How to Make More Sales with your Videos Effectively
If you’re making videos to sell a product or service, then you’ve probably noticed that it’s hard to get conversions with traditional sales techniques these days. The ‘hard-sell’ approach is like pepper spray in todays world of marketing, it just sends people fleeing, so what’s the solution?
A modern approach to selling
The simple answer is to just be natural. Every audience is different, so start by listening to them – that means understanding the behaviour of your audience and learning the correct language to use to connect with them. Research forums, blog post comments, look on Quora.com for questions related to your field of expertise and watch videos etc. and note down the words, expressions and style of language.
In other words, hang out where your audience is hanging out and understand who they are, what their problems are and literally make a detailed profile of them so you have a clear idea of who you’re trying to reach out to. This will help you put together what you want to say to them in your videos.
The second thing is to move away from those old cheesy sales techniques of:
- Being pushy – stop bugging people until they say no as you’re actively destroying relationships. If people are interested, they will respond, if not, then accept you’re not a good fit for that person and focus your efforts on those who are.
- Over-reliance on social media – use platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube as awareness-building tools rather than as sales tools. Try sharing useful links to articles, reviews, videos related to your industry etc. to build a community by being the expert in your field rather than the shouty guy / girl trying to get people to buy.
- Blasting your email list with offers all the time – no need to hammer home you’re selling things, it should be obvious from your website. Try mixing it up by sending out useful content like opinion pieces and practical tips and tricks (those of you reaching this post via our email list will hopefully get some value out of the tips here!)
- Asking for a sale right away – not everyone is in the right state of mind to buy when they first come across you so see if you’re a good fit for them by first showing them who you are through your videos / content. By asking people to sign up to your email list and then using a marketing ‘funnel’ to drip-feed useful content, you can build a much stronger relationship with your customers whereby sales become a natural thing rather than a forced process.
That last point is actually really important. Here’s an example: you might have come across this post via a search for something like ‘how to increase my sales with video’, but you might not have been looking for instrumental background music for your video. Yet by introducing you to our site and offering some useful content like a free track (you can get that here) and these types of articles, it’s likely you’ll look around to see what we’re about.
During this process, you’re introduced to our library of music and might find some music that works really well with your videos, but the important thing is that it’s your choice and there’s no pressure. People know how to bookmark sites in their browser or download previews so they can come back to them later. Ironically, just as I was writing this blog post someone purchased a track by typing in the name of the track directly into our search form, so they knew what they were looking for.
The rule of thumb is: suggest, don’t sell.
Stand out or be outstanding?
While it’s good to try new ways of grabbing peoples’ attention in your videos, avoid gimmicky or misleading ways of reaching out to your customers. There’s nothing that screams ‘desperate’ more than overtly-trying to be different while whacking in sales speech at the same time.
If you’re trying to stand out, your primary focus should be to try your best to make outstanding content that is genuinely useful, interesting or entertaining and then share it with your networks so people know it exists.
When you create content that people genuinely want to share (and this takes time to put together), then you’ll need to do much much less to get other people engaged with your videos and start making sales as a result rather than just doing weird stuff to get noticed.
If you’re stuck on where to start, here are a few tips you can try:
- Make a Channel Trailer
If you’re on YouTube, make a short channel trailer with a quirky intro that explains the content of the videos in your channel. If you’re familiar with After Effects, then Videohive is a good place to get intro animations that are of great quality.
- Try using animation
Use animations to break down difficult concepts into an easier and more consumable format. As a simple example, you could convert a powerpoint presentation explaining something complex within your industry along with transitions, then convert that into a video and add a voice over using a service like Fiverr to find a decent voice over artist to work with.
- Use clear branding
Create an identifiable brand through design. The intro and outro of your videos are a fundamental part of this, but also try being creative within your content so that there is a trigger for people when they see your videos that associates you with that content. Triggers are also part of Jonah Berger’s STEPP principles for making content that is contagious.
- Use unusual backgrounds or props for your videos
You could even make these a theme in your videos to make them stand out such that people expect something unusual in your videos each time they watch.
