Have you ever tried life hacks?
You know, creative little tricks for solving complex problems? If you’re not familiar with the concept, take a moment to watch this short video.
Now, imagine you could do the same thing for your business.
That’s growth hacking — simple, creative solutions that dramatically increase your website’s revenue.
The core idea behind growth hacking is to get the best results with minimal investment.
3 Ways To Increase Website Revenue With Video
There are really only three ways to increase your website’s revenue:
Increase your unique monthly visitors
Increase your website’s conversion rate
Increase your customer retention rate
In scenario #1, you need to increase your website’s traffic EVERY MONTH. That can be expensive, because you have to increase your investments in SEO, social media, and/or advertising. Unfortunately, this is how most businesses pursue growth.
But in scenarios #2 and #3, all you need to do is create systems and processes that result in PERMANENT efficiency improvements. That’s how you growth hack your business.
Let’s look at an example
Widgy Widgets, a fictitious company, is a single-product business that drives 100,000 visitors to its product page every month. Their site converts 1000 visitors into buyers (1% is the average conversion rate across industries). They sell their product for $100, totalling an estimated $1,200,000 in revenue annually.
If Widgy Widgets increased their conversion rate by 30%, they’d earn an additional $360,000 in revenue. Not too shabby!
Conversion rate optimization with video
Sound too good to be true? In this post, you’ll discover several ways video can be used to get results just like these for your business. I’ll also share several case studies that demonstrate just how effective these growth hacks really are.
But first, it’s worth discussing why growth hacking with video isn’t more common. After all, if it’s so effective, why isn’t everyone doing it?
Why Don’t More Businesses Growth-Hack With Video?
According to 71% of marketing professionals, video is the most effective type of content for converting website visitors into customers.
And yet, most businesses still treat video as a luxury item — reserved for “other companies” with deeper pockets.
In my experience, that’s because most businesses have fixed marketing budgets that need to be allocated across a wide array of tactics.
And to be fair, video IS more expensive than other content types.
It’s also more difficult to produce, since most companies don’t have in-house video teams or a marketing agency they can trust to get results.
But video generates such high ROI when used effectively, that these concerns should feel trivial by comparison.
Why You Should Still Try Using Video
As a marketing strategist, I’m not concerned with doing everything at once. My sole concern is driving the maximum amount of ROI with the minimum amount of investment.
If you could invest $20,000 and earn an extra $100,000 in annual revenue, would you do it?
Of course you would. It’s a no-brainer.
What you may not know is that video can easily generate that kind of ROI. There are countless case studies that prove the effectiveness of video. And as a stats guy, I use the term “prove” very infrequently.
But let’s look at a few specific ways you can use video to growth-hack your business.
Growth Hack #1: Embed Videos On Your Home & Product Pages
shutterstock_179182337-e1415394785933One of the easiest ways to growth-hack with video is to embed an explainer or product overview video on your sales pages.
By doing so, you’ll increase the percentage of visitors who purchase that product. In the marketing industry, this is called “conversion rate optimization.”
Perhaps the best thing about this growth hack is how easy it is to implement: simply create a high-quality video and embed it on your home page and/or product pages.
There are a variety of reasons why embedded videos increase conversion rates, but a few key reasons include:
1. Video Increases Trust
People don’t want to take your word for it. But when they watch a video, they can see your product in action and determine its value themselves.
2. Video Conveys More Emotion
Nothing transfers emotion like video. Tone, authenticity, expressiveness, music, and visual elements all work seamlessly together to convey the emotion you want your visitors to feel. And since people are incapable of making unemotional decisions, you increase the persuasiveness of your message.
3. Video Improves Ad Message Recall
According to psychological research by Ann Algier (out of print), people remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read and 80% of what they see. So if you want your audience to internalize the value of your product, use video.
Video CRO Case Studies
Increasing your conversion rate with video works and the results have been confirmed time and again:
CrazyEgg.com added an explainer video to their home page and increased their website’s conversion rate by 64%, or an additional $21,000/month.
Ice.com found that adding videos reduced product returns by 25%.
Zappos.com added videos to their product pages and saw up to 30% increases in merchandise sales.
Dropbox.com increased their conversion rate by 10% when they added a video to their home page.
