By Hope Horner, founder and CEO of Lemonlight.
Taking a leap into your own entrepreneurial endeavor is hard. Bringing a legitimately great idea to life when no one knows who you are or why he or she should believe your claims about what you're offering can be even harder.
If it's any consolation, I've dealt with this issue myself; even serial entrepreneurs face this same dilemma each time they strike out on new ventures. Today, I make a living helping people take their businesses from unknown to renowned using well-crafted videos as a catalyst.
Why video? Well, it's everywhere, and people are ravenously consuming it. In fact, by 2019, video will comprise 82 percent of all internet traffic, according to Cisco. What's more, a recently published report by Wyzowl found that 97 percent of businesses that produced explainer videos to draw in customers said those same videos increased users' comprehension of their services or products.
Showing consumers what your business is all about is important, but videos are also critical to building trust and illustrating why potential customers should want to do business with you.
Cultivating Strong Connections
When it comes to driving conversions, trust is your biggest asset. More than any other medium, video helps people empathize with what they see on-screen. Showing them ways to simplify their lives or overcome obstacles proves that you understand their pain points, which engenders trust in you to provide the solutions.
A 2014 video created by Chipotle, for example, centered around a scarecrow that defied conventional fast-food ingredients to create a homegrown alternative. The video helped Chipotle reframe itself as a brand that shuns genetically modified ingredients and conventional agricultural practices in favor of healthier, more sustainable alternatives.
The trust this video created among consumers is undoubtedly one reason the brand was able to weather its recent storm that involved several outbreaks of food-borne illnesses. Simultaneously marketing a new brand and creating trust sometimes feels like walking a tightrope. Here are some tips for your next video to help you balance those two goals:
- Don't be confrontational. Think you have a better product or service than your competitors? Most founders do, or they wouldn't have started their businesses. However, it's best to leave all mention of your competition out of your video. If you insult a competitor and it's more established, it might be able to edge you out of the market -- and no one will feel sorry for you if it does.
- Remember, authenticity breeds trust. When we first started Lemonlight, almost all of our commercials had voiceovers instead of interviews. Although voiceovers seemed polished and resulted in very refined commercials, we weren't seeing the desired number of conversions when the ads ran online. Shifting to videos styled like mini-documentaries in which we interview founders yielded a dramatic increase in conversion rates. The cinematography tells the story, and the personal story helps viewers relate to Baker's passion for creating culinary experiences.
- Embrace ready-made brand advocates. Happy customers can be your best salespeople, so put their enthusiasm to good use in your next video. For this tactic, it's best to skip the scripted, infomercial-type of ad and let your customers speak from the heart. The result might not seem as slick, but the authentic feel will affect the audience in positive ways.
Video is an emotional medium, perfect for connecting with potential customers and standing out in a crowded field of competitors. A well-conceived, high-quality video can maximize conversions and open the door to repeat customers.
Hope Horner is the founder and CEO of Lemonlight, a video production and marketing company.