Monthly Archives: March 2016

You’re Going to Need a Bigger Funnel: A Different Way to Think About Lead-Gen

For nearly half of all businesses, the number one priority is generating more leads.

Maybe that’s you. Maybe you’ve studied up on all the marketing tactics, created some compelling ads, and you’re getting more people to your site… but you still feel like you could be doing more.

Well, you’re right.

Related: Three Easy Ways to Increase Video Marketing Exposure

lead generation

Sure, direct marketing works. But it’s what happens after potential leads are introduced to your brand through ads and offsite marketing that you’ll find your extra lead flow – and ultimately revenue.

This isn’t news to you, but just because someone clicks on your ad or even makes it to your site or doesn’t make them a lead.

But they could be…

Depending on your current marketing efforts (Ads, video, etc.), you probably have a steady amount of targeted traffic headed your way. How many of those people stick around to subscribe to your email list or come back for your next blog post?

The bigger question: How can your turn that hard-won targeted traffic into red-hot leads?

Explainify Case Study - Video Marketing

In this post, we’ll show you that your next lead boost lies in places you’ve already looked.

Where Are Your Next Leads Hiding?

For better or worse, buying decisions are taking longer, involving larger buying teams, and happening more anonymously. Here’s a breakdown:

Reading these states, it should be clear that the the 95% of people who won’t give up their email address – aren’t necessarily writing you off, either.

In fact, we’d argue that they are still leads. They just want a little more time and more information.

Related: 3 Reasons Your Customers Demand Video Marketing

You’re Going to Need a Bigger Funnel

What classifies your current funnel or defines who you would call a “lead”? Typically, it’s not broad enough. Let’s clarify with an example:

Funnel 1: Target clicks ad and becomes lead. They’re immediately sent into some form of sales process – They buy or they don’t. (Rinse and Repeat)

Funnel 2: Target is sent to your website through ads, social media, though leadership on guest blogs, etc. Once there, target subscribes to email list and becomes a lead. He or she is then sent a series of informative, engaging emails emails until becoming a qualified lead – only then to be sent into the sales process.

Your funnel may look like one of these two basic examples. If so, you’re leaving so many other “leads” out to dry. What about all the other actions your audience takes – things like Facebook likes, retweets, or YouTube channel subscriptions? Do you have a funnel for those?

By opening up your definition of who a “lead” is, you’ll find yourself with a lot more potential clients. If you’re willing to nurture a relationship through ongoing conversation, someone who commented on your most recent Facebook post can easily (over time) be convinced to join an email list or schedule a consultation.

Widening your funnel does take more work, more content (more on that further down) and more processes. Although, if your goal is to increase leads, it may be as easy as redefining the terms you use.

Better and More Diverse Content

Creating more – and more kinds of – content is a no brainer. If potential customers are looking for more, you should obviously give it to them.

But be careful.

If they are only reading one piece of your marketing material for every three articles they’re finding about you, you shouldn’t just pump out more self-promotional material.

Instead…

  • Try telling your brand story to build trust or become more transparent.
  • Incorporate more interaction through social and video marketing (here are a bunch of ways you can to do that).
  • Write posts that are geared towards your ideal customer that give value (kind of like a post about acquiring customers or generating leads, when you make explainer videos).

Related: 27 Ways to Use Video Marketing You Haven’t Thought Of Yet

The key is, like a good stock portfolio, you’ve got to diversify – not just what kinds of content you’re creating, but where you’re publishing it. Potential customers will check out every platform you can imagine, but it’s important to know your audience’s preferences.

For example, ecommerce will likely find Instagram more effective than Twitter, and quality images more impactful than a blog. B2B and SaaS, on the other hand, will most likely prefer Linkedin posts, longer Youtube/Vimeo videos, and loads of blog content.

All points of contact should convey your point with clarity, while being useful and entertaining. Moving your newly discovered leads downstream can be done by creating calls to action like:  visit a webpage, watch a new video, or join a live event (Q&A, Periscope, etc.).

Bonus Tip: Don’t overdo it; all content you put out should be done well. Remember, quality wins over quantity in the world of inbound marketing!

