Once a fringe accessory, video content is now a power-packed content marketing strategy that is recognized by prominent search engines and consumers as a medium providing relevant, essential information about your business brand and the products you provide.
Video continues to adapt to advances in technology and the accompanying changes in user trends. Viewers are able to absorb and retain information presented in videos far more effectively than text or photos. Video content is superior in telling your story and communicating your branding messages to the broadest targeted audiences. With the incredible rise in popularity and access to social media networks like Facebook and YouTube, there are more ways than ever to reach large segments of interested consumers.
In 2019 alone, online users in the United States spent nearly seven hours a week viewing videos on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. With upwards of 85% of online users in the U.S. watching videos on mobile devices, online video consumption will continue to rise as digital marketers look for the most impactful ways to take advantage of this rising trend.
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One of the most effective ways to use the power of video is to customize content to consumers’ position in the sales funnel to meet them where they are in the decision-making process.
What is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel creates a path for consumers to guide them through the various stages of their purchasing decisions to turn them from prospects to leads and ultimately satisfied customers. Video content is customized to the needs of consumers at various points in the funnel, providing information that is most relevant to their concerns at that stage in the process. Curating marketing videos to meet potential customers where they are in the sales funnel helps improve conversion and bounce rates for your website.
Approaching marketing strategies using the sales funnel concept works just like a real funnel. The wide open top of the funnel is filled with large numbers of consumers that come to you with little or no prior knowledge of your business or brand. As potential customers work their way down the sales funnel, you provide them with more specific information that will show them what sets your business apart from your competition. The ultimate goal is to have as many people come out the thinnest end of the funnel armed with the information that they need to become valued customers.
Improved analytics technology and data gathering procedures allows marketers greater ability to pinpoint the specific needs of consumers and address concerns based on where they are in the marketing funnel at that time.
Why Is a Sales Funnel Approach Essential in Video Marketing?
Using a sales funnel approach to video marketing develops a path for targeted consumers that are already in need and searching for the types of products and services you provide. Video content is produced based on where consumers are in the process of making a purchasing decision. This allows the content to address specific concerns and answer questions those at the various stages of the funnel need to continue along the path to becoming a customer.
Consumers at each stage of the marketing funnel offer varying perspectives based on prior knowledge and exposure to your brand, and the products and services that provide solutions to their problems and needs. The more specific you can get in addressing any concerns, the more likely they are to seek more information as they come closer to buying decisions.
The key to video marketing using a traditional sales funnel approach is to define consumers at each stage in the process and produce content that speaks to their needs and preferences. This will give you an edge over the competition by connecting with consumers at their level and giving your marketing strategies direction and more defined purposes.
The following examines consumers at each stage of the marketing funnel with examples of video content most effective at reaching large groups of interested and engaged viewers.
Top of the Sales Funnel
The top of the sales funnel is the point of entry for consumers in the purchasing decision process. It is the widest segment of the funnel where the largest numbers of potential customers are found. When mapping out a traditional sales funnel, consumers at the top of the funnel are presented with their first awareness of your brand. Viewers are in discovery mode and being introduced to your business and your services for the first time.
Consumers at the top of the funnel watch branded videos with a sense of curiosity and bit of skepticism. They want to be educated and have basic questions regarding your industry and business answered in an entertaining and engaging way. This is the first point of connection to your brand. You will not have another chance to make a good first impression with your video content. The goal of videos at this stage in the sales funnel expands awareness of your brand to the largest numbers of potential customers.
Videos at the Top of the Funnel
At the top of the sales funnel, videos target consumers with little or no previous exposure to your brand. The subject matter and topics for these videos should begin with general information that addresses a broad spectrum of their needs, concerns, and preferences. Videos at the top of the funnel are designed to reach the masses and funnel down those consumers that are most likely to be interested in your business.
- Commercials: Television commercials remain the classic examples of marketing content that expose mass audiences to products and services. Traditional TV commercials on broadcast networks are expensive and reach smaller viewership numbers than ever with streaming services and online video thinning out audiences. However, television ads still have large viewing numbers and now offer streaming and other digital advertising options for reaching consumers at the top of the sales funnel.
