You may have dabbled in video marketing once or twice throughout your career as a marketer. Maybe you used video to announce a new product or offering, but haven't ever used a video strictly for your brand. Or perhaps you embedded a video on your blog to help explain a tricky subject, but have never made a video with a specific email campaign in mind. As a marketer, you can easily incorporate video into all of your promotional efforts, and those videos can have a huge impact on attracting new audiences, educating leads, and converting customers.
That's why we believe marketers should be using video at every stage of the marketing funnel. When you frame video marketing in the context of the funnel, you can start to plan your videos around specific goals and ultimately see better results. In this post, we'll show you specific ways you can use video to win over customers at every stage of the buyer's journey. We'll include examples of video types, key metrics for success, and goals to help you plan your video marketing strategy. And really, what marketer doesn't love a good plan?
An overview of the marketing funnel
Before we dive into the types of videos you should use, let's review what that funnel actually looks like. The video marketing funnel comes from a model used by marketing automation providers like HubSpot and Marketo. Video and automation software can work hand-in-hand as you attempt to introduce people to your product and eventually convince them to buy.
Automation tools tend to break the marketing funnel into three main stages:
This is a great start, but it leaves out one key area where video can make a huge impact: retention. Video can help you retain customers over long periods of time by communicating continuous value and building loyalty. So, we've updated the video marketing funnel to include retention:
Here's how we think about each stage of the funnel and how video comes into play:
- Awareness: Tell people about your brand through videos that appear in targeted search and social media ads
- Consideration: Educate leads about your industry and the kinds of problems you solve via deep-dive content and how-to videos
- Conversion: Convince leads to buy your product via the home page, testimonials, and product videos
- Retention: Show how you continue to add value to users' lives with user education, feature launches, and company culture videos
Now, let's dive into each one of these stages and take a look at some examples of businesses who are taking advantage of using video throughout the entire funnel.
Awareness: Show people who you are
At the awareness stage, your potential customers have a problem and you have a solution—you just haven't found each other yet. So naturally, as a marketer your goal is to find a way to appear where your potential customers like to hang out online, or where they might be looking for certain information. Videos made for social media, or even SEO-driven videos (ones that answer or explain a commonly searched for question or problem) can help you reach the right audiences.
Why else might you use an awareness video, you ask? Well, there are lots of added benefits! Video can actually help people remember your product better—the visual aspect reduces cognitive load, making it easier for viewers to understand and retain the information displayed. Plus, if a video is compelling enough, people will linger over the content, or even share it with their friends.
Key Metric: View count
At this point, you're casting a wide net, establishing an audience, and aiming for maximum exposure. Use the metric of video view count to measure success in the awareness stage.
Inspiration: San Diego Surf School
This video, produced by digital agency Harness Consulting, shows viewers what it's like to participate in San Diego Surf School's "Surf, Stay, and Play" package. What better way to get to know this business than with a day-in-the-life style walkthrough video! The use of GoPros here really adds to the adventurous spirit of the experience at the surf school.
Video can also help spread awareness to people searching for terms related to your brand. Here are a few ways to include video in your SEO strategy:
- Add video to landing pages for key search terms
- Use video to break up long blog posts
- Instead of a blog post, create a video on a popular topic that's easy to share
If you properly tag and caption your videos, the combination of video and text on these pages will help your content rank higher in Google results! Voilà. Video magic.
Consideration: Help solve a problem
In the consideration phase, potential customers are aware of the problem they want to solve and are researching solutions. You want to help them with their decision process, but now's not the time to be pushy. When you provide leads with general knowledge about your industry and how your product works, you can empower them to make better decisions—and you can become a trustworthy source in the process.
Overall, when educating users on topics that are equally important to you and your customers, you want to keep their attention and empower them to walk away with all the information they need to be successful. An added bonus? Videos are not only great for providing a ton of information in a short period of time, but they're also becoming an increasingly preferred medium for content consumption online.
Key Metric: Time spent watching
Time spent watching is an indication of the value your content provides to viewers. If you can keep viewers engaged, they'll stick around longer on your site or app, and are more likely to consume more content. When we analyzed our own site, we found that visitors' time on page increased with the presence of videos. We actually found that people spent on average 2.6x more time on pages with video than without—which is pretty sweet!
This metric is baked into both Wistia and Google Analytics, so be sure to check out how long folks stick around on your videos if you're a Wistia user! As a general principle, time spent on page directly correlates to bounce rate, which affects your pages' Google search rankings. Start adding helpful videos to your site and keep those visitors engaged!
ProfitWell and Price Intelligently have adopted a video-first content strategy for their blog. Most of these vlogs are broken down into easily digestible chapters and are accompanied by a full page of text. With these deep-dive video blog posts, ProfitWell shows their audience why certain pricing concepts are important to SaaS and other subscription businesses. They don't go overboard on the selling, but the concepts are fundamentally linked to their product, so they can gently plant the idea in viewers' minds to buy later on.
