Do you use videos to sell your products or services? Looking for a proven model to help you sell with videos?

To explore how to create videos that sell, I interview Owen Video on the Social Media Marketing Podcast.

Owen is a speaker, live-stream host, and event MC. He’s also the founder of The Video Marketing School, an online learning center for video marketing training.

Owen shares his process for consistently producing quality video content. You’ll also learn why video is such a powerful marketing tool, how to develop video topics, and more.

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Why Videos Are Important in Marketing

Video is hyper-effective for marketing and brings prospects to your brand. A report from Oracle revealed that 82% of all content viewed online has a video on the web page. If you want people to view your content, you have to create video or live video content. Otherwise, people aren’t going to stop on your site and look at it.

Video can be useful beyond attracting people to your page. It can also improve your business and make customers want to buy your products or services. In a separate study, 90% of customers also say that videos help them make buying decisions and 88% of marketers report being satisfied with the ROI of their video marketing efforts on social media.

Video not only offers your customers a chance to see your product in action but also lets them see the passion in your eyes when you talk about your product and your company. Video allows people to envision themselves using the product and gives them the ability to hear from the customers you serve.

An example of this is real estate. A joint study from Google and the National Association of Realtors revealed that there’s a 40% increase in buyer inquiries from home listings that featured video. This goes beyond clicks on a listing. These are aspiring homeowners clicking the link and actually saying, “I want to see this house” simply because there was a video posted next to it.

If you want to succeed as a business owner, you’ve got to get good at selling with video.

Developing Parasocial Relationships With Video

Video is a powerful, scalable way for brands and businesses to develop awareness, affinity, and trust with their audiences without them having to know or encounter you. In psychology, this phenomenon is called a parasocial relationship or a one-way relationship, where the viewer gets to know, like, and trust you without ever meeting you in person.

To illustrate, when Owen was recovering from a surgery and undergoing 7 months of chemotherapy and radiation, he began indulging in the popular sitcom, Frasier. The more Owen watched the show, the more be began liking and bonding with the main character, Dr. Frasier Crane. Although Frasier is a fictional character played by actor Kelsey Grammer, Owen developed a parasocial relationship with Frasier.

You can achieve a kind of parasocial relationship through other types of content like audio or through writing but video allows you to achieve a higher-level connection with your audiences.

Other Benefits of Video Marketing

On a practical level, video is easier, faster, and more affordable compared to other forms of content marketing and advertising efforts. For instance, blogging, SEO, and Google ads can be difficult to manage and take months to see any traction. Even then, the data shows that the pages you’re trying to rank need to have a video on them to succeed anyway.

Owen’s Proven Video Creation Process

Every marketer has a mobile device and a message. You don’t need any fancy video gear or a film crew. Rather than having your boss or clients memorize lines or paying someone to write a script and hiring an editor to chop all the bad stuff out, use whatever you already have and get good at systemizing your video production.

For marketers, this means having a process that integrates into the rhythms of your business. Expect the first video to be the worst, but know that over time, you’ll improve and begin to see benefits for your business. The first step is to create momentum. From there, come up with a method for duplication and the ability to outsource. Once you get to this point, you no longer need to even be involved in the process. The key is having a process.

Owen shares how one of his clients, Dr. Sten Ekberg at Wellness for Life in Atlanta, mastered the art of duplicating Owen’s video production and has more than 100,000 YouTube subscribers and more new patients than his office can handle to show for it.

His office has a permanent video creation station set up and constantly running. This enables him to sit down, shoot a video, and upload it whenever he isn’t with patients.

Anyone can set up a camera in their office and sit down to answer questions they get from email or at the front desk. Record a video and upload it to YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram.

Owen has made more than 1,000 videos for the web and admits there’s been a lot of trial and error. Over time, he developed a highly successful process for video creation called the GREAT video formula.

A process to create video that sells.

GREAT is an acronym for each step of the framework for a producing sales video that you can duplicate every time with little to no preparation.

G – Grab the Viewer’s Attention

The very first step in creating a great video is G, Grab the viewer’s attention. This is your visual or your audible hook, the very first thing that the viewer hears or reads in the captions. It must immediately draw them into the video.

The internet is full of video content. Gone are the days of producing video and knowing that people will naturally watch it just because it’s there. You’re in a constant transaction with your viewers for every second they’re willing to watch your video. You’ve got to hit them hard. If you don’t, they’re going to go watch something else.

The Audio Hook

Don’t waste time getting your wheels moving with something like, “Hey everybody. Welcome to the video. We’ll hang out until someone else logs in.” Immediately captivate the viewer within the first 10 seconds of your video. The best way to do this is to focus on a problem that you’re going to solve. That problem and the pain are more effective than the pleasure.

Begin with a powerful question or statement as soon as you hit record. Hit the pain points and the problem your video is about to solve for the viewers and get them to stay for the next 30 seconds of the video. During these 30 seconds, you need to earn the right to have them watch the next 30 seconds. Then earn the right to the next 30 seconds and so forth until the end of the video.

