Since the dawn of the internet and email, marketers have been using digital channels to connect with consumers. In 2020, as those consumers went into lockdown and started spending even more time online, it became painfully apparent that digital marketing needed a change. No one was reading cold emails or long webpages from brands. They wanted to hop online and get quick answers to their questions, be entertained, or simply relieve their boredom.

Video content had already been on the rise, and 2020 shoved it into the top spot. People were watching videos at unprecedented rates. As marketers move into 2021, many are finding that they need video if they really need to connect with their audiences. If your goal for the New Year is to grow your business, you need to start video marketing. Here’s what to keep in mind.

Re-think Your Funnels with Video Marketing

Classic sales funnels are fairly straightforward: you raise awareness with an advertisement or cold call, nurture a lead by showing them how your product can solve their problems, then close the deal. This outbound methodology still works, but many consumers have learned to tune out ads. They’re also reluctant to spend their valuable time talking to salespeople.

In inbound marketing, you create content that will appeal to your target audience so that you can capture leads. Many content marketers will publish a blog, encourage people to sign up for a newsletter, then nurture leads through email marketing. Others will release a lead magnet, e.g. an e-book or other freebie, and collect email addresses in exchange for a download.

Now, though, consumers really need to be nurtured heavily. It’s all too easy for them to ignore emails (or simply unsubscribe after they’ve gotten their freebie). The solution is to hook them with video content that makes a deeper connection. Videos are such a powerful medium that you can both generate and nurture leads with video marketing.

Generate More Leads with Explainer Videos

Explainer videos are the new blogs. When people Google a topic, e.g. “how to build a website,” they’re shown a list of search results. Now, Google is prioritizing video content at the top of that list — and many people would much rather watch a video than read a blog. Create an explainer video that solves a problem for your target audience. Don’t promote your product yet. Instead, demonstrate your brand’s authority and provide value to your audience.

Then, capture leads by directing them to a landing page. From there, you can continue to nurture them toward purchasing. You can also grow a more engaged audience by asking people to subscribe to your channel or follow you on social media.

Convert More Customers with Webinars

In a webinar, you use streaming technology to give people access to a special event. You have two or more experts talk about a topic that’s interesting to your target audience. Webinars are excellent for brands in high-competition and/or service-based industries. If you struggle to convert people from lead to customer because you have many competitors or you need to overcome a lot of objections, a webinar would be a good marketing tactic for you.

At the end of the webinar, you can pitch your offering or, alternately, send leads to another nurture point, e.g. a free trial or consultation. This type of funnel works well because you’ve (a) provided value and (b) already gotten a time commitment from your leads. This makes them more invested in what you have to say — and more likely to convert.

Boost Your Social Media Engagement Rates with Live Video

Going live on Facebook or Instagram can be nerve-racking, but it’s highly effective for nabbing people’s attention and getting them excited about your brand. For one thing, people like to feel special and they don’t like FOMO (fear of missing out), so when you give them a chance to consume content live, they’re more likely to engage with your brand. Secondly, 2020 was a year in which many live events were canceled, so people are hungry for them, even virtually. Live video is expected to comprise 13% of traffic in 2021.

If you’d like to make live video part of your strategy (and you should), start by converting your highest-value content into an event. Here are some ideas for going live:

  • Host a Q&A with your CEO, product developers, designers, trainers, etc. so that your audience can learn more about your brand. (Tip: Be sure that you have someone ready to respond to comments and questions on the feed.)
  • Interview an influencer, expert in your industry, VIP client — anyone who has valuable insights to share.
  • Showcase your grand reopening, new equipment or venue, etc.
  • Go behind-the-scenes at your company.

The key is to seem fresh and authentic, rather than relying on heavily edited videos or pre-recorded footage. Live video builds trust in your audience and encourages them to engage — which benefits your social media presence immensely!

Reach Your Business Goals this Year!

If you’re eager to generate more leads and convert more customers in 2021 — while saving money — video marketing is your best bet. Video creation is quite affordable and gives you an opportunity to think outside the box in your digital marketing. With a bit of careful planning and a focus on valuable content, you can enjoy a good ROI from video marketing. Plus, your audience is more likely to retain and enjoy your message, which is crucial to gaining them as loyal customers.

Get started with your own video marketing right here.