Video content is one of the most cost effective, measurable and accurate methods of targeting new business and retaining existing customers.
However if you fail to consider your marketing objectives and the requirements of your customer and their whereabouts on the buying cycle, your video assets could be ineffective. Considering how important video is for lead generation, brand development and customer loyalty, we feel it is essential that marketers employ the right tools for the job.
Below we have outlined the information needs of prospects at various stages of the sales funnel and provided you with a variety video types that you can employ at each stage.
It is widely thought that content is marketing’s last opportunity for creativity. It is the driving force behind inbound marketing, giving you permission to engage in conversation with prospects social media or partner sites and direct them back to your website to convert them into paying customers!
Video is one of the best pound-for-pound types of content marketing professionals have at their disposal. From creating awareness, upselling, cross selling to strengthening customer retention and long term customer engagement, the stats speak for themselves:
· 80% of your online visitors will watch a video, while only 20% will read content in it’s entirety.
· Your website is 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of a search engine results page if it includes video.
· A 1/3rd of all online activity is spent watching video.
· Videos increase people’s understanding of your product or service by 74%
· 80% of Internet users remember the video ads they watch online.
· 75% of users visit the marketer’s website after viewing a video.
· 90% of users say that seeing a video about a product is helpful in the decision process.
· 50% of users watch business related videos on YouTube once a week.
· Website visitors are 64% more likely to buy a product on an online retail site after watching a video (Asquare Media Solutions, 2014)
The introduction of video as a marketing tool has also levelled the playing field, giving challengers and niche players an opportunity to compete for a larger slice of the pie. The advantage is still with those with deeper pockets, but companies that know how to employ video strategically and creatively in the online space can expect to increase their return of investment.
However there is evidence to suggest that many businesses are employing ineffective video in their marketing mix, this is largely because they have produced and uploaded video to their websites and social media outposts without taking into consideration :-
· Their marketing communication objectives
· The decision making information required by prospects
· The prospect’s buying cycle
Considering the importance of online video at present and the financial/time investment required to create effective video assets, we feel it is important that marketers understand how to produce the right tools for the job an deploy them correctly.
The first step in this process is to understand the information needs of the prospects, to do this we must first look at the sales funnel.
The Sales Funnel
The sales funnel refers to the buying process that a company pulls customers through when purchasing products or services. It is divided into several steps depending on the particular model you are using. In general we have prospects at various stages of the funnel that can fall into one of the following categories:
Awareness – where the prospect becomes aware of your brand and realizes your product/service may solve a problem they have
Research/Education – Prospect identifies the points of pain and researches possible solutions
Comparison – The prospects weighs up their options and begins whittling down the list of suppliers
Purchase – the prospect decides from whom to buy
With few expectations the new leads goes through a journey where they move from the awareness stage right down to where they decide to purchase from you.
The information prospects require to help steer them through each stage of the sales funnel varies greatly thus the types of video you should produce and employ are often very different from each other. In order to produce the right type of video content for each stage we must identify the key information prospects are seeking as they move though the sales process.
The video content you should create will correspond to where the prospect is on the funnel and we have labeled it according as :-
· Top of Funnel (ToFu) Video Content
· Middle of Funnel (MoFu) Video Content
· Bottom of funnel (BoFu) Video Content
(Weidiert Group, 2013)
Top Of Funnel (Tofu) Video Content
This is where you produce and upload video content with the intention of attracting new prospects in the digital space. The general rule of thumb here is to produce video collateral that aims to entertain and/or educate rather than push your products. Types of video that can be employed here include:
· Introduction/explanatory videos – videos that explain who you are and what you do.
· Repurposed webinar content
· Thought leadership interviews and testimonials
· ‘How-to’ video content to show your expertise in a given area
Also, if applicable, you can look at releasing entertaining content showcasing your companies’ culture, showing how you differ from competitors, why people should care about you and why you do what you do. Check out these examples:
You should also look towards optimising your ToFu video content by using call to actions (CTAs) which can be used to prompt the viewer to watch other videos in your channel, take a demo, sign up for a newsletter, download a white paper or guide them to your social media channels and to your website where you can focus on converting them into new customers.
Middle of Funnel (MoFu) Video content
After using ToFu content to guide your leads to your website for conversion, you’re now aiming to help these prospects evaluate your offering and begin justifying the proposed investment with more in-depth and/or long form content. At this stage you have their interest but they’re still not willing to sign up yet as they need additional information to make a decision.
Here video can play a significant role in creating sales. We aim to use video content that can boost interest and desire and at the same time differentiate your business from the also-rans by answering questions and concerns that might be in the potential customers mind.
MoFu video content examples include:
· Detailed product/service demos
· Case studies
· Client testimonials
· Explainer videos that show how your product of service seamlessly integrates with their existing processes and structures.
· 360-degree product/service view videos work well for complex purchases.
All of these video formats have the intention of making the prospect more confident about their purchase.
Bottom of Funnel (BoFu) Video Content
The bottom of the funnel is where we close the sale. Here prospects are considering their options and ultimately decide who to buy from. The video content you should deploy here is for the purpose of sealing the deal and thus should restate why choosing you is a good idea, justify the financial investment prospects have to make and provide answer to any outstanding questions. Examples of videos that can be used here include:
· Detailed product information videos or demos
· Online presentations
· FAQ videos
You should also look toward employing CTAs in your BoFu video content with the purpose of promoting demo’s and trials. Those small businesses and start-ups that lack the human resource to set up a demo every time a prospect requires product information – remember the right video collateral can become the 24/7 sales executive that never sleeps!
Today’s customers go through more than half of the online buying process independently. Those businesses that are able to supply prospects with a complete video journey to support their purchase information requirements at each stage of their buying cycle increase their chances of sales success significantly.