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5 videos your company needs in 2016

Kristen Craft, Director of Business Development at Wistia, is a brilliant marketer who’s an expert at crafting (no pun intended, we promise) compelling brand stories and using video to make marketing campaigns more effective.

At this year’s Marketing United conference, she dropped a ton of great wisdom about the power of video. For instance, did you know that on-site video increases traffic 200-300%? Or that in one test, e-commerce site Zappos increased sales 30% simply by adding videos to their product pages?

It’s super compelling stuff, so be sure to check out the full recording of her session when you get a chance. But in the meantime, here’s a look at her top five videos every brand needs in 2016, along with a few videos you should probably avoid.

1. The product video

What is it? A video that shows off your brand’s product with either a tutorial or a more aspirational look at the possibilities.

Why should you use it?

• It helps people quickly determine if your product will suit their (or their brand’s) needs. Not everyone will be the right fit, and that’s ok! It’s much better for both you and your prospects to surface that information early on in the sales funnel.

• Remember what your high school English teacher said about “showing, not telling” in your writing? Rather than simply spouting off facts and figures, the product video allows you to give your audience a first-hand, much more authentic feel for what you have to offer.

• The product video will give you the highest ROI of virtually any type of video you could create. It drives leads, conversions, and engagement, and it’s relatively simple to make: A simple Screenshare and some voiceover will generally do the trick.



2. The teaching video

What is it? An opportunity to answer common questions your customers and prospects have – content marketing at its finest.

Why should you use it?

• It establishes your brand as a thought leader, builds credibility, and shows your audience you truly know your stuff.

• As the brilliant Ann Handley once said, “Make the customer the hero of your story.” The teaching video does just that by helping the people who use your product become more successful at their jobs.

• Once again, this type of video brings along the sort of returns that make it worth investing in. In this instance, it’s traffic, time on-site, and brand reputation.

Example: Wistia’s “Find Your Rhythm” video. Watch it here.

3. The recorded webinar

What is it? A different way to use something you’ve already taken the time to put together (a live webinar).

Why should you use it?

• It’s a fantastic lead magnet. Simply add a form to the recording, and watch the leads flood in! (Kristen recommends putting a gate a couple of minutes into the video so people can get a taste of what they’ll get in exchange for their information.)

• It surfaces a ton of valuable data about your prospects and customers: What percentage of the webinar did a person watch? At what point did they stop? How engaged were they?

• It’s incredibly easy to make. If you’re already doing webinars – especially co-branded ones with partners, which are a great way to leverage multiple, complementary audiences – you should absolutely take advantage of the recording afterward.

4. The FAQ video

What is it? Information that helps answer support questions customers might have about your product or service.

Why should you use it?

• It may not be sexy, but it’s incredibly helpful. This is the kind of information your customers will inevitably seek out, so why not give it to them in a way that’s easy to digest and engage with?

• It reduces support tickets significantly. People don’t have to write back and forth with a support team member, eating up valuable time and the money you’re paying those supporters to help your customers. Instead, there are resources they can turn to in order to solve the problem on their own.

• Another example of show, not tell: Some product questions are way easier to answer with a visual element than with a phone call.

5. The sales video

What is it? A new trend where a video gets sent to a prospect when they get close to making a buying decision.

Why should you use it?

• It gets big results. Bamboo HR experimented with this type of video, and it worked so well that they scaled it across their entire sales team.

• It’s a more authentic way to reach out. Putting a face to your salespeople makes them feel more human than a simple email or voicemail. Plus, since so few people are using this tactic, it helps differentiate your brand from the competition.

• Brands have seen as much as a 30-40% increase in conversions after using sales videos.


Three videos to avoid

It isn’t that these videos are bad choices by nature. For various reasons, they just don’t bring in enough bang for your marketing buck to be worth the investment (in time and marketing dollars).

1. The video testimonial

What is it? A customer telling a success story. It often comes up because salespeople encounter the question: “Do you have any examples of other similar companies that use your product or service?"

Why should you avoid it?

• It’s hard to do. In many cases, you have to fly to a different city, it requires a huge amount of time to produce, and it ends up being a pretty significant financial investment. And getting your customers to agree to it in the first place exhausts a lot of social capital.

• It can feel inauthentic. Generally, one of two things happens: Either you script it really well in advance, and it sounds scripted. Or you try and let the customer just talk, and it feels disorganized and jumbled.

• There are a ton of technical limitations: In unfamiliar settings like a customer’s office, noise and lighting often become a problem.

2. The “About Us” video

What is it? A look at your company culture that introduces your brand and staff.

Why should you avoid it?
• Once again, it’s hard to make. Getting consensus on the message you want to deliver is tough when it involves your entire team, and since you’re already so proud of your brand, you can end up making it much more grandiose than it actually needs to be.

• When it’s off, it can feel really bad. These types of videos often come across as self-congratulatory, or painful to watch, or way too dry.

• The ROI simply isn’t there. Unless your goal is hiring, it isn’t worth it for you or your team.

3. The holiday video

What is it? A fun way to get staffers involved in some holiday cheer.

Why should you avoid it?

• This is the opposite of evergreen content. In fact, it’s anti-evergreen. Its use will completely disappear after the holidays, and it’s rare than you can use this type of video more than once. In fact, people might start expecting you to do a new one each year.

• It has a tendency to rub people the wrong way. They’ll get mad about which holiday you mention, or why you didn’t mention a certain holiday. Or they’ll get angry about the fact that you made it in the first place. Imagine a customer who’s been on hold for phone support seeing it and realizing THAT'S where your team has been devoting their time.

• There’s absolutely no ROI. We’re pretty sure that in the history of time, no prospect has decided to convert because of a cute holiday video. Not to be a Scrooge, but it’s in no way worth your time or resources.

Ready to watch Kristen’s full session? You can find it here.