How to Sell Video

Spring Clean Your Website for More Video Sales

by KK Apple · April 6, 2016 · Comments

It’s been a long winter of…winter. Maybe it’s time to give your digital home a good old spring cleaning. Here are some tips if you need to dust off the cobwebs of an existing site, or just need some basic reminders of the elements of a good website. Break out your sticky notes! Here's your spring cleaning to-do list.

Upload a trailer

Ok so you’re selling video. You have a trailer, right? Seems like a no-brainer, but we see a lot of folks that don’t actually show a trailer on their website. Your site should give a small taste of your style and content, so potential customers can see what you’re offering (what’s up, Sales 101!) The other part of the equation is making your trailer easy to find and click — it should be one of the first things viewers see when they land on your page. On VHX, sellers who upload a trailer and display it prominently convert sales about 30% better than those who don’t

Don’t have a trailer yet? Put together another kind of video teaser! It could be a short scene, the creative team talking about your project, or maybe a montage of past episodes of your series. Since everyone loves free stuff, you could even try uploading the first five minutes of your film or episode as your trailer.

Choose high quality thumbnails

When your video isn’t playing, imagery is king. Or queen. Or whatever gender-neutral monarch you’re into! I digress. Choose thumbnails for each video and product that grab attention and give a clear impression of what your content is all about. These thumbnails show up wherever your videos do: on your website, whenever you post links to social media ( Twitter cards, for example), and on all devices when viewers are watching via apps. So make sure they look great! 

A high quality thumbnail is usually somewhere between a poorly-lit iPhone photo and a depressingly sterile stock image. You could use a nice still from your video, or maybe the graphics and logo that speaks to your brand. If you’re selling a film, make sure you convert your movie poster designs to something that fits on the internet. (We recommend a 16:9 image ratio.)

Write a smart description

Now that you’ve freshened up the visuals, let’s think about the verbiage. Each video product on VHX includes a description field, so you have the opportunity to give a short synopsis. How do you describe your content? Imagine a brand new fan stumbling on your website for the first time, with little context. Your description should both inform and entertain; pull in your new fan and let them know what they’re getting. 

Some VHX seller examples:  

  • Harmontown captures the lively mood and characters of Dan Harmon’s podcast tour, and details the bonus videos included in the deluxe editions.  
  • Documentary Sensitive - The Untold Story uses audience quotes to draw viewers in. 
  • Fitness series Yoga Challenge gives specifics about the exercises in each episode. 

Add fresh videos

If you’ve been selling for a while, adding new video content is a great move. (If you’re running a subscription service, you should definitely be thinking about updating your library frequently.) It gives you the opportunity to  package and sell your content in new ways, and also message past customers to let them know about new offerings. You could add: 

  • Blooper reels
  • Behind-the-scenes clips 
  • Cast and crew interviews 
  • An extended cut of your original videos
  • Director’s commentary
  • Q&A with the creative team
  • Epilogues of your story’s subjects
  • New non-video material (soundtracks, poster PDFs, eBooks, etc)

Link to your social media accounts

Make sure your social media channels are visible on your site! It’s a great way to stay connected to a wide audience, and it makes it even simpler for fans to spread the word. For VHX sellers, we’ve  streamlined that process for Twitter and Facebook accounts. If you’re using a VHX theme, linking your social accounts will automatically populate social icons on your site. And when fans use the Twitter share button to tweet about your video, your handle will already be in there! We’ve seen that sellers who connect both their Facebook and Twitter accounts on VHX average a consistently better sales conversion rate (2.3%), compared to the sites that don't (1.5%).

Link from your social media accounts

Since you’re running your own video business, your social media accounts should all be driving traffic directly to your website. Make sure it’s linked in all your social profiles: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tinder. OK maybe not Tinder, but hey if you’re very active on Tinder…

Check on traffic

Since you’re doing a bunch of site sprucing, this is also a great time to look at your numbers. When you have access to all of your traffic and sales stats, you can make smart decisions about how to reach your audience. That’s why the  VHX dashboard gives you tons of information about your customers. 

For example, if you’re converting really well from Facebook, it sounds like it’s time to boost a Facebook post! Getting lots of traffic from a blogger? Reach out to see how you can work together. Keep an active eye on these numbers so you can continue to grow your business. 

Feeling so fresh and so spring clean? Check out even more tips for selling in the "How to Sell Video" corner of the blog.