How to Use Video as a Lead Generation Tool

By Raka October 13, 2023

Video is a great tool for creating awareness in your company’s products, highlighting expertise, and showing a potential customer the kind of tips and tricks that build their trust and loyalty. While more companies than ever are using video in their inbound marketing strategies, figuring out how to effectively use video as a lead generation tool is still a challenge many marketers are struggling to master. 

Nothing is more frustrating than putting significant time and resources into a video project only to see views stagnate after a week and leads trickle down to nothing. Videos that fail to garner results often do so for the same reason other marketing methods falter—undefined goals and a lack of focus on the people your video should help. With a few tweaks to your video formula, and time spent defining exactly what your company wants to achieve, you can transform your next project into a video lead generation tool.

It all starts with SEO

The most popular video hosting site on the internet is YouTube, which is owned by search engine giant Google. A staggering number of videos are uploaded to the site each day, so if you are hoping to get your video seen organically, you should invest some time in YouTube SEO.

Video titles should include the keyword you are ranking for, preferably one that aligns well with your video content. That keyword should also be used throughout the description. If your video will be embedded on a page within the company’s website, it will boost your SEO even further if the keyword selected for the video is the same keyword you are optimizing for on the page, by helping search engine crawlers identify your video with that term. Next, add tags and hashtags, making sure the keyword and related terms are included. By focusing on video SEO, you’re not just trying to get views, but also convert views into leads.

Following these optimizing tips on YouTube will help get that video in front of people who are searching for those terms—and are the people you’re looking to attract as customers.

Learn more about YouTube SEO. Read “YouTube SEO: How to Boost Your Video Views.”

CTAs: your best video lead generation tool

Well-placed calls-to-action, or CTAs, are essential to converting web traffic, social media engagement, and videos into leads. There are a number of ways to include CTAs in your video content, and tools to capture those leads, so that they are seamlessly entered into your company’s customer relationship management system. Let’s go through them.

YouTube End Screens and Cards

YouTube End Screens and Cards are both free and easy video lead generation tools that prompt viewers to take action in the last 20 second of the video. “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” is a great example of using End Screens and Cards. At the end of this video of Jimmy Fallon and Taylor Swift playing a game, you see “The Tonight Show” logo CTA asking viewers to subscribe (tp left). Below that is a video providing similar content to what was just watched, and to the right there are “More Clips” of related content from the channel. 

video lead generation cards jimmy fallon

With End Screens, you have the option to promote a video or playlist, ask viewers to subscribe, promote another channel, or provide a link to the company website. When highlighting a product or discussing a specific service, the End Screen can call on the viewer to click through to a landing page with gated content offering more information or a free consultation. YouTube Cards is similar to End Screens, but allows adding images, like a logo, and other links through the Video Manager edit feature. 

The downside to these tools is that it comes up only at the end of the video, never to be seen by anyone who clicks away before then. 

Companies have the option to use another tool called Annotations, which creates a pop-up anytime during the video, but this feature does not work on mobile. With 70% of YouTube watch time coming from mobile, there’s not much point in using it if nearly 3/4 of viewers will never see the ad. 

New call-to-action

Pop-up CTAs

YouTube’s tools are easy to set up, but they have some serious limitations. Companies like Vidyard and HubSpot offer tools that allow you to create CTAs that pop up throughout the video to not only capture viewers before the very end of the video, but also prompt viewers to take action within the context of the video.

For example, if you are offering a video tutorial, you can insert a CTA part way through prompting viewers to get more information, and later in the video insert another CTA offering a free consultation of the same tool. If you take a look at Vidyard’s company overview video below, the company serves pop-ups one by one offering to connect the viewer to information about sales, support, secure communications, and marketing information.

CTA embedded in video for lead generation

Vidyard has customizable CTAs you create within their platform and HubSpot (which has a Vidyard integration feature) allows users to insert the CTAs they’ve created in HubSpot right into the video. SproutSocial has also entered the video marketing game with customizable post-play screens. These companies all offer video lead capture integration with marketing and CRM systems for a seamless lead flow.

