Much like other forms of content, video content should be carefully curated for specific stages in the sales process; in your buyer's journey. Inbound marketing only works if you're able to clearly identify your target audience and send them content (and next steps) that align with their position in your sales process.
To help clear things up, we've compiled a list of powerful video marketing strategies you can employ at each stage in the buyer's journey to increase conversions and, ultimately, sales.
Awareness: Top-level Explainers
Your content strategy should be well-tailored to meet buyer expectations. For viewers unfamiliar with your business or industry, this is best conveyed with simple, easy-to-follow explainer videos.
Typically animated, these videos are a perfect fit for newcomers to your site. With these videos, scripting is everything; you don't want to strictly sell, but rather inform. Targeting potential buyers in the Awareness stage can be difficult, so messaging is everything. Consider high-level overviews of common issues your buyers are facing, and expand on solutions to those problems.
At this point, the goal is to convince viewers to learn more. The CTAs, accompanying text and even video thumbnails of your explainer videos should reflect that.
While some third-party software options have made animated explainer videos accessible for most small- to medium-sized businesses, these projects shouldn't be a "set-and-forget" deal. You can't engage with viewers that are just entering the Awareness stage without strategy, intent and next steps to back-up your videos.
By extension, explainer videos can take the form of How-To videos, industry highlight videos or software/product demo videos. High-level product videos also serve well in the Awareness stage, but often tread into explainer video territory when it comes to video marketing.
Awareness: Industry/Product Highlights
In the awareness stage of the buyer's journey, information is the end-all, be-all. You primary goal should be to provide top-level insights that resonate with viewers and, if positioned well, convince them to convert.
With that in mind, videos that highlight your industry should be at the top of your priority list. With these projects and at this stage in the sales cycle, you shouldn't even mention your company's name, save for a quick logo or CTA. Viewers in the Awareness stage are still learning—or being convinced—that the services businesses like yours offer can resolve their paint points.
Don't focus on your industry alone; use video marketing (animated videos or live-action) to show viewers how services/products such as yours, or even those of competitors, can provide them value.
Consideration: Demo Videos, How-To videos & Webinars
Product demo videos and How-To videos are the purest form of Consideration stage, or middle-of-the-funnel, video content. A simple demonstration of how your product or software works, or an explanation of certain functions, can both resolve a potential customer's questions about your product and push them further down the sales funnel.
In fact, the best way to get started creating mid-funnel video content is by borrowing content from your FAQ page(s) or sales questionnaires to produce a video series directly addressing those questions. Tailor your Consideration stage videos to questions your direct prospects are asking, and provide that information as next steps to your Awareness stage content.
This applies to SaaS/cloud services as much as it does for e-commerce or retail. Recorded webinar videos, as part of a larger email marketing campaign, have been proven to increase conversion rates across the board. They're the perfect form of content for viewers that have acknowledged their business's issues and the ways companies like yours can help them resolve them.
"61% of B2B marketers rate webinars as the most effective content-marketing tactic."
Consideration: Video Content Offers
Taking How-To and demo videos a step further, gated video content offers (those presented with an accompanying lead capture form or landing page) are very effective forms of video for turning marketing-qualified leads into sales-qualified leads.
Training sessions, podcasts or (if enough value is presented) webinars can all be featured as premium content offers for mid-funnel sales leads.
More so than possibly any other type of video in this list, positioning is most important for these premium, gated video offers. Perhaps the most important, central tenet of inbound marketing is the idea of aligning the right content with the right audience at the right time. We're big proponents of gated video content; however, that content has to meet viewer expectations and provide the precise value they're looking for at that stage in your sales cycle.
With enough value, gated video content can serve as a strong substitute for conventional content or lead generation offerings. Wistia has a great example of semi-gated, premium video content you can view here.
Decision: Landing Page/Thank You Page Videos
As viewers reach the end of your sales cycle, it's a no-brainer that they probably want to see more personalized content than they did in the Awareness stage. However, that doesn't mean you need to create a personalized thank you video for each new blog subscriber. Something as simple as a 30 sec. landing page video shows viewers on the page that you acknowledge their problems and are aware of where they stand in your stand cycle.
Even if it's a simple text-based video, voiceover or on-screen recording of you or another team member—you personally acknowledge their pain points in a face-to-face format that's more accessible than images, inline messages or email follow-ups.
Much like landing page videos, thank you page videos that are featured after a site visitor completes a lead capture form can provide ample marketing opportunities. These videos fulfill two very important functions:
- They humanize your brand and form connections with relatively new leads that are just becoming familiar with your business
- They can lead your marketing-qualified leads to your business's pricing/sales materials, or even to consultation calendars with your actual sales team—both of which can be embedded within the video player itself if you're using the right video marketing platform
Decision: Prospect/Sales Videos
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Finally, we come to the Bluleadz secret sauce. For potential buyers at the end of the sales cycle, nothing comes close to the personalization and attentiveness of your custom prospect videos; videos in which members of your team directly address high-quality sales prospects by name and express sincere excitement in the opportunity to work with them.
This largely applies for B2B companies, but that's not to say that B2C businesses can't use workflows, video voicemails or even social media videos/gifs to build stronger connections with existing leads.
Your success with video marketing depends on many factors. While great audio and choosing the right hosting platform are important, perhaps the most prominent factor is how well you match video content—and next steps—with certain key stages in the buyer's journey.