Explainify videos generate leads and move people through funnels by communicating your brand or product with extreme clarity. We’ve even been known to increase the number of lead conversions by 23%! Scroll on down and click the image to download our case study!

Explainify Case Study - Video Marketing

27 Ways to Use Video Marketing You Haven’t Thought Of Yet

The success of your video marketing doesn’t have to be directly tied to sales.

There. We said it. Now let us explain.

Video can be a very effective way to sell, but it’s so much more than that. And in order to help get your creative juices flowing, we’ve come up with a massive list of 27 different ways to take your video marketing efforts to new heights.

Some of them are ways to use videos and others are formats for video – but you get the point.

video marketing

Without further ado…

Traffic Generation

Getting more traffic to your site is obviously important. Posting your videos on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, etc. will drive traffic to just about wherever you want. And whether you’re driving traffic through thought leadership on other blogs, launching press releases, or running paid ads, video content can help captivate your new audience.

Ranking Keywords

While generating traffic from views is nice, getting the sweet, sweet organic search traffic is even better. It takes an effort to rank videos in the SERPs, but can be easier depending on your topic. If boosting your search engine rank is a high priority for you, you can’t afford to ignore video marketing!

Lower Bounce Rate

Video marketing has been proven to lower the amount of visitors who leave a page prematurely. Make sure the video is related to what people are looking for when they come and they’re bound to stick around.

Related: 4 Ways Video Marketing Helps Dominate Your Objectives

Retargeting

You may have seen the benefits of using retargeted ads on platforms like Facebook. You may also know the benefits of using video to help conversions. Send your retargeted traffic to a video-rich landing/squeeze page and you have a one-two punch.

Stop Unsubscribers

Tired of people leaving your email list? Of course, it may be time to step up your email strategy, but you should also try recording a short “before you go” message to prevent anyone on the fence – it’s a chance for subscribers to connect with you on a human level, and may keep them hanging on for the next email blast.

Related: How to Use Video Marketing in Your Email Campaigns

Testimonials

Getting people to write about how your brand helped them is awesome, but a video can be a great way to nudge some people over the line into becoming paying customers. As with the previous strategy, seeing a real-life person talking about your brand will help them feel more confident about you – even feel a connection with you. Especially handy when sent via email to a lead that seems timid.

FAQs

FAQ sections can be so large that they are hard to navigate or make searchable. Video answers are more entertaining and often easier to understand and use in solving a technical problem. This is especially true if you offer a SaaS product – video is an easy way for your customers to answer their most pressing user questions.

Process Walkthrough

We’re always amazed at how many companies are still offering live demos to their prospects. On the one hand, that touchpoint with a member of your team is meaningful for your potential customers. On the other? It’s not a scalable solution. Instead, a sleek, engaging demo video can get the right viewers excited, driving qualified leads to raise their hands – and that’s your sales team’s time to shine.

For brownie points you can send additional video content to their inbox with more rich information about your product or service before they have to ask (e.g. in an onboarding sequence).

Explainer Video

We aren’t ashamed to say that we love these little beauties. Explainer videos are proven to increase conversions, they promote clarity around a product or brand, and they’re just plain fun. They can be used for lead generation, sales, post sales, and just about any story you want told.

Related: 5 HUGE Benefits of Explainer Videos

How To

Not to be confused with a walkthrough, a how-to video can be a great tool to teach customers the intricate nuances of your offerings. Think of it as a video-based instruction manual. For example, Adobe may offer a walkthrough showing the download process of their suite of products, but also an in depth how to use Photoshop to drop 20 lbs.

In The Wild (User Generated)

Video is becoming more and more popular. Your audience would love to shoot a short mobile video while using your product in their own environment, and might even be willing to share it with others via social. Be sure to reward the behavior.

Brand/Personal Storytelling

You have a story to tell – professionally and personally – and your staff has them too. Giving the world a more transparent view of your brand is becoming necessary in today’s marketplace.

Customer Storytelling

Don’t just talk about yourselves, though. Talk about the people you’ve helped. Highlight their broader story (not just a testimonial). Wrap it all in a documentary style tale that makes them the hero.

Brand Storytelling - Blog Lead Magnet CTA

Behind The Scenes

People who love your brand want more. Give them a look at the real work you put into the things they use. Quick, off the cuff, all in one take – it doesn’t matter. Just give them a glimpse behind the curtain, and they’ll be that much more loyal.

