It comes as no surprise that video content has taken marketing strategies to a new level. It’s the most effective and versatile tool in any marketer’s belt, after all!
Whether you produce them in-house or outsource them, videos can give you a practical answer for every campaign objective. However, a tool is only as good as the hand that wields it!
As helpful as video can be, its effectiveness hinges on delivering the correct type of video to the target—and at the right stage of the buying cycle, no less. But when used properly, video content can be the oil to grease the consumer’s way down the funnel.
In this piece, we’ll talk you through some of the most effective types of marketing videos out there—including their preferred stage of the buyer’s journey, the whys, and hows. And make sure you know everything you need to wield the proper video tool for each job.
The marketing funnel starts when the consumer faces a new problem in their life. In the most likely scenario, they’ll research the issue, learn about it, and how to tackle it effectively. In these earlier stages, your strategy should aim to get your brand out there. You need to make people know about you and your content. Easier said than done, yes?
When talking about brand awareness, it is good to be in front of the highest possible number of eyes. And so, we welcome you to social, educational, and tutorial videos.
When we talk about this style, we actually refer to any piece of video content specifically optimized for social media. Its best selling point is that it allows you to insert your brand directly into your target’s community. All things considered, there are two ways we would recommend implementing them:
Commercial videos are the typical ad we are used to seeing. And, while they can be effective, know that they can come across as too salesy to the public. We have all tired ourselves of this kind of video, playing mercilessly on TV, YouTube, the movies, … ,wherever there’s a screen available.
If you aren’t careful, your ad popups can turn off your social media audiences. So, the challenge here is to surprise them (i.e., be original and engaging).
A good pointer to keep in mind is to use storytelling to generate an emotional connection. To take some of the focus out of the product itself (remember, we don’t want to be too obvious!) while still demonstrating its benefits. Check out this example from Apple.
Would you prefer to stay clear of the ad road? OK, then you can focus on engaging viewers and staying relevant in your target audience’s mind. And to do that, providing value is a must. Take advantage of opportunities to illustrate the kind of business you are in and hit them with quality branded content videos.
Without checking upload dates, you can probably guess when the video above was posted, can’t you? That’s because another key to successful branded content is relevance and timing. Hone your social media listening: it will help you find the topics your audience cares about. Then all you have to do is deliver fresh and relevant content.
One last tidbit here is that your surest bet is short and snappy with your social videos. During the awareness stage, going for impact and quickly delivering your message tends to be best. As you’ll see, further down the funnel, longer videos might be a better choice.
Having educational videos are a superb way to build your reputation as an authority! YouTube alone boasts over a billion views a day for educational videos.
Educational videos present information with instant value to the audience. Knowledge and usefulness in your content will set your brand for a great first impression, but you need to figure out what to talk about and how.
Knowing your target and their interests is the path to delivering suitable educational content.
But even if you find topics they’d care about, your video still needs to be captivating. Present your video in an appealing way or eye-catching format that will keep the consumer hooked until the end. Here’s an example that explains what inbound marketing is.
Build trust before selling your product, and the consumer will be drawn to you when researching a solution for their needs!
Tutorial Video (How-To)
This video type also builds your brand reputation, but with more of a pragmatic twist to it. All it requires is to provide step-by-step solutions to your target’s concerns. This way, you can be useful while subtly getting your product in front of the audience.
The tutorial could be about how your product or service solves a problem, or just a related subject or activity related to your brand or featuring your product. Remember, we’re not prioritizing sales at this point of the cycle but brand recognition.
Tutorial videos are practical and to the point—more digestible than educational videos. Let the consumer perceive your brand as a provider of advice and guidance. Later they’ll think of you when the need arises.
Are you including your product in the video? Then the tutorial should make the audience excited to get and use it! Here’s a video that transforms a mundane task into a playful experience.
Here, the consumer has arrived at the second stage of their buyer’s cycle. They are comparing solutions to their problem and looking for the best alternative. It’s time to attract them to your product and use your video marketing strategy to advance them down the funnel towards conversion.
Any information you might have on your target can help you deliver specific content at this stage. And if you waited for the right moment to explain what your brand and your product can do for your audience—this is it!
What better way to explain than the video with ‘explainer’ in its name? This is the perfect style to showcase the product or service you’re offering, but always in a clear, engaging way.
Animated explainer videos can help make complex or abstract ideas accessible to the public. Remember: your audience wants to know about you and what you have to offer. So, show them all the benefits you can provide and drive up those conversions like in this next video!
The formula of problem – product – characteristics – results is a good way to go about outlining your explainer video’s script and story. But, with this—as with the rest of the videos mentioned—try to find the best fit on a case-by-case basis.
Don’t be afraid to experiment!
This type of video is meant to highlight your product or service’s characteristics and use.
In this digital age, almost everyone shops online. As a consequence, they lack direct interaction with the product they are buying. Product videos address that need to see and feel what you’re getting, providing the next best alternative to an on-hand experience. Watch this great example of how a product video can tell you all the vital info you need to know in the first few seconds.
You’ll want to convey how the purchase could add value to the audience’s lives, and the good news is that you can use a lengthier video in this stage since the buyer is already set on finding a solution to their problem. You have your chance to make your case. It’s time to help the consumer make up their mind!
The final and more critical part of the marketing funnel! This is the moment of truth where the audience knows about the solution you’re offering but is still on the fence about your brand or your competitors.
Or perhaps their finger is hovering over the purchase button, but they become ridden with last-minute doubts. What if the product isn’t what it’s set out to be? What if it doesn’t solve my problem? What if?
It’s best to tackle these issues with a clear head and a good piece of video content. Here are two types of videos that can serve you well.
As the brand, you don’t hold much objectivity in the eye of the buyer. Of course, you’re going to say your product is great! But why should anyone believe you?
Well, here’s where the testimonial video can shine on your marketing strategy.
Let your satisfied clients reach out directly to the audience in a way that doesn’t feel over-staged. You want real people telling authentic stories about your brand and how well your solution worked for them. That might be the final little push your buyers are needing. Here’s a moving example that’s hard not to feel emotionally touched afterward.
The audience sees themselves in the shoes of the—already satisfied—customer with this type of video, which allows you to build trust in your brand and connect emotionally with your target.
At this stage of the cycle, you can take all the time you need to get in there and bring about empathy.
If your audience is having doubts, there’s no way around it: address them. I know it can be difficult to do it effectively, but you have an engaging tool to avoid being boring about it—the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ video. Let’s have a little taste.
Be dynamic while covering the issues that come up the most among the customers of your product. The fact that you offer support and listen to your customers will most surely tip the scales in your favor.
When walking the line between options, the audience will prefer the one they know and trust to deliver. Help them overcome their doubts about you by simply listening to their needs. Their needs are your needs!
Whether you’ve got experience in video marketing or you’re just getting started, the key is to choose the videos that convert.
Start by figuring out what you are trying to accomplish with this specific strategy to decide everything you do next. Then, check out the repertoire of videos we shared with you today and select the ones that feel right for your brand and objectives.
Establish your presence during the awareness stage with social or educational video content. Then go in-depth on the consideration stage, making your case on why you’re the best option out there—keeping your videos light and dynamic to hold attention. And finally, address confidence and hesitation with excellent, reassuring content in the decision stage! It’s that simple.
Do it right, and you’ll have a powerful video marketing funnel in your hands that your audience will respond to!
Featured image provided by the author.