Using Video To Fuel Your Digital Marketing Funnel

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There is some truth to the notion that the power of the written word is steadily being ceded to video.

As attention spans shorten and the cost of video continues to fall, more and more marketers are discovering video as a powerful substitute for blog posts, e-books and other written marketing communications.

While the prospect of a video-first marketing strategy for most brands remains a pipedream for those of us in the video marketing services business, there does seem to be some movement in that direction, especially among new brands.

With that in mind, it’s tempting to answer the question of where is video most useful, with a cheery, everywhere!

But, the fact remains that a video-first strategy, for most brands, is still a far-away proposition. People continue to read blogs, (hey, you’re reading this one!) and the days of universal video dominance are still a few years away, assuming that they arrive at all.

Video and Text Content

So, the question of where video can be most useful is still a good one. As effective marketers, we want to ensure that our efforts achieve the maximum return on investment, whether that be measured in sales, engagement, understanding or any number of other possible metrics.

As effective marketers, we want to ensure that our efforts achieve the maximum ROI. Click To Tweet

The answer to this question can be successfully derived from investigative strategies that apply to all marketing assets, as well as from strategies that arise from the particular power of video.

Let’s start with the former.

Aligning Video with Your Digital Marketing Funnel

Marketing assets, whether video or otherwise, should be developed to solve particular marketing and sales problems, be they real or merely anticipated.

  • We know that when we launch a new product that there will be questions: how does it work, what does it cost, how do I buy it?
  • We also know that by answering prospects’ questions, we can nudge them down the road toward deeper engagement and, hopefully, a purchase.

Ask yourself, what types of people are likely to be exploring what you offer, and what kinds of challenges and questions will they likely have?

This is a standard persona exercise.

One that every marketer should be prepared to undertake, if their marketing efforts are to be in line with the markets they serve.

Video for Every Stage of the Marketing Funnel

 

So, in a typical software sale, you’ll have managers who want to know what benefits your product delivers, engineers who want to know how your product works, and financial folks who want to know how much your product costs.

You need marketing assets that address each of those issues, for each of those personas.

You’ll need additional assets for each of those personas, once initial questions and concerns have been met, in order to move them to the next stage of engagement, constantly nurturing them through a series of conversions, until a purchase has been made.

That’s the start of figuring out what assets you need. With specific regard to where video is best, by virtue of its own special capabilities, you’ll have to dig deeper.

As a general rule, any question you’re trying to answer that contains an emotional component, is likely a good use case for video.

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Using Video to Grow Your Sales & Marketing Funnel

Different Stages of the Digital Marketing Funnel

Imagine a funnel: at the very top of the funnel are the members of your target audience that have never heard of you, and at the very bottom are those that have since become your customers.

As a marketer, it’s your job to move as many people as possible from the top to the bottom of the funnel.

However, like a funnel, the content your create as you move down the funnel is going to have an increasingly narrowing appeal to your audience.

For example, an interview with an industry thought leader is just going to be more interesting to the average person in your market, than a product video for a company they maybe never heard of before.

But that doesn’t mean a product video isn’t just as important to produce. It all comes down to your marketing objectives, and where prospects are currently getting stuck in your funnel.

Take our video needs and capabilities assessment to find out where video will be most beneficial to you.

Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the three primary stages of the marketing funnel, and one of our favorite types of video content for moving prospects through each respective stage.

Top of Funnel (TOFU) Video Marketing

At the top of the marketing funnel, it’s all about building awareness.

When applied to digital marketing, at this stage of the funnel, marketers tend to look at traffic and social engagement as their primary performance metrics.

The end goal being to build a distribution list, either through email or a social following, that can be used to nurture prospects on said lists through the remaining stages of the marketing funnel, and eventually converted into customers.

Thought Leadership Videos

For years, white papers and earned media have been the go-to mediums for building thought leadership.

Now, with the high demand for video, as a marketer you have the incredible opportunity to control the conversation, and achieve a top thought leadership position.

Are your competitors still stuck on written content? Your rise to the top will be even more rapid!

Check out this video with Carl Sumter of Savor Strategies, explaining the important qualifications to look for when hiring a restaurant consultant (which happen to coincide with his own qualifications):

A single thought leadership video like this one can:

  • Be featured as engaging, SEO-rich content on your blog
  • Attract more email opens and clicks on your next campaign
  • Reach massive audiences on YouTube and other video platforms
  • And cut into multiple teaser video that can be dripped out over social

Best of all, thought leadership videos are extremely cost-effective.

Build a complete thought leadership marketing campaign from scratch.

Here are some other videos that can help drive results at the top of the marketing funnel:

  • How-to videos
  • (Live) Social videos
  • Animated/Explainer videos
  • Video ads
  • FAQ videos
  • Corporate culture videos
  • Inspirational videos
  • Video to optimize existing content and promotions

Middle of Funnel (MOFU) Video Marketing

The middle of the funnel is where most of the action happens, as you nurture leads from prospects into eventual customers.

Often referred to as the consideration stage, for members of your target audience in this phase of the buying process, they’re still framing the scope of their needs in order to provide the context needed to properly evaluate the solutions available to them.

As a marketer, if you’re able to hold their hand through this stage,¬† you can provide prospects with the context they need to make an informed buying decision.

Having learned everything they know from you, the right solution (yours!) to their problems should be obvious.

Product Videos

Of all the different kinds of video that can be used in the middle of the funnel, the Product Video is maybe the most overtly promotional, but is a perfect example of MOFU video content.

Like all good marketing collateral, product videos should focus on your customers, and not your product.

Of course, a product video does need to actually talk about your solution, but they should always be framed within the context of your customers’ needs.

Watch this short product video we produced for Aptify to see what I’m talking about:

In addition to product videos, these videos are also effective in the middle of the funnel:

  • FAQ videos
  • How-to videos
  • Thought leadership videos
  • Animated/Explainer videos
  • Retargeted video ads
  • Video emails
  • Corporate culture videos
  • Testimonial & case study videos

Bottom of Funnel (BOFU) Video Marketing

Having entered the bottom of the funnel, prospects have become familiar with your brand and your offerings.

They’ve gained an understanding of their needs and considered their options, and are now entering the decision phase.

In addition to becoming familiar with your products or services, they’ve also spent some time researching competing solutions. So, how do you turn the tables in your favor and close the deal?

By getting the right video content in front of or prospects at the bottom of the funnel, you can help assure them that they’re making the right decision by choosing your solution.

Customer Testimonial Videos

Before making a decision, every buyer evaluates the risk and rewards of the options in front of them.

For highlighting the rewards and minimizing the risk in this equation, there’s no better video than the testimonial video.

Check out this short example of an effective testimonial video:

The client we produced this for tells us that they show the full-length edit of this video to clients all the time, acting as a reference to help speed along the sales process.

Beyond testimonial videos, these other types of videos can also be very effective at this stage:

  • FAQ videos
  • Demo videos
  • About videos
  • Comparison videos
  • Case study videos
  • Personalized video emails

Digging Deeper Into The Digital Marketing Funnel

There’s much more to the digital marketing funnel than these three stages and the video examples provided here.

For a more in-depth at the marketing funnel, including 16 types of marketing videos – get our free guide!

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