Video is often seen a mysterious art form that’s best left to professionals, however it’s not so daunting once you learn to see it as an extension of your conversion toolkit. You probably won’t win any Oscars for your work, but people don’t expect Hollywood production values on the web.

So, why not try some producing some content for yourself? Or if you have done already, then please share your experience with us :-)

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Certified Knowledge. If you would like to write for Certified Knowledge, please let us know.


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