Monthly Archives: July 2016

Content Roundup – Definitive Guides Edition


What do you mean we don’t know everything?!

Okay, okay. So maybe you make some good points. No matter how much we pride ourselves on being experts at Explainify, we’re always finding new content that helps guide the business forward.

As much as we try to give back in terms of writing our own content to help businesses, we get way more back from some absolutely brilliant content that people publish. We could never have achieved some of the success we have without these wonderful resources guiding us.

So we’re dedicating this week’s content roundup to great marketing guides!

Whether you’re looking for a Virgil to guide you through your own Divine Comedy powerful analytics, a Gandalf to navigate an exciting Middle Earth on page SEO strategy, or you want something more like a Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy video marketing – we’ve got their marketing equivalents ready for you. Your journey awaits.

Going on an adventure

Let’s start here on your journey. You could run the most best or worst marketing campaigns and if you don’t understand why it doesn’t matter. Your successes aren’t repeatable. Your failures aren’t avoidable. That’s the power of good analytics.

One powerful thing you can do is set good Goals in Google Analytics. This will allow you to see which channels are most engaged and push you towards allocating resources towards your best efforts!

Sound awesome? That’s because it is.

The Definitive Guide to Google Analytics Goals (Online Metrics)

With Google always trying to make their algorithm perfect for putting the most relevant content in front of people, it’s important to know how to optimize web pages for SEO. Are title tags and keywords still the best strategy? Or is an engaging piece of content that helps people on their consumer journey all that matters?

This sweet infographic breaks down some huge data to help you understand how to optimize.

Full disclosure: we actually disagree with how much they downplay the importance of keywords in your title tags, URLs, etc. We still included it though because it does a powerful job of proving that keywords don’t matter if you didn’t write anything worthwhile!

So stop writing for Google’s search algorithm and start writing for, you know, real people.

The Definitive Guide to On Page SEO for 2016 [Infographic] (Get Clicks)

video marketing definitive guide

If you’re on our blog, you no doubt have heard how important video marketing is. No need to beat a dead horse.

Instead, we wanted to share the most comprehensive video marketing guide in existence. This bad boy is your how-to on everything from how much video should cost to what the creation process looks like to how you actually implement it into your marketing funnel.

You really need to read this because just creating cheap or poorly branded videos isn’t the answer. The answer is learning how to take amazing videos and drive business with them!

The Definitive Guide to Video Marketing Like a Champion (Explainify)

Email is under attack! Inboxes are being bombarded by everyone, everyone’s grandmother, and everyone’s grandmother’s dog.

Frankly, it’s tiring and exhausting to try and keep up with all the emails we get every day. And even worse is that it’s exhausting being a marketer trying to compete for your consumer’s attention via email.

But email is so. so. important.

And you’ve got more engaging content than everyone’s grandmother’s dog does. So how do you get people to sit up and care? Read this article to find out how you can email effectively in 2016.

The Definitive Guide to Successful Email Marketing (Hiver)

Raise your hands if you frequently think to yourself, “I can only get so many things done in a day.” Thanks everybody for raising your hands! You can put them down now.

We all feel this. That constant grind between what should be getting done vs. what can get done can drive a guy or girl nuts sometimes! Between family, job, entertainment, and sleep, you just can’t get do it all.

But you’re forgetting someone. One critical teammate who never struggles to get to everything you ask them to.

Team, meet Mr. Automation. After reading this, take some time and think about all those things you do every day, every week, or every month. You could automate those and save hours – maybe even days to devote towards other projects!

Let marketing automation go to work for you and you can sleep with a lighter burden at night.

The Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation (Quick Sprout)

That's All!

We hoped you enjoyed this week’s content! As always if you’re looking for a partner that can help you meet your business goals, give us a shout!

5 Ways to Shake Up Your Late-Stage Startup for the Better

Eating cheap food whenever you have a spare moment, working in an abandoned warehouse or your garage, and using just about anything as office furniture.

These are just a few signs that you were, or are, an entrepreneur building a true startup. A decent idea and a whole lotta gusto was all you had – and really, all you needed. Your hustle was strong, and results followed.

Now, things are different. You’ve got your own space, with a real-life office chair… although you’re probably still only eating when you have that rare, spare second. But there’s no denying that your startup has grown into a full-fledged business.

startup growth

As you move into this new phase of responsibility and respectability, you don’t want to lose the passion, the enthusiasm, the agility that made your startup so incredible. And there are definitely some excellent qualities that startups foster – many of which should continue on throughout your brand’s history.

