What Kind of Video Should I Make?

by Steven Washer on October 28, 2010

Many of us use video to market our businesses. But marketing with video can be a blunt tool or a surgical scalpel. Which would you prefer to use? For the sake of argument, let’s assume the scalpel. Key to using the tool correctly is knowing its purpose. When it comes to marketing, there are only 3 uses you need to be aware of. This is simple but profound.

For these concepts, I am indebted to the work of Sean D’Souza, who developed them. I am merely adapting them to video, but they fit like a silky smooth glove.

The 3 uses for video correspond to the 3 elements of the marketing cycle as explained by Sean: attraction, conversion, and consumption. You need all 3 to prosper in your business. Each feeds into the next in a virtuous cycle. Let’s take them in turn.

Use #1: Attraction

You won’t make a sale unless the prospect visits your website. They won’t visit your website if your video is boring. This is where viral videos shine. I’ve written about viral videos in-depth and one of our bonuses is a special report on viral video. Needless to say, the more viral your video and the more winsome the benefits implied, the more people will be visiting. Funny, exciting, passionate, full of personality and non-salesy. That’s what you want in a good viral video. Just enough to get them to your website or store. That much and no more. That leads us to the 2nd use.

Use #2: Conversion

Do you use proposals in your business? How would you like a killer app? What if you could include, with each written proposal, a video that expands on certain benefits, shows a superior process, highlights certain people in your company with whom they will be working, all to fill out the big picture. Cool, huh? How many of your competitors are doing this? Probably none.

The reason this works so well at this stage is that the attraction phase is over. They are interested or you wouldn’t have made it to this point. Whereas before they could care less about your process, now they’re very interested, for lots of reasons we don’t have time to go into here. So while a video that talks about process would be dead on arrival as an attraction piece, it can be pure gold at this stage.

If you can answer objections at the conversion stage with your video, your closing ratio will go way up.

Use #3: Consumption

A video to stimulate consumption? You bet! This is very important. Why? Because if your customers do not use what you buy, how likely is it they will come back for more? Not very. So what kind of videos make good consumption pieces?

Anything that shows a customer how to use what they have already bought from you would be perfect. A how-to video on using your software or your barbells or your recipes would all encourage consumption. The point is to make them useful and fun to watch.

The real beauty part is that with some tweaking, you can also use these videos for a little oblique attraction. Not every attraction video need be viral. You can get a lot of mileage out of putting new ideas in people’s heads who are not yet your customers.

Keeping it Straight

I promise that if you keep these ideas separate, your videos will be more effective from a marketing standpoint. And after all, in your business, everything you do is a marketing touchpoint of some kind. Every time you touch your customer,you’re making a statement about how you want them to see your business. Video will help them see you, warts and all. But in the end, that’s a good thing. It builds trust.

And these days, trust is more important than gold.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Wolfe October 29, 2010 at 2:16 am


Good post.

Realizing which stage of the sales cycle your video is serving can really help keep you focused on what elements should be included in the video.

Your thoughts on video for the conversion stage were interesting too – I would just naturally have thought of a ‘sales video’, and didn’t think much beyond that. Personalized videos aimed at converting strong prospects is a great idea! Thanks for sharing that.

Using Video for consumption is a topic few people consider….so it’s definitely worth spending more thought on.

Catch you in the Cave.



Steve October 29, 2010 at 5:28 am

Thanks, Paul. And the great thing about the personalized videos is that because no one expects them, the quality can take a fairly big hit and still be effective. This is one where a personalized motion graphic treatment can also be just as effective as being on camera yourself. But again, it can be pretty simple if it mentions your prospect’s name in it!


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