The Nurture Phase of the Video-to-Lead Funnel: A Detailed Look

Okay, your prospects have moved through the video-to-lead funnel. Having first been engaged through informative Web videos and then converted after watching video overviews, demonstrations, and testimonials, they’re now ready to move into the final phase, the nurture phase.

When leads enter the nurture phase of the video-to-lead funnel, you’ve earned the opportunity to make a connection, send follow-ups, and show your solutions. At this point, you have positioned yourself as a knowledgeable expert that understands your leads’ problems.

Web videos in the nurture phase take many forms. For example, you can use Web video to introduce yourself to a lead and invite the lead to meet with you in person. A short video message emailed to a lead is a non-threatening way to introduce yourself and quickly reinforce the benefits of your offer. Your lead can quickly get a taste of your offer’s benefits without meeting with a salesperson just yet. This technique can also overcome a lead’s resistance to talking with a salesperson. After seeing you on video and understanding that you’re a real and caring person, objections to speaking with you on the phone or meeting in person may be eased. Web videos designed to make a connection are an excellent choice when you have accounts that have been previously impossible to penetrate.

Video demonstrations at this phase can be even more detailed than those presented during the convert phase. For example, video demos are effective at converting prospects during the convert phase while in-depth video tutorials further demonstrate the benefits of your product or service.

Following up with leads is crucial. Regular exposure to your message continues building trust, reinforcing benefits, and positioning your product or service as the solution. While there are many ways to follow up, consider using Web video. For example, you could send a video link in an email message when a lead requests information; you could send a video link in a thank you email after a lead has contacted you or ordered a sample; and you could use “special video reports” to encourage leads to sign up for a newsletter and then send regular newsletters (incorporating video links, of course) at specific intervals.

The nurture phase of the video-to-lead funnel provides you with the strongest opportunity yet to close the deal. After all, your prospects have been engaged and converted into qualified leads with a genuine interest in your offerings.

How have you used Web video in the nurture phase? What’s worked for you? What hasn’t worked? Share your thoughts below.

The Convert Phase of the Video-to-Lead Funnel: A Detailed Look

Continuing our discussion about the three phases of the video-to-lead funnel, let’s explore the second phase: convert. As you know, prospects move through the video-to-lead funnel from the top at the “engage” phase, move down through the “convert” phase, and finally enter the “nurture” phase.

Once you’ve engaged your prospects with videos that help solve your prospects’ problems, present tips and best practices, expand upon an event, or otherwise engage your prospects and build trust, the next step is to convert them from casual visitors with a passing interest into legitimate leads with a genuine interest in your offer.

The convert phase provides you with the perfect opportunity to showcase your company, product, or service as well as prove that you can deliver upon your promise. Videos well suited for this phase of the video-to-lead funnel fall into the following three general categories: overviews, demonstrations, and testimonials.

Video Overviews

Video overviews are short Web videos that show case your company, product, or service. Remember, your prospects have already been engaged by viewing earlier videos. At this point, you may have solved a problem, shared interesting ideas, or interviewed a key leader; in short, you’ve earned a degree of trust with your visitors. They’re now much more open to learning more about you and your offerings. A video overview showcasing your company, such as a company tour, or your products and services typically increase prospects’ time on a website by four times over baseline. Not only that, your customer is now much more informed when entering the sales cycle.

Video Demonstrations

Engaged prospects may actively seek additional information as they begin forming their buying decisions. For example, if you’ve discussed a problem in a Web video and mentioned that your product was designed as a solution to this problem, an engaged prospect may look for a demonstration video to see the product in action. Demonstration videos educate and inform prospects about the product or service, reinforce benefits, and serve as proof of concept. Sure, you can say that your widget sets up in less than 10 seconds, but the real proof is in actually seeing the widget being set up – in less than 10 seconds as promised. Web video can do that. These video demos also position you as an expert who understands the challenges and problems prospects face, and they show that you have the best solution.