Learn more about CTAs. Read “Call-to-Action: Help Web Visitors Take the Next Step.”

Gate your video content

Video is a kind of content, so why wouldn’t you gate it like you would a white paper or template? With all the time and effort that goes into creating a video, it only makes sense to maximize its potential to generate leads. Just as you lead a contact toward the gated content with quality free content, do the same for the gated video. For example, your company could create a 30-minute tutorial video, breaking it into three 10-minute videos. The first two will be ungated, and the third is gated. If someone has watched the first two and is interested enough to give their information to get access to the third, that’s a decent lead.

But granting permission to watch a video embedded in your website or on Youtube is a little different than downloading a PDF. Here are some methods for gating to maximize its potential as a lead generation tool.

Use a landing page

Just like you would with a piece of text content, create a landing page for the video, describing the content and embedding a form that leads to a page where they can watch the video. Salesforce does this to access the small business demo video.

video for lead generation Salesforce demo

Embedded email gate

Landing pages are great for capturing leads, but they do require a certain level of commitment on the part of the potential lead. They see the landing page, have to decide whether filling out the form is worth the time, and if it is, must then wait for a new page to load. Not a ton of work or time—it’s a matter of seconds—but those few seconds are sometimes enough time to give the user an out and avoid the process altogether. 

To reduce that consideration time, companies can also embed a gate right in the video. Video hosting companies like Wistia and Vidyard have tools that create an embedded pop-up that enables you to show part of the video, and then part way through—preferably right before the most compelling part—the viewer is required to enter a name and/or email address to keep viewing. Wistia’s tool, Turnstile, seen below, gives you the option of activating the pop-up when someone hovers over the video for a softer ask, as well as a full pop-up gate for a stronger lead capture push.

Wistia embedd CTA video for lead generation

Getting a prospect invested in a piece of content and then hitting the pause button has its advantages, but it can also seem like pulling the rug out from under someone if not done well. It is also limiting in terms or the amount of information you can gather. You aren’t able to ask a lot of qualifying questions like job role, company name, or location, requiring more work to qualify the leads after capture.

Learn more about content offers. Read “How to Make a (Content) Offer Potential Customers Can’t Refuse.”

More video lead capture tools

Using videos to generate leads is only the first step. Integrating these leads into a CRM or marketing automation software will help your company make the most of them. You can set up follow-up email workflows and create additional content to further nurture the leads. HubSpot Academy has some great content to walk your through how to get the most out of these video-generated leads.

Analytics and reporting is also essential to turning your videos into lead magnets. Analytics provide you with some important insight on what’s working—and what’s not. Companies like SproutSocial, Wistia, Vidyard offer a look inside viewer engagement as well as viewer tracking. See what other videos your viewers are watching, how much of your video they watched, where viewers tend to click away, and if viewers return to watch a certain part of the video more than once.

Learn more about analytics. Read “How Marketing Analytics Can Make or Break Your Marketing Strategy.”

It’s all about value

Of course, the most important part of using video as a lead generation tool is creating a good video. Shaky video, poor sound quality, and taking too long to get to the point are view killers. Here’s a quick checklist your team should review before pressing play on that marketing video.

Does it show your personality?

People want videos to entertain or teach them something, not bore them to death. A droning disembodied voice is no way to engage your audience in a tutorial. People have come to your website and stuck around long enough to watch a video because they want to know more about your company and what you’re like to do business with. The company’s voice should shine through your videos too.

Does it use a lot of jargon and technical terms?

Make sure the script language matches your buyer persona and their stage along the buyer’s journey. If you are making a video to create awareness about a product, this may be the time to keep the in-depth tech talk to minimum.

Did you say script?

Yes. You will need a script, even for Q&A style videos. If you need help putting a script together, we’ve got a script and storyboard template that will help you sketch out your video down to the second.

Learn more about how to make great marketing videos. Read “How to Write a Great Marketing Video Script.”

Video can be a powerful lead generation tool for marketing departments who are looking to get their message to break through in a new way. By thinking beyond top-of-the-funnel applications for video and focusing more on how video can capture leads will make video marketing a more worthwhile investment for your company.

New call-to-action