The video megatrend continues to transform marketing. Why? For one good reason: Video done right increases your response.
Video brings your product or service to life in a way that print cannot, with demonstrations, testimonials and benefits in action.
Test after test shows that videos boost response when properly used in your emails, banner ads, Facebook, meta-targeting, landing pages, and more.
I’ll share some of the basics that will help make your video more responsive … and hopefully increase your response rates, whether you’re selling B2B widgets or consumer health products.
Video Marketing Rule #1: Use Only Direct Response Copy in Your Script
Your script should have one clear theme. It must be benefit-oriented and guide your viewer through AIDA. It should attract Attention, create Interest, create Desire, compel Action.
Remember, it’s a story designed to get people to buy your product or service, or generate that lead.
Don’t let image ad agencies fool you. If your script is editorial, typical agency short and cute copy … your video will fail. Customers won’t buy. You won’t get the lead.
Direct response copy makes all the difference in your success—or a failure.
Rule #2: Use a Credible Spokesperson
This is an easy way to reinforce how great your product is and demonstrate its benefits. Seeing it in action—and hearing its discussed by the spokesperson—is powerful.
A spokesperson can be more effective than sheer entertainment … but that doesn’t mean your video can’t be fun. For example, we cast a 4-year old as “the world’s greatest investment trader” in a client’s online video. It was entertaining, informative, and effective.
Rule #3: Repeat Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Just as you should feature your USP at the beginning, middle, and end of every print campaign, you also need it in your video. Be sure it’s consistent with the rest of your branding and collateral materials.
Rule #4: Video v. Action
Video will help increase your response to your email, infomercial ads, and Facebook marketing.
Plus, putting a video on your landing page can increase your response.
On my video/TV/infomercial examples of videos created by my CDMG group, you’ll see:

  1. PowerPoint “videos”
  2. Action/drama videos

We are finding that our “power point” video works best.
This is now confirmed by Facebook, that says using printed words increase video by an average of 12%.
So … Facebook now has a new tool to use. It’s easy to add word captions for your Facebook videos.
See our video here of video commercials here.
Rule #5: Give a Tutorial
Viewers want to see your product in motion, so show them how it works. If you’re selling a membership service, create a video that showcases your members-only benefits. Or create a video for existing members to increase renewals.
Rule #6: Use Testimonials and/or Reviews with Ratings
Testimonials are one of the most powerful sales tools in existence. But remember, viewers want to see real people who like your product.
Showing a person who is not a professional model—who seems uncomfortable and whose story is not overly rehearsed—actually increases your response.
When you’re filming customer testimonials, shoot them several times so you can edit exactly what you want from the answers. IPhone testimonials are great, too!
Rule #7: Connect the Script with the Prospect Quickly and Dramatically
A powerful direct response script will do what needs to be done with email, direct mail, and other direct response copy: hit hard immediately.
Drama. Suspense. Surprise.
No warm up. No introduction. Command attention.
47% of the value of a video is delivered within the first three seconds, 74% in the first ten.
Rule #8: Length—Fear Not
Do not be afraid of a longer video. Some of the most powerful ones are twelve minutes. How complicated are your benefits to explain? How easy to overcome objections? How high the volume? I normally create 3-7 minute videos; they produce better than 30sec-2 minute videos.
Rule #9: Get a model release
Always get a model release from those you’re filming so you have the right to use your footage wherever you want to. You may want to use a still photo and an excerpt from the testimonial in a brochure, for example.
Rule #10: Have a Strong Call to Action
Your job is to make it as easy as possible for the viewer to respond … whether you show a phone number, email URL, or mailing address.
Rule #11: Graphics Add Power
The addition of graphics in the right places will increase viewer retention and reinforce your message. Every image must reflect the value of your goods and services.
Rule #12: The Camera is Unforgiving
Consider how the subjects you’re filming appear through the lens. Don’t neglect wardrobe considerations. An outrageously patterned tie or an electric blue dress can distract viewers from the content.
Take extra time to see what doesn’t belong in the shot. For example, a newspaper or magazine showing a headline can immediately date your production and limit its use.
Rule #13 Remember Murphy’s Law
If something can go wrong, it will.
Plan, plan, plan! If you don’t bring it to your video shoot, you’re sure to need it. If you don’t have a Plan B, you’ll need one. Outline everything you’ll need, including rolls and rolls of duct tape.
Take special care with cameras and other equipment that may become victims of carelessness. Look into getting insurance for the day of the shoot that includes weather, equipment, and both personal and corporate liability.
Rule #14: Allow for Extra Shots
Always shoot more footage than you need, since you’ll always need more than you thought. Even if you think a scene is “perfect”, always shoot a backup so you can pick from the best material as you edit.
Make time for “establishing shots”—shots that show the context of what’s being sold. Shoot “reaction shots” to show one person reacting to another’s comments. This is called “B-roll” footage, which can be invaluable during editing.
Rule #15: Think Viral
Put your video on YouTube and some of the 30+ other large video-sharing websites. The more people who see your video, the more leads or sales you’ll get. Remember, Google loves video for SEO … and Facebook favors it also.
Rule #16: Maximize its Use
Brainstorm multiple uses for your video—as a premium, as a download, to drive people to your URL … your sales team can even use it on sales calls.
Rule #17 Mobile is Optimal
Every production assures it will be see on a mobile device and shared. Most mobile device users watch videos without the sound turned on.
Rule #18 Enlist the Right Crew
Remember, it was direct response marketers who perfected the infomercial—and it works.
That’s why it’s important to use direct marketing professionals … not video professionals or general ad agencies … to get the most out of your video.
The result: Increased leads, conversion, and sales.
Any questions on how your company can put together a video that sells? Call me at (310) 212-5727 or email me at