How to Generate Leads with Video

By James McKinven, Inbound Marketing Specialist

In 2018, video is too big to ignore. Whether your business is big or small, B2B or B2C, tech or retail, your customers and prospects will be expecting you to be producing some sort of video content.

The good news is that video is now incredibly accessible and easy to create, with a vast array of tools at your disposal to start filming and editing some really nice videos.

What do your customers want to see?

It sounds simple but you would be surprised at the number of people who make videos that aren’t relevant or interesting to their audience. You should take note of your customer pain points and create videos to address them.

Before kicking off any video project, think about the nature of how video is consumed, and how it has been for years. People watch it on their TVs, laptops and phones in their spare time, primarily to entertain themselves. They aren’t going to watch your videos if they don’t find them entertaining.

Build a plan

You’ll need to write everything down in a plan or you’ll get caught out. One of the more frustrating things for your audience will be seeing you make one really good video, but then see nothing else for two months because you forgot to plan out how long it would take you to make all the videos.

Being consistent and uploading content as regularly as you can has excellent exposure benefits, but it can have the opposite effect if you don’t. Build your video plan out in a Google Sheets or Excel (if you want to be fancy you could use Notion, Airtable or Dropbox Paper – we use Notion for ours).

What to put in your plan? Go with the topic, synopsis, people required, filming date & publishing date as a minimum. Consider other logistical things you might need such as booking a room or hiring the gear.

Aim to educate and inform

Have a think about the sort of videos you watch personally. It will usually fit into one of three categories: entertainment, education or information. So try and fit your content into one of these categories. If people think that you’re trying to sell to them, they’ll switch off and find someone else who makes videos that do fit into one of those buckets.

Take a step back and think about how you can educate and inform your audience. Can you bring them news about a tool or industry that no-one else is providing? Maybe a weekly round-up video covering the latest industry news, or a series of educational videos or tutorials about a tool that you use often in your industry. It’s vital to find a niche that you can make your own and encourage people to keep coming back for more.

Provide value

Following closely from educating and informing, you should look to provide as much value as possible with your videos. Again, there are so many brands producing videos in 2018 that you have to ensure you’re staying ahead of the game as your consumers have so much to choose from. If you’re providing genuine value to your prospects then they are likely to keep coming back.

Invest in gear

This is not so important but can help you stand out among the rest. If your content is highly-produced and well-polished, your audience will know that you are serious about making video. You could start with your phone camera, sure, that would be a great start, but with just a £1000 investment in a camera, some lighting and audio gear your production will start to look a lot more professional. Not looking to purchase straight away? Why not hire some gear from your local camera shop or use Cameraworks, they’ll be more than happy to help you out.

Tell a story

This was one of the key themes at Inbound (the Annual HubSpot Conference) in 2017, and it still rings true. Telling stories captivates audiences, and if you can captivate your audience with your brand then your leads are going to skyrocket. A recent example of this is Wistia’s One, Ten, One-Hundred series, a four-part documentary about the process of hiring a production agency to make $1,000, $10,000 and $100,000 adverts and the story behind each.

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Add lead gen functionality with Wistia

So you’ve built your plan, bought the gear and started producing incredibly captivating, engaging and informative videos, but how do you start capturing leads with them? Well, luckily our pals at Wistia have you covered. We’ve been a big fan of Wistia for a while as their main goal is to help other businesses succeed with video, so they’ve built lead gen functions straight into their video players.

I’ve often seen brands publish videos on YouTube but not enjoy the traffic to their website that they’d hoped for, but with Wistia you can natively post your videos to your website, capturing leads straight from the video player itself. It’s got other handy features like adding CTAs throughout and adding chapters in your video so you can break down longer bits of content.

Share everywhere!

I think this is quite obvious, but you’re not going to generate any leads if you don’t shout about your amazing content! Post it to as many different platforms as you can and cut it into bitesize chunks to post to Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook. Get all of your staff members to share that video content to ensure everyone is on board with the cool stuff you are producing.

So that’s it, that’s how you start to generate leads using video content. We hope this helps you start on your video content journey and if you’ve got any questions, make sure you send them our way. 

 

If you want more info on how to get leads rolling in using video content, check out firstbaseinbound.com 

Why data is key to cutting through the content noise

If you’ve ever published a blog, whitepaper or infographic for your brand and wondered why it’s not delivered the downloads or social media attention you’d hoped for, it’s safe to say you’re not alone.

Research from SiriusDecisions finds that 65% of content created by B2B organisations goes to waste as it’s either unfindable or unusable. Furthermore, 5% of all content created gets 90% of the attention from the world’s readership. On top of the blood, sweat and tears that content creators put into trying to engage and excite audiences only for it never to see the light of day, this unproductive content is costing businesses millions of pounds a year in lost revenue.

How to join that elite 5% club formed the topic of a webinar I attended earlier this month. Lindsay Lyons, director of brand content at Dell Technologies – the merger of EMC and Dell – in partnership with Contently, discussed how Dell is using storytelling to drive conversions and foster engagement.

Breaking through the noise

The alarming stat above proves it’s harder than ever to break through the noise. To address this, businesses need to take a step back and consider which content is necessary and useful to their audience. Dell Technologies realised this and, while the recognisable brand name undoubtedly helps, put a focus on creating quality content that would engage audiences and drive conversions.

Lindsay began with three ‘stars’ of stories that Dell have told via their corporate blog and marketing: a werewolf, a robot and Barbie. In her words: “Yes, we’re a tech company and want to sell servers and computers, but you’ve got to grab peoples’ attention and tell them stories.”

The answer is in the data

In addition to the engaging content themes, Dell also realised the importance of data in any content programme. It’s fundamentally crucial to understand your audience, remembering that customers are human and want to be entertained – even if they are IT managers – while offering the right level of technological insight they require. So, what’s the best way to do that? Well, gain the insight from your audience directly.

Dell took the questions, terminologies and jargon that its customers actually use and search for on social media and made them the navigation titles on its brand publishing site. They’ve even launched a podcast (Trailblazers) based on insight from customers that’s passed two million downloads in 18 months. Importantly, if Dell’s content team is struggling to tag an article within one of those navigation buckets then they know it’s not worth publishing.

Measurement delivers engagement

As Lindsay explains, no brand should launch a content programme without being able to track its performance and understand whether the stories they tell are resonating with their audience. Put simply, if you can’t measure it then you can’t manage it.

In Dell’s case they’ve built brand affinity levels that see visitors stay on their site 45% longer than the industry average (90 seconds), with 704,000 monthly visitors. The success of its campaign is demonstrated by the fact that 75% of the world’s top 100 companies have visited the Dell Technologies website. But they’re not simply looking at who Dell is, they’re exploring the company’s industry perspectives.

The data behind all this is crucial. Dell uses the Contently dashboard on a daily basis to assess whether content is working or not and eliminate the stories it wants to tell but aren’t performing. But perhaps even more interestingly, Dell’s sales team has taken notice of the results and proactively requested closer integration with the content programme to re-engage its contacts.

Dell of course has a strong brand identity to begin with, but its use of data to understand content performance and drive its strategy provides a lesson for any and every brand. It’s vital to establish a brand identity that differentiates you then tell unique stories that reflect it and use customer insight and engagement levels to shape your approach.