With so many customer journey models, it is challenging for marketers to know when and how to use video effectively.
The customer journey has changed. It is no longer a traditional sales funnel. While this is not news to many of today’s marketers, video sales funnel strategies have lagged behind. Many video marketing strategies still follow the traditional AIDA sales funnel model:
- Awareness: How to and tip videos
- Interest: Explainer videos
- Desire: Case studies/testimonials
- Action: Sales pitch/call to action videos
But what happens when the customer journey looks like an hourglass, wheel, infinity symbol, a series of loops, linear lines, spiral or another process that does not resemble the traditional sales funnel? The answer: your videos can become misaligned with the customer journey.
The modern customer journey often follows a non-linear path that can be described as a customer-centric infinity loop, according to Jeff Pedowitz, author of “F the Funnel.”
“The traditional funnel takes a company-centric approach that’s often focused too much on net-new growth. In reality, customers can fall out of a funnel at any time. That includes post-sale, too! It’s up to us – the marketing team – to provide a safety net of customer-centric actions that fall across all functions to keep them as a customer,” said Pedowitz.
The modern customer journey focuses equally on both net-new customers and existing ones.
Video plays a significant role in communicating with both prospects and customers throughout the customer lifecycle, but what videos are most effective at which stage?
The Modern Sales Funnel for Video Marketing
Regardless of shape, most customer journey models have some variation of the following customer stages: engagement, education, research, justification, purchase, adoption, retention, expansion and advocacy. For this reason, we have evaluated the most common customer journey shapes (hourglass, wheel, infinity symbol, loops, linear lines, spiral, etc.) and mapped out the types of videos most effective at each stage.
Below is a roadmap for which types of videos maximize engagement at various stages of the customer journey.
At this stage, buyers may be completely unaware of your company, product or service. You need to cut through the clutter and grab their attention fast. Try snackable videos, which are catchy short video excerpts from longer videos that are used to capture your audience’s attention. These types of videos are often posted on social media. Another option is problem/solution videos, which tell a story that speaks to a specific problem someone is experiencing and then present a solution by showing how a specific product or service addresses the customer’s needs.
The “Aware” stage is all about fighting for a prospect’s attention. They may be aware of your company, but there are numerous other competitors and distractions competing for their attention. Focus on demonstration videos and thought leadership videos. Demonstration videos provide explanations and instructions regarding how a product or service works.
Thought leadership videos are all about setting your company up as THE industry expert or the company most connected to experts and industry solutions. Thought leadership videos may also include news features of the latest trends and topics of an industry. Thought leadership videos are useful throughout the customer journey; however, they are particularly well suited for the “Aware” stage when your company is establishing itself as the perceived expert in your industry in a buyer’s mind.
Consideration, Evaluation and Decision
The Consideration, Evaluation and Decision stages can be categorized as the “research phase.” Buyers are aware of a problem or need, and they are actively looking for a solution. They are often comparing multiple options to find the best solution. Buyers want information to answer their objections and concerns, as well as assurance that they are making the right decision. Videos most effective at this stage are educational videos, explainer videos, video testimonials, reviews and case studies. Educational videos provide viewers with in-depth information about a topic. They often come in the form of in-depth “how to” videos. Explainer videos take a complex concept and simplify it, often using animation. Testimonials, reviews and case studies give potential buyers peace of mind and confidence about making a purchase.
On-Board, Adoption and Value Realization
The customer journey does not end with the purchase. The purchase is the beginning of On-board, Adoption and Value Realization stage. At this point, customers want to be able to get the most out of your product or service. Customer culture videos tell how a customer can get involved, and training videos instruct and train customers on how to use a product or service.
Loyalty and Advocacy
An existing customer is often one of the best sources for new customer leads. However, they often have to be prompted to spread the word about your company. Keeping existing customers up-to-date on news, training and product advancements is key for staying top-of-mind. Existing customers are also more apt to share your company when they feel part of the company culture and community. Be proactive in using video to regularly communicate with this key audience. Drive engagement with company culture videos that provide customers with information about how a company is run, how to get involved or what core values or mission the company holds. Also try snackable videos that your loyal customers can share with unaware potential buyers.
There are countless ways to use video to engage customers at each stage of the customer journey. As the customer journey evolves, your video marketing strategy should evolve with it. Your video marketing strategy should be just as customer-centric as your customer journey model.