Video Marketing

Key ingredients of sales videos that convert

Posted April 30, 2021
Written by Clipchamp

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Made a sales video for social media but didn’t see the expected results? Well, the magic is in the right sales video script and some other key marketing considerations. 

Let’s look into how you can create effective sales ads and revise your video marketing strategy for a higher return on investment!

Woman making sales video with a video script

Wait—do you really need a video marketing strategy?

Take a look at what the numbers say.

Since 2015, video has continued to grow as a key marketing and sales tool. Right now, video marketers grow revenue 49 percent faster than non-video marketers. As we approach 2023, when worldwide retail eCommerce is expected to hit $6.5 trillion, video would become even more important.

State of video marketing survey

In 2021, 93 percent of video marketers consider video important to their marketing strategy, up from 78 percent in 2015.

Eighty-seven percent of video marketers reported a positive video ROI—over 50 points above 33 percent that felt that way in 2015. And according to Cisco, videos will account for 82 percent of internet traffic in 2021.

Not investing in video marketing today could lead to a missed opportunity, so get strategizing!

Get started: Understand your audience first

A video is only as good as the messaging, but how do you tell a story that’ll resonate? Know your audience. That is, build your audience persona.

Go beyond demographics: Enter behavioral and psychographic Data

Feel like marketers have thrown this term around so much that it’s losing its meaning? 

The advice often cycles around knowing where your audience lives, their age, gender, and income. But knowing your audience goes beyond basic demographics.

Answering these questions could set you on the right path.

  • What are their pain points?

  • What are their goals?

  • What are their challenges?

  • What motivates or triggers a response from them?

  • What are they interested in hearing, seeing, or experiencing?

Why it works

Here’s why understanding and building your audience profile based on psychographic and behavioral data works:

  • Understanding your audience’s deep burning pain points helps you level up your message.

  • Knowing what motivates them helps you craft irresistible offers.

  • Using their everyday language in the video makes the message relatable.

  • Understanding their challenges helps you eliminate frictions on the conversion path.

  • Getting to know their goals helps in addressing possible objections.

Grab attention with a bold start

You’ll need to grab attention first to sell with a video, and unfortunately, you probably have less than 12 seconds to do that—a study found that the human attention span is now eight seconds, down from 12 seconds in 2000.

So, make the most of your first eight seconds.

Clearly and quickly introduce yourself and the purpose of the video. Front-load it with value and the most important messages. Use incredibly entertaining scenes, soundtracks, and humor to engage the audience.

Video example: Dollar Shave Club 

Mike, the founder of Dollar Shave Club, starts with a three-second introduction and in 15 seconds he gets to the message.

The video generated over 12,000 new orders within 48 hours of launch.  It also boasts impressive engagement numbers—27.3 million views, 140,000 likes, and 9,000 comments.

Video example: Dollar Shave Club comments

Why bold starts work

Here are what makes starting boldly a non-brainer:

  • It helps grab the audience’s attention.

  • Only about 46 percent of viewers watch videos to the end, so you want to make those first seconds count.

  • When people get the core message earlier on, they are more likely going to watch the video to the end.

  • Most people skip ads, including video ads, so engaging them within the first ten second is very vital.

Align with your audience’s intent

About 78 percent of customers say they don’t feel understood by brands. Get on the same page with your audience by aligning your message with their intent.

Aligning with your audience’s intent boils down to understanding their pain points and aspirations. For example, they might be applying to college, trying to decide on a site hosting solution, or seeking to understand a complex subject like machine learning.

Articulate this problem in the language they understand, clearly focusing on their most important pain points and aspirations.

Video example: Old Spice 

Use emotional triggers that address the specific pain point (for instance, ‘save’ if they want to save money), and reinforce how your product or services could help ease the pains and attain their goals.

Find out what they consider helpful, and communicate it in ways that’ll engage, interest, and build emotional connections.

Here’s a classic example from Old Spice—a body wash maker.

This 32 seconds video generated over 59 million views, over 27,000 comments, and about 232,000 likes.

Old Spice Youtube comments

The campaign sparked a sensation that became the fastest growing and most popular in history. Within one week of launch:

  • The brand’s Twitter following increased by 2,700 percent

  • Facebook fan engagement went up 800 percent

  • Website traffic rose 300 percent

  • Old Spice body wash sales double by 107 percent

Why focusing on your audience’s intent works

Paying attention to what your audience is trying to communicate or attain pays off for these reasons:

  • It makes them feel the brand understands their needs.

  • It helps them relate to the message, easily.

  • Using the emotional triggers that address their specific pain point draws emotional responses and grows sales.

Show Credibility

Stealing attention with a bold start, aligning with the audience’s intent are both excellent but are not enough for prospects to buy from YOU—they want credibility.

One-third of American consumers say trusting a brand is important because they can’t afford to waste money on a bad purchase.

About 82 percent say they’ll continue to buy from a brand they trust even if another brand suddenly becomes hot and trendy. And 76 percent admitting they’d recommend the brand.

How to add credibility to your marketing videos

Your video must address the unasked question on your prospect’s mind, “Why should I buy from you?”

It could be a simple introduction like in the Dollar Shave Club’s video, showing numbers of active customers, referencing customer testimonials, media or celebrity endorsements.

