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A salesperson walks into a business and asks to see the person responsible for making decisions.  They get shown into the manager’s office and asks them to buy their product. After this brief introduction, the manager responds:

  • I’ve never heard of your company before.  
  • I don’t know who you are.  
  • I don’t know what you’re selling or why you’re here.  
  • Even if I needed what you’re selling, why wouldn’t I buy from someone with which I already have a business relationship?

Let me ask you this:  Do you think that salesperson is going to be successful on that visit?  I think we’d all agree the answer is no. It makes you wonder why so much of the effort in marketing these days is focused on attracting top-of-the-funnel leads.  So many of these targets are people that don’t know your business, don’t know who you are, and don’t know what you’re selling.

Targeting the top-of-the-funnel prospects is like only looking at the tip of an iceberg.  There’s a whole lot more mass under the surface than above it. These top-of-the-funnel tactics are just one weapon in a whole armament of strategies that smart marketers are employing. 

If you want to really engage prospects, you’ve got to reach deeper into the customer journey and hit them with relevant content throughout the funnel.  This is especially true when you consider that more than 70 percent of buyers define their needs before ever talking to a sales rep.  Almost half identify specific solutions before reaching out to anyone.  

Now imagine that customer had seen your video ad on TV and then went to your website where they saw a testimonial video about how your product helped solve a similar business problem.  Do you think they would be more open to your sales pitch?

The research shows engaging video throughout the funnel increases conversions both online and offline. 70% of B2B buyers are watching videos during the buying process.  93% of consumers say they find video helpful for comparison shopping and 96% say they find videos useful when they are making purchase decisions.  73% report being more likely to purchase a product or service after watching video explainers. 

Quite simply, videos dramatically increase your odds of moving prospects through every phase of the customer journey.  

Videos are powerful tools.  While text can relate facts, videos can make stories come to life.  They can evoke emotion and engage your senses. They can make you laugh, cry, or empathize.  They can move you to action.

The key is to find them while consumers are on their buying journey researching solutions and sell them first on who you are, what you do, why you have what they want, and establish trust. Mapping the right content to buyers at each stage in the customer journey is critical.

Even if you snare them at the top of the funnel, few buying decisions happen here.  Nurturing them through the funnel is what leads them to buy your product or service. At each stage, you need to deliver engaging content that encourages them to move to the next stage of the customer journey.

Mapping The Customer Journey

The first step in creating the right content is by understanding how customers move through the buying process:  Awareness, Engagement, Evaluation, Purchase, and Post-Purchase.

As your target customer moves through the journey, they need different strategies at each phase.  The type of video you produce should address the key things prospects are looking for at each stage.

The Awareness Phase

They may not be aware of you at this point, but they have recognized a problem or need.  They begin thinking about solutions or an answer to a question. They may start to notice a brand for the first time.  They may see an advertisement, a marketing message, or come across video content you’ve produced about industry solutions.  

In this phase, you are working to attract attention and develop visibility with your prospect.  Your video content needs to demonstrate you are a viable option for them and that you can help them reach their goals.  For B2B prospects, consider video content that focuses on the problem or solution for your consumers. For B2C prospects, show real people using your products or services in a way that delights them.

This is where you showcase yourself as a credible source and pique their interest to move to the next phase of the funnel:  engagement.

Videos for Awareness

  • Youtube Commercials 
  • TV Commercials
  • Facebook/Instagram Ads

The Engagement Phase

In the engagement phase, the prospect already knows who you are, and they may start to research you.  Typically, this happens online or by talking to peers and colleagues. They may see a video you produced and look at your website or click to a landing page.  They may follow you on social media, sign up for a newsletter, or check out a white paper.

They are still kicking the tires.  It’s important that you create video content that nurtures and engages them.  You’re still trying to earn that trust. Your content should provide more depth with solid information.  It should demonstrate that there are solutions available and offer advice and expertise on how they can approach things.  Product demo videos work well at this phase. The goal is to move them to the next phase of the journey: evaluation.

Videos for Engagement

  • Explainer Videos 
  • Customer Testimonials/Reviews
  • Youtube Videos 

The Evaluation Phase

By now, the prospect has seen enough of your content that they have a pretty good idea that your product or service might be what they need.  However, they are still considering whether you are the best solution for them. They may do additional research and compare your solution to others in the market.

In the evaluation phase, this is when your video content needs to showcase how you are different from your competitors and provide a better solution.  This is a great place for case studies and testimonials by showing how other people making similar decisions benefited specifically from your product or service.  It’s time to focus on the benefits of your brand and how you better help them reach their goals. You will want to create videos that showcase the unique selling proposition.  A video demo of your product and competitor comparisons work well at this stage. Offering a personalized demo, a sample, or special offer can help move them to the next phase: purchase.

Videos for Evaluation

  • Customer Testimonials with Specific Measurable Results
  • Product and Competitor Comparisons
  • Special Offers

The Purchase Phase

At this point, your prospect has decided that you have the solution they need. They have done their research and opted to purchase from you.  Now your job is to help them buy your product or solution in the most seamless manner possible.  

Video content producers should focus on two goals at this stage:  A walk-through of the product and how to get started and content that validates the prospective buyer’s purchasing decision.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully nurtured your customer through the sales funnel and their personal customer journey to get them to buy.  Before you celebrate, however, your customer has now moved into the final stage of their journey: post-purchase.

Videos for Purchase

  • Explainer Videos
  • Onboarding Videos
  • How-To Videos

The Post-Purchase Phase

You’ve spent a fair amount of time and money creating content videos and driving your customer through the funnel.  You want to make sure they are happy with their purchase and feel validated. You also want to make sure they are primed to buy again in the future.

The cost of acquisition of a new customer is high because you’ve got to start them at the top of the funnel and drive them all the way to purchase.  The cost to upsell, buy additional support or services, and buy more is significantly lower. After all, it can cost five times more to acquire a new customer versus retaining the ones you have.

You may be able to skip some of the phases and shorten the buying cycle.  Remember that poor salesperson at the start of our journey who faced the tough buyer who didn’t know his company, what he was selling, how it could help, or why you should buy from them?  Once you’ve led them through the customer journey, they already have the answers to most of those questions. You’ve earned their trust and they’ve rewarded you with the buy. Now, you continue nurturing that relationship and starting the journey over again.

At this phase, videos that thank them for their purchase, demonstrate that they have made a good decision, or make them feel good about buying work well.  It may also be the time to show them demos of additional products or services that are worth evaluating.

Videos for Post-Purchase

  • New Feature Updates
  • Product Release Videos

Do You Have The Right Stuff?

You should take a few minutes to identify what video resources you have on hand already and analyze if they fit into any specific stages in the funnel.  You will likely find you are missing video content that specifically addresses certain phases of the funnel. You may have a lot of product demos, but no testimonials or case studies.  You may have content that talks about how your product compares to the competition, but not educational or informational content that precedes the evaluation phase.

After identifying where existing video content fits in the customer journey, the next step is to define what’s missing and what content you need to create.

Videos Are Powerful

With the right video content, delivered at the right time, you can drive prospective consumers through the customer journey until they are ready to make the purchase. Then, you can continue to nurture that relationship to retain them as loyal customers and present more opportunities in the future.