How to Use Video at All Stages of the Marketing Funnel
The right content (at the right time) can quickly advance prospects through the buying cycle, but want the extra oompf that video content can deliver.
This guide will show you where different types of marketing videos are most effective at different stages of the funnel, so you can maximize the impact and ROI of every video.
What You’ll Learn:
- How to maximize the value of video content in your overall marketing mix
- How to use video to solve specific sales & marketing challenges; like driving traffic and qualifying leads
- Video ideas for the top, bottom, middle, and evangelist stages of the marketing funnel
Why Use Video To Solve Marketing Problems for Your Business?
As a marketer, there are a lot of good reasons to love video content.
I won’t get into the benefits of video marketing too much here, because we’ve covered the benefits of video content before, but in short:
- Video is the most engaging form of digital content, which means the people you’re trying to attract, are more likely to finish watching your video, than they are to read your blog post or text email.
- Video communicates value and trust, giving your audience an opportunity to connect with your brand, and the people behind it, on a more meaningful level.
- Video leads to more conversions. The number one reason to love video content is that it gets real, tangible results. Of the marketers that Vidyard surveyed, 70% said that video performs better than all other forms of content. Now that’s saying something.
What are the 3 Big Problems Facing Most Marketers?
Every marketer faces a unique set of circumstances and challenges. So unique, that even sweeping claims about what color your call-to-action buttons should be is something to be challenged (and sometimes tested).
The problems described here are much less nuanced than what you’re actually dealing with in your role as a marketer, but the takeaways from each can be applied across the stages of the marketing funnel that they represent.
But when you really boil things down, most marketers are facing one or more of the following three challenges:
For the reasons outlined at the start of this post, video is really well positioned to solve all of these problems.
The remainder of this article will outline some practical video-based solutions to these problems.
Video Content for Driving Traffic at the Top of the Funnel
When speaking of video marketing, most of the focus is given to the top of the funnel, and for good reason: video is really engaging and really good at driving traffic.
You may be working for a startup that needs to make its presence known on the marketplace.
Or you may be part of a large marketing team that wants to make a splash on Facebook (or similar) for a new product or large campaign.
But chances are you fall somewhere in the middle. Whatever your situation may be, the challenge is the same: you need to educate your audience, and create engagement around brand.
Thought Leader Videos
Thought leader videos, should provide answers to your customers’ most pressing questions, and in turn, will position members of your organization as subject matter experts (SMEs).
Here’s an example of a thought leader video in action:
Driving Traffic with Video
You may publish thought leader videos to your own website, or distribute them where larger audiences can find them, like Facebook, YouTube or Instagram (the list is endless), or do a combination of the two (depending on your content promotion strategy).
If your plan is to publish your thought leader videos to your website, you need a way to drive traffic to your website for them be found.
If you only publish your thought leader videos to third-party platforms, the engaging nature of video makes it relatively easy to build an audience on the platforms you publish to.
However, we generally recommend brands try to drive traffic directly back to their websites, affording them the opportunity to connect with prospects in a more long term, meaningful way, and nurture them into the middle stages of the funnel.
There are a number of ways to drive traffic from a social network back to your website, but opening up the lines of communication (more often than not, an email address), for nurturing through the funnel, is essential.
As we’ve seen with the recent deprioritization of Page content in the Facebook Feed, when you don’t “own” your audience, it can be pulled out from underneath you on a whim.
Turning Traffic into Leads with Video
Again, people are likely to watch much more of a video than they are to read a written communication, so the opportunities to entice viewers back to your website are far greater in number.
The use of a lead magnet (e.g., an ebook, a checklist, or even a video course) is one popular method for enticing viewers back to your website, capturing their contact details, and eliminating the dependency on whatever the third-party platform may be.
Whatever you choose to use as your lead magnet, it needs to offer enough value to get them to stop swiping through their feeds, and enter their email. This isn’t always easy, especially on mobile.