Video Testimonials

Video testimonials are particularly powerful. Again, you say how wonderful your product is all day long but your word isn’t nearly as trustworthy as that of a prospect’s peers. Video testimonials show proof that your product or service has served others extremely well. For example, which of the following is more credible: “Our widget will save you $1000 per year in utility bills” or “This widget paid for itself in the first month and saved me over $1000 last year on my electric bills”? Video testimonials serve as an accelerated, and effective, form of word-of-mouth advertising.

The video-to-lead funnel’s convert phase is an important phase where you can build upon the trust you’ve already earned with your prospects.

Creating an Effective Call to Action on the Web

The Web has become a marketing bonanza with the potential to reach a massive audience. However, you may only have one chance to make an impression with a site visitor, so make sure to take full advantage of it by including an effective call to action. Calls to action are simple prompts that tell the visitor exactly what they need to do next. For example, “Click get started to schedule your free initial consultation” is a call to action. Calls to action can be used in all of your Web marketing efforts including: on webpages; in 60-second promotional Web videos; and in virtual spokesperson Web videos.

Creating Effective Calls to Action
buy buttonIn order to be effective, calls to action must be simple, beneficial, and positive. This is true regardless of where you ultimately place the call to action.

  • Calls to action must tell the user what action you want the user to take. If your webpage has been created to sell a product, then the call to action needs to tell the user to take an action that will lead to a purchase such as “click for a free quote.” If a Web video is informational, a call to action prompting the user to visit your website for a free information report containing additional information may be in order.
  • Calls to action must be simple. No one wants to jump through hoops simply because they watched a Web video or visited a website. Users may be willing to fill out a short survey, comment on your blog, sign up for a newsletter, or order a product, but they may not be willing to write an essay, watch a three-hour presentation, or perform a series of complex tasks just because you say they should. Keep your calls to action simple, and they’ll be more likely to be acted upon. In addition, limit your call to action to just one. Otherwise, if you offer too many calls, your visitors may opt not answer any of them.
  • Calls to action must be beneficial to the user. Few users blindly follow calls to action without knowing what’s in it for them. If you want to collect email addresses for marketing purposes, that’s not good enough for most users. On the other hand, users might respond if they’ll get a free report or access to informative articles. Make sure to tell your users how they will benefit by taking the action.
  • Calls to action must be positive. While chain letters may work focusing on fears and negative consequences, Web marketing generally doesn’t. Use positive language, ideas, and concepts. For example, which of the following two phrases, “Avoid prison by reading this book” or “Become a better citizen by reading this book,” is positive? While avoiding prison is certainly worth doing, it carries with it a negative connotation (that the user is a potential criminal). Becoming a better citizen is positive and applies to everyone, not just criminals. When crafting your text or dialogue, imagine your users nodding along in agreement. Wouldn’t you rather set your users up to say yes rather than no? By using positive language and keeping your calls to action positive, your users will be more likely to agree with you and follow your lead.

Whether you’re creating calls to action for webpages, 60-second promotional Web videos, or for virtual spokesperson Web videos, tell your users what they need to do and how it will benefit them while also keeping the calls to action simple and positive. Use these techniques in all of your Web marketing efforts and you’re sure to see improved conversion rates.

What are your favorite calls to action? What has worked for you? Join the discussion and explore this in greater detail in the comments section below.

Attract Traffic and Boost Sales with Short Web Videos

The latest research from shows what many marketers already know: More Americans are watching and sharing online videos – dramatically so. According to Pew’s State of Online Video 2010, 69 percent of adult Internet users have used the Internet to watch or download video. These numbers are but part of the story. While Web videos are popular with users, they can also drive traffic to business websites and boost sales conversions.

Typical business websites act as online brochures, showing customers and prospects what the business has to offer. Early designs were relatively static with brochure-like text and contact information. Today, most business websites provide far more than a sales pitch and contact information. Now, informative articles, blogs, and interactive content are website standbys. With more Internet users willing to watch videos online, adding 60 to 90 minute Web videos makes sense. After all, video is an effective medium to convey messages.

