A version of this tutorial originally appeared in the free Primer app.
Getting a ton of views on your online video campaign can feel great. However, the most valuable videos do more than just generate passive views and warm, fuzzy feelings. They encourage your audience to take action and become long-term, loyal customers.
To transform your video marketing from passive to actionable, think of the online channels that host your videos as social media platforms where you need to work hard to build followers, shares, likes and comments.
Let’s look at some tips for achieving the 3 C’s of actionable online videos: conversations, connections and conversions.
1. Spark conversations
To start a dialogue with your audience, describe and present your videos in a way that encourages interaction. Pose questions in the video and in your description text that will encourage viewers to respond via comments. For example, a flower delivery brand might post a video that shows how they create a popular bouquet and use a description that says, “This is a spring bouquet with lilacs. What flowers would you like to see in our next video?” or “What type of flower do you like to receive and why?”
Remember that only the first few description lines are visible before people have to click to read more, so ask your questions early. Keep them lighthearted and open-ended (avoiding questions that will result in yes or no answers).
When people answer your questions, make sure that you respond. This helps both the commenters and those reading the comments know you care about your audience’s thoughts and opinions.
2. Create long-lasting connections
Engaging video content that viewers find valuable and entertaining is the first-step to forming a connection. The second step is ensuring your audience subscribes, so they’re notified anytime you post content.
There are a few tactics you can try to encourage subscriptions. Some video platforms like YouTube let you put a logo or brand watermark on your videos, which acts like a subscription button. Your brand name remains visible while a video plays and viewers can click on it to automatically subscribe to your channel.
Adding calls to action in your videos can also help you get more subscribers. A voiceover can ask viewers to subscribe, like, share and comment. And images or text can reiterate those calls to action.
3. Convert casual viewers into customers
Despite popular opinion, video content can work hard to drive conversions. Marketers have employed a number of tactics to great success, like having creative hooks in the first few seconds and using the right pacing and rhythm. But you can also add features to your video that make it easy for viewers to take action.
Shortened URLs in your video description text can direct people to your brand website for information or to make a purchase. Or it can lead them to your app store landing page so they can download your app. Keep these links at the start of the video description so they’re visible before the cut-off point, and make sure links send people to the same location as any calls to action.
To monitor how many clicks your links are generating, you can create what’s called an Urchin Tracking Module, or UTM link. It’s a custom URL that you can set up through Google Analytics to easily track performance.
Certain video platforms also let you add interactive elements to help drive conversions. YouTube has info cards and end screens that allow you to use images and text, so you could encourage viewers to visit your brand site or app store landing page.
These cards can appear at any time in your video, but it’s best to use them during moments when people are looking for more information. For example, during a make-up tutorial video, an info card could pop up whenever a new product is used.
By starting conversations in your video’s description and in the comments, forming connections via subscriptions and driving conversions with shortened URLs and interactive elements, your video marketing can drive action. Not only will that foster brand loyalty, but it will help you get closer to your sales goals.