Live Video

Live video is here to stay, and getting easier to do. With tools like Periscope, Blab, and Facebook Live, you should be talking to your leads and customers in the moment (when you can).

Viral

While you can’t be certain how a video will perform, you can try to think outside the box and create something unique like Dollar Shave Club or down right absurd like anything from Old Spice. While a viral video isn’t a silver bullet for your business, consumers have a tremendous amount of respect for brands who are willing to go out on a limb to create something awesome or hilarious.

Branded Content

Make something that is truly great for your target audience, but don’t include a heavy pitch. Put your name in the corner and watch people fall in love with you.

Expert Session

Experts about your product – and products that can be used with yours – are always desired by customers who use your stuff. Bonus: Do a live conversation with the expert and record it for a twofer.

Live Q & A

Get up on the (virtual) stage and answer the questions of leads or buyers.

Video White Paper

Technical info is necessary at times, but can be better ingested by some through video. Make sure to put a time stamp on all relevant subject changes to make it easier to reference.

Webinar

Webinars can be a sales machine, but they can also be an out of the box way to grow the relationship with your customers. Even more than a recorded video, a live video webinar can put you in front of potential customers in a very personal way.

Interactive Customer Support

If Jeff Bezos over at Amazon is right, video customer support is the future of service interaction. Depending on the complexity of your service calls, this may be an option.

Lead Nurturing

Moving your leads down the funnel is easier through video. Videos sent via email can vastly improve the click through rate.

Say Thanks

video marketing

Live or prerecorded. To the masses, or even to individuals. Always be thankful to your customers, video or not.

Social Media

Pop a quick and fun video (possibly an explainer) on your social profile. Just having a picture will be lame soon.

Social media is this incredible two-way street when it comes to video – and content marketing in general. You can utilize a robust social-listening tool (our friends at DataRank have a great one) to gauge response to your content, identify influencers who may be able to spread your content further, then go back to the drawing board and create more content that better aligns with your community’s interests and desires – and do it all over again!

Give Back

Use any one of the aforementioned (or post mentioned) ideas to highlight a worthy cause. Be careful to actually focus on the cause instead of your brand’s involvement in it, or you may come off looking like a jerk.

Fun

Having fun could be the best reason to make videos. Show your team enjoying an activity or just being themselves. It can promote teamwork, and provides your audience with a candid look at your company culture.

Now Get Out There and Do Some Video Marketing! 

You now have 27 ways to use video marketing that you might not have thought of before. The great thing about this is that you won’t always need to hire an agency or build an in-house production studio to do them – you’ll just need a halfway decent camera and a sense of imagination.

And you certainly don’t have to do every one of these to see serious results. We just want to highlight the growing importance of having a video marketing strategy as part of your overall marketing mix. Just pick one or two – and get to work!

Most of these examples also fit right into our talents here at Explainify, so if you would like some professional storytellers to create your next video, let us know

 

Ready for Great Video Marketing? Click Here.

6 Easy Ways to Boost Your Online Conversions

Have you ever taken a look at your website and wondered, “Could it be just a little bit better?”

The answer is yes. It can always be better.

increase conversions

The good news is, you’re not alone in wondering this. Article after article will offer you (literally) hundreds of tips and best practices – and most of them are genuinely great.

Now maybe you’re wondering, how is this post any different than the advice that’s already out there? Well, a lot of site improvements take time, and you might be having a busy week. So we’re going to show you how you can improve your site’s conversions easily, some even starting today. That’s instant gratification, baby!

Split Testing (A/B Testing)

Split testing (or A/B testing) is essentially changing a small element on your website to see if it creates any differences in visitor behavior. The element you choose to test can be just about anything (ads, banners, CTAs, buttons, menus, etc). Changes can include:

  • Placement of element
  • Color of elements
  • Timing of pop-up/pop-under
  • Copy changes

The point is to try out different things to constantly improve your site’s performance. It’s a science and you can get easily get carried away, but make sure to only test one thing per page at a time.

Conversion Tip: Split testing is a tip for the ages that can be should be done today, tomorrow and every day.

