Thoughts & Articles
How to Drive External-Video Viewers to Your Landing Page
Creating immediate and compelling arguments for your brand is one of the key values of video. Getting that content in front of millions of potential viewers is another.
Some 1 billion viewers click their way through YouTube's offerings, each month. Vimeo has earned some 100 million unique monthly visitors itself. By volume alone, when brands do video right, their external campaigns stand to drive what's been measured to be an average of 20% more traffic, according to a recent Unbounce report.
So, let's say your team is starting to see a healthy number of visitors on your external video platform — that is, viewers are coming to your content at, say, YouTube. Now, how can you weight their experience so that it most often leans toward a click-through to your landing page — and then a conversion?
Strategies abound, but we've talked with brand leaders and marketers, breaking out a number of key approaches to making the video-to-website pathway a consistently attractive route for your audience.
- Tell a compelling story. Concept number one: you're not making a commercial. Engaging viewers and driving traffic from an external video platform are similarly dependent on a common factor: you must have something useful and interesting to say. If you're an artist, your story lies in the process and challenges inherent to creating your work. If your company brings gourmet spices to the market, your audience is primed to learn what delicious recipes those ingredients will help enhance. Understanding the stories that bring value to your viewers' experience — ones that prompt them to ask more of you, and visit your site to do so — is key to making the next three strategies relevant.
- Frontload the reason to watch (before the link to click). Does it seem counterintuitive to not lead with your link? Consider that experts say visitors to a platform such as YouTube typically decide within the first 15 seconds whether to stick with what they're watching. "Whatever the style of the video, webisode, webinar, etc., there should be a narrative," said Joseph Somerhalder, CEO of Ascently, a digital marketing firm. "This narrative should start from the beginning so that the first few seconds of the video are effectively a call to action. If the first few moments of the video are compelling, then the viewer is more likely end up on the landing page." In other words, begin with the payoff of your product or service, not a link to your website. Then, take the viewer into the story that circles back to that promised end result. Give them opportunities throughout the experience to make their decision. More on this in the next step.
- Provide links within the context of narrative. Interstitial title-cards with links can interrupt the all-important narrative and end-title links often come too late to capture a viewer. Instead, if your story includes parts, ingredients, or other items, annotate these details right on the screen — YouTube is an example of a platform that allows for just this option. The idea is to provide clickable notes such as "organic truffle oil (available at our site)" as that product appears in the video. Now, your audience can click through to your landing page right at the moment when they've visualized how your brand fits into their immediate future. "I’ve seen the greatest success when using internal nested buttons on the actual video itself," said Michael Lazar, a "growth hacker" at TrueShip. "When strategically placed at certain intervals, I’ve found that the placement of such a button has generated the most substantial results on my video tracking … resulting in a healthier click-through ratio."
- Incentivize the visit. The example of "organic truffle oil" in the preceding tip is more enticing still when there's a reward packed into the viewer's experience of clicking-through from it to your landing page. "Give something to your users so that they have a reason to click," said Brian Nickerson, co-founder and CEO of Chippmunk Rewards. "Coupons are a great way to do that" standing to "increase CTR by 3–5 times as compared to a static link."
Finally, sew your landing page call-to-action into the video experience. In other words, reference it. It could be our friend, the "organic truffle oil", presented as a still from the video, and then a button that says "get your ingredients for the recipe here".
This has the additional benefit of offering website-first visitors the opportunity to discover your video channels. They see the call to action on the landing page, and then reverse the process to see the recipe episode. The video then prompts them come back to the site via your wisely placed link to fill up their shopping cart.
The point is that your external video and your landing page can can exist in a state of synergy. Build them to do so and you could well be on your way to joining that YouTube club — earning 20% more traffic and enjoying the conversions that come with it.