Online video is perhaps one of the most consistently innovating mediums of communication humans came up with. It goes way back to the early 90s when Internet’s first live streaming concert took place in 1993 and later that decade when ActiveMovie made video streaming a thing in 1995. Cut to 2021, now online video has its place as one of the most consumed and most favorable types of content on the internet.
According to Cisco Systems, by 2022, 82% of internet traffic will be video. Additionally, 90% of consumers state that videos help them make purchasing decisions. In the midst of all of that, referral marketing has emerged as a superior tool to garner your business the attention it needs and grow your sales and customers with it. It is a perpetually understated form of marketing that has helped many businesses, big and small, with reaching heights they have never reached before. So what if you couple referral marketing with video? The results are a killer referral program that dashes left and right.
Why Video Matters Now More Than Ever
A general rule of thumb is that you don’t create any marketing strategy without video in mind. Because if content is king, then video is prince. Video essentially takes the shape of the most rewarding form of content with its condensed, bite-sized form and makes any target audience excited for your business and sets them up for taking actions.
One place where you don't see video being used enough is in referral programs. However, in the era of COVID-19 where consumers now use the internet more than ever as they are locked in their houses and work from home, referral videos are on the rise - as they should. This is the perfect time to share and participate in the different forms of videos online (more on that in a sec) to promote your brand online. If you’re a B2B or a B2C business, then your clients/customers are experiencing feelings of anxiety and looking for a brand or a source for continuing to provide them with value. Putting your face out there as a brand will ensure that they stay connected with you and your business.
Video is considered to be one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies out there to reach prospects and existing customers on a deep, personal level. It is simple and to the point: When people start seeing you everywhere all the time, you begin occupying the minds of your database and the local community.
When you have their attention, they are more likely to recall your brand when they think of a specific solution to a problem. Videos are ways to nurture and generate leads digitally—it just requires taking a step back and analyzing the processes in your business that have been in place forever to see where your next opportunity lies.
How to Integrate Referral Marketing into Your Videos
There is no better and guaranteed way of having your videos turn into referrals other than being consistent (also applies to your podcast strategy). It keeps your brand on the top of people’s heads and maintains strong relationships with your audience.
But there are generally some tenets to go by when using video for your referral marketing strategy:
Keep an Eye on Your Customer Journey
When it comes to the stages of the customer journey on your website, your advocates are and should essentially be treated as retained customers who've used your product and experienced its value perhaps more than once. As a result, these are the best customers to ask to share referrals with their friends because they're most likely to be loyal.
Keep in mind that new customers and advocates need to quickly and easily explain the program and its value. This is highly important considering people retain 95% of what they see vs. 10% of what they read. Word of mouth is powerful, and it is at its ultimate when the product or the brand is smoother to explain.
Add Videos to Your Referral Program’s Page or Pop-Up
If your referral program is only text and a couple of graphics, that’s cool, but you are not bringing it to its full potential. There’s nothing wrong with doing just that as you are giving the needed details for the advocates and you are including a CTA (call to action) button. But in between the white spaces, you can add video to that page and increase the visual stimulation needed to improve your chances of the advocates getting engaged in the program.
According to SWEOR, people spend about 5.59 seconds looking at written content on a web page before they move on. You have probably navigated lots of pages and social feeds today where you only skimmed through the text without actually reading the full text. We all do it!
Stand out with a video and show your brand personality with humor, music, animation, and whatever else needed to grapple the user’s attention. And by the way, another study has shown that video on a referral program’s landing page increases conversions by as much as 80%.
Do Online Webinars and Video Conferences
This might have been a tricky one since not all employers were ready to invest time in webinars and video conferences. But now since the pandemic shifted our mindsets into virtual gatherings and meetings, the sky is the limit! With the popularization of video-communication services like Zoom and Google Meet, everyone now can start their own webinars and virtual conferences.
You can utilize these webinars as a guru in a certain field to either share your expertise with members of the public or to hold a meeting of employees or investors from different industries to discuss the benefit of your product. It is a win-win situation because you can use this to promote what you do and people you talk to will know about you and keep your product on the top of their head. You can hold an AMA (Ask Me Anything) webinars or team up with another expert on video are just a few different ways to keep your videos low production and in the moment.
Advertise Your Referral Program on Social Media
While this tactic may be an obvious one, it is nevertheless crucial and some companies fail to rely on it. There are almost 3.7 billion people using social media around the world and of course, the lion’s share goes to Facebook. In addition, one-third of the time people spend on social media is spent watching video. This, of course, includes live video, which is now available on all major social platforms and is on the rise. It's expected that 13% of internet traffic will be from live video by 2022.
Use a sales tactic to add to the value of your referral programs. For example, you can encourage people to tune in and watch until the end of a live video by offering a referral bonus. Let’s say, if you offer advocates $50 gift cards per referral, increase this to $100 per referral — for a limited time — if they watch until the end.
Don’t forget to also follow these guidelines:
- Include closed captions or add subtitles on your video so viewers can watch without sound if they don’t click on the video at first. Digiday has tallied that 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound, so it would be a great addition to add subtitles or even animations that outlines the referral program.
- Provide interesting and entertaining content - preferably with a short length. The point of videos is to get and hold your audience's attention, so it has to go straight to the point. The optimal video length on Facebook is usually one minute and 30 seconds on Instagram, but it is not necessary to follow those rules.
Rounding It Up
Your online referral program has more potential than it poses itself as. In true fashion, there has never been a marketing solution stronger than the word of mouth, and to extrapolate on this, you can utilize video in your referral program and in promoting it succinctly. Don’t fear experimentation because the ROI you will get would be a guaranteed success.