In addition to being a terrific way to communicate, Web videos can actually drive traffic to your website, build trust and credibility, and boost sales conversion. First, all of the major search engines include video results in their search results pages. Not only do video results now appear in general search results, separate video categories exist where users can specifically search for sites with videos.

For example, if you have a well optimized Web page discussing “how to attract butterflies to your garden,” your page could conceivably appear on the first page of Google’s search results. If that same site had a video discussing the topic, not only might your page be listed in general, the video would appear as a separate search result. That’s two links attracting traffic. Now, what if the user was specifically looking for videos about attracting butterflies? If you don’t have a Web video on your site, your site won’t appear in the search results no matter how well you optimized the text. By including Web videos on your pages, your site should get more exposure than without.

Attracting more visitors can lead to increased conversions based on numbers alone. However, adding Web video is more than a simple numbers game. By producing informative 60 to 90 minute videos, you are adding value to your site and building trust with your site’s visitors. No matter how a visitor arrives to your site, a sale won’t take place unless the visitor sees value and trusts you to deliver.

Because value and trust are crucial to winning sales, it’s vital that these short Web videos project these characteristics. Consider a business website, one with a professionally produced Web video and one with an amateur Web video. Which one would you be more likely to buy from? Which one is more likely to be around several years from now to honor any warranties? Web visitors make subconscious judgments like these based on what they experience. Strong production values can sway these judgments in your favor.

There’s more to Web video than a pretty picture; your content needs to build trust as well. Is the video informative? Does it add value? Does it give site visitors are reason to select your company over others? If your Web video promises to show how to attract butterflies but is merely a picture of butterflies flitting around, it has failed no matter how beautiful it may be. On the other hand, if it presents a useful technique or product, then it has lived up to its promise and added value.

A solid Web video strategy can drive traffic and boost sales. As you begin forming your online video strategy, keep value and trust in mind and you’re sure to start seeing results!

Converting Site Visitors to Customers with Web Video

You’ve spent countless hours and large sums of money developing pay per click campaigns, press releases, and other strategies to attract visitors to your website. Now what? Shouldn’t the sales start rushing in? They should, but if your site lacks compelling content, calls to action, and a reason to buy, they won’t. Many strategies exist to convert prospects into customers. One such strategy involves using Web videos.

When a prospect visits your site, he may or may not intend to make a purchase. With a solid website strategy in place, you can gently guide the visitor through the decision making process. Web video can play an important role. Let’s take a look at the site visitor’s perspective before exploring how Web videos can enhance the process.

Most visitors arrive after entering a phrase into a search engine. For example, a visitor might enter the phrase “low cost widgets” and land on a page of your site that has been optimized for the same term. Alternately, your pay per click ad for low cost widgets may show up, prompting the user to visit your website. Does he find anything on that page that convinces him that your company is the best source of low cost widgets? What makes your widgets better than other widgets in the same price range? What makes your company the company of choice? Why should the visitor act now?

If the visitor’s attention is not captured quickly, if there’s nothing on your page that distinguishes your products from your competitors’ products, or if there’s no reason to act, the visitor will move on to the next site listed in the search engine results. Don’t let this happen. Instead, help your visitors by providing well written information and professionally produced Web videos.

First, consider where site visitors will land when your targeted keywords have found a prospect. This page is called a landing page. Because it is the first page that the visitor lands on, don’t assume that he has read your Home or About Us pages. This landing page is your first, and possibly only, chance to make a good impression. Since the landing page is related to a specific keyword phrase, in this case “low cost widgets,” the content needs to be relevant to that topic. In this example, you’ll be competing on price, but that doesn’t mean you need to focus only on that aspect. Yes, highlight that your widgets are affordable, but add value whenever possible. Think about what makes your widgets better than comparably priced widgets. The warranty? The quality? The free technical support and training? Make sure to discuss value in the text.