Difficulty: It’s kind of like chess. Easy to learn, but impossible to master. You already know enough to get started.

Increase the Speed

Now that dial-up is a thing of the past, any website that takes longer than a fraction of a second to load is asking for people to go somewhere else. Pages that load fast have better conversion rates, higher traffic levels, and lower bounce rate. Page speed is an extremely important part of your website that’s easy to forget. Luckily, there are several things that you can do to improve your site’s performance. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Change your hosting company or upgrade plan
  • Start caching your data
  • Employ a content delivery network (CDN)
  • Use a third-party solution like Cloudfare

Key Stat: If your site takes longer than 5 seconds to load, it could be costing you 16% of your traffic.

Difficulty: Potentially easy. It can be quick if you’re using a host that offers CDN and other services. Or if you use WordPress – you can install some snazzy plugins.

Decrease the Clutter

Every page of your website tells a story, but it may not be saying what you think it should. Too many elements, calls to action, and clutter tell visitors that you don’t know what you want… which makes it hard for them to know what to do.

The goal of every page on your website should be to move your audience toward a specific action, and to make that possible? You’re probably going to have to cut some things you love.

This tip is simple. Ask yourself, “What is the most important thing(s) for a visitor to do on this page?”

Then get rid of everything else.

Conversion Tip: You don’t have to go minimalist, but everything on a page should be questioned.

Difficulty: Moderate. Though it’s not technically that tough, it can be hard to remove some high priority things from the page that don’t fit.

Explainify Case Study - Video Marketing

Keep Important Elements Above the Fold

Now that you have your goals for each page clearly in sight, you can put them where visitors can see them just as clearly. Visitors often take a “dessert-first” approach to websites – meaning that they want to see as much as they can without being bothered to scroll down or take too much time.

Got a video you want people to watch? Or a CTA to sign up for a free trial? Make sure it’s the first thing your visitors see.

Key Stat: Content above the fold grabs 80% of user’s attention. Below the fold only gets 20%.

Difficulty: Moderate. If you have successfully de-cluttered your page, it shouldn’t be too difficult to do.

Add a Step (To Your Funnel)

So many businesses take their leads and toss them to the phones or the sales page without giving them a chance to assess. Almost 75% of your leads aren’t ready to buy when they are introduced to your brand. That’s why one of the best things you can do to improve your conversion rates is to add a few steps to the process.

Related: You’re Going to Need a Bigger Funnel: A Different Way to Think About Lead-Gen

Get their email and send them some content, videos, or a lead magnet that educates and shows why you are a perfect fit. Taking the time to improve your relationship before they pull out the credit card has been proven to increase sales and lower costs.

Some great options for lead magnets include:

  • E-Book
  • Whitepaper
  • Webinar/Video Course
  • Checklist/Cheat Sheet
  • Case Study
  • Free Consultation

The point is to offer your audience something genuinely useful – without making them feel obligated to buy from you.

Key Stat: Leads that are nurtured not only convert better, but 47% make larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.

Difficulty: Putting a step between your customer and a sales call can be daunting (especially if you haven’t done it before), but start small by offering curious onlookers a free guide in exchange for their digital digits.

Make an Explainer Video!

You may have guessed this would be a tip. Not only because it’s what we do, but it also works so darn well. We’ve seen some amazing case studies from some of our clients. Explainer videos help clarify a product or service, grab more attention, and increase conversions (of course).

Related: 5 HUGE Benefits of Explainer Videos

They’re also versatile. You can put them on your website, hosting platforms like Vimeo or Youtube to drive more traffic, even share them on social media and via email.

You can see how an explainer video increased conversions for CaseComplete by 23% here.

Bonus Tip: Emails sent with explainer videos have a WAY higher click through rate, and over 50% of people who click play watch until the end.

Difficulty: It’s up to you. You can find software and inexpensive sites that offer to help you create videos quickly, but the end product won’t represent your brand effectively. Better to work with some real craftsmen!

Related: 3 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Cheap Explainer Video

At Explainify, we believe in making some of the best explainer videos on the internet, and work hard to convey you and your offerings in a way that not only grows your brand, but converts.

