Video Essentials

7 Fundamentals to Help Brands Maximize Selling With Video

Infomercials are no longer the sole domain of late-night television spots for “As Seen on TV” products. Online video has taken the infomercial to a new level, and the targeting and trackability it offers gives brands more opportunities than ever to make a sale. At VidCon 2017, Jeremy Vest, founder and CEO of YouTube marketing agency VidPow presented “7 Fundamentals to Maximize Selling With Video.”

Any video a brand publishes can and should support sales, Vest says, whether it’s a product demonstration, a 360 video on Amazon, a sharable/viral video, or a how-to video.

  1. Understand the video sales formula: Present a hook in the first 2 to 5 seconds, reveal the problem your product solves in the first 20 to 30 seconds, reveal the solution to the problem, introduce the solution for the first time, present solution benefits, and then offer credibility and a call-to-action—and use emotional triggers like shock or humor throughout the video. Conventional wisdom says you have 5 to 10 seconds to grab the audience’s attention, but Vest believes you have 1 or 2. He pointed to the Squatty Potty viral video that grabbed audience attention from the very first frame: a unicorn pooping rainbow ice cream.
  2. The product or service must connect to the audience and seem useful: Be sure to provide viewers with a clear answer to the question “Why should I buy this product?” Also, give your customers a compelling, easy-to-navigate experience around the video in the landing page, the mobile version, and the purchasing process.
  3. Broaden distribution and discoverability: Besides ads, how are people going to find your content? Are there fan pages for the product or company? Can you send your product to hundreds of influencers? Vest says VidPow typically contacts 100 publishers for each product it creates videos for, looking for as broad distribution as possible.
  4. Stretch the ad budget: Push your organic reach to get viewers to share and engage with the content so you don’t have to rely solely on paid distribution. Emphasize the sharability of the video—if your ad goes viral, that means you’re paying less per customer acquisition.
  5. Conduct A/B testing: You should use 10 percent of your total ad budget for multivariate testing, Vest says. This includes testing different versions of the video, different versions of ads around the video, different landing page designs, and different email campaigns.
  6. Reinforce the message with remarketing: On average, customers need 10 to 20 touchpoints before making a purchase, and the full video should be only one of those, Vest says. Remarketing to potential customers is key to making sales. Show someone a funny video, but also show them shorter clips, GIFs, or static ads around the video experience, on follow-up visits, or on other sites.
  7. Tracking is hard, but it’s everything: If you don’t track and prove that your video helped the sales process, that video might as well not exist. Don’t forget to look at assisted conversions and never rely on affiliate links alone, Vest says. VidPow typically tracks using Google Ad Manager.

Not ready for all seven actions? Not to worry: Vest emphasized the need for brands to start creating and publishing video even if they’re not yet able to execute all the above steps.

“Don’t overthink video; do video,” he said, “And if you have a lot of video you can start to get strategic about it.”


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