I’ve under-stated the statistic in the title. Actually, our traffic increased exactly 134.88% by end of day three—it more than doubled, mostly resulting from creating and publishing this animated video. You may know that if you have a gazillion visits to your website, doing just one thing isn’t going to double your traffic. But while we have decent domain ranking, like many businesses our traffic is modest, so there was only one way to go: up. Here’s our story in a nutshell.
Our Humble Attempts to Connect with Our Audience
As a Hubspot inbound marketing agency one of our challenges is proving to potential clients that inbound works. While we love to talk metrics—LTV, M-CAC, etc., most of our leads simply ask, “What (the heck) is inbound marketing?” Since most of our leads are new to inbound, it’s a natural question.
To better answer that question, “What is inbound?” we’ve published blog articles, slide decks, infographics, and e-books. We learned that you can publish all that stuff until the cows come home but if you’re not connecting with your audience it’s a waste of time. No matter what you’re selling, if you’re not connecting with your key persona, your marketing tactics are failing. And they're probably costing you money you could better invest elsewhere.
Tell a Story (And Tell a Good One)
The movie industry rakes in 88 billion dollars per year for one reason only: Movies touch the heart. Because the fundamental ways connecting with people never change, the movie industry forever will be a growth industry.
Video connects with an audience better because there is just so much top-of-mind information anyone can or wants to absorb. When advertisers attempt to use video, especially in T.V. ads, they often to try to convey too much top-of-mind information and the campaign often suffers. TMI. Information overload. Turn off the T.V.
Video is most successful when it engages its target audience at the heart or emotional level. If you watched our video you may have noticed we did not say anything new. What we did say, everyone else has said a million times. So you can throw out some of your marketing ideas that you need to be this revolutionary thought leader, always coming up with something new. Not so. Just say what you’ve been saying in some way that connects.
When creating an engaging video you have watch out for the so-called TMI trap—don’t give too much information. Ever rent a DVD where you have the choice of renting the theatrical version or the “uncut” version? Don’t get the uncut version. You’ll never watch the film again if you do. That’s because editors are there for a reason—they cut out just enough to leave in some suspense and keep the action going.
With video editing, you’ll want to go back and edit out all TMI. Go ahead and edit even if you think you’re chopping out too much. The goal is to tell the story while creating a little suspense. Tell your story just doing tell it to death. The more you can tell your story while maintaining suspense the more your audience will stay engaged and come back for more.
Say Something but Be Humble About it
My business partner Fred Thompson created the video. Among other roles, Fred serves as our creative director. He decided to address our pain point of better trying to solve for the question, “What is inbound marketing?” and decided to attack it using animated video.
When he finished it he said to me, “I’d like you to review this video I did. I don’t really think it’s anything. I’m going to send the link off to Hubspot to see what they think but I don’t think it’s really anything out of the ordinary.” Sometimes you stumble upon things.
Do Something and Be Sustainable
As soon as we published the video, it got shared a little on social and that started a buzz. No, it didn’t go viral nor did we want it to. We didn’t want a bubble that could pop. Since it’s new, and it’s evergreen, we expect it to continue its steady up-tick in visibility.
You know the marketing drill: If you stumble on something that works, do more of it and do less of the stuff that’s not working so well. Be brave. So, Fred is now working on another animated video. Will that one go viral? Hopefully not. Will it contribute to making things more clear for our key persona and make a contribution to the inbound community as a whole? I certainly hope so.