Marketing funnels are used to pull a prospect through the sales journey from first impression to purchase (and future loyalty).
But today’s sales funnels are growing increasingly complex. The journey is no longer as simple as posting a billboard and getting a phone call from a customer. Now, you need multiple impressions across a variety of social and email platforms before a prospect will even consider clicking through to your website, let alone making a purchase.
Your audience expects (and demands) a variety of interesting, educational content that will help convince them of your brands’ worth before they’ll even give you their email address.
That’s why video has become the ultimate secret weapon in the modern day marketing funnel.
Videos are a great way to draw attention, educate, inform, inspire, and drive prospects to become customers. Video is the preferred form of content for customers and marketers alike. One-third of all online activity is spent watching video, and 51% of marketers say video has the best ROI. Better yet, social video generates 12x more shares than text and images combined.
So why not pepper video throughout your marketing funnel? With video, your sales journey will move faster, have a higher return on your investment, and draw in even more loyal clients than ever before.
In this article, we’re going to walk you through how to use video in the four main steps of the marketing funnel. We’ll give you the types of videos to use, where you should post them, and how to create a video CTA that will push people to the next step of the sales journey.
The four phases of the marketing funnel
The first phase of the marketing funnel refers to the initial impression your brand makes on the customer. This is also referred to as the “awareness” stage, because your prospects are becoming aware of your product and brand.
This is when your customers are introduced to you. They’re not out looking for your brand; they’re looking for answers, insights, or resources about a particular topic or question that’s related to your business. The prospect comes across you based on the content you offer that answers their questions or helps solve their problems.
Note: In some cases, the awareness phase also refers to pay-per-click ads that are specifically targeted towards customers that have previously expressed interest in the industry.
For example, Joe just got a new dog. He Googles “How to train a dog” to learn more. He comes across a piece of content from your pet store about how to train a dog using positive reinforcement. He gets more information about the topic, and now he’s aware that your online pet store exists.
In the second stage, the prospect is doing more research about your product or company to see if it will fit their needs. This is more specific about your brand.
A few days later, Joe remembers that your pet store gave great advice about how to train with dog treats. He goes back to your website to browse what kind of treats you sell. He also knows you believe in positive training techniques, so he’s curious to learn more about how your brand’s mission and values align with his own.
This is where you want to promote your brand and share your product’s unique selling point. Customers want to know what makes you special and differentiates you from the competition.
This is our favorite phase—the buying stage! Your prospects are looking for reasons to become your customer. This is where you can sell them on the benefits of your product and present them with other discounts, deals, and incentives.
For example, Joe’s been looking at your dog treats. Your website has a pop up that says, “Thanks for bow-wow-browsing our website! New customers receive 10% off if you enter your email.” You then send him an email with a discount coupon and facts about your dog treats. This helps provide Joe with the info he needs to make the decision to buy!
In this last phase, your customer has already made the purchase. Now your goal is to retain that customer moving forward. You want them to keep buying, and you want them to turn into an advocate for your brand—to spread the word and recommend you to their family and friends.
After Joe purchases from you, you follow up to further cultivate this relationship. Joe owns a dog now, so you could have multiple purchases from him and his other dog-owning friends in the future if you nurture this connection with more great content and offers moving forward.
How to use video in the impression stage
Using video in the first stage helps grab the prospect’s attention, provide the answers they’re looking for, and create an incredible first impression of your brand.
Goal of impression videos:
Focus on providing insights and information about topics in your field. Although you want this to be in your brand voice, you want to focus on the information and/or story more so than selling your products.
Types of video to use:
- Explainer videos: Explain a difficult or complex concept related to your industry, like the above example, “How to train a dog.”
- Educational videos: Give unique advice about a topic in your industry. For example, your online pet store could have a video about why chocolate is bad for dogs.
- Story videos: Tell an inspirational story that catches people’s attention. In the case of the online pet store, it might be a story about how a lost dog found their forever home.
- Brand value videos: Give people an idea about who your brand is and what you stand for. This is especially important for socially driven organizations. (Focus on the story, not on selling.)
Where to post:
Short videos on social media work the best during this impression stage. The prospect is not yet invested in you, so keep it short and sweet.
Post on those social media platforms where you tend to interact with your audience the most. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, and Youtube are effective platforms for getting attention during the impression stage.
Call to action:
You might be able to grab their contact information at this point, but usually they’ll still want to do a little more research. We usually recommend a lower barrier to entry CTA, like directing the viewer to other content and resources (on your website or social media) to discover more relevant information.
Link to other videos you’ve created. You want to keep them looking at your content as long as possible so they can move more effortlessly into the evaluation stage.
How to use video in the evaluation stage
In this stage, people are looking to get to know your brand and products better. As opposed to generalized education and information about topics in your industry, you want to start presenting videos that are more specifically about y our business.
