5 Steps to Optimize Your Marketing Videos for Engagement
This is going to sound counter-intuitive, but…
Right now is a great time to market your product or service.
According to Akamai — one of the biggest cloud service providers — internet traffic is up over 50%, across the board. Social media sites are seeing more active usage than ever before, and the ad costs continue to fall.
That means two things for your business.
- Your customers are spending a lot more time online.
- It’s easier than ever to reach them.
All you need is a message that stands out, engages your audience, and inspires them to take action. That’s exactly what we’ll cover today.
In this article, I’m going to show you 5 ways to make your marketing videos more engaging. You will learn:
- How to make the most of the first 5 seconds of your marketing video and make sure the viewers stick around.
- The #1 question you need to answer so that your audience keeps watching and doesn’t tune out.
- 6 simple things you can do to invite people to engage with your message — instead of passively consuming it.
And more. Let’s dive in!
(If you want to listen to this blog post instead of reading it, click here to jump to the audio version!)
1. Maximize the first 5 seconds of your video
The first five seconds of your marketing video are critical. That’s when the viewer decides whether they should leave, tune out… or keep watching.
That means your only job for those precious 5 seconds is to give your audience a reason to stick around. Now, you’re probably wondering: “How exactly do I do that?” There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but here are a few ideas you can test in future marketing videos:
Promise to add value. For example, you can show them a title card that explains the value they’re going to get from your video. Think of it as an extended headline, or a bullet point that summarizes what your video is all about.
Here’s a great example from our friends at HubSpot, where the title card simply says: “How to Convince Your Boss to Let You Work From Home.”
Home in on the pain point. Right away, bring up a problem your customers are struggling with. This is a great way to communicate that your video is relevant to them. And by the time you introduce your product or service, your viewers will understand that it’s the solution to whatever keeps them up at night!
Start telling a story. Stories are scientifically proven to grab people’s attention in a way that more straightforward marketing messages don’t. Use this to your advantage, and hook your viewers in with a simple story from the get-go.
Okay, now you know how to earn your viewers’ attention in the first 5 seconds. But the more important question is — how do you hold it for the entire video? Let’s find out…
2. Keep your message focused on the audience
Before they can meaningfully engage with your marketing video, viewers need you to answer one all-important question: “What’s in it for me?”
Get crystal-clear about why your target customers need to hear your message. How does it align with their existing problems and challenges? How is it going to help them solve those problems and get the results they want? Make sure you deeply understand what your target audience needs, and where your solution fits in.
Then, take the marketing message you want to communicate… and filter it through the lens of your customers’ problems, needs, goals, and fears. Here are a few ways to do that:
- Open your marketing video with the #1 pain point your viewers want to solve — just like we talked about earlier. The more urgent, the better.
- Whenever you mention any features and benefits of your product or service, tie them back to the problems your viewers are facing, or the results they want to achieve.
- At the end of your marketing video, paint a vivid picture of how your viewer’s life will change after using your product or service.
Your target customers will want to watch your video only if they think it can help them. When you align your message with the things your audience cares about right now, you give them a powerful reason to pay attention.
3. Don’t talk AT the viewer — talk TO them
If you want to boost engagement on your marketing videos, the #1 thing you want to do is give your viewers something to engage with. Instead of hitting them with talking point after talking point until you run out of things to say, make your video flow like a friendly conversation.
- Ask your viewers questions that are relevant to their problems and goals.
- Invite them to imagine how their life will change as a result of your product or service.
- Tell them things that spark curiosity or create an emotional response.
- Use storytelling to make your message more memorable and relatable.
- If appropriate, use humor to keep the viewers interested in what you have to say.
- Address unspoken objections or concerns your viewers might have about your offer.
Remember: your goal isn’t to get people to sit through your marketing videos from start to finish. That’s the easy part! No, the goal is to make a video that resonates deeply with your customers and drives them towards action. And all these things will help you do just that.
4. Use memorable visuals to drive your message home
Pick a visual style that aligns with your brand and the point you want to make. If your video includes lots of data and figures, use motion graphics. If you’re making an explainer video that showcases your customer journey, animation will work nicely for that. And if you want to show off your product or service in action, go with (you guessed it!) live action visuals.
You can also combine different styles in a single video, to communicate different aspects of your offer better. For example, you can add animation or motion graphics to a live-action video to visualize key facts about your market, show how different product features work, or even provide social proof with user reviews and scores.
When used well, visuals enhance your marketing video and help it resonate more powerfully with your target audience. So don’t treat them as an afterthought, but as a valuable opportunity to make your message extra attention-grabbing!
5. End with a strong, clear, unmistakable call to action
Ask yourself: what do you want your viewers to do after they’ve watched your video? Maybe you want them to go to your website and place an order, or call your office, or book an appointment, or request a free quote.
Working backwards from this goal, decide on the simplest, most specific action your viewers will need to take next: clicking a link, picking up the phone, filling out a form, and so on. That’s going to be your video’s call to action.
Here’s a simple 3-part formula you can use to write a strong CTA for your marketing video:
- First, remind the viewer about the outcome they want to achieve.
- Then, explain what they need to do right now to move closer to that outcome.
- And finally, let them know exactly what happens next.
For example, your call to action could go something like this:
“Ready to save thousands of dollars on your mortgage? Fill out the form below to book a free 30-minute assessment with one of our certified financial advisors. We’ll get back to you within the hour to confirm your appointment!”
Engagement is a two-way street
When most marketers get poor engagement on their videos, they blame it on everything from declining attention spans to AI-powered algorithms. But the truth is, in today’s online economy, giving your full attention to anything — especially a marketing video — is a serious commitment.
So before you expect people to fully engage with your content, it’s only fair that you make the effort and communicate why it’s going to be worth their time.
We hope that the advice I’ve shared today will help you do just that. Enjoy!
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