But there are also a few habits that you should let go of – as well as some new ones worth adding to your toolkit.

If you’re ready to shake off the dead weight and focus on what it takes to lead your company into new territory, these are our top five ways to shake things up.

1. It’s time to stop bootstrapping

To classify yourself as a “late-stage startup” means you’ve got a product and have a decent idea of your market. Scale can’t be far behind!

The best way to effectively scale is to start spending some money wisely. Maybe you’ve just had a round of funding come your way, or maybe you’re raking in the profits. Either way, it’s officially time to stop bootstrapping.

In fact, it’s taking the straps off those boots that can equal real growth – and change your mindset from building something useful to building a brand around your useful stuff. Obviously, frugality still matters. You should never start rolling out corporate Bentleys or paying for lobster buffets in the office, but here are a few ways that spending cash will benefit your business:

● Hiring (more on this further down) ● Growth marketing experimentation ● Video marketing (explainer videos, onboarding, etc.) ● Equipment (lose the duct taped Macbook already) ● Culture builders (employee benefits, snacks, put in that awesome slide or espresso machine)

Okay, maybe you don’t need the slide or the Nespresso, but the point is that you should start judiciously spending money on the people, the processes, and the environment that will help your company keep on growing.

2. Pull the plug

It’s so common for a startup to end up selling something completely different than what they originally planned. That’s part of the process. What matters is your ability to step back, recognize the need to pull the plug on certain projects, and focus on what’s working.

Here’s a great post from Forbes on how to “fail fast”.

Interesting: Twitter started as a podcasting company and now it’s the world’s leading complaint forum (just kidding:).

3. Open Your Eyes

The startup process is less about focusing on the competition and more about being different than others similar to your product. This focus is an excellent way to develop your unique value and really drive your growth.

Once you’re ready to communicate that unique value, that’s when you should really study the competition.

Warning: You should not become a paranoid. Dwelling on the competition and questioning every decision you make will limit innovation and kill the future of your brand.

To help you keep balance, we’ve found a great post that has compiled the thoughts of 28 founders specifically on the subject of competition. Check it out.

4. Slow down

In between startup and full blown growth company there is a small, but crucial moment to breathe. No, we’re not telling you to take a vacation with your VC money. What we do want to encourage you to do is take a look at all of your current users/clients.

When you are ready to bust out the growth hacking playbook, slow down and look at the current processes your new customers go through when first accessing the product. Ask yourself a few questions:

● How is the customer experience? ● What is the onboarding process? ● How many people stop using our products each month (churn)?

If you take the time and give it an honest look, you’ll come away with holes that can be plugged before you start seeing that hockey stick on the charts.

Here’s a great guide from Drip about customer onboarding.

5. Hire More Better

It’s time to put away your hat collection. Maybe you filled the roles of finance guy/gal, lead developer, CEO, coffee maker, and a few (dozen) more.

If you want your company to fully move past the startup phase, it’s time to hire. Effectively, your primary role should be recruiter and that should arguably never end. It’s important to fully define your company’s value set and culture you’re trying to achieve. It’ll clarify the hiring process.

Hiring is an enigma. Your company can’t experience heavy growth without a quality team, but if done poorly, the rate of your growth will slow dramatically.

The general consensus amongst some of the best talent gatherers is hire slow and fire fast. Wearing the hats until you have a quality fit while being ready to put it back on will keep your culture between the ditches.

Check out this helpful hiring post from Fast Company.

How About Your Tips?

Now that you’ve heard our top five ways to shake up your company for the better, it’s time to hear what you have to say. Let us know what you’re doing to shake off the “startup” mantra without losing the valuable mindsets that come with it.

What are you doing to move your business to the next level?

Content Roundup – 7/15/16


Lately we’ve been inspired. We’re inspired by underdogs. And nothing screams underdog like the 1980 USA Olympic Hockey Team. Far from the most dominant or talented team, they outworked every opponent they skated against on their way to a Gold medal.

And at the end of the day, that’s what a lot of business comes down to. You don’t have to be the most talented, and you don’t have to be the most innovative. As the legendary Herb Brooks said, “You think you can win on talent alone? Gentlemen, you don’t have enough talent to win on talent alone.”

But you can commit to being the last man standing. That’s how every great story starts!

AgainSo we’ve compiled some of our favorite content that helps remind us how to be resilient, how to overcome early deficits, and make sure that every underdog has their day. So strap on those skates, read these amazing pieces of content, and give me another rep!

