With the ease and accessibility of high-speed wireless internet connections and the popularity of technologically advanced mobile devices, video is now a major influencer on consumers throughout the purchasing decision-making process. Digital marketers for businesses of all sizes and types rely on video content to highlight branding messaging and showcase featured products and services, with consumers watching more online video than ever before.
The global coronavirus pandemic that forced people all over the world to work, study, and live indoors while following social distancing guidelines came at a time when social media networks have exploded. Everyone is walking around with a smartphone or tablet connected to the internet. This has led to viewing times for ad-supported and online feature-length movies to increase 800% over the past year.
Some additional statistics that illustrate the power video has to reach the largest numbers of potential customers:
- YouTube TV is viewed by over 100 million people in the United States every month
- There are over 1 billion hours of video a day streamed on YouTube
- Mobile video views rise by 100% from year to year
- Video content is expected to make up 82% of all internet traffic by 2021
What is the Sales Funnel?
There is a process your customers will go through on their journey to making purchasing decisions. The type of content you present to them will depend on prior exposure to your brand and their reaction to it. A sales funnel that includes a top, middle, and bottom to represent where potential customers are in the purchasing process will help determine the types of video content you present to specific groups of consumers.
How the Sales Funnel Applies to Video Marketing
Understanding the path consumers take as they decide to make a purchase will dictate the needs and goals of marketing content at various stages and allow you to speak to them where they are in the decision-making process. While you may not be able to rely on consumers to move through the sales funnel in the same way at the same pace, it is a valuable model you can use to map out digital marketing strategies.
Effectively using a sales funnel is all about knowing who your customers are and determining their needs and preferences at various stages of the purchasing process. Plotting a video marketing plan with a sales funnel model allows you to trace the pain points for potential customers and directly address those concerns and issues through engaging, entertaining, and compelling video content. Consumers at each stage of the sales funnel offer varying perspectives based on their prior knowledge and exposure to your brand and the products and services that provide solutions to their problems and needs.
Top of the Sales Funnel
You will never be presented with a second opportunity to make a great first impression. Videos targeting consumers at the top of the sales funnel are used to introduce your brand to those with little or no previous exposure to your company. These videos give you the chance to educate potential customers about the way you conduct business and how you can provide solutions to their specific issues.
Videos at the top of the sales funnel are used to establish and expand brand awareness, to provide consumers with enough information to leave them wanting to hear more.
Commercials on broadcast television have traditionally been the best way to reach the masses and expose your business to the largest segment of consumers. The major networks remain a valuable resource to market to the general public. However, classic television viewing numbers have been on the decline since the introduction of streaming services and other digital formats to view content. Television ads can still draw significant numbers of viewers interested in your products and services, with streaming outlets providing additional opportunities to target consumers at the top of the sales funnel.
Billions of active users across the globe log onto Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other massive digital communities every day. Video is the primary source of content on social media, and these outlets offer a variety of ways to market to their masses. Free business pages and paid social media advertising opportunities allow you to reach large numbers of potential customers with video content that exposes consumers to your brand. Users will share their favorite videos with their friends and contacts, exponentially expanding your reach to those consumers that may be most interested in your business.
Lifestyle videos help to present your product or service to prospective customers by demonstrating the quality of life associated with your company. These videos define your brand and showcase your product in real-life situations as the best answers and solutions to the viewer’s life problems or struggles. Lifestyle videos introduce your brand and its story to consumers learning about you for the first time in an interesting way that makes them want to learn more.
Middle of the Sales Funnel
You have gotten the attention of consumers interested or actively searching for the kinds of products and services you provide. They are not quite ready to make a decision but are intrigued enough to take another look at what you have to offer them. Now it is time to make a case for why you are the best place to find solutions to their needs. These are potential customers that have already expressed some sort of interest in your brand and are willing to take the step in the process. Free trials and other promotional efforts can be used to keep them engaged and try your product without having to make a commitment or pay full price.
Videos directed towards consumers in the middle of the sales funnel should educate and spark interest by highlighting those aspects of your services that will help further the decision-making process.
One of the greatest advantages of using product videos for marketing applications is the ability to show consumers the solutions for their needs and problems in the most dynamic and engaging ways. Using humor and light-hearted elements make you relatable and likable while providing valuable information to make your case. Video allows you to deliver complex and confusing information in smaller, more easily digestible segments that viewers can stop, re-watch, and archive for later reference on-demand as needed.
The consumers in the middle portion of the sales funnel are already aware of your brand and are interested enough to make an effort to learn more. Show them how your products work or what your services provide with how-to or educational videos that will make prospective customers feel more comfortable with your brand and the ways you can help.
Bottom of the Sales Funnel
A marketing video directed at consumers at the bottom of the sales funnel is often your final chance to persuade potential customers that you are the best solution for their needs. Take a deep dive into your product’s functions, features, and benefits and showcase the ways you stand out above the competition. These are videos designed to answer any questions, remove excuses, and guide consumers towards making a purchase.
An effective way to push prospective customers into making a purchasing decision is to have a former or current customer tell their story of success with your business. Allow those consumers that are close to deciding the chance to hear from those who have used your products and services successfully. You cannot duplicate the energy, excitement, or enthusiasm a customer will bring to describing the merits of your brand. Viewers will see themselves in those who had the same types of issues or problems solved using your products or services.
Providing a case study of success to consumers close to making a decision is a powerful tool to showcase the benefits and features of doing business with you. Highlighting a real case from actual customers or clients builds up trust in your brand. Case study videos connect with future customers who picture themselves in the same situation that your product was used to solve.
It is now more important than ever to connect to consumers through digital assets. Webinars reach consumers at the bottom of the sales funnel and allow you to engage without the health risks of in-person meetings or conventions. Live, long-form webinars allow you to educate an audience about your product or service and answer all questions regarding your brand in real-time. In many cases, you can finalize sales within the context of a live webinar.
Videos Guide Consumers Through the Sales Funnel
Sales funnel targeting techniques are not new to the advertising world. The modern digital age allows you to use these proven sales principles to help determine the path of your video marketing strategies. Video content allows you to guide consumers towards making a purchasing decision by using dynamic, attention-getting content that is highly effective at converting consumers into customers.
Torrey Tayenaka is the co-founder and CEO at Sparkhouse, an Orange County-based video production agency. He is often asked to contribute expertise in publications like Entrepreneur, Single Grain, and Forbes. Sparkhouse is known for transforming video marketing and advertising into real conversations. Rather than hitting the consumer over the head with blatant ads, Sparkhouse creates interesting, entertaining, and useful videos that enrich the lives of his clients’ customers. In addition to Sparkhouse, Torrey has also founded the companies Eva Smart Shower, Litehouse & Forge54.