It’s easy to treat video as the magic bullet of marketing. After all, nothing can take you somewhere, introduce you to someone, or show you something as well as a good video. However — and this is a big however — it needs to be a good video. Obviously, a good video should be well-thought, well-shot, and well-produced, but those production elements are only the start. The key to video marketing is putting the right video in front of the right person at the right time. Matching the buyer’s journey properly requires a keen understanding of both your buyers’ personas and the types of video that work best in each part of the sales funnel, a task made even more difficult because of the versatility of video. You see, some kinds of videos work well in many parts of the buyer’s journey, but only when there’s a perfect match between video and need. Here are some examples of the best options to help you map the right videos to every step of your buyer’s journey.
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The awareness stage is the most obvious place to leverage video. When people don’t know anything about your company or products, the power of the play button becomes the magnet that attracts them to check out your content. Still, it needs to be the right kind of video — short and with a very specific point. Think about the samples at the grocery store — a small bite of pizza or cheese is less imposing than a full piece of pizza or a full wedge, so you’re more likely to actually try the small sample.
Awareness videos are usually discovered off-site — via search engines, PPC placement, YouTube, or other social networks, So, make sure your small sample leads the viewer towards relevant, related content hosted on your website. Your job is to lead the viewer from the place they discover your video to a place they can discover more about you — your website.
Whatever term you use to describe them, these videos should focus on one person making one main point for about one minute. They are ideal for the awareness stage, because everything else you want to show or say (the rest of the piece of pizza) can be shown or said with the follow-up video on your website. Video blogs can be used for testimonials and thought leadership, but the best ones use the video to show something useful or unique. No matter what, be sure to optimize the blog for search engines by transcribing the video.
When you have a complex topic, like a software startup, using animation can be the easiest way to convey your value proposition in the short time you have available in the awareness stage. The key is to explain the need, who it helps, and how it works all in the first minute. Ideally, explainer videos lead naturally towards testimonial videos (proving the product works for real people), and ultimately a free trial.
Generally speaking, feature stories and profiles work best in latter stages of the buyer’s journey, but there are exceptions. Shorter “teaser” videos about the same subject can work well in social media — or other awareness areas — catching the viewer’s attention enough to watch the full story on your website. Think of the 20-second promo that a TV station uses to get you to watch a feature story on its newscast. You can post a short video on Facebook or Twitter with a “see the whole story here” link.
Whether you call it a company video, a culture video, or just the video that appears on our “about us” page, that video may very well be one of the first things people watch after they stumble (or are led) onto your website. Make sure your “about us” video is well-produced and answers all of the pertinent questions about who you are and what you do, because it’s one of the first places many of us click once we learn a company exists.
Sometimes, putting the right video in the right place requires producing a special video for that place. We’ve had success with special videos specifically created to take advantage of Facebook’s auto-play feature, with big, bold words superimposed over vibrant images. The goal is to demand attention in the first few seconds when the video automatically plays silently in the news feed. To be successful, though, the video must have even more meaning when it’s replayed with full audio.
You know that fun iPhone video you shot at your product launch event? It might be a great video for social media. Or not. It might seem fun or funny, but you need to make sure it fits your strategy. Think twice about your messaging and your personas before “winging it” with a video you capture in the moment. And remember, most “inside jokes” won’t resonate with your audience. In general, you’re better off missing a chance to make an impression rather than missing the mark, and tarnishing your brand.
By the time they reach the consideration stage, prospects know who you are — but they want to know more. And nothing helps fill in those blanks as well as video. If you do it right, they’ll click from video to video (or from video to wherever else you want to lead them), doing their research at their own pace. The key is giving them useful, relevant, understandable information that meets their needs. This is where you build up your brand, so quality is crucial, both in messaging and production value. Do it well, and you’re halfway to a sale. Make a mistake, and you risk losing them altogether.
Think of the consideration stage like shopping at a shoe store. You go straight to the shelves and start thinking about what you want (the awareness stage). You don’t want to be bothered by a salesperson. Once you see a few things you like, you start comparing prices, colors, features (consideration stage), but you still want to do it on your own. You might have a few questions, but a pushy salesperson could still scare you away. Once you get past that point, though, suddenly you want a salesperson — right now. You want to try on some shoes immediately. We can switch from the consideration stage to decision stage in a heartbeat — in a shoe store or while doing research online. Understanding your prospects needs, and giving them the opportunity to explore until they reach that point, is the key to nurturing them from consideration to decision.
