9 Rules for Creating Personal Videos that Convert
Sales teams that use personalized videos to connect with prospects report booking three times as many meetings as they do with methods like email and cold calling.
Video emails and one-to-one outreach campaigns in general have a long list of benefits. For one, they make customers feel cared about — and as a result increase loyalty, engagement, and conversion rates.
Marketers also believe in the power of video, with 59% reporting the medium delivers the best ROI compared to other types of content.
Video landing pages convert better than their static counterparts, and 65% of executives say that after watching a video from a prospective vendor, they'll check out that vendor's website. The point is, whether you look at it from a sales or a marketing perspective, whether it's in the inbox or on a landing page, video converts.
So, what happens when you make it personal? Well, personalized content boosts engagement and nudges customers into taking the next step in their journey.
According to McKinsey, personalization significantly boosts ROI--to the tune of up to 20%. Today’s customer expects a personalized journey, and if you can’t deliver, it’s easy to find another company who can.
With that in mind, here are nine rules for creating personal videos that convert.
1. Win Your Customer's Trust
The fact that people relate to video provides something of a shortcut to building authority. According to research from Reel SEO, conversion rates increase from between 27-46% when brands add a video to product pages.
What's interesting is, it's the act of adding the video to your site that builds trust. The same numbers apply even if users don't watch the video. Perhaps it proves that you don't have anything to hide.
Here are a few ways you can tap into that trust:
Whether you're putting together a video sales letter or a custom onboarding experience, allow people to get to know you as a person. People like working with those they can relate to. It doesn't always come down to who offers the right product or service.
Speak Like a Person
Going to work shouldn't mean putting on a costume and embracing a new jargon-filled dialect. Be natural and talk like yourself; otherwise, people will think you're reading from a script. Instead, create an outline that covers the basics—intro, body, and CTA—and approach it like you're having a conversation.
It might take some practice to get comfortable in front of the camera, but try to remember that there's a real person on the other side of the camera.
Show What Happens Behind the Scenes
Pull back the curtain and take potential customers behind the scenes. You might show your audience how you work, introduce your team, or tell a story against the backdrop of your daily grind. In any case, behind-the-scenes help build trust with customers. Why? The short answer is, videos place you in a physical location. Viewers can see you interacting with people and products—something that can be easy to forget when so much business takes place online.
Let Your Customers Do the Talking
If you need to make a case for why your brand is better than the competition, that message may be more powerful if it doesn't come from the horse's mouth.
Your customers can humanize your brand and tell your story. When discussed from the client perspective, potential customers can get a sense of what it's like to work with your brand.
If you plan on using customer testimonials, there are a few things you should know.
A good testimonial should explain the problem the customer faced. It should discuss how your company addressed the issue and found the perfect solution.
Beyond the "just the facts" customer testimonials tend to work best when they focus on the benefits—how has your company made life or work better or easier for these customers? And what can prospects gain by doing business with you?
2. Capture Attention Right Away
The human attention span has fallen to some goldfish-level lows. These days, the average attention span hovers somewhere around the eight-second mark, which means for video creators, you have to make a splash right off the gate.
The point is viewers lose interest FAST. We're all busy, plus there's the issue that a million things are competing for our attention at once.
Here are a few ways you can hook viewers into watching:
Keep Intros to a Bare Minimum
As much as we believe in the power of the personal, no one wants to listen to a long-winded introduction. They care more about the product/service and how it can benefit them. Cut to the chase and front load the most important information into those precious first eight seconds.
Craft a Compelling Subject Line
Hint: using the word “video” in the subject line has been shown to boost open rates by 19% and click-throughs by 65%.
Explain Things Faster
Videos are a great way to create content that gets right down to business when it comes to describing products, features, or benefits.
While it might take time to create videos upfront, using them as a way to demo a complex feature in action can save brands the time of hopping on a call.