Owen uses Ryan Rodenbeck of Spyglass Realty in Austin, Texas as an example of grabbing people’s attention right away. His videos on teaching realtors how to use Instagram and video in their business open to a clean office and a clear statement. “Do you struggle with X? We’re going to show you the solution today.” When you play his video, you know right away if it’s something you want to watch.

The Visual Hook

You don’t always have to begin your videos by presenting a problem or question at the onset. As you become more comfortable with producing video, you can experiment with reversing this formula.

A good example of this is Dan Norton, a student at The Video Marketing School and a repurpose video editor. Dan helps live video and video content creators repurpose their content. Dan opens some of his videos with the end product or end result, which can be a great-looking video meme or technique. He says, “Hey, do you have a hard time producing videos that look this good?” He goes on with the rest of his video in which he shows viewers how they can do it too.

The video hooks viewers with a great-looking product and then backs it up with an audio hook in which he promises to solve a problem they’re having today. It captures the mind and the eyes of the viewers and keeps them engaged longer because they want to know more.

Also, consider the framing and background of your videos. What viewers see should be nice and neat, not sloppy, distracting, or messy. This is also part of your visual hook.

Add Branding After the Hook

It was once commonplace to start videos with an opening animation or logo. These bumpers could take up to 35 seconds before getting to the content and will kill your videos. Branding is important. Owen simply suggests holding off on any branding or introductions in your video until after the viewers have already committed to spending more time on your video.

Having a powerful opening hook and keeping your viewers interested longer has the added benefit of furthering your marketing and retargeting efforts on Facebook or Google. You only want to retarget people who have watched a decent amount of your video, not those who only watched for 10 seconds before clicking on something else. Keeping more people engaged longer helps broaden your retargeting audiences.

R – Restate the Problem

The next step is R, which is Restate the problem. This is where you poke the bear and get into the mind of the viewer.

There’s this concept that Owen teaches called the before state and the after state. The before state is the bad or frustrated place your customer is in before they buy your product or service. The after state is the satisfaction and relief they feel after they’ve received your product or service. In the R, we have to zero in and find a way to relate to the before state.

The Before State

Let’s say you’re talking about generating leads on social media in your videos. You could approach the problem with, “Hey, are you having a hard time generating leads on social media? I mean, you’re posting every day. You’re spending a ton of money on a marketer and you don’t even understand anything that they’re saying. You’re not getting any leads. It’s frustrating! Your wife’s mad at you. Your kids are mad at you. Your dog won’t even talk to you.”

There’s a tendency to be too nice and reassuring to customers sometimes. You tell them that you know they’re trying hard and doing their best to make their social media work. This only assures them that they’re doing a great job and makes them believe that they don’t need what you’re selling.

Instead, you want to hit them hard and focus on what hurts and why they need the product or service you offer.

Listen to the show to hear how Social Media Examiner employs this technique for marketing the Facebook Ads Summit.

The After State

Really digging in on the before state allows your viewer to feel like you’re talking directly to them and understand what they’re going through. Show your viewers that you’re focused on their pain and use words that point out exactly what hurts. Make yourself relatable and position yourself as being in a unique position to help.

This sets you up to take them into the after state, which is the joy they’ll ultimately find once they have experienced your product or service and get the outcome they desire.

Create a relationship with your video viewers that makes them want to watch more of your videos and see what else you can offer.

E – Explain Your Solution

E is Explain your solution. Don’t explain the solution or just any solution. Explain your unique solution that only you can offer and that’s unfindable anywhere else in the marketplace other than with you. Another term for this is product framing or service framing.

For instance, too many marketers are positioning themselves as just another social media manager. Instead, you should be marketing yourself and your products or services as something new and different from anything else out there. The brain naturally gravitates to the new and novel, and being unique will take your business to that next level.

Reframe the Conversation

Rather than saying something like, “Hey, let me help you manage your social media,” which is what everybody else says, you want to restate the problem: “Are you tired of not getting leads, and social media’s a pain in the rear for you?” Then explain your solution. “Well hey, let me introduce you to Social Media Power Pro (or some other terms that no one else is currently using). It’s a social media plan that will make your business lift off and cause all these great results to happen.”

Owen points again to Dan Norton to show how this can be done. Dan was initially just “another video editor” until Owen helped him position himself as the Repurpose Video Editor, which was something previously unheard of in their industry. Dan talks about how he can take your existing video on YouTube or webinars on your site, cut them up into square memes for repurposing on Facebook and Instagram. All of a sudden, he becomes exactly what a brand or business needs to expand their social media content.

When you explain your solution, frame the conversation in terms that are specific to your industry. Even though your competitors may clamor to align themselves with your new solution, or as in Dan’s case, your new job title, being the first sets you apart. It also puts more search traffic and attention on you and your business because you’re the one that started it all.

Listen to the show to hear how Mike explains in his first book, Writing White Papers, how to introduce a new label for others to adopt and claim attributes unique to your business.

Transitioning Into Explaining the Solution

At his core, Owen is a salesperson. Early in his career, Owen spent his days listening to tapes of Jeffrey Gitomer and Brian Tracy in his car and learning the art of sales. He has a great love for helping people find the products and services that will make their lives better.

