“My objective is creating videos that reliably convert into leads that will become sales.”

When Owen Video of The Video Marketing School spoke at Content Jam in downtown Chicago, he started with a clear premise: Video views aren’t important. Neither are YouTube subscribers.

The goal of video marketing is to get sales.

Unfortunately, a lot of marketers – and especially small businesses – don’t think of their work this way. Which leads to a situation that might sound familiar:

  • Making tons of content for social media & SEO (but no traffic, leads, or sales)
  • Tons of time on custom proposals that wound up going nowhere
  • Selling services at the lowest possible price

What if all this extra work wasn’t necessary? What if creating videos that appeal to a pre-qualified audience meant getting more customers in less time?

To change, Owen started to study great work. He watched infomercials to understand how they sold. He watched YouTube videos. He even analyzed sitcoms, so he could learn how they mastered story structure and timing.

That’s when he started working on “The Video Sales Machines.”

What is the Video Sales Machine?

Owen Video, presenting the Video Sales Machine at Content Jam

A lot of companies create videos and expect those videos to directly turn people into customers. Most of the time, that just isn’t realistic. Without clear calls to actions or next steps, potential leads drop off easily.

Instead, Owen recommended using video as a way to pull in good prospects – and then use the rest of the sales machine to qualify and convert those prospects.

Here are the steps of the video sales machine:

  • Grab people with a great video
  • Send people to lead magnet
  • Use an email nurture sequence to qualify them
  • Offer a 15-minute qualifying call (not a sales call)
  • If the qualifying call goes well, prepare a proposal and have a sales call

Step 1: Great video

“A great video is based on one thing: It’s a video based on the customer’s needs. This is the biggest mistake that I see in video marketing today.”

Lots of companies create videos about themselves. About videos, explainers, videos about the origins of the company – these types of videos usually serve internal stakeholders without addressing the customer at all.

Instead, ask what your customers need help with.

Owen recommended starting with YouTube predictive search.

What are people already looking for? Make videos about that.

Instead of asking your team what they think (or looking at what competitors make), create what people want.

Step 2: High-converting lead magnets

“A lead magnet is a digitally downloadable offer (not a coupon).”

If you want people to give you their contact information, you have to give them something first.

One of the challenges of video marketing is that it’s easy for people to leave. If you don’t give them a clear next step, there isn’t an obvious way for them to stay in touch with you.

This advice harkens back to some of the legendary direct-response copywriters of the 20th century. In his book The Boron Letters, copywriter Gary Halbert writes:

“What I am doing here is taking the reader by the hand and leading him exactly where I want him to go. It seems like a small point and, maybe it is, but is the little touches like this that keeps the letter flowing, the reader moving along, and, it relieves him of the burden of trying to figure out what he is supposed to do when he finishes reading a particular page.”

Offer lead magnets directly from your videos. Create something that answers a burning question, and people will be eager to trade their contact information for it.

Owen shared some of the characteristics of a great lead magnet.

Characteristics of a great lead magnet:

  • Strong image of the product
  • Snappy memorable headline
  • Follow up value statement
  • Scrollable (bullet points, double space)
  • 5-7 pages
  • Last page is advertisement

Step 3: Email nurture

After someone signs up to get your lead magnet, follow up! A welcome series is one of the highest ROI tactics you can use – the moment after someone signs up for you lead magnet is the moment they’re most likely to be interested in what you have to say.

Owen shared some of the characteristics of a great email nurture sequence.

Characteristics of a great email nurture sequence:

  • Should be all about them (not you)
  • Attention demanding subject lines
  • Repurpose your GREAT videos
  • Image after the first few sentences
  • 1st email delivers the lead magnet
  • Each additional email answers FAQs

In your email, you include a link to schedule a short phone call.

Step 4: 15-minute call

If someone is getting your emails and opening them, they’re probably at least somewhat interested in what you do.

But are they a good fit to become your customer?

Before you spend a ton of time putting together a proposal, get on a short call with them.

Owen shared three objectives of this phone call:

  1. Connect with the prospect offline, to build a real world relationship
  2. Qualify them: Understand their needs, see if their a good fit, get the info you need to prepare a proposal
  3. Create anticipation. Build excitement for the sales meeting.

Note that this is not a sales call. This call is to qualify your lead and see if they’re a good fit for a sales call.

By making this not a sales call, you can avoid the negative reaction that comes from feeling like you’re being sold to. You also get to build anticipation for the actual sales call – so that when it is time to sell, your prospect is already ready to buy.

Step 5: Sales call

“The Perfect Proposal is a way to create a proposal that feels customized without you needing to spend a ton of time to actually customize the presentation.”

When it comes time to have the sales call, you’ll be talking only to the people who really want what you have to offer.

By this point, your prospect has…

  • Watched one of your great videos
  • Signed up for a mouthwatering lead magnet
  • Opened your emails (and likely consumed the content in them)
  • Spoken to you on the phone

Anyone who’s made it this far is way more likely to be a good fit for your business.

In this call, you share your proposal. This proposal is lightly customized – but because you have a process and know exactly what this very specific prospect wants, it feels more customized to them.

At this final step of the Video Sales Machine, you’re talking to people who want to hear from you – so you get more customers.