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling power tools or SaaS products, shoes or services, explainer videos boost conversion rates. According to Wyzowl, 84% of consumers have been convinced to make a purchase after watching a brand’s video. Because users often leave web pages within seconds, videos have the potential to lay out a clear value proposition within seconds. Meaning, video gets more done in less time than your average blog post.
3. Don’t Forget About Quality and Usability
We mentioned authenticity up top, highlighting that brands don't need to spend too much money or time making every video a high-production affair. That said, quality is still a big deal, and grainy, sloppy videos will hurt your brand's reputation.
One of the core benefits of using video as a conversion tool is that it helps overcome objections. Those objections will change depending on what you sell. For instance, if you sell clothing, customers will want to see what the fabric looks like or how they can expect a dress to fit.
If you're selling a piece of software, the question becomes whether or not your solution comes with a certain set of features and if they are easy to use? Will they solve a specific problem?
Video quality comes into play, here, because it proves you don't cut corners and you care about what customers think of your brand.
Making these small mistakes can end up costing you customers long term, even if you provide great service and great products.
- Make Sure the Video is Responsive: Test before sending to ensure that users can watch without incident, from desktop or mobile.
- Optimize for Mobile Users: With that in mind, make sure your CTA is actionable for those using smaller devices, as well. For example, you'll need to make sure that you avoid complex lead capture forms after the click. Instead, you might try using a "click-to-text" feature or allow users to provide their information using their Facebook or Google account.
- Branded or Informational Videos Should Play Directly In the Email: Make it easy on your viewers and set it up so videos play right from the inbox.
- Send People to a Landing Page After They Click: This is especially important if you’re trying to capture a conversion. A landing page with tracking enabled will help you link your efforts to ROI. We’d recommend this in most cases, the exception being personal messages from a sales rep--in this case, the goal should focus more on getting a response or booking a meeting.
4. Use Video "Voicemails"
Another way to boost conversions and speed up the sales cycle at the same time is to send personalized video voicemail. If you’re in sales, you’ve probably spent a great deal of time trying to get prospects on the phone. People might agree to a call, but flake out last minute.
The video voicemail is a close relative to the video sales letter, but it’s more freeform and it can be used for more than making the traditional “ask.” Or, they might just ignore you altogether.
While those rejections are part of the game, video can help you book more meetings and get more responses.
A video voicemail is like a quick note—you can use this approach to respond to a question, make an introduction, or send a friendly version of your elevator pitch.
Any interaction that might benefit from adding a personal touch is fair game, here. A few examples:
- Say thank you to a new customer
- Invite the recipient to sign up for a webinar/free trial
- Answer a support question
- Show users what a product looks like up close
- Introduce your team
At a basic level, the recipient sees that there's a real, live person on the other side of the screen. Plus, it makes them feel like you care about them on a personal level.
If you're reaching out cold, try making an introduction, including the prospect's name in the subject line and potentially, in the thumbnail.
5. Try the Video Sales Letter
Video sales letters are videos that pitch a product or service to the prospect.
They’re meant to function as a replacement for old school sales letters that go over the features and benefits of a company's offering.
The benefit here is, you can personalize a video version, adding relevant content that speaks to your target accounts.
Unlike a video voicemail or a video email, the sales letter follows a distinctive structure. Here’s the basic breakdown:
- Capture Attention--Lead with a good hook. You might capture your audience's attention by laying down a shocking truth, telling a joke, citing a surprising stat, etc. The point is, it should be memorable, enticing, and give viewers a sense of what's coming next. You've got eight seconds, remember?
- Address Pain Points--What challenges does this prospect face? Highlight key issues and use stats, specific examples to show how you can help.
- Play into Emotions--Back to those pain points. Focus on challenges this prospect faces and what happens if they don't address this problem. You might consider telling a story about how you helped someone overcome a similar problem or share a personal story.
- Introduce Your Solution-- This isn't the time for a hard sell. The sales letter is typically that first point of contact, a jumping-off point where prospects can decide if they'd like to learn more.
