Blogging used to be just about written content. But these days we need to think of ourselves as internet marketers.
And that means video.
I’ve said it so many times lately: as the world makes the shift from PCs and laptops to tablets and smart phones we need to be on top of the technology changes.
People are viewing and responding to videos now more than ever before and it’s important that we take advantage of its power.
In this post I want to show you why video can massively increase your email sign ups, sales and conversions. I’ll also show you some really cool examples.
Why people respond to video
As an internet marketer (and not just a blogger) I am challenging you to think of the reasons why people do things.
Bloggers need to think about the psychology behind people’s actions. [Tweet this]
We need to think about why people click and sign up and interact with content in certain ways.
Understanding these reasons, as I have been saying for years, takes the guess work out of your online marketing.
Some of the reasons people are responding so well to (good) videos is because:
- It’s new and exciting
People are still excited by video presentations on blogs and websites. It can appear very professional and fun.
- It encourages trust
When someone uses a talking head style of video we often see a big increase in user engagement. Why? Because people are feeling like they are getting to know the person a lot better.
- It is compelling
Closely linked to the new and exciting idea is the idea that video keeps you captivated longer than text. People skim and skip large chunks of content but a good video with music and so on can keep your eyes on the screen.
- It’s easy
Watching a video is really easy. Its lazier than reading text. But it’s also easy because you can watch it on your phone while laying down on the couch.
- It is very emotional
People often make decisions based on emotions and video is a very emotional medium. It is very easy to find yourself sucked in and carried away by the message.
- We’re not used to video selling yet
One of the big things to understand is that people haven’t quite got video blindness yet. Long landing pages full of text? Yep, people know they are being sold to. Sure, they still work but a fresh landing page using video will have a better engagement rate.
Video is something that no one should be ignoring. Whether you want to sell a product or get more people signed up to your list, video is now essential for your success.
Examples of really tight video
What I want to do now is show you a few people who are doing video really well on their blogs, sales pages and websites.
I should also point out that in a short time when I introduce myself on Blog Tyrant with my name and face I will be releasing a lot of talking head videos that I’ve been making. I really hope you like them (and my face!).
1. Jon Morrow at Blog Boost Traffic
Jon Morrow is one of the editors at Copyblogger and an all round nice guy. I really love reading what he writes both there and around the web.
But something that Jon is doing extremely effectively now is using a video presentation to get sign ups to his new website. I’m not sure if this is going to be a product or just a new website but it works well. Take a look.
As you can see there is no human presence in this video – just emotional music mixed with authority-building quotes from famous bloggers.
I signed up for this thing and I almost NEVER sign up for things like this. I wonder how many of you went to his website to sign up?
Authority building quotes, emotional music, simplicity, focus on outcome, used in context of a simple opt-in form page.
2. Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income
I must have sent so many visitors to Pat’s site by now. I talk about him all the time. I guess it is because he is doing so much right.
When you arrive on his home page you instantly see a welcome message saying “Don’t know where to start? Click here.” You are then taken to this video.
First of all, the site introduction is an amazing idea. I don’t know if Pat was the first person to do it but it was the first place I noticed it. Its now happening on a lot of blogs. And with good reason. It works.
The video is extremely personal. You meet Pat right away and instantly develop a bond with his ambitions and motivations and style.
The great thing about this approach is that a huge percentage of people who visit Pat’s site will watch this video and remember his face forever. That is excellent personal branding.
Relaxed and friendly tone builds loyalty, used in introduction page to increase personal brand, increases page views on site through curiosity and then virtual “tour”.
3. Darren Rowse on Problogger
Darren has been at the forefront of blogging changes for a long time. I remember when he first changed his blog to the new “portal” design I hated it but then two months later everyone else was doing the same thing.
For a few years now Darren has made his talking head videos a feature on Problogger and they work wonders. Here is one.
The cool thing about Darren’s videos is that they aren’t really promoting any product or trying to achieve some direct aim. They are almost like video blog posts; videos about certain topics to do with his blog.
In true Rowse fashion we are seeing a new way to provide unique and free content to his readers.
Personal and intimate, genuine value-adding content, high definition quality, promoted and featured on the website’s homepage.
4. Katie Freiling from KatieFreiling.com
I stumbled upon Katie’s blog a few months ago and was instantly attracted to how she presents her content. I signed up to her mailing list out of pure curiosity.
Katie does everything well on her blog. Her format, offering and, of course, her videos.
In fact, all of her blog posts are videos and the format is working really well for her. She has a great following and is making a fortune.
