In my occasionally humble opinion, this is the most important strategy you can employ.
Not just in the context of squeeze page videos but in your marketing as a whole.
If you salt every element of your marketing with this strategy, you will see improved conversions and, perhaps more importantly, the development of a more enthusiastic customer base.
If you’ve been following this article series from the start (see article links at the end), you can’t have failed to notice that one of the main themes has been the importance of using your squeeze page videos to develop a better relationship with your audience.
When your audience feels like they have a connection with you or that they can relate to you in some way, you don’t just gain more people on your list and increase your sales, you also generate loyalty that results in more repeat business.
Using squeeze page videos purely for informational purposes is such a waste of bandwidth it’s almost criminal.
But fortunately, this strategy is easy to employ and can transform any video from a clichéd sales pitch, into something more…
Show Your Beauty Scars
Every business owner wants their marketing to appear professional.
No one really wants to be thought of as an “itty-bitty business,” and flashy websites and videos are a tried and trusted route to making your business appear larger than it is.
I get that impulse. Really, I do.
But it’s bogus.
No one cares whether you’re a blossoming start-up with over 100 staff or a small business consisting of one full-time owner and a bunch of freelancers.
All your prospects care about is whether you can solve their problem and provide them with something that can improve their life in some way.
And for them to believe – truly believe – that you can deliver on your promises, you have to be believable, trustworthy, and authentic.
You don’t need expensive, slick videos to pull that off.
When PepsiCo spent, in all likelihood, millions of dollars creating a video in which they implied that national tensions could be solved by a pretty girl giving a cop a soda, do you think that made them more relatable to their audience?
No. No. And indeed, hell no…
In fact – and this is the part I love – an inexpensive video can actually make you appear MORE authentic and, as a result, more likeable to your audience.
Flaws reduce intimidation because they make you human.
Appearing as something less than perfect – which, let’s face it, describes all of us – is the key to creating ultra-loyal customers who don’t just like your product, but love everything that your business stands for.
When you go into your favorite coffee shop do you want your server to say…
“Good morning, Ma’am, did you know that our Colombian Blend has 31 antioxidants, 13 essential vitamins and is served in a biodegradable container…”
Or would you rather they said…
“Hey there, Jen, do you want your usual Americano? By the way, we’re trying out a new hazelnut syrup this week. It’s a little on the sweet side, but it’s kinda moreish. Want to give it a try?”
When something is 100% engineered and staged, it might look good, but it makes it almost impossible for anyone to connect on a personal level. A slightly unpolished but authentic front-end, by contrast, is what will keep people coming back, time and time again.
So, here’s the big question…
How do you engineer authenticity without coming off as fake?
The Fourth Wall
Engineered authenticity is an oxymoron. By definition, if it’s engineered, it’s no longer authentic.
The solution is to pierce the fourth wall (which I’ll define in a minute), just enough, so that your audience gets to peek through at carefully selected intervals. The holes are engineered – but what you show on the other side isn’t.
In the theatre, the “fourth wall” is the imaginary barrier between the audience and the players. However, the “fourth wall” can refer to anything that divides an audience from the performer. Or simply be a barrier to the elements of the performance that the viewer doesn’t ordinarily get to see.
In the case of your squeeze page video, the “fourth wall” is ALL the production elements. That includes the people and equipment behind the camera, the green screen behind you, the rehearsals, the out-takes…
Even your personal life.
To successfully employ this strategy, all you have to do is, at carefully selected moments, allow a little piece of reality to bleed through.
Here are a few examples:
Bloopers: Who doesn’t love a blooper reel? Aside from the fact that they’re naturally amusing, they let people see you, just for a moment, without your professional head on. A collection of bloopers at the end of your squeeze page video may not be appropriate given that you need that space for your call-to-action, but there’s nothing to stop you leaving in 1-2 outtakes during the main content. Let your audience see you mess up, laugh about it, and then smash cut back into your delivery.
Acknowledge Your Crew: When shooting your video, you naturally talk to your production team. Whether you’re thanking your camera operator, asking your sound engineer a question, or complaining about your microphone clip not working properly. Ordinarily, you’d edit those out. But if you leave 1-2 instances in, it breaks that fourth wall and gives your audience a glimpse of the video being created. (Mike Rowe is famous for using this technique.)
Enter Stage Right: Have someone walk into shot and touch up your make-up or bring you a drink. Banter with them, or warmly thank them. This reminds your audience that the video is a team effort, created by a group of people enjoying working together.
Host Your Video at Home: The background to your video can drastically alter the tone of your video. A family home setting is very different, and much warmer, than a bookcase or a plain screen. You could even have family members or crew members doing something in the distant background.
There are many more ways to break the fourth wall but what they all have in common is that they allow the audience to see you as part of a group of people enjoying their work.
And by allowing the viewer to get a glimpse of this, it’s as if you’re welcoming them into your world for a few moments.
It’s a small effect, and it’s easy to employ, but even if you only do it for a few seconds out of a video that last several minutes, it significantly changes the perception of your presentation.
We mentioned this before, but when you’re positioning yourself as an expert, that can detract from your relatability. Breaking the fourth wall shows everyone that you’re not perfect and that you’re also a regular human being, allowing you to reclaim some of the connection with your audience.
We don’t just want customers. We want loyal, life-long customers, who go out of their way to purchase our products and services. Not just because what we sell is of a high quality (which it is) but because when they purchase from us, they feel like they’re part of a group that GETS it.
We have the same goals, the same sense of humor, the same priorities.
We’re all cut from the same cloth. We’re our own little tribe.
And your squeeze page videos, in addition to doing their main job of bringing prospects onto your list, can be designed to generate this connection with audience.
I get that most, if not all, of the strategies described in this series are a little out of the ordinary and you may have anxiety about trying something so bold. But, if it helps, keep in mind that you get multiple shots at this.
If your first couple of efforts don’t quite hit the mark, keep practicing and tweaking until you get the results that you want.
It’s like a band that’s just starting out. It might take a few songs to find YOUR sound that sets up apart. But once you get it, you can crank out album after album, each one sounding richer and more assured than the last.
Most importantly, you need to get over your fear of being really creative.
I know that creativity is important to you, otherwise you’d probably be working in a very different industry. And if your creative efforts don’t satisfy everyone, that’s okay…
Because the people that DO like what you have to offer, or going to LOVE you!