- Social Media: With billions of active users around the world, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are ideal outlets to reach massive groups of consumers with limited exposure to your business. The most entertaining and impactful content is shared by social media users, expanding your reach exponentially to consumers unfamiliar with your brand. Content can also be targeted to specific groups of consumers based on demographic markers such as age, location, and family income.
Using Video in the Middle of the Sales Funnel
At the middle stage of the sales funnel, consumers are not yet ready to become a customer — but they are willing to listen. They have experienced a basic level of exposure to your brand and are interested in learning more. They see potential in the solutions you have offered and want to hear more about what you can do for them. This is your chance to give them the most compelling reasons you are a better choice for them compared to the competition. \
Mid-funnel, more specific questions and concerns need to be addressed to take them to the next level in the buying decision process. Offering promotional offers such as a free trial will entice them into giving you a try without having to make a commitment or investment.
Videos in the Middle of the Funnel
Consumers in the middle of the funnel are beginning to pare down their needs and the ways you can provide solutions for them. Multiple videos can be produced at this stage that will address a broader range of topics that feeds viewer curiosity and presents your business as an industry leader and reliable resource. Marketing videos targeting those in the middle stage of the sales funnel are designed to educate and generate interest for potential customers through video production that highlights various aspects of your services that will leave them wanting more information and advance to the next stage.
- Product Videos: Video production is a highly effective medium at highlighting the features of your products and services to give consumers in the midst of the purchasing decision-making process an overview of the solutions you provide. Product videos show interested consumers what you are made of and why you are better than your competitors. Humor is effective at this stage to increase your relatability and put viewers more at ease about doing business with you. The purpose of product videos for consumers at the middle stage of the sales funnel is to make them confident you offer solutions that suit their needs, getting them to continue the conversation and move onto the next stage in the process.
- Branding Videos: Consumers at this stage are ready and often eager to be shown the reasons why your brand is worthy of their attention and interest. This is your chance to showcase those aspects and elements of your branded messaging that sets you apart from the competition. Deliver your specific message about the mission and objective of your business in the most authentic and entertaining way possible. Show the world what you do, how you do it, and what you can do for them.
Bottom of the Sales Funnel
It is decision time. You have presented all the information consumers will need. Now you need to close the deal. Consumers at the bottom of the marketing funnel are looking for a reason to do business with you and videos are the best way to do that. Show these targeted potential customers why your business offers the best solutions to their problems and needs. This is your opportunity to dive deep into the functions, features, and highlights of your products and services.
At this final stage, detailed questions and concerns need to be addressed in the most compelling ways that guide viewers to make an informed decision and to act on it.
Videos at the Bottom of the Funnel
These videos are the most important, and often the most difficult to produce. The final purchasing step is often the hardest and requires high quality video that is dynamic, entertaining, and engaging while providing all of the messaging elements to get and keep viewers informed. Think of these videos as your last chance to convert consumers into customers. They already have the bulk of the information they need to make a decision about your business. Video content at this point in the marketing funnel is designed to show them why it is in their best interests to choose you over the competitors.
- Case Studies: Showing consumers at the bottom of the marketing funnel a detailed account of a satisfied customer or client through a case study video is a great way to show the benefits of doing business with you. Case study videos are powerful marketing tools that let the experiences of others do the talking and convincing. Targeted consumers at this stage have the information they need to make a decision and showing the progress of your services from an actual case will give them the needed confidence and trust in your brand.
- Customer Testimonial Videos: Using satisfied customers to extolled the virtues of your business offer consumers at the bottom of the sales funnel hear how you provided solutions for people just like them with the same issues or needs. Customer testimonial videos allow potential customers to hear from people just like them share their experiences of success in solving the same problems they are coming to you to solve.
Marketing Videos Guide Consumers Through Decision-Making Process
The sales funnel approach to marketing has been used by advertising and promotional professionals for decades. The application of these sales principles to the digital age and video marketing allows for the same guidance through the decision-making process consumers use to make purchases and schedule service calls.
The difference is that video is a far more powerful marketing tool than traditional media efforts. Putting the right videos in front of consumers at the right time raises your brand awareness and increases the odds they will become long-term, loyal customers.