5 Steps to Recovering from Low Landing Page Conversions (Kissmetrics)

Did you know that the USA didn’t actually win the Gold medal against the Soviets? That’s right, it was just the semis! They actually had to come from behind against Finland to win it all. But that was part of what made the USA team so great – their desire and ability to achieve comebacks.

Coming from behind is what optimizing landing page conversions is all about. Your first landing page iteration is rarely the best, and you have to alter your plans at halftime. But with these 5 amazing tips from Kissmetrics, you can be sure that Gold medals are ahead.

There's a problem with your business goals. They're not nearly big enough.

There is a Major Problem With Your Goals (Entrepreneur)

When Herb Brooks told his assistant coach, Lou Nanne, that they were going to beat the best team in the world they told him; “Beat the best team in the world? … Pretty lofty goal, Herb.” Brooks looked at his assistant and simply said “Well, Lou, that’s why I want to pursue it.”

That’s how we need to set goals. Goals weren’t designed so that, somewhere along the way, we could settle for the middle of the pack. So read this article, get inspired, and go home a champion.

brand storytelling tips

3 Brand Storytelling Secrets the Big Guys Don’t Want You to Know (Explainify)

Just because you’re an up and coming underdog doesn’t mean you should treat the big dogs with disdain. After all, they used to be you! But they learned and they’re fierce competitors as well. The USA team committed to beating the Russians at their own game – a systematic playing style and fierce conditioning. Here’s 3 expert-level tips that big brands know about selling their brand that they don’t want you to know.

Resiliency is good for you - and it's something you only get from practicing.

How to Become More Resilient [Infographic] (HubSpot)

Sports and business are often simplistic to predict in that, generally, the more diligent, more resilient thrive over their competitors. Resilience is something practiced – you think the USA team was just lucky enough to come back that many times? So how and why should you practice? This infographic by HubSpot breaks it all down.

Competitor research is vital to your business' success.

How and Why You Must Do Competitive Research (Duct Tape Marketing)

You think ole’ Herb was watching movies in the film room the whole time? No! He studied his players and the other teams with a ferocity and intensity that came to define the entire team. So, what do you really know about your competitors? I mean, what do you really know?

If you can’t come up with some lengthy answers to that question, then it’s time to get in the film room. You’ll be amazed at what insights and opportunities you’ll be able to exploit afterwards.

The Definitive Guide to Video Marketing Like a Champion

video marketing definitive guide

Digital marketing moves so fast, sometimes it can feel next to impossible to keep up.

As soon as you’ve got your website optimized for SEO and you’ve started blogging regularly, you’ve got to create a vibrant and engaging email strategy. Once you think you’ve got a handle on your email list, suddenly it’s time to tackle all those social media channels. And don’t even get me started on landing pages, lead magnets, and conversion rates.

Of course, these things don’t happen one right after the other – it’s actually worse, because they happen all at once.

With so many marketing priorities already competing for your attention, video marketing can feel like a nuisance – just one more thing demanding your already precious time.

But video isn’t just one more thing. In fact, if you haven’t heard, 2016 is the year of video marketing. Brands who don’t start harnessing the power of video marketing will miss out on greater results, potential customers, and ultimately, sales.

“Okay, okay,” you’re saying. “I get it. I know how important video marketing is… but I have no clue how to get started.”

Well, this guide is for you. From the Explainify office, we’ve watched video grow from a niche digital offering to one of the most powerful forces in modern marketing – and we don’t want you to miss out!

That’s why, in this guide, we’re going to show you:

  • Why video marketing is so powerful – and why it’s not going anywhere soon.
  • How much you should plan to spend on video.

(Worried about cost? The numbers you want to know are one short click away.)

  • How to pick the right production partner – and work with them to get the results you want.

(Want relationships you can trust? Jump here to find out how you build those!)

  • How video drives measurable value to your business (ROI alert!).

(ROI junkie, eh? Click here to see how video drives ROI. We dare you.)

  • How to develop a full-funnel video strategy for more traffic, more leads, and more sales.

(Know how much video a video could video if a video could video video?)

Let’s start with the big picture.

1.) Why Video Marketing?

This question may seem elementary, but we’ve actually found that there’s not a lot of clarity around the importance – or the significance – of video.

