Barring the occasional exception (involving someone who knows exactly what they want and just can’t wait to place an order), making an online sale takes work. You need to convince the prospective customer to part with their money, and they might have various reservations (or even objections) that are holding them back. How do you manage it?
You can polish the persuasive powers of your product copy, of course — that can certainly help push the reader towards converting. You can improve the clarity of your page layout. You can even throw in some appealing imagery to catch the eye and clarify some elements. But if you really want to make an impact, you should try using explainer videos.
An explainer video is essentially what it sounds like: a video that neatly and efficiently explains something, typically in an entertaining and compelling way. If you use them for your sales strategy, they can prove highly effective. Here’s how to do it:
Decide what you can usefully explain
There’s no sense in creating videos for the sake of it. What’s the use in an explainer video if there’s nothing to explain? Before you start, then, you need to think carefully about what you’d benefit from presenting to people. A good way to start is by thinking about frequently-asked questions: what do your prospective customers tend to be confused about?
If you’re selling a product with a practical purpose, for instance, people might want to know more about how it works and how they can use it — so creating an instructional video detailing the principles and showing them how to set it up would be extremely valuable.
You should also think about the different concerns at different points in your sales pipeline. Someone who knows very little about your company would benefit from seeing a video introducing your brand identity, while someone who’s made it all the way to your about page would probably be looking for reassurance about the quality of your company.
Let’s look at some examples of questions you can answer with your videos:
- What problem do you aim to solve? Some businesses offer products that solve common problems, only prospects don’t always know those problems exist — which is to say that they’re not consciously aware of them. Once they’re explicitly pointed out, those people realize how irritating they are, and are driven to address them.
- What makes your brand exceptional? Of all the businesses in the world, why should someone buy from you in particular? There must be something exceptional about you, so explain it here. It could be your culture, your passion for what you do, your commitment to quality, or something else entirely.
- How does your UVP work? Your unique value proposition might involve fresh, unknown and/or unusual technologies or methods, and explaining why they matter is vital for getting people to value them. Think about Apple’s famed machine engineering quality: the company has created numerous videos over the years to explain the incredibly precision of its process and the amazing durability of its materials.
- Why should people trust you to deliver? Particularly if you’re working in the B2B realm, the core of your operational model might involve the provision of products over an extended period. Explaining why you’re so trustworthy (throwing in testimonials and case studies in the process) can be hugely productive.
- What are your core business terms? Not every sales deal is as simple as completing a one-off exchange. Sometimes there are multiple payments over time, or there are multiple parties involved for whatever reason, or there are specific privacy concerns that must be met. If you often get queries about these things, creating a video to explain your core business terms is worth doing.
- What are you doing to support sustainability? This has become an important issue across the board, even for companies that don’t work in directly-relevant sectors such as energy. By explaining your approach to recycling, cutting energy costs, and investing in green infrastructure, you can earn some much-needed support.
- How has your company changed recently? Great companies never stop growing, and the need to avoid churn should fuel your continuing development. By occasionally making progress videos (detailing how you’ve grown and changed recently), you can prompt lapsed customers to consider your value once again.
Invest in high-quality production
Once you know what video types you’re looking for, you need to think about production. What needs to go into the writing? What style would you like (e.g. talking head interview, animation, slideshow)? You also need to think about the elements that you want included: should there be crisp graphics? Do you want vibrant colors or something more subdued (color really matters in retail)? And what about the intro and outro?
Now, you definitely can tackle all of these things yourself, but you’re unlikely to want — or be able — to manage the production (yes, a phone camera these days can take solid footage, but it won’t come close to reaching a professional standard). The best thing to do is reach out to a dedicated company — get the right video package and you can have almost all of the creative process handled on your behalf by experts.
Yes, you’ll need to set aside a decent budget for a decent video… but it’s worth it. If done well, your explainer videos can help push conversions for years to come, and they reflect your business. If they look mediocre, they’ll make your company look mediocre too (after all, don’t you judge a business by everything it produces, including its content?)..
Think about it this way. If a top prospect reached out to you and asked for some kind of presentation that would most accurately and usefully encapsulate your business, would you feel completely confident linking them to one or more of your explainer videos? If you wouldn’t, that would be a clear indication that you hadn’t reached the necessary level of quality. Only when you have total faith in their power and legitimacy will they stand on their own.
Embed the videos in all suitable locations
Let’s say you’ve picked out the topics you need explaining and had some exceptional videos made. What do you do with them? Well, it’s simple: you embed them wherever you think they’ll be useful, whether on your site or elsewhere. Videos explaining products should go on those product pages, linked from YouTube (to increase exposure, speed up page loading, and provide valuable analytics), but also be used in relevant marketing emails.
Videos explaining your brand, meanwhile, can be used not only on your about page but also throughout your social media profiles (since people will often find you through them). And if you create videos explaining topics in your industry to demonstrate expertise and encourage people to trust you as a retailer, then don’t just share them in that way: send links to relevant blog sites who might be interested in reposting them.
Here are some specific suggestions for where you can deploy your videos:
Offer broad summaries to the unfamiliar
When you’re aiming for initial exposure, reaching out to audiences that don’t know anything about your brand, you should focus on the core of your business: what your company does, what clients you’ve worked with, and other things of that nature. The idea isn’t to sell anything. It’s simply to plant the seed of brand recognition so you can build on it later.
Use demonstration videos for product pages
If someone has reached your product page, there’s a solid chance they already understand its value, so you shouldn’t put too much time into that. Instead, take the opportunity to show the product in use, helping to bridge that gap between the abstract notion of a product and the thing itself as a practical reality. If it looks easy and/or fun to use, it’ll really help sell it.
Run content marketing with UVP videos
Content marketing is all about offering value and establishing expertise, with the hope that the grateful recipients will eventually find their way to your website. Because you get the chance to establish your brand through the content, you shouldn’t stick to that with your video embeds: instead, feature the unique elements that make you noteworthy. That will give you the best chance of being remembered at the end.
Retarget old customers with progress updates
Let’s say you’re carrying out email marketing, and one of the threads of your campaign involves trying to bring back lapsed customers: people who bought from you once but then seemed to lose interest. By looking at when they placed their last orders, you can figure out what might have changed to sour them on you, and highlight relevant changes you’ve made since then — changes that might draw them back to you.
In short, if you’re really proud of the quality of your videos, you need to distribute them as broadly as possible to maximize the value they return — and remember to add details and annotation links leading to your website so that anyone embedding your video without mentioning you can still end up sending some traffic in your direction.
Confusion is rife in online shopping, with vague product descriptions and misleading navigations leading shoppers to wonder what they’re looking at. Explainer videos are incredibly powerful for overcoming this confusion and earning conversions — so if you haven’t used them before, now is the best time to do it.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote.