Posted October 2, 2012 by Steve Young

You bought a website, and now you’re hoping it draws in new customers. You’ve invested both money and time into building it, so for that to pay off, you need your site to generate at least 5 new clients per month.

But the more you check out the competition, the more you see a lot of professional websites out there. Although you’re glad to be counted among those businesses with appealing websites, you realize you need to stand out.

Having a professional website is sort of like meeting the minimum requirements: without it, a lot of potential clients won’t even consider you; but just having it is not necessarily enough to get you the job.

So, what does make the difference?

Showing your prospects that you’re a real person with real clients.

And the best way to show them this is with a one-minute video.

Why Video Is So Effective

Video is simply the best way to reach out to new clients with your website. This is because clients want a personal connection to their service provider before making that initial call.

“Personal connection” doesn’t mean sharing intimate details about your personal life, or even demonstrating shared traits or interests with your prospects. It simply means the prospect needs a sense of who you are as a person – how you dress, what you look like, how much you smile, even how you decorate your office.

You might think that a one-minute video isn’t long enough to make an impact on a prospect. But humans have the ability to make snap judgments. A few seconds is really all it takes. (This is the premise of the best-selling book by Malcolm Gladwell, Blink.)

Video is so successful that a recent study showed it raises response rates by 4 to 7 times over landing pages with text and images alone (SearchEngineWatch, February 2010).

“Behind the Scenes” Works

Another reason video is successful in engaging your leads is that it shows them what your office is like “behind the scenes.”

People love having inside knowledge. It actually makes them feel closer to a person or company. It gives them an immediate “buy-in” to see the staff working at their desks, dealing with clients, and talking to each other in the break room.

Although folks want to know you’re professional, they also respond on an emotional level to seeing you doing real things at the office.

Incidentally, this tendency in people is one reason why social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are so successful. These days, we’re oversaturated with advertising and promotional messages. Facebook, Twitter, and video put the human touch back in to business – which is a big relief to consumers.

Bonus: Generate Loyalty Right Away

If you’re looking for at least 5 new clients per month as your ROI, adding a video is the smart way to go.

In fact, you may get more than you bargained for. Another recent study by BIA/Kelsey found that 1 in 5 people who view your video will give you a call.

If you get 20 views per week (which is conservative), that’s 4 extra calls per week, or 16 per month. If you convert even half those prospects to new clients, you’ve got more than 5.

Even better, folks who do call you already have a measure of loyalty. They’ve seen your video, they know what your office looks like and who works there – they may even recognize a staff member from around town. Your video has done the hard work (and arguably the hardest job) of convincing folks to trust you.

Making the Most of Your Website

If you’ve gone so far as to get a professional website, don’t waste it. Consider adding a short video to your home page. It provides that personal connection prospects need to take the leap into contacting you – making it the smart way to outpace your competition.

This guest post was written by Brian O’Connell who is President of CPA Site Solutions, a web design firm providing websites for accountants and other marketing services to accountants, CPAs, bookkeepers, and tax preparers nationwide.

About Steve Young

Steve Young is the Director of Product Marketing at SmartShoot. He enjoys writing about marketing, design and product development. Although he shares the same name as a famous quarterback he unfortunately does not share the same bank account, so please throw him a bone and share or comment on his posts. Connect with him on Twitter and Google+.

Keep in touch: @stevepyoung

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