So, a bit of background. A great foundational way to think of online video marketing – is as a logical replacement for broadcast commercials. There are a couple of reasons why online video is such an ideal substitute:

  • Choice: Consumers can choose to watch – or not watch – an online video. And in this world of on-demand, consumer-driven media, your audience is going to be much more receptive to your message if they have the option of engaging, rather than being forced to listen.
  • Measurability: Unlike broadcast TV, online video marketing is incredibly trackable and measurable. With broadcast, the most you can hope for is exposure – getting eyeballs on your ads. But with online video, you can measure views and engagement, turn video into a conversion point, or use it to collect emails as a lead magnet. That’s a digital marketer’s dream!

video marketing guide

For these reasons, video marketing has exploded over the last decade – and it shows no signs of slowing down. For example:

  • 52% of marketing professionals name video as the type of content with the best ROI.
  • 76% of marketers plan to use video to boost their brand awareness campaigns.
  • 96% of B2B companies are planning to use video in their content marketing over the next year.
  • Consumer internet video traffic will go from 64% in 2014 to over 80% by 2019.

video marketing definitive guide

In other words… online video is still a rapidly growing trend, and it’s going to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

Video is also the place where brand positioning and audience engagement meet. You can say more with video than you can with image or text alone – and it gives your audience a living, moving look into your brand.

Video is your content marketing main course – it brings all your side dishes together. But just like a meal, people don’t just want the main course – they want the full experience. They still want your blog posts, your webinars, your bite-sized social content. So you can’t lean on video marketing as the end-all solution, but as a powerful piece of a larger whole.

Now that we’ve established a strong foundation regarding the importance of video marketing, let’s talk numbers.

Explainify Case Study - Video Marketing

2.) How Much Should I Plan to Spend on Video?

If there’s one question we get asked more than any other at Explainify, it’s about cost. Everyone wants to know how much they should be spending on video. Which makes sense – you want to know that you’re finding the right balance of quality and value for your organization.

Of course, there are some really compelling reasons to do a great deal of your video marketing production in-house. It’s easy to produce content more frequently, and it’s cost-effective.

But at some point, you may want something high-end. You’ll want animation, or you’ll want actors, or you’ll want beautiful custom videography.

When that happens, you’re going to want to bring in the professionals.

video marketing guide

But knowing who to bring on board is difficult. And it doesn’t help that there are so many options to choose from today.

When we started Explainify, there were just a handful of video marketing agencies – now, there are hundreds of production companies out there.

And they all come with radically different price tags: Some may offer to make you a great animated video for under a thousand bucks – while higher-end live-action production teams will only take on projects for $100,000+.

That’s a wide playing field. So how do you choose the right company – and the right price tag?

First of all, you should not settle for cheap, low-quality marketing videos. When we talk about the production companies out there that we love and respect, we’re really talking about the top 10. If you’re not concerned about quality or brand perception, these companies are not for you.

But you should be concerned about these things. Like your website, video is a chance to make a great first impression on your potential customers.

If you’re meeting a new client or you’re going on a first date and you ask to meet them at Taco Bell – what are they going to think?

video marketing guide

They’re going to think you’re cheap, they’re going to notice the refried beans and cheese stuck in your beard, and you’re probably not going to see date or business meeting #2.

Taco Bell is great – we love a good Fourth Meal – but it’s the same with video. You can get video on a budget, but it’s not going to represent your brand well – and in fact, it may turn viewers off to your brand.

Plus, if you work with a low-budget company – let’s say they charge $3,000 for a video – you’re going to work with an animator, and maybe a project manager. That’s it. Their only goal – and their only capability – is to get you a video. Nothing more, nothing less. There’s not a lot of input on the backend to make sure the video they’re making is delivering the right message in the right way.

And because these companies are offering such a low entry point, they often work with dozens – maybe even hundreds – of clients at a time. Their client experience can feel a lot less like a partnership, and more like an assembly line.

Remember Taco Bell? You get your food there and you always feel like you have to check the bag on your way out of the drive-thru – just to make sure they got your order right. It’s the same thing with these low-budget production companies. They may get it right, but it’s really just a roll of the dice.

video marketing guide

However, if you work with a truly great video agency, there will be all these other people contributing to the final product.

Sure, you’ll get a talented animator and a wonderful PM, but you’ll also have access to a team of copywriters, art directors, and strategists who are helping inform your video in terms of messaging, positioning, and creative best practices.

They’re going to draw on tons of research, experience, and collaboration with you to make sure that the video they create is perfectly tailored to your target audience.

They’ll create a video that’s perfectly branded, positioned, and produced.

And that’s what takes video from being a commodity or a tool, and transforms it into a piece of your strategic arsenal.

So you can pay less for a video that doesn’t get you results – or you can pay more to get an agency-level product that will actually do something for your brand.

