How to Create an Effective Digital Video Campaign That Actually Converts Customers

Keep it short, get to the point and consider the vertical format

BuzzFeed's Tasty is a great example of digital video done right.

Remember when BuzzFeed launched those masterfully produced Tasty videos, to the tune of millions of viewers? They created insatiable social media fodder and continue to dominate Facebook feeds all over the world, empowering viewers to make something awesome for dinner. The other side effect? Marketers everywhere will forever try to recreate the style that makes the perfect case study for numerous other industries.

Tasty is one example in a massive trend that looks only to expand in the years to come, with YouTube reporting that video consumption rises by 100 percent every year and 80 percent of all internet traffic is set to be video by 2019. What’s more, as many as 90 percent of customers say that videos are helpful in their decision process—that is, as long as you get the recipe right.

Live videos are also on the rise this year, with Facebook reporting that users spend three times as long watching a live video compared to a recorded one.

The immersive, quality content is certainly a huge reason why video has proven so successful, but there’s more. According to Lisa Clark, vice president of marketing at HapYak, “Another reason interactive video is taking off in a big way in 2018 is that marketers need data—data on where site visitors click, data on what they like, and data that helps move visitors into the funnel and toward conversion.”

Videos are indeed one of the most effective ways to market on the internet today, but they can be expensive to produce and tricky to get right. If you’re hoping to create a digital video campaign that actually converts customers, take some tips from the veterans first:

Get to the point

When it comes to capturing your audience with a video, you don’t have a lot of time. In fact, according to Video Brewery, 10 seconds is about the max, with views dropping off steadily after that. Furthermore, at the end of a two-minute video, you’re likely to have already lost about 60 percent of your viewers.

Kyle Curtis, group creative director at R&R Partners, confirmed, “I like to think of the first two or three seconds of my online videos like billboards on a freeway. I assume people are going to pass right on by with their thumb scroll, just like they would a billboard in their car. So, what message can I deliver in that time, and how in that brief moment can I make people want to see more?”

The takeaway? Use the inverted pyramid. Don’t create your video like a college essay and wait for viewers to reach the conclusion. Put the most important information upfront.

Think like a goldfish

It’s been scientifically proven that the human attention span is now shorter than that of a goldfish. All this swiping and scrolling and visual clutter is rendering us almost incapable of functioning. So, how should that reflect in your video? According to Crissy Bogusz, designer and motion graphics artist with Vogue, “The shorter [the video] the better. The attention span of the general public is lower than it’s ever been due to the sheer amount of data that they’re subject to daily through new media, in particular social media. Snapchat Discover gives you 10 seconds to deliver the message and engage the user.”

The takeaway? Less is more. Videos of 15 seconds or less are shared up to 37 percent more times than videos that last for 30 seconds or more.

Get vertical

Consumers spend as much as five hours a day on their smartphones, which are made to be held vertically. With the majority of internet traffic now coming from mobile devices, companies should be taking advantage of this format to engage their viewers.

Grant Munro, general manager of Shutterstock Custom, added, “Snapchat recently claimed vertical video ads on its platform were watched all the way through, nine times more than horizontal video ads. Mobile is by far the biggest driver of vertical video.” More social media platforms are also gearing up for vertical, including Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook.

The takeaway? It may be more costly, but if you want to meet your customers where they are, invest in vertical video optimized for mobile in 2018.

Be a tease

Todd Patton, head of communication and story at TwentyThree, suggested using short clips to pique viewers’ interest and then providing them with a link to visit your site and watch the longer version. Not only does this help enhance the user experience, but it drives qualified traffic to your site, filtering out the customers that are more likely to convert.

“One tactic I’ve seen enacted a lot recently is companies using short video snippets on social channels and providing a link to longer, more engaging video content,” he said. “It’s really a teaser for the full video, which then gives an incentive for the user to visit your site. It’s important for brands to have optimized video landing pages and video hubs, so they can control the user experience once the user has landed on your site.”

The takeaway? Use your product’s most attractive features in a short clip to lure interested customers to your site. Control their experience by showing more related videos.

Don’t be a one-trick pony

Producing a digital video may take up more of your budget, but that doesn’t mean you should invest in just one video and use it across all marketing channels. As the Tasty case study shows, the variety and mix of videos is part of what made it so popular.

“A video isn’t a one-trick pony! Many marketers make the mistake of thinking a video is only used for brand campaigns and social media,” said Tyler Lessard, vp of marketing for Vidyard. “Video is extremely effective throughout the entire buyer’s journey and is particularly important for B2B companies that have complex sales cycles. It’s effective as part of email marketing, digital marketing, web, social media, brand and content marketing.”

The takeaway? Video isn’t just for social. You can explain your solutions, showcase product capabilities, share customer stories and provide thought leadership across multiple channels.

That’s a wrap

Video is already taking up the lion’s share of all web content, so it pays to market to your customers through this medium. But with dwindling concentration spans and a rise in visual clutter, your video needs to stand out. Keep it short, get to the point, consider vertical format, and ensure that your video is integrated into your digital marketing strategy, and not an isolated event. Follow these expert tips and they’ll help you build the blueprint for success.