However, you don’t have to be a natural salesperson, extroverted and vibrant on camera, or be very persuasive to transition into the explaining the solution step in the GREAT formula. Salesmanship is really just passion and expertise. Not every marketer is going to have the same level of energy as Owen, nor will every customer be able to relate to it. Be who you are and run through this process in your own way.

To help overcome these barriers, The Video Marketing School runs through an exercise in which students are asked to draw a line down a sheet of paper and list all of the features and benefits of their products. Take a second paper and run through all of the pain points and solutions. You basically end up with a large list of the different things you can offer and provide to customers.

Each line should be paired with a corresponding sentence or phraseology to accompany it. Each pairing then becomes a video topic that you can create and distribute.

Develop a Value Statement

Once you’ve determined what you do best and how you can serve your customers, create a value statement in which you state, “I help X do Y using Z.” Another way to consider this is, “I help [demographic] achieve [the desired result] using [my specific product or service].”

In the previous example of Dan Norton, he could very simply say that he helps business owners repurpose video using their existing videos.

Following your value statement, go into a step-by-step tutorial that highlights the features and benefits statement. Show your audience that first you do this and second you do this. Moving on to third when you do this and so on until you’ve gone through your entire tutorial.

Limit your video to three, five, or seven high-level steps. Your audience can easily grasp the numbers and this keeps their interest and attention. To stay focused and on track, Owen uses fill-in-the-blank scripted templates for walking customers through this part of the video.

Pacing Your Video

Most marketers take a whole lot of time explaining their solution because they love to talk about themselves. Owen recommends spending more time on restating the problem and relating to the pain points of the customer. Then scaling the entire length of your video based on the specific platform you’re uploading it to.

Once you’ve gone through G and R, you should be about a minute into your video. Expect E to be the bulk of your video, knowing that it should be up to, but not beyond, 3 minutes if you’re planning to upload the video to Facebook. YouTube videos should aim for 7–10 minutes long.

Instagram is a 1-minute platform for feed videos and 15 seconds for Stories. That will have a big impact on how you pace your videos as you go through the entire process.

A – Actual Proof

A stands for Actual proof and happens to be the part that everyone usually misses. You must provide numerical, third-party evidence that shows what you’re selling works. This means testimonials from customers who are willing to share how much they love and appreciate your product.

In the previous steps in the process, you’ve explained what you have and how it will help people do A, B, C, and D. But now you’re telling people, “Don’t just take my word for it. Take a look at what our customers have to say about it…” You can either share the testimonials yourself or ask others to provide their testimonials for you.

Collect Testimonials

There are many ways to go about collecting testimonials. If you aren’t already doing this, you should be stockpiling your testimonials, whether it’s saving emails from happy customers or maintaining a testimonial form. You can collect them from Google Business reviews, Yelp reviews, and more or capture them when you’re at an in-person event or your physical store.

Set up a webcam in your store if you have a brick-and-mortar establishment. As satisfied customers come to see you or buy from you, ask if they would be willing to share their experience on camera. Flip the switch, shoot the video, and you’re done.

If you’re short on time and can’t get a full video, the next best solution is to read the saved testimonials aloud. You don’t need to take too much time with this part. Three quick testimonials or one long, in-depth testimonial will suffice. The goal is to provide actual proof that your product or service works.

Adding Validity and Credibility to Claims

Provide numbers and include an actual name and a city for each testimonial. Put the customer’s face and the text of what they wrote or said on the screen to further validate and provide credibility behind the testimonial. People can see that it’s an actual person. Owen cautions not to call them “Actual Customer,” which looks fake, inauthentic, and too easy to do.

If you’re a new business or lack any one-on-one interactions with your customers, capture and promote industry statistics in place of personal testimonials. You can supplement what experts or research studies have to say about your business and how your great product or service can help.

T – Tell Viewers What to Do

The last step is T, which stands for Tell them what to do. To be more precise, this step tells people what you want them to do right after seeing your video. Is there something you want people to avoid or a follow-up step you want them to take? It can be “Visit our website,” “Call us today,” or any other call to action.

If you’re running an ad on YouTube, you can say, “Click on the View Ad button below” and underneath the video, a button appears that says View Ad or View Offer. Similarly, you might say, “Click on the link in the description box below.” The viewers can see the description box and know exactly where to click.

On Facebook, the call to action “Click the Learn More button below” means there will be a Learn More button prominently featured right in front of the user. It’s the same thing with a Sign Up button.

Having a strong, specific call to action is measurable but it isn’t the end goal. It’s simply a stepping stone that allows you to lead people to the next step, which is the sale or the opt-in.

Discovery of the Week

BG Photo Background Eraser is a mobile app that not only removes an image background right in the palm of your hand, it also gives you the ability to completely change the background too.

When you use the app to take a new photo or import an image that’s already on your camera roll, it uses machine learning and AI to auto-detect and trace the main focus or objects in the foreground of your image. You can then select from different backgrounds like a solid color or design or import your own image. You can also add effects like blurring and filters.

BG Photo Background Eraser is in the App Store for iOS devices.

Listen to the show to hear more about BG Photo Background Eraser.

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