Now, let’s add Web video to the mix. A short video showing how easy your widgets are to assemble could be a terrific selling point. If your competitor’s widgets have complicated instructions and take three hours to assemble and yours snap together in three easy steps in under five minutes, use Web video to illustrate the difference. You could also use video tutorials, video testimonials, or even a video spokesperson.

In fact, video spokespeople are a terrific strategy. These video overlays can direct visitors to pages with additional information, provide details, demonstrate products, and put your visitors at ease. Suddenly, your website promoting low cost widgets isn’t one of many; it’s unique and professional.

The prospect is impressed. Will he click the “buy now” button or will he click the “back” button to continue his search? Don’t leave it to chance – include a call to action. Ask the customer to do something such as:

  • “Take advantage of our special discount and save $X by buying today”
  • “Add this product to your wish list”
  • “Sign up for our free newsletter”

Ideally, after reading your content and viewing your Web video, the prospect will be ready to buy. If not, adding the product to a wish list or signing up for a newsletter makes it more likely that you’ll get a second chance. Use Web video as a key component of your site’s conversion strategy.

Enhance the Internet Sales Conversion Process with a Virtual Spokesperson

Have you encountered a virtual spokesperson on a website yet? If you have, then you know that virtual spokespeople add a new, dynamic element to static Web pages. A video overlay of a real person walking onto the screen and speaking directly to site visitors helps personalize websites. However, there’s more involved than a friendly face; a virtual spokesperson can translate into increased conversions.

No matter what your website’s goals may be, using a virtual spokes model strategically can ensure that those goals are met. For example, do you have a landing page on your site designed to collect opt-in email addresses? While “click here” links and peel away banners entice users to click their way to the landing page, a virtual spokesperson can gently guide the visitor to the desired page. As the virtual spokesperson directs attention to the pages that you’d like the user to visit, she can also explain the benefits of doing so as well as thank the user for taking the desired action after the fact.

One of the most profound effects that virtual spokespeople have on site visitors is that of credibility. Because the spokes model looks, sounds, and acts like someone the visitor relates to, trust is built. Who do consumers buy from? People that they trust. Well written website content, a professional website design, and a real, albeit virtual, spokesperson work together to build trust.

This doesn’t mean that you should simply dress an actor in a lab coat and tell him his name is Dr. Smith. It means that you need to select a spokesperson who can build trust with your audience. Wardrobe choice is important, but it’s not the only priority. For example, if your site sells healthy living books, a number of spokes model characters could be effective such as a motherly type, yoga instructor, or athlete. Consider who your audience is and what type of role models resonate the best with site visitors. From there, select a virtual spokesperson with the qualities that your audience respects.

So, you have a professional website with a credible virtual spokesperson welcoming and guiding your site’s visitors. While you’ve been able to direct visitors to specific areas of the site and build trust along the way, nothing happens until the visitor takes action. If you’ve been involved in traditional sales, you know that the simple act of asking for the sale is one of the most powerful tools in your sales toolbox. Phrases such as “Would you like to place an order?” and “Can I schedule overnight delivery or standard delivery for you?” prompt users to make a decision. A virtual spokesperson can improve the sales conversion rate of your website simply by asking visitors for the sale.

Though some companies will suggest that incorporating a virtual spokesperson into your website is easy and inexpensive, the process is more complicated than cutting and pasting a few lines of code into an HTML editor. Among the many steps are: selecting the right actor or actress for your site, writing a script (or several scripts if the virtual spokesperson will be used extensively), choosing the wardrobe, shooting and editing the video, and overlaying the final composition over your site. Look for a video production company with an understanding of the nuances of Internet marketing as well as high production values.

Virtual spokespeople enhance the sales conversion process by building trust, guiding visitors, and asking for the sale. What have your virtual spokesperson experiences been like so far? Have you made a purchase decision based on a virtual spokesperson’s recommendation? Has your site seen improved conversions since adding a virtual spokes model? We’d love to hear from consumers as well as website owners.