Earlier this year I talked about a number of ways in which you can use video on your WordPress site. And you know what? I think there’s more to be said on this front since it’s clear that video isn’t going anywhere.
Take promotional videos, for instance. Did you know that 45% of businesses use promo explainer videos on their home page? Furthermore, that 83% of those businesses believe those videos to be effective for their marketing?
Unlike other video content you may use on your WordPress site (like UGC or video backgrounds), promo videos give you a chance to explain who you are and what you do. So I’d like to focus on this specific subset of video marketing for WordPress; specifically, the kinds of promotional videos you’d find on your home, services, or landing pages.
The Awesome Benefits of Promo Videos
You can use promo videos to serve a number of purposes on your WordPress site. To promote:
- Your company by educating visitors on its history, focus on philanthropy, strong leadership, or some other meaningful segment worth highlighting.
- Your products (through demonstrations, 360-degree views, etc.).
- How a service works to improve the lives of customers.
- A new product, service, or an otherwise big change for the company that promises to have a positive impact on customers.
Those are just the things you can do with a promotional video. But what about the benefits?
1. Outshine the competition
Because promotional videos allow you to get up close and personal with your visitors, you’re giving them a chance to see something that your competition hasn’t been as transparent about. When it comes time to compare the two, there’ll be no question in their minds as to which is better… because they’ve seen yours in action.
We already know that Google is the world’s leading search engine. While there likely isn’t any danger of Bing or Yahoo! ever surpassing Google, a video like this that promotes how long they’ve been in the game as well as the user-driven transformations they’ve undergone is pretty incredible.I don’t know if any of the others could dare to challenge this. And I don’t know if any users would watch this and think about switching.
I don’t know if any of the others could dare to challenge this. And I don’t know if any users would watch this and think about switching.
2. Humanize your brand
If you use real people within your promo videos, you’re giving your audience a chance to put a face to all those words and images on your site. Even if you choose not to show off your CEO or the people doing the work behind the scenes, including a strong human element may be enough to help visitors more strongly connect to your brand. That’s not something that’s so easily accomplished with content alone. If you want them to see your true personality, promo videos are a great way to do it.
That’s not something that’s so easily accomplished with content alone. If you want them to see your true personality, promo videos are a great way to do it.
Airbnb is just one of those brand concepts that lends itself really well to user-generated content. I think they know this and that’s why they often rely on their customers to tell their story.
It’s much more exciting to view travel from other people’s eyes rather than to have an organization try and sell us on a new hotel or vacation rental. Airbnb ran with this idea and compiled a video composed of six-second vines from users around the world.
3. Maintain eye contact
You wouldn’t go about creating content if you knew your visitors weren’t interested in it, right? Say you discovered that they just really didn’t dig infographics. You probably wouldn’t spend the money or time to create them then.
Animoto found that four times as many consumers preferred watching product promo videos instead of reading about the products. So, if you want to keep them looking at what matters most on your site, keep their eyes trained to your pages with video.
You’ve heard the phrase “everybody poops”, right? Well, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation made awesome use of this universal truth and created a video to promote their toilet revolution initiative. How could you look away from this?
4. Cover your bases
On a related note, 25% of consumers told Animoto that they lose interest in a website if there’s no video on it. Even though that’s only a quarter of your audience, it’s still a sizeable enough chunk to inspire you to get video on your site ASAP (in addition to all the other types of content you’ll use to engage everyone else).
Do car companies even need to include video on their website? Sure, customers want to see what the exterior or interior of a vehicle looks like, but high-resolution photographs will usually suffice. However, when Volvo wanted to show off the stability and precision of their dynamic steering, they used this live test with Jean-Claude Van Damme to do it… and it was epic.
5. Speak their language
For many service-based businesses, it can be difficult to explain to prospective customers what you do or why they may need your service. This is especially true for technology companies trying to cater to an older audience. What you can do, then, is simplify your business and use a language they understand.
One of the more common ways you’ll see this done is through fun or funny animations that break down a difficult concept.
Slack is definitely the exception to the rule here. They decided to go the route of using real people to show how their product worked. If you haven’t seen this before, be sure to give it a quick look as they did a great job in making this a humorous watch while still being quite informative about what their messaging product does.
