Personalized Video Can Boost Sign-Ups and Provide Valuable Content

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"For our annual quality management conference, we successfully tested a new form of advertising: We sent a personal video to the participants of the last two years who had not yet registered," Arno Langbehn, CEO of Behr's GmbH in Hamburg, Germany, told me recently. "The result was 30 videos sent, three registrations and $6,000 in revenue from these former participants. The time expenditure in total was two hours."

Langbehn sent me a link to the YouTube video where an English translation now appears underneath. The translation is a good idea for any video you might target to a foreign-language speaking country.

"Being a participant, you already know about the Annual Conference QM! (quality management) since you attended previously in Frankfurt," the video begins. "In addition to the lectures in the seminar hotel there was a tour of Frankfurt airport. You have not yet registered for this year's annual conference. Whether it is for time reasons—or because some of the topics do not suit you. I regret that very much. Because our aim is to support you in your responsibility at work..."

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Langbehn has become very comfortable with video. In fact he also shot one—in English—to promote the SIPA Annual 2019 Pre-Conference workshop that he is leading on June 3. It's titled Extraordinary Examples for Marketing, Product Development and Sales and How to Implement Them Successfully Into Your Publishing House and co-stars a fine cast from Kiplinger: Denise Elliott, CEO; and Chris Moffa, marketing director.

"In this SIPA workshop, you will learn how to determine the highest price your customers will pay," Langbehn says on the video. "Also how to position your customer as a hero as well as how to uncover the two most most important factors of a high-paid product." (Click here now for further benefits of the workshop.) 

For another project, Behrs Verlag created Infection Protection Law: Video in 10 Languages for Obligatory Training—an educational package on food safety containing a video, brochures also in 10 languages, and templates of certificates and instruction cards. The product brought in more than 10% of the company's total sales in 2018, even though it was just one of over 350 products that they produce!

Jim Sinkinson, who will be leading the other June 3 Pre-Conference Workshop Information Memberships: A Proven Model for Increasing Customer Engagement, Improving Retention and Boosting Lifetime Sales—has said that just having "video" in a subject line triggers a huge jump in clicks. Surveys agree.

"The incredible metrics of video cannot be ignored," said Informa Engage's recent B2B Marketing Trends Report. "It's boosting email click-through rates 200-300% and increasing landing-page conversions rates by 80%. Videos (highly visual storytelling) activate brand interest, build brand retention and enhance the buyer's journey."

While only 18% of "small" companies are doing custom video creation, the report said that will increase by 61% this year. Said one marketer: "Video is a key go-to market element for us. We use animations like 'a day in the life of an operator' at the top of the funnel and then real people talking about key issues for the bottom of the funnel.'"

Another SIPA member, Sure Dividend, makes videos around topics they think will do well on YouTube. "Once the video is made we think about what articles we can embed the video in to increase viewership," founder and CEO Ben Reynolds said. "At the same time, an embedded video is very likely to increase time on page for an article. By combining content like this, the video gets more engagement and the article becomes better which will likely drive more views over time."

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…