By now, we’re hoping you’re getting the point: you shouldn’t be looking for a discounted price or a bargain-bin explainer video.

A lot of you reading this are entrepreneurs or small-business owners, and the name of the game is bootstrapping it. We get that – we’ve got the same mindset at Explainify.

That’s a virtue, doing more with less, getting the maximum value at the lowest price. It’s a big part of what makes you great at what you do.

But when it comes to video marketing, this mindset just doesn’t translate very well. At the end of the day, you’re paying for a business tool, yes, but you’re also paying for a craft good, a work of art created specifically for your company by a team of skilled, highly-trained creatives.

Now, here are the hard numbers on video cost:

  • If you’re just looking for a video – with no regard for quality, branding, or messaging – you could get something reasonable for $3,000-$5,000.
  • But if you want a video made by extremely innovative animators, dedicated analysts, and project managers who also only work with a limited number of clients so they can focus on you? You’re looking at closer to $15,000-$20,000.
  • And if you want an agency-level live-action video, you’re looking at $60,000-$100,000.

Okay, you’ve picked a video marketing partner. Now what?

3.) How Do I Make the Most of the Video Production Process?

At Explainify, we’ve worked really hard to create a process that’s fun, collaborative, and incredibly streamlined.

But again, all the really great production companies out there have developed a killer process with a focus on input – understanding your business objectives, creating a great concept, building a relationship with you – as much as the output.

The typical process for animation should look something like this – with some variation between companies, of course…

video marketing guide

Strategic Planning and Kickoff

You’ll start with strategic planning and kickoff. The video production team is going to have you answer some questions about your business, your needs for the video, your creative preferences, and the like. They’ll also dig into your brand and your industry to make sure they really get what you do, while at the same time thinking creatively about how to tell your story through beautiful visuals. They’ll bring it all together in a kickoff meeting where they’ll present their initial findings,clarify any lingering questions they may have, and make sure you and they are on the same page regarding the project. The planning and kickoff step is critical to a great video, as you and your production partner develop a shared understanding of your business objectives – and the best way to achieve them.


The script is the arena where your video partner’s understanding of your business will be tested. It’s also the step that will make or break a video. We’ve had quite a few clients come to us after working with another production company who lost their trust because they didn’t absolutely nail the script. Are your partners accurately representing your brand? Are they speaking to the pain points your target audience faces? You’ll have the opportunity to ask these questions as you collaborate with the team and offer feedback on the work that they deliver. However, keep in mind that the script will be written with a creative vision in mind, so it’s important not to weigh down your video’s messaging with extra brand features and specifics that aren’t absolutely critical for your audience to hear. We see a lot of projects go wrong at this point in the production process, when clients aren’t able to relinquish control and trust their video partner’s expertise.

Storyboarding/Visual Concepting

Here’s where things get really exciting. Once the script is approved, the production team will begin work developing storyboards and a visual style for your video. You’ll be able to see your video take shape visually, but at an early enough stage that you’ll be able to provide feedback and help mold that story. Again, it’s important to trust your team’s creative expertise, but don’t be afraid to offer suggestions. And if you really don’t like where things are headed? Now’s the time to speak up! A great production team will have a strong vision, but they’ll also want you to be totally satisfied with the final outcome.


At the same time, they’ll be gathering auditions from world-class voiceover artists, and sifting through dozens of those auditions to find the ones who do your script justice. Our clients actually really love this part of the process, as it’s an opportunity to choose your brand voice in a literal way.


Once all of the building blocks have been put in place, it’s time to animate. Here’s the thing about animation -it’s very time-consuming, and it’s very difficult. An animator has to create all of the elements for each scene in your video, layer them in the right way, and set them in motion – frame by frame by frame. It can take a full day of work just to animate a few seconds of video. That’s why most companies ask that you give the bulk of your feedback prior to animation – even seemingly minor changes can result in days of additional work!

Sound Design

There’s also the multi-sensory icing on the cake – sound design. The team will add music and sound effects to flesh out the soundscape and make your video feel like a cohesive whole.

And that’s it! Once the video is completed, you’ll implement and distribute it based on the strategy that you (and your video partner) have developed.

Live action production is slightly different, but actually follows a lot of the same steps. The biggest difference is that instead of animation, you’ll have a production team shooting live footage – which takes tons of coordination, planning, and time. And once the footage has been shot, it’s easier to edit that footage together in different ways than it is to make changes to animation, but it’s also a lot harder to make any major changes to the video (i.e. anything that would require going out and shooting more material).

