You can lead a viewer to a video but you can’t make them become a lead…or can you?

You’ve probably heard that video view counts don’t matter. They don’t tell you who’s really interested in your company and product. So how do you make a video that helps you generate actual leads?

For one, don’t make the mistake of thinking that video marketing is only useful for increasing brand awareness.  Don’t get me wrong – of course video marketing is great for getting people talking about you and sharing your content. But viewers become leads once they give you their contact information.

It’s a vital step in your video marketing strategy, because if you aren’t capturing your audience’s information, you have no way of lead scoring, nurturing, and following up with your viewers and turning them into customers.

It might seem like too big of a challenge to get people to hand over their contact information to you in return for a video. But trust me, it’s worth your time to learn how to move beyond brand awareness and into lead generating video marketing. Most marketers agree that video is the highest lead-generating content type. And, brands that use video generate more leads at a lower cost and convert at a higher rate, according to an Aberdeen Group report.

If you want leads from your videos, you need to ask yourself:

Would you give up your firstborn in return for your content?

Okay, that might be a going a little too far (if your answer was “yes”, you may want to reconsider having children!). But you do have to realize that when you’re asking someone to become a lead, you’re asking them to give you something personal and private (their contact information) in return for your content. Essentially, they’re effectively ‘paying’ for your content with their contact information.

As you’ve probably experienced, contact information is not something anyone gives away easily; just like you wouldn’t go into the store and give the clerk $100 to get nothing in return, a video viewer has to feel like they are getting something of significant value in exchange for their information.

So, what kind of videos are ‘valuable’ enough to generate leads?

Becoming a lead is an important step on the journey to becoming a customer; it often signifies that a viewer is interested in you and considering making a purchase, but wants to learn some more about your product or service first. Viewers won’t ‘pay’ for something that they’re unsure about or don’t have enough information about, so top-of-funnel awareness content is unlikely to generate leads.

Mid-funnel content, however, is the perfect material to encourage viewers to become leads. It offers more ‘meat’ that is of value to a viewer, making it worth it for them to provide their contact information.

This mid-funnel content can offer value in return for contact info in two ways: the video itself can be valuable (think webinars and product demos), or it can link to valuable content (like offering an ebook download).

Pick the option what works for you:

Option 1: If you want leads, don’t give the milk away for free.

Email gating is a perfect way to collect your viewers’ contact information. An email gate appears at the front of a video, and requires that viewers enter their contact information before being able to view the content. Gates are great for videos like webinars that are chock-full of educational, valuable content.

Using email gates at the front of videos can drive away some viewers, but they have the benefit of increasing conversion since they have to give you their information in order to even click play.

Option 2: Or, give some of the milk away for free!

Calls-to-action (CTAs) are also a fantastic way to generate leads on your video. Unlike email gates, they don’t appear at the beginning of the video; they’re more flexible, and can come up during playback, or at the end of a video.

Videos with CTAs may drive more views, but less conversions because people have already had the option of watching part of your video and determining if they want to enter their contact information to learn more. The videos themselves can also be less ‘meaty’, and more of a teaser if the valuable content is linked to through the CTA. For example, you may have a teaser video that ends in a CTA for a guide or ebook download.

Pick what works for you; do you want more eyeballs on your content in the hopes that it will drive more people to learn more about you? Or maybe it works best to snag leads from the get-go. Either way, your videos will be designed to generate leads and help you turn viewers into customers.

Emily Ross