- Edit in interesting ways
Some YouTubers like Pewdie Pie and Casey Neistat make a point of editing in unusual ways (especially Pewdie Pie!). Bear in mind that while this can help brand your videos / channel, it can be quite hard to get right without annoying your viewers with choppy changes and a lack of overall flow. Use in moderation I’d say…
- Don’t just go niche, go double-niche (dude)
It’s likely that you’re already working within a specific section of an industry and many people have told you that you need to go niche with your subject to capture an audience and make sales. However, it’s a good idea to go further and ‘sub-niche’ when you’re creating videos as it can really help you stand out. Watch this video on double-nicheing by VideoCreators to learn more.
Finally, don’t forget to just look at how other people are standing out and getting traffic as a result on YouTube. Note their use of titles, thumbnails, the format their shows take (i.e. intro, main content and outro), the production quality and message they’re getting across. What are they actually saying in their videos? How are they trying to help their audience? We really can learn a lot just by watching how other people do things.
Pre-selling with bridge pages
If your only focus is to sell something, then pre-positioning a sale by providing some value in a natural way before moving on to your sales pitch can work really well. Remember, even though you want to sell, the intention should always be to build some kind of a positive relationship with your customer, so be authentic i.e. genuinely try to help people out like we try to do on this blog. At the end of the day, we all want to do business with people we get on with right?
An effective approach to do this is to create something called a ‘bridge page’ which contains a video that develops a connection with your visitors on a human-level first. You want to get them excited about the product that is coming up and the way to do that is to provide them with context. Try putting out something that is:
- Genuinely useful for your audience or their business (i.e. information that improves their workflow, helps them gain new leads, increases their productivity etc.).
- Interesting (this is great if you’re selling informational products like a video series)
- Entertaining (if your aim is to sell something like a film or animation then giving out snippets of ‘the making of’, interviews with the director or even parts the film itself can all help engage the audience in your main offering).
- Free reports, guides or other downloadable material that gets the visitor interested in your area of expertise (this is usually a useful ebook on improving something like conversions on their website).
Try easing in your subject with phrases in your video like this if you’re doing a face-to-camera style video:
“Hi there! I know you’re interested in X topic, so I thought I’d give you my opinion about this really useful [product / service] that’s been helping me do X, Y and Z. A bunch of other people I know also find this a useful tool, so keep watching if you’re interested to hear their experiences [add in some testimonials / case studies etc.]. If you want to know more, there’s a link below to my website where I go through the features etc.”
By easing the viewer into how this product / service could be useful for them too and providing social proof from others (a couple of testimonials / quotes etc.), you can capture interest. No one likes to just watch the features of products and services listed to them and then be told to buy, so provide context in a bridge page before sending those newly qualified leads to your actual sales page.
Driving traffic to your videos
So, assuming you’ve cleaned up your act and aren’t being so ‘salesy’ anymore 😉 you’ll want to find ways to drive traffic to your videos. I’m going to use YouTube as an example here, but you can use these 5 techniques to direct viewers to anywhere you want:
- Guest blog
Reach out to other people who are in your industry and ask them if they would like you to write about a topic of interest to their audience so you can add a link to your website or embed your video on their blog.
- Add 20 new subs a day
For each of your social media channels, try expanding your audience by reaching out to 20 new subscribers a day in your industry. If you see something that’s of interest (to you or your own subscribers), retweet / share it and make sure the author is notified by tagging them. Outreach is essential for building an audience and bringing in regular traffic.
- Create ‘evergreen’ content
If you find yourself only creating short form content or videos related to current news, try creating something that will last for a long time i.e. a ‘how to’ guide on how to get started in your industry.
- Build your email list
Don’t neglect those subscribers! If you’re creating stuff that’s of interest, set up a bi-monthly newsletter telling people about what you’re up to and why it will be of interest to them.
- Podcast or do interviews
Try to get interviews with influencers in your area and include them in your videos. However short they are, they are great for capturing the attention of people who are interested in your area and bringing new visitors onboard.
Lastly, if you’ve got a budget, then don’t forget that advertising is also a good way of bringing in new visitors. Just remember, make sure you keep to a strict budget and learn what works rather than just blasting out random adverts in the hope they’ll bring in lasting traffic – keep an eye on your stats.
If you have anything to add, please leave them in the comments below!
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