As you can see, video production takes a lot of work. So while you may want that marketing video yesterday, it’s worth asking yourself if the deadline you’ve set for final delivery is absolutely critical.

For example, we typically ask clients to allot 8-10 weeks for video production. There are teams out there who can complete a video in 3-4 weeks, but for the companies who are bringing a robust team of creative directors, strategists, and animators to the table – that’s just not optimal.

This is where things get really interesting. You’re investing a lot of time and money in creating a video – and when you – as a CEO or marketer – sink a lot of time and money into something, you want to know what the return will be on that investment.

You want to know…

4.) How will video drive measurable value to my business?

Video marketing is powerful, but it’s absolutely not a silver bullet; it’s an amplifier for your business objectives. A video isn’t going to magically save your business – but it will help you see greater results from your marketing efforts.

CaseComplete is just one of many clients we've helped succeed! See how we helped them increase lead conversions by over 20%!

Let’s take a look at some numbers.

Video Ads: Consumers are 27x more likely to click-through online video ads than standard banner ads. That’s a significantly higher chance that viewers will move one step closer to becoming customers.

Email: Video can increase your CTR by 300% and reduce unsubscribe rates by 75%. This is huge! Email is underrated as a marketing tool, but video is a great way to turn it into a serious driver of results.

Conversion Rate: 70% of marketers report that video marketing converts better than other types of content. We’ve seen time and again that video can increase conversions by 20-30%!

Bounce Rate: Pages with video see a 34% lower bounce rate than pages without.

Social Media: Within the last year, Gary Vaynerchuk has proclaimed video the most important social strategy today, with social platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter rapidly overtaking traditional video platforms like YouTube.

These are hard stats, but there are a ton of soft benefits tied to video that can’t be quantified and are nevertheless incredibly valuable – things like a shorter sales cycle, fewer demos, more qualified leads, and clarity of messaging. It can be difficult to put a number to more people understanding what you do and why it matters – but there’s no doubt that this is important.

Let’s get away from general stats for a moment and look at some real-world examples. We’ll focus on top-of-funnel metrics for these:

  • B2B software company CaseComplete saw a 23% increase in conversions within two weeks of launching a homepage explainer video.
  • Neil Patel’s CrazyEgg saw a whopping 64% conversion lift, resulting in $24,000 in extra monthly income – all thanks to video.
  • Everyone’s familiar with Dropbox – but did you know that they increased signups by 10% with an explainer video?

These are world-class companies that have everything pretty refined… and yet they still saw tremendous results from video.

The point we’re trying to make here is that video isn’t a silver bullet – but it also isn’t just a nice-to-have or an add-on to your marketing mix. It has the capacity to drive serious results that are worth every dollar of your investment.

Which, if you’re interested in driving serious results, leads you to an obvious question.

5.) How can I use video throughout the marketing funnel?

This question is actually one that most people do not ask, but they should be. Let’s use a few images to illustrate why this is valuable.

video marketing guide

The above image is your marketing funnel at work. You’ve got a strategy, you’re driving people to your site, you’re putting out really valuable content, and providing your audiences with touch points on social media, through email, all that good stuff.

Now, this is your funnel with an explainer video.

video marketing guide

It sits right up at the top of your funnel, enlarges your funnel a bit and attracts more views and conversions. Sounds fantastic, right? It is!

But this is also where video stops for most brands. Which means you’re still leaving it to your traditional inbound efforts to drive results further down the funnel, and missing a lot of opportunities.

This is a problem. Because video isn’t just for driving awareness. It’s perfect for driving results throughout the Buyer’s Journey – it just needs to be informed by a strong, committed video strategy.

So, let’s get back to answering the original question of how you can expand your influence with video marketing.

video marketing guide

Pre-Funnel Video 

Let’s start even higher up the funnel than the explainer video. As Neil Patel shows, video ads are incredibly effective at boosting CTRs. So if you need to reach an off-site audience via Facebook or Google ads, video is a great opportunity to drive a new audience to your site or landing page or retarget previous site visitors.

Top-of-Funnel Video 

Once people have landed on your homepage or landing page, it’s time to hit them with more educational – but still engaging! – video content, like the ever-popular explainer video. These are designed to provide clarity around your UVP and drive people toward a specific conversion point – whether that’s a free trial, a demo, a sales call, or even an email list or whitepaper. Oh, and they happen to be great at boosting metrics! You could decrease your bounce rate or double unique visitor counts overnight.