Goal of evaluation videos:
Present your unique value proposition. You still want to avoid the hard-sell. Focus instead on the story of your brand.
Types of video:
- Brand story videos: This kind of content works best by showing the heart behind your brand. Show a video from your CEO. Tell the story of your founding. Share your mission and values. Demonstrate how your business is changing the world. (Learn how to create brand messaging people will remember here.)
- Customer testimonials: These videos show former customers who love your product or service. It demonstrates how it’s changed their life and why, so your viewer can envision themselves in a similar spot. Customer testimonials are one of the most effective videos you can do to promote a high conversion rate.
- Comparison videos: Compare your products to similar ones on the market. Don’t knock down your other competitors; just show the unique value and benefits of your product.
- User generated content: Utilize content created by your customers and partners to create a story about your brand. This is a low cost way to engage loyalty from current customers while relating to prospective ones.
Where to post:
These sorts of videos work well in email campaigns (if you already have the prospect’s email address), social media, and pay-per-click campaigns.
They’re especially effective on websites and landing pages. A video about your brand story in your website’s “About Us” section, for example, can increase your conversion rate by nearly 80%.
Call to action:
If you don’t already have the customer’s contact info, now is the time to grab it. Ask for their email address or phone number. This encourages a greater investment from them, and it also gives you the opportunity to push the decision stage forward by having a more direct line of contact.
Don’t be over sales-y here. Just get them on your contact list.
How to use video in the decision stage
Your prospects are just about ready to make a purchase. It’s time to help them overcome any potential objections and give them the final push they need to make the decision.
Goal of decision videos:
- Talk about the benefits of your product or service.
- Instill urgency to buy.
- Incentivize with discounts and promotions.
Types of video:
- Customer testimonial videos: These can be similar to the ones from the evaluation stage, but focus especially on the end result your customers achieved. Before and after videos also work really well here!
- Tutorial videos: Show how your product or service works step by step. This level of transparency gives customers peace of mind that encourages them to convert.
- FAQ videos: Have someone from your sales or development team answer questions and common objections. This is a great way to quell your customer’s fears and open the door to purchasing.
- Webinars: Live webinars or live streams also work well to instill a sense of urgency that encourages people to buy right now while they’re watching.
NOTE: Videos that tell a story are always effective—at every stage of the funnel. Learn more about the importance of storytelling videos here.
Where to post:
You likely already have a direct line of communication with your prospects from the impression and evaluations stages. So you’ll want to use decision-phase videos in those direct communications, like emails from salespeople.
You can also use sales videos at the bottom of product landing pages, in sales presentations, and on product pages! Basically, post these videos anywhere you’re trying to make a sale.
Call to action:
Encourage them to buy! This means your video should have a CTA with offers and discounts. It should also show the customer where and how to make a purchase. Make the process to purchase as clean and easy as possible.
How to use video in the loyalty stage
Retention is key. You don’t want to keep pulling new customers through this funnel. It’s a lot less expensive to retain customers. Plus, those customers will start recommending you—which will bring in more customers with a fast track to the decision stage.
Goal of loyalty videos:
Thank customers for their loyalty and encourage them to spread the word about your brand. Cultivate the relationship in a genuine way that will make them want to having an ongoing connection to your business.
You can also use videos to ask for feedback that you can use to improve your products and services moving forward.
Types of video:
- Hack videos: Give little tips about the best way to use your product. This gets the customer thinking about your product again, and shows even more awesome ways to utilize their purchase.
- Launch videos: Give former customers access to the “inside scoop” about new products and goings on in your company. This makes them feel like an insider and part of your community.
- Customer support videos: Have a customer service representative going through common issues customers might run into when using the product. This keeps satisfaction high and reduces the number of returns, while minimizing the load on your customer support team.
- Gratitude videos: Show your employees and team saying thanks for purchasing the product! People love to feel appreciated. Keep it genuine and in your brand voice.
Where to post:
Send these loyalty videos in receipt emails or follow-up emails after they’ve made a purchase. This should be tailored to the products they’ve purchased and any questions/comments they’ve expressed.
Call to action:
You can encourage them to share videos and products with their friends. Or you can simply use the videos to continue building the relationship. Keep the CTA light, and then bring them through your “retention’ sales journey.
Video is the key to unlocking your marketing funnel
Marketing funnels pull your prospect from first impression through to conversion and future loyalty.
Videos enhance these marketing funnels drastically. Video provides an effective platform to share insights, tell stories, and give customers the info they need along each stage of the funnel.
Do you want your marketing funnel to show a greater rate of success? Do you want higher conversion rates at each stage?
Reach out to True Film Production to brainstorm how to use videos in your established marketing platforms—so you can start to see the rate of return that you’ve been waiting for.
We can’t wait to hear from you to begin creating a video that will tell your brand story—the story your customers have been waiting to hear!