If you can break up your video content with captions, slides, or chapter breaks, you'll do a better job of keeping your viewers engaged and entertained. You'll also probably find that when you talk about topics you are an expert on you'll feel more comfortable with the material you're presenting, so start with the information you know best! Just try to ensure there's a nice match between the expertise and the interest from potential customers.
Vlogs are not the only way to move leads through the consideration phase smoothly. You might want to also consider the following options:
- Create how-to content for people just starting out in your field
- Set up webinars to educate people on topics you have expertise in
- Send a personalized video voicemail to leads whose emails you've already collected
When you put your audiences's interests first in the consideration phase, you'll not only arm them with useful domain knowledge but also win their trust, which can be a crucial decision-making factor when it comes time to purchase.
Conversion: Convince people of your potential
For your potential customers, the conversion stage is decision time. They've done the research, grown more knowledgeable about your offerings (and those of your competitors), and they're ready to sign up. In this phase, you can convert these warm leads quickly with compelling video content about your product, your happy customers, and your company.
Video is an effective conversion tool because it gives viewers a revealing inside look at who you are and what you do. In a video, the qualities that make your company unique truly shine. Since emotion is such a strong factor in decision-making, videos at this stage of the funnel benefit from a human touch to pack an emotional punch.
Key Metric: Sign-ups
Your conversion metric should be fairly straightforward. If you're a subscription business like us, the moment a user clicks on a snappy call-to-action and fills out a sign up form is the moment they're on their way to becoming a customer.
Inspiration: Sticker Mule
Videos at the conversion stage are all about answering the questions your prospects have about your product or service—is this tool or business trustworthy, and will this service actually help me? Sticker Mule, an online store where anyone can upload their own designs and have them made into stickers, does an excellent job of making the production process familiar so you know exactly what you're getting into when you use this service.
After watching this video, the viewer should feel comfortable and confident in Sticker Mule's ability to meet their needs. Sticker Mule actually built a custom landing page for this video, and have seen some real results from its presence on their site—this conversion video has an 81% play rate and an 84% engagement rate—pretty impressive!
In addition to product videos, home page and testimonial videos are also great options for converting leads to customers. A video featuring someone who can explain how this product solved their problem or changed their business for the better can be super compelling. It's also a great opportunity to win people over with on-brand personality, humor, and other relatable touches.
Here at Wistia, we're all about helping our customers getting the most out of the videos they create, which is why we recommend using our tool if you're interested in driving video conversions. Calls to action, turnstiles, and annotation links make it easy to embed the conversion action directly into your videos.This makes a for a frictionless experience for the viewer—everyone wins!
Retention: Help customers succeed
Winning over customers with video doesn't stop once they sign-up. In the retention stage, customers may be losing interest or not using your product as frequently as they once were. You're constantly improving your product and coming up with ways to help users be more successful, so reengage those customers by communicating how your product continues to provide value.
Videos are a great reengagement tool because they doesn't require anything from users except the somewhat passive action of watching for a period of time. This low barrier to re-entry creates more opportunities for you to engage again.
Key Metric: Cohort retention
To gauge the success of your retention videos, try performing a cohort analysis. A cohort analysis groups users by sign-up date and allows you to understand their behavior after sign-up. For example, if a video sent (perhaps via email) to a group of folks a certain number of days after sign-up reduces churn compared to those other cohorts, then you have found some retention success!
Inspiration: Wistia (We're tooting our own horn here!)
As part of our content strategy, we often send existing customers video production tips that can help them succeed with our product—and any other video projects they might want to try. We believe that these types of videos should be helpful regardless of whether or not the topic ties directly into our core product. Hopefully, by helping people make better videos, we are continuing to add value to our customers' lives over time.
Take this in-depth video from our video producer, Trevor, for instance. Over seven minutes of super valuable content, free for all to consume and ready for anyone to apply!
This video is also a great example of how some videos can be used in multiple stages of the marketing funnel. We post these videos on our blog, which boosts both awareness and consideration. It's a two-fer! What a steal.
Beyond email tips and blog content, you can also try these options for improving retention with video:
- Hype product updates with feature announcements
- Demonstrate how you practice your values with a company-culture video
Get started on your journey
Clearly, video has the power to improve the customer journey and make your marketing even more effective. There's no reason to fear video or think that you don't have the time or budget to make it happen. If you start with the examples above, you can fully integrate video into the funnel in no time at all. Plus, keeping the buyer's journey top of mind can help shape the content you set about creating.
Once you get going, it'll be easy to come up with fresh ideas to draw in new and existing customers. When the results start rolling in, you'll be glad you took the leap and incorporated video throughout the buyer's journey!