Videos are one of the strongest, most empathetic and effective types of content.
The medium has been around for a long time, but only now is technology catching up to them, making videos ubiquitous: from social media to commercials, interactive videos and every single ad you see on your phone, videos are now everywhere.
Brands are implementing them in all kinds of ways, but sometimes it can be hard for them to know which type of video can help them reach their specific goals. Commercials, How-Tos, whiteboard animations, testimonials… Those are all great, but you need to use them with purpose. If you’re want to overhaul your native advertising efforts by using video, you need to know which one to use, when and why.
And yes, “when and why” are key.
If you don’t know why you’re using video, you’re not going to get the results that you need, and for that, you need a strategy.
A solid strategy.
So, let’s start by talking about the sales funnel and how to include video content in it.
Tracing the Steps of Your Buyer’s Journey
The buyer’s journey is the name that marketers give to all the steps that your potential buyer takes before they make a purchase.
At it’s most basic, it goes like this: Your potential clients will realize that they have a problem — a pain point — that needs to be solved. They’re going to start looking for possible solutions and find a couple of products or services that will help them solve it. Then, they’ll choose one and buy it.
But even though it sounds really straightforward, there are plenty of ways for it to go wrong.
They could decide they don’t like your product. They may prefer a different way of solving their problem. Or maybe they don’t even realize they’ve got a problem at all in the first place!
That’s why marketers and business strategists trace a buyer’s journey. To get ahead of any problems that may appear and accompany their potential buyer through it, so they arrive safely to the end.
Now, a typical journey has three main stages: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. And each stage is an integral piece of your inbound marketing puzzle.
Via Yum Yum Videos
Basically, it looks like this:
- Awareness stage: Your audience realizes they have a problem.
- Consideration stage: Your potential buyer starts researching ways to solve it.
- Decision stage: They decide on a solution and make a purchase.
And at each of these stages, you can prime and guide your potential customers using video content.
The Awareness Stage
During the awareness stage, your buyers are starting to identify their challenge or the opportunity that they need to pursue. Your job is to use content marketing to provide the right information to them.
For this, you need to know exactly who your audience is and what their pain points are. Using that information, you are able to craft a message that speaks directly to them, and two video styles excel at this:
People like to learn new things, and educational videos give them the opportunity to do just that. This is a great type of content to catch your audience’s attention and provide information that’s valuable for them at the same time.
Educational videos tend to be highly shareable, and that can be really fun (if done right). For example, tackling issues relevant to your audience using animated educational videos with engaging stories.
Commercials are like your typical TV ad, used since the beginning of television to create awareness. They’ve gone beyond TV to digital media as well now, and that’s because they work!
The secret behind a great commercial’s effectiveness is to combine compelling storytelling and powerful visuals to share your brand’s spirit with your audience. And do so in a short span of time!
Commercial ads are designed to give your audience the best first impression.
The Consideration Stage
During the consideration stage, the buyer’s have already defined their challenge, and they’re ready to find a solution for it! They start to evaluate their alternatives by asking themselves “How can I solve this issue?”
Now that your audience is actively researching, you need content out there subtly promoting the kind of solution that your product provides. Ask yourself: what kind of solutions are they looking for? How do they educate themselves? How do they decide the one that’s right for them?
With your products, you’re providing a specific solution for your customers’ problems.
Product videos help you showcase these solutions in the best possible way, through action. Your audience gets to see for themselves the benefits you provide and the solution they need.
You can accomplish this in many ways. A classic method is to show a real person using the product, but the format has seen a decline since infomercials came around and abused it. Another way is through animation with storytelling, or screencast videos. This last one is particularly effective for digital products or services.
The power of explainer videos is that they take complex concepts and translate them into simple and engaging messages.
These videos are interesting and fun to watch, and they are perfect to introduce something as involved as a brand’s message in just a few seconds — perfect to retain your audience’s short attention spans! This combination of attributes makes them ideal for the consideration stage, seamlessly leading your audience to the decision making factor with your product in mind.
How-to videos are the best way to instruct your audience that you’ll ever see. With them, you can anticipate your customers’ needs and provide the right directions to lead them to a solution.
When they google “How to solve my problem?”; you’ll be there with your videos, being the authority they need and providing all the answers.
Via Home Depot
The Decision Stage
During the decision stage, your audience has already chosen the kind of solution that they need to solve their problem, and now they’re considering different options (brands, products, specific benefits…).
Understand this stage by asking yourself: Who are the decision makers in this matter? What will they prioritize on the different options that are being chosen? Then, deliver videos that answer the questions you anticipate they’ll have about your product. Giving them a push in the right direction (buying it!):
People trust people, and customers trust other customers.
After all, you know your product is great, but if you’re the only one saying it, it’s not really reliable. It’s a given — your mother will always say that you’re cute, and you’ll always say that your product is the best. None of those are really the most objective opinions.
Using testimonial videos, you can show real customers sharing their experiences. Your prospects will be able to see people just like them, that experienced the same problems that they are experiencing now and found a way of solving them by using your product.
The best part? Testimonials build brand trust. And there’s no better way to convince a prospect of becoming a customer than with trust.
Another way to drive people to a buying decision is to answer all of your prospect’s questions right when they’re considering to make the purchase. We all go through the FAQ of a website or an online store when we’re not entirely convinced to buy, and it’s a smart move!
We need to clarify our doubts, and a trustworthy brand needs to be a step ahead and answer every possible question in the simplest way possible. Which is usually by using video content!
While it doesn’t exactly end here – there are many other types of videos that you can use to boost your native advertising strategy – the important thing to remember is to choose your video content, according to your audience’s needs in every step of the buyer’s journey.
- During the awareness stage, make a great first impression with shareable and interesting video content.
- During the consideration stage, provide the right kind of information.
- And in the decision stage, use the power of video to show why your brand is the best option out there.
Now that you know what to do, it’s time to start creating those amazing videos your content strategy needs!