Silver bullets are great for killing werewolves, but there's unfortunately no such magical solution when it comes to video marketing. Not only is video a very iterative process, but for a video to be effective it needs to be targeted to a specific stage of the customer lifecycle.
We've all seen some variation on the funnel which shows the steps your customers go through when considering, purchasing, using, and (hopefully) becoming loyal to your product or service. Your audience has different wants and needs at each of these stages, and the triggers they're going to respond to vary significantly. Yet the biggest mistake we see businesses making in their video marketing efforts is in trying to do too much with one video and ending up with little in terms of results.
In video marketing, where viewer retention is arguably the most important metric, giving your customers only what they want (and nothing more) is the only way to ensure ROI at each stage.
Here are some ideas for creating better videos by targeting each stage of the customer lifecycle.
Stage 1: Awareness
At the top of the funnel, a prospect has realized they have a need for your product or service and may be familiar with your company, but they're still trying to figure out what options exist. Content at this stage should aim to help the viewer to complete a task or to solve a problem that matters to them rather than to promote your company.
- Blogging works great at the awareness stage, and including video can help to make engaging content that gets shared.
- 'How-to' videos and other educational content that broadly relates to your product or service will help you establish yourself as an expert, and including these on your website can help with SEO.
- An effective YouTube strategy will focus on building an audience in this awareness stage. Your goal is only to create a relationship with viewers by calling for subscribers and getting them to watch more of your videos.
- Webinars can be repurposed by breaking them up into chapters that can be more easily digested, along with thought leadership interviews with your C-Level staff.
Use a call-to-action that prompts the viewer to watch another video or encourages them to travel further down the funnel. Length will depend on the topic, but remember not to be too promotional!
Stage 2: Interest & Consideration
After having been guided to your website by your top of the funnel content, prospects will have now developed an interest in your company, but are still not ready to sign on the dotted line. They're looking for information to help them make a better decision and to determine if you're right for them. Lead generation and conversions are typically the goal at this stage as you continue to educate the prospect and to begin building trust.
- Home page explainer videos are a great way to quickly explain the benefits of your product or service and to increase conversions to a goal such as contact form submissions.
- Use a video to help promote white papers and ebooks in exchange for a prospect's contact information.
- Use email gates at the beginning or part-way through a video to capture a prospect's email address.
- Leads at this stage have already expressed interest, so you can start to send them more targeted content based on their viewing history if you're using a marketing automation platform that is compatible with your video hosting.
Don't get too involved in features or walk-throughs just yet - it's still all about the prospect. It's best to keep videos on the shorter end at this stage (ie. less then 2 minutes) and ideally with fairly high production values. This is a good place to start for businesses just getting into video in terms of maximizing short-term results.
Stage 3: Evaluation & Purchase
Once a prospect has considered their options, they'll begin to narrow down their choices in an attempt to ultimately determine who to buy from. They'll be looking for more in-depth product information, demonstrations of features, and case studies. It's finally time to make it more about you, not just the prospect.
- Client case study videos can provide 'proof' that your solution works.
- Storytelling matters, and telling your company's story is a great way to build trust.
- Demonstration videos can go into much more detail and at greater length, provided the information is relevant.
- Look for unique ways to add value using video even to things like your proposals and pitches.
Don't Forget: Satisfaction & Retention
Once you've closed the deal, continue to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise and to keep adding value to the relationship using video in creative ways. More tends to be more at this stage, so don't worry so much about 'production value'.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) videos can address the common issues that new customers tend to come across, while showcasing your friendly staff.
- In-depth product walk-throughs and tutorials that help with client on-boarding can minimize customer service costs and increase satisfaction.
- Webinars specifically tailored for clients can provide scalable interaction and, if recorded, can later be repurposed as FAQ videos.
- Look for opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling.
Remember, the goal is to create more effective video content by delivering the right message, at the right time. Mapping your video content to your customer lifecycle will ensure you get results that are measurable and which provide a real ROI.