Explainify Case Study - Video Marketing

Why You Need a Better B2B Customer Acquisition Strategy

When it comes to a B2B company’s priorities, finding leads and new customers is pretty darn close to the top of the list. That’s something you probably already know.

You also may already know that your potential customers are changing rapidly – and methods you’ve used in the past to turn leads into customers aren’t going to work much longer. Maybe you came to our site looking for insights on your way to improving your B2B marketing and customer acquisition tactics.

Luckily, you came to the right place.

b2b marketing

The Evidence of Change

Businesses that serve other businesses (B2B) typically stumble into the mindset that their customers are somehow different than the general consumer.

It’s beliefs like these that make companies less effective (or non-existent) across nontraditional channels like social media, video marketing, or the inbound marketing process in general. Thinking that your B2B marketing leads are “strictly business,” and that your audience will be guided by dry facts alone is a fatal mistake.

Related: 7 Reasons Explainify Is The Perfect Video Marketing Partner

Don’t believe me? Here are a few stats to consider:

  • 84% of business decision makers use social media to make purchasing decisions.
  • B2B marketing specialists use six different social platforms (average) with the most popular being YouTube.
  • 50% of executives watch business-related videos via YouTube, the majority of whom visit a company’s website after watching.

And the big one…

  • B2B customers are almost 60% through the decision making process before ever contacting your sales team (we’ll talk a whole lot more on this in a second).

While these figures don’t mean you have to amass a huge following on Instagram, it does pose an interesting question.

“Behind every B there is a C.” – Gary Vaynerchuck

How Do Your B2B Customers Learn About You?

CEB Global conducted a study that states buyers for B2B products are 57% into the decision making process before you have a chance to pitch them. If your potential customers are studying up on you without speaking to you, then who’s doing the talking? And where are they looking?

The intent of a direct advertisement is to get your curious targets to perform a call to action and move into either to your lead nurturing funnel or your sales process. While this can be a useful tactic, it doesn’t work all the time. If your only lead generation methods are ads, you’re leaving money on the table.

Related: How to Teach Your SaaS Team the Fine Art of Brand Storytelling

Those curious targets now take to the web (after being introduced to your brand) and look for anything they can to help make a decision. If you are not the strongest voice, you may be getting looked over.

So how do you make sure you’re staying top of mind?

Brand Storytelling - Blog Lead Magnet CTA

The Case for Content

Have a blog? So what. Got a YouTube channel full of PowerPoint presentations and low-quality explainer videos? So do your competitors. Got a Twitter account with tweets only going out once in a blue moon? So does my uncle.

Related: 3 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Cheap Explainer Video

Time for a hypothetical:

You are conducting sales interviews. Here are your only two candidates.

Candidate 1: This guy answers every question properly, plus he comes with experience and proven results. But he also comes across as dry, scripted, and self-promoting.

Candidate 2: She interviews just as well as the other guy, but she also has charisma. She sucks you in with the story of how she came to interview with you and explains how she can easily fit into your culture.

You’re hiring number 2, right?

It was a simple question, but with an incredibly important point. Your content is a member of your sales team. In fact, it’s fast becoming the most important one. Research shows that there could be 1 million fewer sales positions by 2020 (Forrester). Whereas content marketing – isn’t going anywhere soon.

Starting to see why it matters that your leads are doing most of the work themselves?

Your Next Step

The future of customer acquisition is content. And one of the best things about content is the ability to create. People crave information through interactive content. Buyers want to be informed, but in a way that helps them learn quickly (it also doesn’t hurt if your content is a smidge entertaining).

Evaluate your current content marketing plan and make sure every new post, video and update does each of these:

  • Tells a story, doesn’t just give information (about you and your customer)
  • Delivers your point with incredible clarity (especially for complicated products)
  • Feels personal and interactive (most important for social and CTAs)
  • Looks good (Things like whitespace on blog posts, high-quality video and images, etc.)

Hopefully, we’ve shined some light on the future of customer acquisition. If you’re looking for ways to create the kind of content the newest breed of B2B buyers are craving…

Related: 3 Reasons Your Customers Demand Video Marketing

Explainify has delivered videos with all of these qualities to some awesome companies (from the Fortune 500 to startups). Take a look at our video marketing portfolio.

Brand Storytelling - Blog Lead Magnet CTA