One of the main blocks you’re probably having when you think about tackling online video is where to start.
What kind of video should you create? Do you need one video or a whole series of videos? Should you do talking-head videos or video interviews or a how-to video series or an elaborate video that shows off your business?
Aaaaaaah!!! Too many options.
Thus you do nothing. I get it!
When I have too many options I tend to choose...none of them. It’s too overwhelming. And if I don’t really know the difference between Option #1 and Option #12, then am I really qualified to be making a choice anyway?
Just another reason, I do barely any social media…and yes, I know I should, and yes I will figure it out eventually…maybe.
Okay, let’s get down to it.
I’m going to break down the top videos options for you in a way that is clear and calm, so you can more easily and effectively choose where to start when planning your soulful video strategy.
Before we start, keep in mind the number one adage of online video: Know Your Audience. These videos will only work if they serve your audience. Period.
Option #1 - Customer Care Videos
These are videos that you create in order to take care of customers who have already purchased a product or service from you.
Ex: Your company makes beautiful hand-crafted leather shoes. Your shoes will last for over 20 years if taken care of the right way. But you KNOW that most people either don’t know how to take care of their shoes or just don’t bother.
You want the best for your customers, so you create a video showing them exactly how to take care of their shoes, and which products they need to do so.
You can even provide links to the shoe care products you sell on your website, and potentially make an additional sale. This shows your customers that your business isn’t just about making sales; it’s about serving them and making their lives easier and more enjoyable.
People love to be taken care of. We like it when somebody makes us tea, cooks us dinner, shows us how remove the virus from our Mac, opens the door for us, gives us a hug when we get home.
Customer care videos are a way of taking care of the people who have been kind enough to give you their business.
WHO THIS IS FOR: Brick and Mortar Businesses, Online Businesses, Product-Based Businesses
WHAT THIS DOES: Exceed expectations and provide an unforgettable experience which will eventually bring you more business.
Option #2 - Content Video Series
This is slightly different from the customer care videos, as content videos are usually designed to woo potential customers before a sale, but also to keep customers interested over the long term.
Ex: The best example of this is Marie TV. In case you’ve been living under a rock...Marie TV is a web series with weekly videos that provides business and life tips to soulful female entrepreneurs.
Marie TV acts as a way to get potential customers interested, but also keeps Marie’s current customers actively engaged for when she launches her next big thing, which she will eventually do.
Marie Forleo sells a massive online business school course every year. She runs the course once per year, and after that she’s done. Well, not exactly done because she has to produce a new video every week and her videos are pretty amazing.
But wait, if Marie only sells one thing, why is it important that she keep her former B-schoolers interested and actively engaged.
- She’s going to sell something else soon and wants her audience to still be interested in what she has to offer when she does. In fact very shortly she will be launching a copywriting course, which I’m sure will be a big hit with her current customer base.
- If her current customers stay interested and engaged in her work and her business, they will be more likely to spread the word about her course to potential new customers.
The goal of a long term online video content strategy is to provide useful information, insights and inspiration that people are actively looking for in order to build trust and get people visiting your website and buying your products or services as well as recommending them.
The other reason why it’s smart to create this type of content is that doing so will often make you, by default, the go-to expert in this area if you weren’t already.
Since there are still not that many people creating video content that is informative, insightful, and inspirational, you will automatically be considered a leader in your field if you really commit to this strategy and do it well.
WHO THIS IS FOR: Solopreneurs, Coaches, Online Stores, Consultants, Anybody Selling Anything Online
WHAT THIS DOES: Captures the interest of potential customers and builds the trust necessary to eventually sell them something. AND keeps current customers interested so that when they’re ready to buy again, they buy from you.
Option #3 - Story-based Videos
This is my favourite category and the one that is the least talked about and the most under-utilized. A story-based video acts as your “About Page” except that it’s a lot more shareable and creates a far stronger connection with your audience.
Ex: You’re a life coach who has created massive change in your own life. You’ve gone from having anxiety attacks every day and being overweight and depressed, to having a thriving business and a life that you love. Your story is all the proof people need to trust you. But words alone will not do your story justice.
Words can paint the picture. And an excellent copywriter can help you create a piece that will resonate with your potential clients. But a video SHOWS THEM THE MONEY. Okay, sorry for getting Jerry Maguire on you.
Time for a weird idiom: The Proof Is In The Pudding.
If you create a video in a documentary-style where you are shown in your daily life and in your business life all woven together with interview clips and then flash-back photos to how your life used to be...that is extremely POWERFUL.
Why do we love to watch A&E documentaries about famous people? It’s not actually about the fame of the person so much as it is about their story.
We love to hear about human transformations.
It gives us hope.
It makes us feel stronger.
It lifts us up.
That’s what you do for your prospective clients when you create a story-based video.
You take them on a journey that lets them really see who you are and where you come from. By doing this, they want to work with you. They feel connected to you. They want to purchase your products and services
The other benefit of telling your story in a memorable fashion is that your current customers will start doing your marketing for you. If they know your story, they will share it.