6. Start the conversation
When your site is new or your brand unheard of, a promo video can take your visitors from feeling like they’ve entered a completely alien terrain to feeling like they’re at home, chilling on the sofa with their best friends. If done right, you can use a promo video as a conversation starter and open the lines of communication by welcoming your visitors to your site.
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Here’s a great example of a “welcome” promo video made by Sello. They’ve used a friendly guide to introduce potential customers to their app and then she explains how it works with actual shots from within it.
7. Give mobile users more shareable content
Videos, in general, are an incredibly shareable content type. They’ve actually proven to be even more popular with mobile users as 92% of people who watch videos on their phones share them with others. By using a responsive video gallery plugin on your site, they’ll basically have no excuse to not share yours.
By now, I think everyone is familiar with this video from Dollar Shave Club. It is the epitome of the promo video done right. With almost 25 million views, you know this one has had its fair share of people watching it and thinking, “Is this real?”, sharing it with friends and family on social or via email, and then watching it again.
8. Improve your SEO
Back in 2016, Wistia conducted a study on how video affected time on site—something we know to be quite helpful in SEO. What they found was that, when video is present, users spend an average of 7 minutes and 21 seconds on those pages. Compare that to pages without video, where users spent an average of 2 minutes and 48 seconds, and that should settle any debate in your mind as to whether you should use video on your site or not.
This illustrated welcome video from PadMapper may be less than two minutes long, but there’s a good chance the simplified explanation of the service and the fun way they go about demonstrating it is enough to spur visitors on to use the tool while they’re there.
9. Increase visibility in search
The more time your visitors spend on your site, the happier search engines will be with you. That’s a fact. What’s also a fact is that search engine users tend to favor video results. An Invodo eye-mapping study showed that users’ attention went directly to video results over all others on a search engine results page.
The app market is definitely oversaturated, which is why a well-made promo video can give your app an edge over the competition. This one from Unroll.Me speaks to the pain most of us feel when we look at our inbox full of subscriptions we don’t want any more or don’t even remember signing up for.
10. Load up those shopping carts
At the end of the day, all these increased engagements are great, but your ultimate goal is to get conversions out of them. That’s why e-retailer StacksandStacks.com went to work on building a library of product videos produced by their merchants. They then studied the behavior of consumers as it related to those videos.
Can you guess what they found? Consumers who viewed those promotional product videos were 144% more likely to put those products into their shopping carts than if they hadn’t watched a video.
Now, I’m not saying that you’d sell more products if you destroyed an action figure replica of Justin Bieber, but since this promo video for Blendtec has over 3.5 million views, it might be worth a shot.
What Makes for Great Promotional Videos?
While there’s no one secret formula for creating promo videos, there are certain trends we can pinpoint that the most successful and popular promo videos have in common:
- They’re short. Within 60 seconds or less these videos succinctly and properly demonstrate or promote the subject matter.
- They’re entertaining and/or informative.
- They’re located on relevant pages like the top of the home page, a dedicated landing page, or a specific product or service page.
- Whether they’re done in quirky whiteboard animated styles or using real people, the goal is to be transparent and honest about the subject they’re promoting.
- They aim to elicit a single emotion from the viewer.
- There’s always a call-to-action, even if it’s a subtle one (e.g. “trust us”).
- They’re high-quality. Even if it’s a DIY, the promo video looks professional, crisp, and there are no errors, misspellings, or rough cuts noticeable.
To that last point, it’s important to only use super-polished videos. You would never throw content on your site that’s half completed or riddled with errors. You also wouldn’t leave broken links scattered about or too-tiny images or text for visitors to squint at. A promo video needs to just as seamlessly blend with the rest of the content on your site and a poorly made production could compromise all that.
If you’re thinking about creating a promo video for your WordPress site, there are a number of options to consider:
- You could spend $10 to take this Udemy course and then make your demo video for “free”.
- You could go the cheap DIY approach as outlined by Kissmetrics.
- You could hire someone on sites like Fiverr to create it for you.
- You could sign up for an ongoing service and video creation solution like Animoto if you intend on making more than one promo video.
Promo videos are an interesting subset of video marketing. While they’re explicitly all about the hard sell of your product, service, or business, in general, they tend to be more fun and entertaining than the typical video fare you’d find on a WordPress site. If you want to give your business a chance to really shine and have an interesting idea for a promotional video, I say go for it!