by Vince Palko
If you have you ever been to Disney World or any other amusement park, you’ve no doubt seen people lined up to have artists sketch funny portraits. And right behind them is the crowd of fellow park-goers who stay and watch the caricatures unfold right before their eyes for 10, 20, even 30 minutes. How is this possible with all the rides and other attractions around? Three reasons:
1. We are all born creators
For a great example of this, check out a kindergarten class working with finger paints. The process of creation is soothing and engaging, even just to watch. Think of Bob Ross on PBS and his “happy little trees.”
2. We like being entertained
People love watching magicians, street artists of all kinds and live performers.
3. People want to know what's coming next
It’s as if people fall into a trance watching the artist create, and what keeps them around is the urge to see the completed piece. What exactly do magicians and sketch artists have to do with your small business website or online business? It turns out that these performers can teach marketers and small business owners a lot about how to capture—and hold—the attention of prospects.
The power of online video
In just a moment, you’ll learn all about a unique style of online marketing video that uses the same principles as those performers that can have a huge payoff for your business. But first, some context and background on the big trends in online marketing. Website visitors are much savvier these days and they can smell boring a mile away. Our job as marketers is to attract and retain visitors and this has never been more challenging., but fortunately, hope is right around the corner.
With 90 percent of online shoppers finding video helpful in making buying decisions, according to Internet Retailer, it’s no wonder that there is a rising trend of consumers looking at video as a way to gather information about a company. A huge advantage in using this format is that the content in video is “stickier” than that of traditional web content. The Online Publishers Association found that 80 percent of users recall a video ad they watched within the last 30 days, and of those people, 46 percent took some sort of action after watching the video, whether it was to seek more information about the product or company or even buy the featured product. In fact, online marketing video viewers on average stay on a website two minutes longer and are 64 percent more likely to buy a product. In other words, if your website is full of text and does not feature video, it is likely that a visitor will browse for 30 seconds and then click away, and it’s highly unlikely that they will make a purchase.
With 89 million Internet users watching 1.2 billion online videos every day, you have a lot of potential customers that will not return, which means your business is abandoning potential profits it doesn’t leverage video. The stakes are even higher in the future, as Clickz estimates that 1.5 billion people will watch an online video by 2016. People who are interested in your product or service crave the ability to understand what you do and how you do it in a summary format within a two to three-minute timeframe, which makes video the perfect medium for that message. Engaging videos are as popular as ever when it comes to grabbing people's attention. And because they hold attention longer and viewers retain the content longer, they are a great way to share your story and promote what makes you different from your competitors.
Creating captivating online videos
How can you create compelling videos to generate more leads and boost sales? Follow these proven tips:
Start with talking head videos
If your business is not yet using video as a way to share information on your website, take that first step. Your first attempts at using video don’t have to be production quality; you simply need to get the ball rolling, but keep it simple. If you feel comfortable in front of a camera, you can do a “talking head” video where you provide helpful tips for your target market and infuse humor wherever you can. Channel the street performers and joke with your viewers to keep them engaged. Of course, you have the option of engaging the audience in a whole new way later in your video journey, using a format that’s been getting results for companies in a variety of industries.
Use engaging cartoons to capture attention and increase retention
You might want to go directly to a whiteboard animation video. Whiteboard videos begin with a blank screen, then the artist fills your prospect’s screen with drawings, words, and sketches that tell an engaging story about your product or service.
Of all the formats of online marketing and informational videos, these types of videos, also known as “doodle” videos, are proven to be some of the most effective, because they hold the attention of the viewer for an incredible five minutes or more. One AdToons client tested how long viewers watched his 22-minute animation video http://talkingtotoddlers.com/parenting-tips-free-video compared to his previous video, which featured a PowerPoint deck.
The videos had the same audio, but with the whiteboard animation video, 23 percent of the people watched it to the end compared to just 14 percent of the PowerPoint version. You can see the test here. Don’t worry if you don’t know the first thing about cartoons; many agencies – outside providers specialized in this form of video - have in-house writers and artists who can take you from a blank page to a full-scripted visual marketing story. If you already have videos on your site, think about using sales cartoons or whiteboard videos. Using your proven sales copy in a new format, like an illustrated whiteboard video, can boost response from prospects to customers.
The capacity of video marketing—especially unique formats like whiteboard animation—to grab the attention of prospects who are bombarded with information is a big asset to small business owners. These low-cost solutions help entrepreneurs compete with larger companies. But after grabbing attention, these videos also keep prospects engaged and allow your marketing to do its work. And that means more leads and more sales. Have you used online video in your business? What format? And how did it help your marketing goals? Let us know in the comments below.
Vince Palko is the owner of AdToons, a whiteboard animation company that has delivered outstanding results for clients since 2005. He is a lover of marketing and avid user of Infusionsoft. Go to AdToons.com for more information on applying the power of whiteboard animation videos.