The video above is the one from her homepage which encourages you to sign up to her list. This is a trend that I will be following on Blog Tyrant soon – the homepage acts as a portal to all your services as opposed to just being a blog. It works really well and is used by a lot of big guys like Copyblogger.
Personal and intimate, featured on homepage as a video landing page, focuses on how she will help the reader, consistent branding and tone throughout all her videos.
5. Derek Halpern from Social Triggers
A little while ago now Derek drummed up some excitement for his new audio masterclass series where he spoke to leading experts about marketing psychology. And one of the main ways he did this was with video. Take a look.
This is a really simple video but one that is used to great effect. Have a look how many comments there are on that post. I can only imagine how many sign ups he got for the masterclass – I know I was one of them.
Simplicity, focused on message, builds excitement for a yet to be released product, specific call to action.
Tips for making highly engaging videos
I want to finish this post of by giving you some tips for using videos to increase sign ups or loyalty on your site.
- Script it but be natural
Remember in high school when you had to give oral presentations? The best ones were the ones when people just talked to the class. The same is true here. Don’t read off of a script or notes but make sure you plan before hand and know what you are talking about.
- Host on Youtube and promote as an SEO exercise
Hosting your videos on Youtube is best practice because Youtube itself can bring you lots of traffic. You can get on their featured videos page, catch the attention of other video makers and, most importantly, these Youtube videos get indexed really well as individual items on Google now.
- Use watermarks and professional introductions
Darren Rowse’s video has a really cool little intro where his logo spins around, etc. This is a very nice touch and, for a couple of hundred dollars, makes his videos look even more authoritative. Watermarks also help people know where your videos are based and how they can find more.
NOTE: If you want a video introduction made that is something my company can make for you.
- Have one call to action per video
It is tempting to cram a lot into these videos because you are talking and talking is easy. However, you need to really focus your message and have just one call to action per video. Want people to sign up to a new list? Tell them to do that and nothing else.
- Repeat the transcript or main message below
Don’t just expect that people will watch your video. What if they are at work where videos are not allowed? In that case you want to make sure the entire script or at least the main message is repeated in text below. This prevents people from missing the point.
- Use a good mic and camera
Make sure you use a high quality mic and a good camera. You can hire these for a few days and make a bunch of videos at once or you can pay someone to film these for you. In my post on making a podcast I showed you a good mic for voiceovers.
- Be careful with autoplay
Last week on Twitter meetup #blogchat (its on Sunday nights) a lot of people were talking about video and one of the main issues was that people hate autoplay. This is interesting because often autoplay videos convert really well. In the end though, most people thought you should let the view decide when to stop. Thoughts?
What videos have you seen done well?
Please leave a comment if you have used videos with some success or know of someone who is doing it really well. Feel free to post links to your own site.
Lastly, what works well for you in a video? Is there anything that really turns you on or turns you off?
26 CommentsJoin in. The comments are closed after 30 days.
AWESOME STUFF! I’ve been my own guinea pig with video + it has revolutionized my business.
I would also add that video has sugar* cuz it’s extremely addictive, both to make + for your readers to become immediately hooked too.
*Substitute the word “sugar” with nicotine + cocaine + cupcakes + Coke or whatever. No judgement.
Mayi it is so good to see you around here again!
How is the product sales going?
I’m always here. My hand raising abilities have just been slaking lately 🙂 Glad to be back!
Life is Messy Bootcamp is keeping me busy busy. Thanks for asking. I’m now planning to translate the program to Spanish to keep on growing. Which makes me ponder, the Hispanic community needs a Rey Tirano 🙂
Hey I like that!
I’d love to hear more about your product launch and all the ins and outs of it all.
I heard it was super successful?
Thanks for the informative post! As a visual storyteller images have become my weapon of choice to awaken the souls of the world. Simply because our eyes are no different than the lens of a camera. We are bombarded with images everyday. Life is a series of moving images. The emergence of video in the blogging world has just added another way of storytelling.
For me the most important element is the image. I generally don’t enjoy talking heads. Even in short video pieces I’ve shot they were no more than 10 minutes and if it involved an interview then I always used b-roll or other visual shots (from the streets or them making something) to keep the audience engaged. This is a tip I learned in the video journalism world to create more compelling content.
That is a really good idea. Sounds like some editing needs to be done though right?
I never did video before because I hated having to watch them to get content myself, but I did my first video in January and absolutely love it. Now I’m looking at how I can continue to grow this and use it in my business. The hardest part for me is just finding a quiet time to make them, as I have a home office and small little kiddos. 😉
Looking forward to seeing what you do with this! I hope you continue to talk more about video on the blog. I’d REALLY appreciate that!