Record your website’s conversion rate today (leads generated divided by unique monthly visitors), add a high-quality product overview to your website, then record your new conversion rate in 30 days.
Track the difference over the course of the year and note how much money this one simple hack earned for your business.
Growth Hack #2: Incorporate Video Into Your Sales & Marketing Emails
Another simple growth hack involves using videos in your sales and marketing emails.
Email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing channel. As the king of tactics, you’d think it would get more love, but optimizing something that’s already very effective isn’t as sexy as building something new. Classic shiny object syndrome.
Optimizing an already-effective channel is low-hanging fruit.
A few fast stats about using video in emails:
According to BrainShark.com, using the word “video” in subject lines increased their open rates by 19%
MarketingSherpa research found that emails with video thumbnails get 200-300% more click-throughs
BrainsShark also found that emails which include video thumbnails get 26% fewer unsubscribes
How to Add Videos to Your Sales & Marketing Emails the “Right Way”
Because Gmail and Outlook users can’t play embedded videos in their email platforms, you have to use a workaround:
Create a compelling thumbnail image for your video
Embed that thumbnail image as a link to the video’s landing page on your website.
Count your money
As you can see, it doesn’t take much more time to add your video to a bulk email, but the results you can get are impressive.
Doubling the number of email recipients who go to your landing page has the ability to double the revenue from your email marketing. Even more so if you didn’t use video on the landing page to begin with.
Measure ROI from your current email marketing campaigns. This requires some up-front analytics work, but there are a ton of resources on the web that can teach you how to do it yourself, step-by-step.
Then, start using (or create) videos that support the objective of your email campaign. These could be product overview videos, testimonials, demos, or even video content from your blog, depending on the goal of your email.
Next, you want to split your email list in half (randomly, of course). Send emails to one of the lists without video thumbnails and send a separate email with thumbnails to your other list.
Record the difference. That’s your ROI for using video in your email campaigns.
Growth Hack #3: Advertise Your Product On YouTube
Another great way businesses have been using video to drive insane growth is through YouTube advertising.
Unlike TV commercials, YouTube only charges you when a viewer watches 30 seconds (or more) of your ad. That’s why they call their ads “TrueViews.”
Couple that with the ability to direct your YouTube viewers to a landing page and it’s pretty clear that YouTube video ads are way more efficient than traditional TV advertising.
Some of the benefits of TrueView videos include:
Only pay when a viewer watches 30 seconds or more
Highly-targeted (demographics, keywords, topics of interest, location, retargeting, etc.)
Low cost-per-view (CPV), around $0.15/view
TrueView Advertising Case Studies
In the last couple years, there have been a slew of success stories where companies built their brand using TrueView advertising. Just a few noteworthy examples include:
Dollar Shave Club: Generated 12,000 signups in the first 48 hours that the campaign was run on YouTube. DSC hasn’t invested in any other types of marketing or advertising since.
OraBrush: Their founder created an infomercial that only sold 7 tongue-cleaners. After spending $500 on TrueView ads, they generated $7 million in sales.
OraPup: Just to show that it’s a scalable, replicable strategy, the founders of OraBrush started a new product line for pets, called OraPup. As with their first campaign, OraPup was a huge success, selling over $1 million in pre-orders with only $62,500 in funding.
Are these results typical? No, probably not. But then most brands aren’t comfortable spending $50,000 on a single video either.
That said, you can certainly get amazing results with TrueView ads if you have the right people in your corner.
Find a team you can trust to create and manage your TrueView campaign.
The creative element in video advertising is a high hurdle for many in-house production teams, so your best bet is to work with professionals who know how to create an engaging video.
Then, make sure your Adwords manager is comfortable incorporating TrueView ads into the mix.
If you’re concerned about quality, find a video marketing agency that has experience running successful TrueView campaigns.
One of the best things about TrueView advertising is how easy it is to measure your results.
There are lots of ways to growth-hack your business. But because video simply amplifies your marketing channels, it’s a relatively low-risk, low-cost way to grow your business.
All you have to do is create the video assets you need and use them to boost the efficacy of what you’re already doing.
Remember to keep track of your results and share them with your boss. At your next performance review, remind him/her that you single-handedly increased revenue by more than a million dollars. Let me know how big your raise is.
Do you have any growth-hacking stories of your own? Share them in the comments below.