Often, one of the best ways to explain the benefits of your product or service is to actually show the benefits with a video! When producing a demo video, let your product speak for itself by explaining how it works and in doing so showing how that benefits the user.
In essence, these are short commercials (or show-and-tell videos) that highlight your product’s best features. Show them to a prospect too early, and you’ll turn them off, but when they’ve decided they want to learn more, these are exactly what they want to see.
One of the unique advantages of video is that it can actually take you somewhere. Whether that’s a beautiful seaside resort, into a classroom at a school or college, or an introduction to the culture of a company, video tours are an efficient, effective way to transport your prospect into your world — and further down the sales funnel. Again, timing is everything, so you need to know your personas.
If you’ve built a better mousetrap, here’s your chance to show how it works. If you have a direct competitor (particularly a wellknown one that dominates market share) do a video to show the differences. The “show and tell” aspects of video allow you to make the comparisons right before their eyes, allowing them to easily judge your credibility.
One of our favorite techniques is to place a pertinent 30-45 second segment from a company’s “about us” video on a relevant product page, landing page, or even on social networks. Most company videos consist of a series of short stories — history, culture, quality, unique features, etc. If one of those short stories fits, add it to your product page, landing page, or nurturing email. If it’s really compelling, share the short video on social networks, leading to the full video on your website for those who want more. your personas.
Congratulations, your prospect is in the decision stage. They know who you are, they even know a little bit about you, and they’re trying to decide how much they like you. You’ve done a lot of work to get them there, but they still need to make the ultimate decision — to choose you over the competition. It’s a great place to be, but it’s also tricky. In fact, this is where it’s even more important to match the right video to the right person, because their concerns are becoming more specific. When should you show them testimonials, case studies, or even send a personalized sales video? Every situation is different, but here are your building blocks.
If you think of the shoe store analogy, this is when you suddenly want to talk to the salesperson. You want to know if they have the shoes in your size, you want to know if there are any sales, and you want all of your answers right now. Having a host of helpful decision stage videos available on various platforms is the best way to be prepared for that moment when they flip the switch from casual browsing to serious interest.
Few things are more credible than real people giving real feedback about a product or service. That’s why customer reviews are so useful online. Better yet, video gives your viewer an opportunity to vet the person giving the testimonial, to see and hear whether their story sounds sincere. Putting the right testimonial in front of the right prospect will seal the deal faster than any salesperson could.
Let’s face it, case studies can be pretty boring. We all know the formula: present the problem, identify the solution, state the results. But video can bring a case study to life, illustrating the problem and solution more vividly than words or an info-graphic. Add a legitimate testimonial to the mix and it’s on an even higher level.
How often have you found something online that seemed either too good to be true or too difficult to actually use? That’s when you need a “how to” video. Don’t just say your product is easy to install, show it. Break it down into the simple steps. If you do it right, the viewer will flip the switch while they’re watching, going from deciding whether to buy your product to picturing how they can use or install it.
When it’s time to decide between a couple of similar products or companies, learning more about the quality or culture can make a difference. Just ask the folks at TOMS Shoes or Warby Parker about the value of their “buy one, give one” models. Videos about what make your culture unique help personalize your company and make it more attractive to prospects.
Ideal for software or anything else that might start with a free trial online. The welcome video has elements of a “how to” and a culture video to do everything you can to ensure a quick, easy start to the process and create goodwill that lasts well beyond the length of the trial.
Ever considered signing up for a live demo and then skipped it because you didn’t want to deal with the salesperson? Of course you have. So why not offer a less imposing version? Give prospects the choice of watching a full-length demo on their own, at their own pace. If they like what they see, they’ll reach out to you (or respond to your email) afterward — just like the shopper at the shoe store.
It takes the right place at the right time, but an email from a salesperson is both more likely to get noticed and seem more personal if it includes a short video from that salesperson. It doesn’t need to be any more complicated than a simple, “Hi, I’m [Name] from [Company], and I wanted to see if you had any questions about ______.” Because few people do it, quality isn’t as important as most videos, so you can even record it with your iPhone or the web camera on your laptop.
At this point, prospects want to know everything there is to know about you. If there are add-ons that make your products or services better, let them know about it. And remember, the great thing about using video in marketing is that they decide whether they want to click the play button. If they’re interested in the add-on, it’s available. If they aren’t, they skip past it without being irritated by an extra sales pitch.