The marketing funnel may be a familiar concept to many of you. For those who haven’t heard of it, it is essentially a term for the gravitational effect applied to a consumer by a number of marketing tactics, that will draw them from the fringes of curiousity about your business, to becoming a legitimate customer and a staunch brand advocate, in this post we’ll be applying the model to online video thereby creating the video marketing funnel.
The marketing funnel concept is malleable, often being applied to various marketing practices and technologies, but ultimately attempts to describe the same viewer journey. The video marketing funnel for example could be broken down in to three stages, Awareness, Conversion & Retention. You will find there are a variety of video formats suitable for each stage of the video marketing funnel, and while you can pick and choose, it is of course advisable to address each stage of the funnel.
The Video Marketing Funnel Stage 1: Awareness
Raising awareness of your business through video can either be approached with a shotgun strategy, or with precision. These videos will often be found outside the confines of your website, via Google or more likely on YouTube and that is where they will be consumed. The job of your production is to drive them to your website, read our top tips for converting views to clicks (coming soon).
The holy grail for ‘awareness raising’ video is of course the viral video. A production carrying your brand that reaches and engages with thousands, if not millions, of potential customers thrusting your business in to the limelight. Creating a viral video however is not easy, nor is it a guarantee of traffic and very, very few brands have ever achieved an organic viral without spending a fortune on the video seeding.
A more conservative, yet sensible approach is to create video content that is targeted at people actually looking for a business like yours. Invest your time and money in creating a killer promotional video that elevates your business above your competitors and ensures those that find your video follow through to the second stage of the video marketing funnel.
The Video Marketing Funnel Stage 2: Conversion
If your viewer has now landed on your website via a video then the last thing they want is to be met with a big BUY button, or a page of text. You need to continue the viewing experience for your consumer, and make them feel comfortable and reassure that buying from you is the right thing to do. This can be achieved in a couple of ways.
Client testimonials are a quick and easy way to build a library of content that doesn’t necessarily require large production budgets but imparts valuable and sincere information. Now, don’t get sloppy with your testimonials. Any semi-intelligent being knows that you’ll never include a testimonial from a disgruntled client, so don’t aim to have a swath of worthless platitudes (as nice as they may be), instead try to pick clients who had specific problems that your company solved, or unique experiences they had with your staff. Keep them short and to the point.
Advertising by its very nature is full of rhetoric and spin, so use video to give genuine and accurate demonstrations of your product or USP. Product demonstration videos are vital for converting browsers to buyers, by taking away their anxieties about buying a product online or hiring a stranger. When it comes to product demonstration videos there is an existing textbook example online, Tom Dickson and his Will It Blend series for his company Blendtec, proving every week that his range of blenders really can blend anything.
The Video Marketing Funnel Stage 3: Retention
If you successfully converted a viewer to a buyer, you may well believe that the job is done, when in fact, it’s only just the beginning. Retaining your new consumer is important, and while you can keep yourself in their mind with emails or direct mail, you should strive to turn them in to engaged consumers or hopefully, brand advocates. You need consumers who chase you, not the other way around.
Invest in the after-sales with a series of educational videos that offer your new customers with a wealth of free advice and demonstrations on how to get the most from your product or service. Imparting this free advice elicits respect and appreciation, and the security that you have a human presence willing to help.
The other approach is to encourage your viewer to return to your brand time and time again with a continuous series of videos that entertain. Narrative shorts, or enjoyable video blogs that are thematically linked encourage consumers to follow you, most likely in the form of YouTube subscriptions, but also on Facebook and Twitter as they await the next instalment. Many brands choose to develop characters in order to support this entertaining side of their business, and build a world and a life around them, only lightly linked to the brand.
Orabrush, the brand famed for their organic viral is also an exemplar when it comes to producing advertainment for its wide base of consumers with their mascot, Morgan the angry tongue.
Hopefully this provides an overview of the video marketing funnel and the different stages a viewer undergoes before becoming a customer and loyal advocate. For more detailed information or posts on other aspects of online video marketing, check out our Video Marketing contents page. Furthermore, if you’d like to leave a comment about your thoughts on the video marketing funnel, then please do. Do you recognise extra stages or video formats that may expand upon the model? Let us know!