You could also cut scenes into the video showing customers happily experiencing the product.

Or you could use this chart for ideas.

Important reasons why consumer trusts brands


Check out how ClickUp does this towards the ending of their 1:27 seconds video.

Why adding credibility to your videos work

Not showing enough credibility could be a deal-breaker for some consumers. Here are some of what makes this principle so relevant:

  • Showing credibility helps reinforce brand authority.

  • It could help lower customer objections.

  • Stanley Milgram’s research found people obey and trust those they perceived as authority figures.

  • Customers are likely to buy when they know others are using the products or services.

Use loss aversion as a winning strategy

Humans avoid losses—a typical person would rather not lose than acquiring equivalent gains. Psychologists call this principle loss aversion.

Putting loss aversion to work

A quick study of successful eCommerce brands will show most brands rely on this principle to grow their sales

For instance, Dollar Shave Club leaves their shoppers in control; the company offers them a 30-day money-back guarantee, no hidden fees, and freedom to cancel their subscriptions anytime.

Putting loss aversion to work

It also offers them free shipping.

Replicating this principle in your video marketing could enable you to enjoy similar successes. You could offer them:

  • A 30-day  money-back guarantee

  • Easy return policy

  • Easy cancellation

  • Free trials

Or hint on what they’d lose rather than gain.

Why loss aversion works

The role of this principle in your script is to reinforce the safety of using the product. Here are some of what makes it work:

  • Customers are loss averse; they would rather not lose $1 than gain $1.

  • Two-thirds of shoppers check the return policy before buying, and 92 percent said they’ll buy again if the return process is seamless.

  • A money-back guarantee makes customers more confident in buying.

  • Using ‘free trials’ help B2B brands increase in conversion by 66 percent.

Use the scarcity principle

Consumers are not just loss averse; they also hate missing out on good deals.

Including time-sensitive discounts, offering limited editions in your video script could help you tap into this primitive desire. About 48 percent of millennials have spent money they don’t have to keep up with friends, and 60 percent of people make purchases because of FOMO—the fear of missing out.

These stats point to how relevant this principle is in today’s marketing.

How brands apply the scarcity principle

Most eCommerce brands rely on FOMO to drive immediate onsite actions, drive return traffic and retain customers. For instance, LuckyVitamin offers huge time-sensitive discounts on mineral and vitamin supplement purchases.

How brands apply the scarcity principle

SimilarWeb traffic estimation data shows that about 1.28 million people visited the website last month.

SimilarWeb traffic estimation data

The traffic data shows about  37.8 percent of the visits were direct traffic—likely from returning customers. Of course, many things could be responsible for these substantial return visits, but LuckyVitamin’s huge time-sensitive offers are one.

The scarcity principle also works great in video marketing.

Why the scarcity principle works

Here are some of what makes this principle work.

  • Consumers have a primitive desire to save on purchases.

  • About 71 percent of US consumers look for discounts before purchasing.

  • Shopify found that merchants with active discount codes are eight times more likely to make sales.

Drive action with a compelling CTA

Call to action

Image Credit: Sean MacEntee via Flickr

Call to action makes the marketing message actionable. 

It’s the gateway to the consumers’ actions. CTA is what guides the audience to the next step and pushes them closer towards conversion. Kissmetrics found that using a CTA within their video gets 380 percent more clicks than their sidebar CTAs.

Use a compelling CTA in your video script to drive the action you intend from your audience.

Both the marketing message and CTA should align with the audience’s intent. Use actionable emotional triggers that address their pain point in the call to action. Make the CTA value-packed.

Avoid using generic CTAs like Save 40% Now, your audience might perceive you as being salesy. Here are some examples from real brands:

  • Crazy Egg: Show Me My Heatmap

  • Manpack: Build a Manpack

  • My Perfect Resume: Create My Resume

Whatever CTA you go for, it should be:

  • Actionable 

  • Value-packed

  • An emotional trigger

  • Show urgency

  • Addresses the pain point

Keep the video short

Long videos don’t work, so keep your script short.

Grab attention on the fly and front-load the video with the most crucial information. If you can tell a compelling story in 31 to 60 seconds, that’d be great, but anything above 2:30 minutes shouldn’t be on the table.

HubSpot found that between 26 seconds and two minutes is the ideal length for sales videos, depending on the channel. 

Short videos work for these reasons:

  • The falling attention span of viewers could make them leave and not watch your lengthy video to the end.

  • Two minutes videos gain the highest engagements.

About 95 percent of consumers believe videos should be less than two minutes long.

Now, what next?

Here are 12 quick, actionable tips to get you started immediately:

  1. Start with a video brief that defines the purpose of the video, who the audience is, and the action you want them to take.

  2. Grab attention with a bold start—engage them with the first ten seconds.

  3. Align your message with your audience’s intent and turn the message into a story.

  4. Speak in the language the audience understands.

  5. Don’t just use words; use sound effects, motion graphics, and even silence to tell a better story.

  6. Keep it short and sweet.

  7. Win the audience over by showing brand credibility.

  8. Use loss aversion to tap into human’s primitive desire to avoid losses.

  9. Drive them into action by appealing to their fear of missing out.

  10. Guide them to conversion using compelling CTA.

  11. Do several script readings until it flows smoothly line to line.

  12. Review and tweak the script to your heart’s content

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