Ha ha Jamie I’d love to see a video with the kids interrupting. It would be very unique!
Yep, I’ve got lots coming up in the next few months here. Stay tuned.
Great ideas and advice! Thank you for this. I think I’m gonna clean up my current about-page and make a video instead. That should be a good start.
I’m myself one of those few who aren’t that keen to watch videos. I rather read it myself. But I know I’m in a minority, so I should jump onto this and do that soon.
I think that is an interesting point. Some people love them, some don’t. Make sure you experiment with your readers.
I just thought of a brilliant idea for a video that’s probably never been done in the online content marking niche. Create a 5, 10, or 15 documentary telling the story of the day in the life of a problogger. This would go viral for sure! It adds to emotion by putting a human side to the individual, feeds people’s curiosity of what a problogger does during the day and if produced well could also add the compelling visual imagery that I mentioned earlier. I enjoy making short docs as it part of what I do sometimes in my work as a journalist. They don’t take that much time and you get to spend the day hearing someone else’s story and then best part comes when you can share it!
I love it. Except for me the the video would just be shots of me on the couch or at Subway. LOL
LOL! I was suggesting that you could find a problogger (not BT) and do a short 5, 10, 15 min video of what their day is like and the b-roll could be used to cut away from the person always talking. Like those mini-docs on the BBC for instance. Could be fun and u would definitely dominate the blogosphere! LOL!
Yeah this would be really awesome if we could turn it into a comedy. Bloggers would love it.
Here’s a link to a blogger who writes about social media. They created a character for their videos. https://andreavahl.com/grandmas-corner
These are great examples of people who are properly leveraging video right now. There is a huge demand for video and ignoring the trend could really be costing bloggers/businesses.
I think it is intimidating to most to get in front of a camera and piece together a video. However, the viewing audience doesn’t demand Spielberg quality videos. They just want a different way to consume information. Don’t be afraid if your first videos don’t look perfect, the effort will still be rewarded.
I totally agree Christelle. Just like written content, the video quality will evolve and change.
I dislike lengthy videos that ramble. Where the person’s eyes keep wandering up and down the screen and they keep saying “umm” and “uhh.”
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with outlining or scripting your video beforehand to at least be a little prepared. Don’t read straight from the script to the point where it sounds un-natural, but at least be prepared.
I haven’t done as much video as I’d like to. The video that I have shot is mostly for product tutorials and I outline everything before doing the screencast. I really like how Pat Flynn uses that device to draw on the screen for his videos – I forget what the product is called but I need to get it.
As for other cool videos I’ve seen, here’s a great one:
Naturally, it’s a real estate example, since that’s my niche 🙂
I’m going to check it out now.
Pat uses Camtasia for his videos but I don’t know if that’s the screen drawing element.
Yeah, I use Camtasia too. Looks like the other device is called the Bamboo tablet. It basically allows you to draw on the screen as you’re recording a screencast.
It’s pretty sweet actually:
Oh that’s right. I remember hearing about that. Thanks, I’m probably going to need to buy this. Lol.
I’m glad you took on this topic. It’s close to my heart, as I’ve been studying video marketing and podcasting for the past couple months.
Compared to blogging, my impression is that audio-visual marketing has far less competition. I think it’s due to:
1) Fear of public speaking
2) The steep learning curve
3) The cost of equipment
Points #2 and #3 are becoming less of an issue. A pocket-sized “shoot and share” camcorder and a good lapel mic are dead simple to use for “vlogging” (video blogging). Not hard to get both for less than $200.
As long as people deal with point #1, it will hold them back, regardless of how cheap and easy the technology gets. The nice thing is that you can create videos on your computer, without having to show your face.
One resource I’d highly recommend is the “Video 101” series on Vimeo. Good lessons for beginners, explained in plain English:
Has anyone has found a free or cheap way to get transcripts done? That would really add to the user experience, as well as help with SEO.
Love your comments as always.
The cheapest way I can find to get transcripts done is VWorker.com where you can hire people to do the job.
I wonder if there is a technology that will do it soon? I noticed that iPhone’s are now transcribing voicemails into text messages.
I think “We’re not used to video selling yet” is a particularly salient point. As someone who’s constantly trying to sell without “selling,” video seems like a good way to get attention without being so overtly mercenary. I’d also like to second the good camera / microphone comment — but ESPECIALLY the microphone. People seem to forget that listening to pops and fuzz (or straining to hear) is far more intolerable than a few image problems.
Totally agree Katie.
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