“I love that jacket! Where did you get it?”
“I bought it from this store I found online.”
“I love that jacket! Where did you get it?”
“I bought it online from this amazing designer whose British, but she’s based out of Mexico. She used to a designer for HM, and then after getting burnt out she took off to Mexico where she eventually built this amazing company creating sustainable designer clothing. Here I’ll send you the link to the store!”
The more you can touch the hearts of your customers, the more they will want to share what you do with others.
WHO THIS IS FOR: Any business owner with a website and a desire to connect with their customers on a deeper level.
WHAT THIS DOES: Inspires and engages potential customers, allowing them to forge a deeper connection with you which makes them trust you and want to buy from you. ALSO it burns your story into their memory, thus making them much more likely to spread the gospel via word of mouth.
Option #4 - Sales Videos
Business Owners Hate Making Them, People Love Watching Them
Sales videos are commonly done as direct address videos, kind of like a late night infomercial. But they can also be done in a more How-To format, where it's more like you're teaching something. Or they can be done in a soft sell story-based style.
Regardless, the point of a sales video is to sell your awesome products or services to your ideal client.
You want to filter out the clients from hell and you want to magnetize the clients who will be devoted and amazing and want to just keep buying from you forever.
Sales videos work best if trust is already there. If people know who you are and like you. It’s not so easy to sell people without having been introduced.
Off colour metaphor: A sales video without any other type of video first is like farting on a first date. Yes, we know you’ll eventually fart around the house. But you don’t do it on the first date. That’s bad form!
Likewise it’s bad form to have a website with nothing but sales videos.
Onto the good.
Sales videos are great because you get to share exactly what you want to share in the most dynamic way possible without interruptions.
I would almost say that sales videos are even more effective than in person sales in many cases. How easy is it to get confused by a customer’s energy and start going off track...?
With a sales video your goal is to think of all the reasons your potential customer needs and wants what you have and what all of their objections might be. Now address ALL of them.
Sales videos can be long. And serious buyers will watch the whole thing. Serious buyers will watch a 20 minute sales video if they are interested in a pricey item but want to be sure about it.
But if the idea of creating a direct address sales video makes you want to crawl into a hole and die, seriously think about doing a SOFT SELL video that comes off as more of a story.
In this case you’re telling the STORY OF THE PRODUCT or service. Then rather than doing a direct address you can do interviews with the key creators and interviews with current customers who love the product. And again, this can be as long as it needs to be.
Interesting to note: Included in the world of soft sell videos are Music Videos and Movie Trailers. What do you think a Music Video is doing? It’s selling you on the attributes of the artist, so that you love them more than your own mother and buy their album on iTunes and concert tickets when they come to your town. Movie Trailers are sales videos that show you what’s inside the box. You're being sold the feeling that the movie will give you if you go to see it.
WHO THIS IS FOR: Anyone selling pricey products or services online.
WHAT THIS DOES: It helps you sell your products to the right people and keep the riff raff from knocking on your door.
Option #5 - Entertainment Videos
If you really end up getting into online video, this is for you. You’re already making a video series. It’s fun. You enjoy doing it. It’s working. Now you can go further and start creating entertaining videos of any kind for your e-mail newsletter.
This includes Seasonal Greeting Videos, Thank You Videos, Inside Peek Videos, and pretty much anything entertaining that you think your audience will like. Not everyone will watch or care. But for those mega fans that just love everything that you do and can’t get enough, this is exactly the type of thing that will make them love you even more and turn them into stalkers...but the good kind of stalker who doesn’t show up at your house ever and instead just tells all their friends about you all the time.
WHO THIS IS FOR: Business that have mastered the basics of online video
WHAT THIS DOES: Keeps your customers engaged, interested, and loving you more than they did before.
If you’ve read until the end of this mega post, you’ve probably noticed that many of these videos are not mutually exclusive.
While it’s entirely possible to only create customer care videos and no other type, it would be very odd to create only sales videos unless you already have massive audience that trusts you from some other means, like a popular blog.
Before I sign off, it would be inconsiderate to forgo mentioning that there is a common formula that is used with online video today. This is the order of creation often used by online business looking to use video as a way to grow their customer base.
- Content Videos - Build trust and lead people to your website, usually created for a YouTube channel.
- About Video - Story-based or direct address videos which share your WHY and make people know and like you even more.
- Sales Videos - Which sell the prospective customers after trust has already been built.
This formula undoubtedly works, but it won’t be the right thing for every business. So while it’s useful to know, don’t feel like this is how you have to do it.
And now for a Deepak Chopra quote: “organizing power is inherent in knowledge”.
Overwhelm, not knowing what to do… it tends to come from not really understanding the options. Now that you have a clear breakdown of the main types of videos, what they do, and how they can be used, you’ll be better able to make the decisions that are right for you, your business, and your audience.
-Colette Nichol, Story Envelope Media, Vancouver, BC
Thanks for reading!
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