Luckily, there is a quick and easy way to turn video views into website visits, and that is to create teaser cuts that require users to click through to your website to view the full videos.
Thought leader videos often have a short runtime, so cutting them in half and enhancing it for social isn’t labor-intensive, and you don’t even have to worry about all the assets and technological overhead that have to go into a distributing a full-fledged lead magnet.
With this method, you still need to figure out a way to open up the lines of communication.
A pitch for your lead magnet can again be made, on your website, and should be supported with a highly focused landing page.
Capturing an email, there on the spot, is ideal, but there’s a retargeting play that can be made here too, enabling you to continue to deliver messaging to a targeted audience.
Video Content for Nurturing Lead Through the Middle of the Funnel
Once you have the means to communicate with your leads on a regular basis, it’s your job as a marketer to hold their hand through the buyer’s journey.
Where prospects enter the marketing funnel is going to dictate what content you should expose them to.
Some prospects won’t even know they have a problem, but know that you have answers.
Others know they have a problem that needs fixing, but aren’t aware of potential solutions.
And some will be weighing their options, and discovering your solution for the first time.
[bctt tweet=”Email is still by far the most effective communication tool for marketers, making it a fantastic way to nurture leads through your funnel.” username=”Thoughtcasting”]
We’ve paid a lot of attention to email already, and I didn’t intend to when I began writing this article, but it’s not a coincidence either.
Even in today’s age, email is still by far the most effective communication tool for marketers, making it a fantastic way to nurture leads through your funnel.
We’re going to continue with this theme, in the middle of the funnel, with video emails.
There’s yet to be a good way to embed a video into an email itself (though I’m sure it’s coming), so we must resort to embedding thumbnail images. But that doesn’t stop video from having an incredible impact on just about any email campaign it touches.
We found (and there are independent studies to back this up) that simply starting your email subject line with “[VIDEO]” can vastly improve open rates.
Kick it up another notch, and add a video thumbnail to the body of your email to dramatically increase the number of people who click through to watch your video.
With a thoughtfully designed series of video emails, you can help ensure prospects are exposed to the right messaging points, and in a logical order.
Video emails are also very effective at the bottom of the funnel, but more so as a one-to-one sales tool, than a one-to-many content delivery method.
Still, exposing prospects who are now at the middle of the funnel to the people behind your brand, will go a long way in solidifying that trust at the bottom.
Video for Closing Sales at the Bottom of the Funnel
Before prospects are ready to make a buying decision, they’re going to narrow down their list of options to a few truly viable options.
At this stage in the funnel, prospects are interested in things that can’t be read off a feature list or spec sheet:
- How certain am I that their solution will work for me?
- Can I trust this business I’m about to get involved with?
- Do I even want to work with these people?
To quash these concerns, there’s no better solution than the video testimonial.
You could have a whole team of salespeople talking to a prospect, until they’re blue in the face, and it wouldn’t hold a candle to one customer saying, “their solution worked and it was a pleasure.”
Customer testimonials, even without video, are one of the most powerful sales tools available to you, because of the social proof the provide and the many other benefits of testimonials.
Add video to the mix — and suddenly — prospects can see how satisfied your customers are with your product. Your prospects can see their smiles, sense their excitement, and really put themselves in their shoes.
Just check out this short social cut of a testimonial video, and see how a customer’s enthusiasm for a solution quickly transcends the features, and gets to the heart of what prospects are craving at this stage in the funnel:
Using Testimonial Videos to Help Close Sales
Customer testimonial videos should have a home on your website, but can also be delivered to prospects on a one-to-one basis by your marketing or sales team.
With multiple testimonial videos in your arsenal, that span a variety of target buyer personas, you can handpick video testimonials that share the demographics and concerns of specific prospects, and really drive it home!
We recently detailed how to use video testimonials, if you’re looking for additional applications for testimonials in your marketing strategy.