A saying we like to use around here is “Every video has a job to do.”
What we mean by this is that there should be clearly defined intent behind each and every video you make, and each video should fit into one of the four stages of the video marketing funnel: Awareness, Consideration, Conversion, and Retention.
But one video size does not fit all, so let’s talk about which types of video fit best, or do the best job, for each step of the customer journey.
“You had me at hello.” The awareness stage is where customers find out who you are and how you can help them.
Think of it this way: your potential customer has a problem, and you have the solution. THESE are the videos you want them to see that make that light bulb go off and say to themselves “THIS is what I need.”
Two of the best types of video to use in this stage of the funnel are educational and promotional videos. Educational videos work well on YouTube, which is the second largest search engine in the world. For instance, an educational video can be used to answer a commonly searched for question about your industry to attract new viewers. Whereas promotional videos can be distributed with paid ads on social media platforms such as: Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Promo videos can take on many different personas, but in most cases they resemble some form of a commercial.
Here’s an example of a simple educational video we produced for ‘Renovate This’. The goal of this video is to clear up some common misconceptions related to a Fannie Mae Homestyle Loan for homeowners who may be searching for this information online. This video was natively posted and formatted for YouTube, Facebook, and IGTV.
And here’s an example of a promo video we created for our own company, AJI Media. We put a little ad spend behind this on social media to widen our reach.
The goal in the awareness stage is exposure. You want to reach the masses and get as many video views, likes, and shares as you possibly can. These videos should spur your viewers on to learn more about your product or solution.
Videos to use: Commercials, Promotional Videos, Educational Videos
OK, you’ve piqued your customers interest! Great work! But now they want to know more!
In this stage your customer is doing research to determine the best way to solve their problem, and now that they have discovered who you are in the awareness stage, this is your time to shine. Show them that you are a true leader in your space and give them some real value. You know, the good stuff – and don’t ask for anything in return (that comes later). The key here is to prove you’re an expert and connect with them on a personal level.
There are a few types of videos that can work well here and live webinars are at the top of the list. You can use this live forum to really connect with your audience by answering their questions and providing some one-on-one face time. Best of all, you can record the webinar and put it on YouTube for some extra traction. In most cases live webinars are promoted to warm leads and often require registration; once completed, they get pushed out to YouTube to double down as educational content.
If webinars aren’t your thing, explainer videos and how-to videos also work well at the consideration stage.
- Note – Explainers, how-tos, and even some webinars can feel similar to the educational videos that are used in the awareness stage. The difference is these videos usually reside on your website or blog and include more references to your specific product or service. Whereas, educational videos are usually consumed on social media and cast a wider net.
This is a live webinar that Waves Audio hosted to provide insider tips on Live Audio Mixing. Their products are subtly featured but the goal was to give viewers a chance to learn and interact with an industry expert. They used Google Hangouts for the live webinar and then uploaded the recording to YouTube.
This consideration stage is all about providing value and building trust with your audience. The way to measure your success is by paying attention to how long they watch your content. If you notice early drop offs, try refining your content. And remember, you don’t want to do the hard sell quite yet.
Videos to use: Live Webinars, Explainer Videos, How-To Videos
Now that you’ve convinced your potential customer that their problem isn’t that unique after all, and you have the product or service needed to help them solve it, they are ready to make a decision. This is where they need to hear from others who love your product or service!
Customer testimonials or case studies are one of the best, if not THE best, forms of video to convert a prospect to a buyer! This is where you ask a loyal customer to describe the problem they were having, and how your company solved it for them. Nothing makes people feel more comfortable than knowing other people have had a great experience.
You can also use detailed product videos here to shore up any remaining questions your audience may have before making a purchase. You want them to feel 100% confident that you are the perfect fit for their needs. Company stories or profile films also work really well in this stage to highlight your unique culture or mission.
We produced this B2B case study video for BDP International to highlight how they helped Saint Gobain solve their logistics problems. You will notice how the video provides some brief history on the featured company, Saint Gobain, then dives right into the problem / solution using a story-driven approach.
Alternatively, Telestream uses a live webinar disguised as a product video to provide a detailed demonstration of their software for anyone who may be on the fence. This type of video can help solidify a purchasing decision.
At the conversion stage, you want to prove that you are better than your competitors and convert leads into customers. You’ll know your videos worked if you see a spike in form submissions, emails, phone calls or better yet, sales!
Videos to use: Testimonials, Case Studies, Product Videos, Company Stories
You have a new customer! Congratulations! Now what? You need to continue to add value and keep them engaged with your brand. There are many forms of video that you can use here – and get creative with it – but you can try things like: culture videos, employee spotlights, feature launch videos, FAQs, event videos, etc.
Perhaps the best place to start is with a few on-boarding videos that will set them up for success with your product or service. Or, turn your top 10 customer service issues into a series of video tutorials. Not only does this help your customer because they are satisfied that they can solve their problem without a customer service call, but it also allows your customer service reps to focus on helping customers with bigger problems. FAQ videos can also be a great resource for a new customer.
We produced a series of on-boarding or training videos for Phoenix Marketing Solutions that walk their users through how to use their SMART system app. This short excerpt should give you an idea of how invaluable videos like these can be for new users.
And if there’s one thing better than a new customer, it’s a repeat customer. So how do you keep your customer coming back? Or, better yet, get them SO excited about your product that they’re willing to tell their peers? It’s all a continuation of that value you started to build at the consideration stage. Keep them involved in your story by sharing how-tos and quick tips on a regular basis. Offer live QA sessions/webcasts between customers and your company’s leadership. Even funny behind-the-scenes videos around the office or culture videos can really keep your customers engaged.
If your product or service doesn’t require detailed on-boarding or training videos, then try creating a short video to highlight your culture. These types of videos are great to share on social media or even include in a presentation. Here’s one we did for our partners Ashfield Meetings and Events.
Or, you can use employee spotlight videos to really give your customers a sense of who they are working with and create a deeper personal connection. This spotlight on Evelyn is taken from a series we produced for Reliant Labor Consultants.
The Retention stage is all about staying at the top of your customer’s mind and reminding them why they love you so much! Of all the stages, this one should give you the most flexibility in the types of videos you can produce.
Videos to use: On-Boarding Videos, Culture Videos, Employee Spotlights, Feature Launch Videos, Quick-Tips, FAQ’s, Event Videos
While it’s great to use video in any way that you can, creating a focused video content plan that aligns with your customer’s journey will produce much better results. If you are starting from the ground up, don’t let this overwhelm you. Let the creative ideas flow and worry about where and how to use the videos as you find your groove. Also realize there is some overlap in which videos work at which stage. While we have provided some basic guidelines here; like anything, the rules are made to be broken!