- Build Trust--You can talk about how great your brand is all day, but it doesn't mean much without any stats, images, and customer testimonials to back it up.
- Sum Up and Provide Next Steps-- Quickly reiterate what you've covered, emphasize benefits of doing business with your company and provide a clear next step.
The personalized sales letter is perfect for pitching specific prospects, but consider adding something similar to high-intent pages as a lead generation tool.
6. Take Thumbnails Seriously
Thumbnails also play a significant role in what attracts a visitor's attention first. These teeny pictures are kind of like the cover of a book.
While a thumbnail won't tell you everything about a video, they can make or break your open rates.
Faces Are Always a Hit
As humans, we’re pretty much wired to search for faces everywhere we look.
A few examples from our site:
Use Contrasting Colors
Beyond including a friendly face in your thumbnail, you’ll want to make sure the image “pops.” Again, you’ll want to highlight a well-lit section of the video.
Here’s an example of how you might use contrast in your thumbnails, courtesy of Gary Vaynerchuk, who definitely knows a few things about capturing users’ attention.
Consider Adding Branded Elements
Adding a logo or other branded imagery (similar to what we’ve included above) can help build instant recognition in the inbox. While the human connection is the key selling point, e-commerce or SaaS brands where the focus is more on the product than the relationship can benefit from using branded graphics. By contrast, a B2B sales pitch might do better with a simple smiling face as a thumbnail.
7. Drive Action with Video CTAs
Look, if you’re going to spend all of this time crafting a personal message for your audience, you want them to take the next step, right? As such, you want to make sure you add a CTA that takes a lead and turns it into a customer.
Conversions aren’t all created equal and success depends on where the recipient is in the sales cycle and what you’re trying to accomplish.
Here are a few ways you can ask, based on what your customers need.
- Start a Free Trial—Do you offer a SaaS product or a membership? End your video by asking the viewer to see what it’s all about. You could even ask for a few details in the sign up (i.e. industry, goals, etc.) that you can use to inform a follow-up video sent just before the trial ends.
- Sign Up for a Webinar—If you offer webinars that highlight key product features, asking viewers to sign up in a video is a great way to get more people to attend your next digital event.
- Send a Discount Code—For e-commerce brands, adding a discount code to your message provides an incentive to take a look at your site and return for a purchase. We recommend trying this approach to show customers appreciation and foster that sense of loyalty.
- Ask Customers to Share Feedback—As evidenced on our use cases page, our e-commerce clients have had great results by asking for reviews with video compared to text-based email.
Additionally, you’ll want to limit the copy around the video, so you don’t overwhelm the viewer with too many options. Instead, keep things focused on a single CTA--presented as a clickable link and reinforced verbally.
8. Use Viewing Stats to Segment Your Audience
It’s worth pointing out that both Bonjoro and any marketing automation tool will show you your video stats, which you can use to segment your audience.
For instance, you might run a campaign that targets people who watched a certain percentage of your video, while taking a different approach to someone who didn’t open it in the first place.
Or, you might use this information to give your lead scores more context—someone who rewatches what you’ve sent them is probably more interested than someone who shut it off before the eight-second mark.
9. Make it Valuable to Stage of Journey
Adding value is something we talk about all of the time—it’s obvious to the point of almost being cliche, but it’s something marketing and sales professionals lose sight of when they’re putting together pitches and posts.
What you’ll want to do is put yourself in the customer’s position and consider what would make you convert.
Fluff probably won’t do the trick. An overly branded video won’t, either.
Instead, think back to your buyer’s journey—what questions do people ask at each stage? Where are you trying to get this person to go next? What objections might stand in the way?
Video is ideal for explaining complex concepts or products that otherwise demand a whole ebook chapter introduction. But, if you’re not quite at that stage where customers need answers to complex questions, slow down.
Marketing and sales teams alike can expect to see major increases in conversions, acquisitions, and long-term loyalty with personalized marketing. Remember to keep your videos focused on one goal at a time, using clear calls-to-action and getting straight to the point.
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