Middle-of-Funnel Video 

Now you have some ideas how to draw people into the top of your funnel. But we all know that the money gets made in the middle of the funnel. Fortunately, this stage of the buying journey is a goldmine of opportunities for video marketing content as your audience begins to consider their buying options. Here are just a few thoughts:

  • A demo video can give viewers an in-depth look at your product or software, without requiring your sales team’s time. And when they do have a conversation with sales, these consumers are much more qualified leads than they were before.
  • A great video case study or testimonial can create an intensely human connection between your prospective customers – and your past customers. The social proof of a written case study is great, but capturing your happiest customers on-camera? So much more powerful. Similarly, a look at your company culture can build a stronger connection with your brand.
  • Or what about a video-based onboarding sequence, showing users how they can get more out of your software? We’ve seen this strategy work wonders in customer retention and churn prevention.

A great example of MoFu video is Zappos. They included videos on their product pages and saw a 30% sales impact because of it. If you knew a video could potentially lift your sales 30%, would you try it? Yeah, we thought you might.

Bottom-of-Funnel Video

Now that you’ve engaged your consumers and driven more sales, the bottom of the funnel is a great place to keep your customers engaged and satisfied with ongoing support or education. Here are a couple great examples for this stage of the journey:

  • Create FAQ videos that address your customers’ most common questions – which again saves your staff’s valuable time by fielding common questions.
  • A video walkthrough is a great way to teach customers how to use your software or product – and it’s way more interesting than an instruction manual! Ikea did this for their customers by creating video how-to guides about some of their most popular furniture. Brilliant!

Obviously, there are many ways to help your customers at the bottom of the funnel – these are just a few of the specific ways a full-funnel video marketing strategy can play out.

One thing that is important to know is that not all the videos you publish have to be animated – they don’t even need to be made by an outside agency. If you’re willing to invest in a good camera and some decent lighting, you can make them yourself!

They just need to be made.

You’ve got to develop the holistic video marketing strategy that’s right for your customer base – and stick to it. It really is critical to the future of your digital strategy.

Free e-book helps you cut the crap and close more deals!

Is Video the Key to an Unforgettable Sales Letter?

After all these years, sales letters are incredibly effective and have (to a certain extent) managed to shake off their “sleazy” stigma. If people are really interested in your product, they want to find out everything they can. Having all of that information in one place – like in a sales letter – is beneficial for businesses and consumers alike.

And with the popularity and compelling nature of video in the marketplace, video sales pages have become increasingly popular.

Related: Are Video Ads The Next Video Marketing Goldmine?

sales video

But just because they’re popular doesn’t mean they’re effective. If all the other salespeople were jumping off a bridge, you wouldn’t do that (we hope!). The big question is: are they better than a traditional longform sales letter?

Given that we’re a video marketing company, you may think that we’re going to tell you “Video all the way!” But the truth is, this isn’t a “one size fits all” matter. There are several factors that could influence whether you stick with written copy, or make the jump to video.

Lucky for you, we’ve done the research and compiled our findings – so you don’t have to.

Long Form Sales Pages

Copywriting is an art form. There are skilled artisans that take time to craft long detailed pages that gently move nervous onlookers into becoming dedicated customers. Sometimes they can be so intricate, it can take multiple days for visitors to them look over. Don’t believe us?

Example: NYT best-seller Ramit Sethi sells a product that helps people earn income from hobbies. His sales letter is 47 pages long – and course has earned him well over 7 figures since its debut.

There are many benefits to having a lot of written copy on the page, but they aren’t for every product and service. Determining if wordy pages are the way to go comes down to a few factors:

  • Price Tag: If the product or service costs some serious moolah, the potential buyers on your page will want no stone left unturned. The more information they get, the more they can weigh the options and discuss it with other parties that will be involved.
  • Complex Products: If it’s hard to understand what your offer is or how hard your widget is to use, you’ll probably need more real estate. Explainer videos are great for breaking down complexity (more on this in a sec), but your well-studied readers will want it all in text.

Related: Why You’re Not Educating Your Audience Right (and 4 Ways to Start)

  • Newer Markets: Some businesses are venturing into new territory. Maybe you’re solving a problem that no one else has managed to fix. While it could mean big things for you, you’ll have to teach EVERYONE about it first. Doing so takes time and verbiage.

Getting all of that content right is challenging to say the least. Master copywriters can name their price for a reason. While long form isn’t our bag, we’ve found an excellent post from the folks at Kissmetrics that lays out the details.

