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How to Drive ROI with Top of the Funnel Video Content

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes courtesy of Mitch Solway, VP Marketing at Vidyard, a video marketing platform provider.  

Marketers are ramping up commitments and investments in video content, excited by its possibilities but also riddled with questions around how to drive the highest return from these assets. This is especially true for video content at the top of the funnel.

The top of the funnel, by definition, is where you’re going to drive the most traffic and it’s your first opportunity to create a meaningful impression.  Without a doubt it’s high leverage.  Succeed here, and the rest of the funnel benefits.

Considering the high volume and the critical need to engage at that first or early touch, here are two high impact tips to drive the ROI of your top of funnel video content:

1. Split test your video thumbnail to maximize views. To achieve meaningful ROI on your top of funnel video content, people need to, well, actually click to watch it. And what is it that they are going to click on?  Your video’s thumbnail image – the still image visitors see before they click. As marketers, we continually experiment with different calls to action to engage.  We know that simple tweaks to the design, image, copy, color, and other elements can help increase response rates.

Your video thumbnail is the call to action for your video, and split testing different thumbnail images for your videos helps demonstrate which messaging drives the highest click through rate.

The fact is, you should do this with every video in your library, but it’s super critical at the top of the funnel because it’s your point of maximum volume and leverage.  Every percentage performance boost you can get in your click through rate at the top of the funnel trickles down to impact various points of engagement across other phases of the funnel.

2.  Introduce a call to action at the end of your video to pull leads deeper. The number one goal of your top of funnel video content is to establish interest.  The last thing you want to do is pull viewers in, and then let them go. This is especially true for those viewers that watch through to the end of your content.  They are your most engaged viewers.  They are putting up their hands and saying “I’m interested”.

At this point including a final call to action is an absolute must with respect to driving the ROI of that top of funnel content.

And it can be extremely simple.



Vidyard’s final call to action at the end of its homepage video drives an 18% click through rate into deeper content. Our final call to action on our home page video is simply “Want to learn more?” with a button to “Take the Tour”.

With that simple execution we get 18% of the viewers that watch to the end clicking through to the tour. That impacts our marketing.

Top of funnel content is designed to engage and qualify.  It’s very difficult to move directly to lead capture.  Therefore your goal with top of funnel video content is to pull them in deeper, until they are ready to engage with you further.

Our benchmarks indicate that viewers that click on that final call to action end up three times more likely to create a trial account.

As the importance and our investments in video content continue to rise so to does our need to fully leverage the inherent value of a video asset.

From the video’s thumbnail, to its ability to tell us who’s engaged, to calls to action that drive viewers deeper into the research and discovery process, these small changes when applied appropriately can significantly impact the ROI of your top of funnel video assets.

So get to it! 

Looking for more resources? Click here to access an Engagement best practice tip sheet and a printable Blueprint to map out your objectives and action items!

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