Video Sales Page

In a drastic change from the long form, the strictly video sales page – which looks a lot like your standard landing page – isn’t much more than a video and a buy button.

Depending on your target audience and a few other factors, this can be an incredibly powerful way to get sales. The primary form of marketing is visual (e.g. commercials, print, billboards, you get the picture). The human mind can interpret visuals 60,000 times faster than reading text.

While there are some barriers (mainly the ones mentioned above) that can render video less effective, video sales pages are great for:

  • Lower-Priced Offerings: Products with a shorter buying cycle (like a SaaS product) are made for video sales. If you can explain your service in a few short words, 60 seconds of video can do a lot of good.
  • Impulse Buys: If someone is coming straight from a PPC ad to your sales page for the first time, a video is the best chance for them to convert on a lower-priced impulse. They searched for a related term, your video tells them you have the answer, and boom! They’re ready to buy.
  • Visual Products: This is an obvious one. If your product shines in the spotlight, then that’s where it should be. A high-quality video that makes your stuff look good is better than sales copy.

Related: 6 Easy Ways to Boost Your Online Conversions

Compromise Works, Too

Just because these are the two extremes doesn’t mean you have to choose just one. You can blend these approach and find what works for you.

One of the best examples of this is to use both engaging video and lengthy copy. This provides the opportunity to consume multiple forms of media and appeals to more people. Try introductory copy, followed by video, then back to some more sweet, sweet copy.

A great example of this is Derek Halpern’s, “Zippy Courses”. It starts with a video and goes into all of the other benefits involved.

If you need some help creating an explainer video for your next sales page, maybe we can help. Get in contact and we’ll find out!

Content Roundup – 7/1/16


In honor of July 4th, we’re honoring those companies looking to build something great. We know it’s a struggle to make your dreams come true, but with some humility and perseverance, we know you can do it!

One thing we’ve seen a lot is that too often when things don’t roll our way – we have some typical reactions as leaders, marketers, and businesspeople: What’s wrong with the industry? What was wrong with the ads? Did someone screw up inventory? Why was King George so terrible?

You get the picture. We ask a lot of important questions – but sometimes we forget to be honest and ask ourselves the toughest, most important question:

What am I doing wrong that keeps my customers from caring about my product or service?

If you’re willing to face the truth, we’ve got a few ideas on how you can re-evaluate your messaging and promote it in a way that your customers will actually care about. We hope you enjoy them and can’t wait to see your company light up the sky like a Firework on the 4th of July!

If You Can’t Get Sales and Marketing to Scale, It’s Not Them—It’s You (InfusionSoft)

Sometimes to scale a business, you have to go dump out a bunch of tea into Boston Harbor first. Well, not really. But here’s my fresh perspective as a CEO who has had to struggle with brand positioning, growing a team, and leveraging limited resources to attain victory. Read these 3 explosive steps that anyone can duplicate and turn into actionable business plans.

3 Ways to Use Live Video for Small Businesses (Social Media Examiner)

Okay, so now you see that when in the course of business, sometimes it becomes necessary to re-evaluate your brand to reach more people. But where do you meet those people at and build a community? Well, social media is a great place to start! Social Media Examiner has 3 tips that will blow up your social media profiles and grab attention like a sparkler at midnight!

A Match Made in Heaven: How to Use Video Marketing in Your Email Campaigns (Explainify)

Can we agree that George Washington and America are a match made in Heaven? Ole George led us through the Revolutionary War and became our first President – even though he initially turned down the office! Well, we think video is the George Washington of marketing. Whether you like it or not, it’s the king – did we say king? We totally meant President! – of marketing and can lead your marketing efforts to victory!

Why video needs to be part of your paid advertising strategy (Marketing Land)

You may have something incredible to sell – but do you convince people that you do? How are you going to sway people to your product or service? There’s a million things out there discussing how to optimize copy, images, etc. But have you seen what video is doing for marketing efforts? Why aren’t you including that in your paid campaigns? Here’s a great read on why you must use video in your paid advertising campaigns. It’s okay, you can thank us later.

Learn From Struggling Brands: Insights From the Marketing Trenches (Content Marketing Institute)

Everybody goes through their Valley Forge moments. It’s cold, your resources are shriveled up, and you just wonder if the struggle is worth it anymore. But don’t you give up, you revolutionary! We’ve got some lessons from other Valley Forges. Learn from your compatriots who have been in the trenches before. Now go plant your content marketing flag boldly to help rally your cause and become the nation – company, we definitely meant company – you know you can be!

Have a safe and happy 4th of July, everyone!