The Exact Videos You Should Use in Each Stage of the Buyer Funnel
Combining video marketing with your sales funnel forms a very strategic combination.
Everyone knows that video marketing and sales funnels are two powerful tools in the quest to capture buyers, but what about combining the two to leverage the effects of video marketing within your sales funnel? Together, they can form a very strategic combination that helps your prospects identify a problem, build trust in your brand, and see your product or service as the solution. But to do it right, instead of just throwing together your current efforts in each, take the time to match specific video types with each stage of your sales funnel.
In each step of the funnel, you’ll get unique consumers with unique motivations, so a successful marriage of these two marketing tools requires highly tailored content. First, we’ll review the steps of a standard sales funnel, then suggest a few video options you can use to optimize your video sales funnel.
What is a sales funnel?
First let’s do a brief refresh on the steps, or stages, in a standard sales funnel. A sales funnel is the path you create for potential customers — in other words, the marketing experience — that is intelligently designed to turn prospects into leads, then leads into sales. With curated content that tailors your messaging to where your prospect is in terms of the buying decision process, you can improve your conversion rate and boost your sales and revenue.
While many companies attempt a sales funnel approach, it takes skill and planning to create an efficient sales funnel that works. One of the primary keys to success is understanding and matching your messaging to the three stages of a sales funnel — the top, the middle and the bottom. If you picture an actual funnel, the stages represent the number of consumers you’re dealing with as they travel down the pipeline, from the wide audience that sees your initial video ads at the top, to the ones who continue on to the bottom to make a purchase.
Top of the sales funnel: awareness and discovery
The top of the sales funnel is where prospects first meet your brand. At this early stage, they are likely “just browsing” topics of interest and probably haven’t even identified the problem or challenge they need solved yet. They’re curious and looking around to educate themselves, and hoping to define the questions they need answered. At this first point of contact, the content you expose them to should educate and inspire them on topics that matter — essentially, you want to provide the “why” for them to move in your direction. Blog posts, videos, quizzes and “did you know?” type language helps feed their interest and hone in on the problem. Help them become more aware by bringing attention to an issue, offering helpful advice and establishing your brand as a trusted resource.
Middle of the sales funnel: researching solutions
By the time prospects reach the middle of your sales funnel, they’ve defined their personal problem or challenge and are actively researching solutions. As your prospects morph into actual leads, you can start to build a strong case for choosing your brand. Since they’ve lasered in on what the issue they’re trying to solve is, you can answer more specific questions and demonstrate the advantages of becoming your customer. This might be a good time to offer free trials or an intriguing promotion, in-depth guides or actionable checklists. Your prospects aren’t quite ready to commit to a decision just yet, so aim to feed their eagerness to learn more by giving them something that involves little to no investment on their part.
Bottom of the sales funnel: making an educated purchase decision
This is the step where, if all goes well, your leads will choose your brand as their best solution. This means providing them with educational materials that’ll help them incorporate your incredible solution into their daily lives. This final push of information will guide your lead in making a decision that suits their exact needs and addresses their specific problems. This final section of the sales funnel is usually a great place for content such as FAQs, product feature and demonstration videos, bundled packages, insider tips or follow-up email campaigns to get them to commit.
Now that we’ve reviewed the sales funnel stages, let’s dive into what types of videos are perfect for each part of the funnel.
Step 1: Create awareness at the top of the funnel
During the introduction step, this is your opportunity to help consumers see the light and recognize a distinct struggle or challenge they need to remedy. Before you can start selling yourself as “the solution,” you’ll need video content that effectively leads them to a conclusion about what’s missing from their lives first. To properly educate this audience, try the following types of videos:
Explainer animations are terrific tools for capturing the interest of prospects who are searching for how to do something. They aren’t necessarily looking for your product or services just yet, but are focused on trying to get to an end result. The explainer animations are an engaging way to show them how to get there with a problem-solution story, and then demonstrate how your product or service makes it possible. Use this video to open their eyes to how your brand does things better and you’ll start to gain their trust early on.
Educational videos are perfect for the top of the funnel because they allow your company to capture the attention of someone before they know to even look for you. Since consumers are frequently searching Google and YouTube for solutions to problems they are facing, feature an educational video to provide them with an easy answer. Use it to introduce your brand, product, or service and place yourself as a thought leader in their mind.
Superior products or services often win customers by solving a problem that customers didn’t even know existed or improving some aspect of their lives in a way they never imagined. The top of the funnel is a great place to add video content focused on the unique problem your product or service is solving. You can use strategic messaging to help make sure the customers really feel the pain of the problem, so they will want to find a solution. (Hint: it’s you!)
Step 2: Drive consideration at the middle of the funnel
During this middle stage, you’ll want to present your product as the definitive answer to the challenges you helped your prospects identify at the top of the funnel. Use their undivided attention here to focus on providing detailed information about what your product does, how it solves a problem, and why it’s a better choice than your competitors. To further engage your leads and keep them in the funnel until the end, try the following video types:
Your viewers are now feeling the problem your product fixes on a very personal level and actively seeking out an efficient and effective way to fix it. Since they’re looking more closely at all of their options (including your competition), use intriguing product videos to drive home the very real benefits of your solution — making sure everyone watching learns how and why your product gets the job done.
Tutorials/how it works videos
What makes you love a product or company isn’t just about the product itself, but also because the experience of using it is a very positive one. With tutorials or “how it works” videos, you can tease the viewer with glimpses of an exceptional brand experience. What about your brand’s reputation, expertise, and experience makes you the no-brainer choice? Use these videos to let your leads know in no uncertain terms what makes you so special.
Step 3: Decision time at the bottom of the funnel
At the bottom of your sales funnel, it’s time to capture those leads that’ve followed your messaging this far. As you move in in an effort to close the sale, use smart, high-quality videos that are expertly designed to convert leads into customers. You might recount the features and benefits of your product or service, offer incentives, show happy customers and do whatever it takes to drive them home to buy. Try these two video types for an effective close:
At this point in the sales funnel, your viewers are very interested, so your video content should be direct and highly appealing. Since you have more of their attention, you can use long-form demonstration videos or webinars that dive deeper into features, sub-features, FAQs, etc., and serve to squash any lingering doubts they may have. These videos are fantastic for building confidence in your brand, further establishing you as a thought leader, and showing customers you care enough to help them really dig in and solve their struggle.
Customer testimonial videos
People like to be part of a tribe or group, and your customers are exactly that. Use these videos to introduce your viewers to inspiring or aspirational people who’ve had great success with your solution and love your product. Show them the benefits of the lifestyle you’re building — and remind them why they’re going to want to join. This is also a great place to show off unique use cases of your product or feature a specific type of customer or industry that really loves your product or service.
Get started building your funnel
Now that you understand the reasoning for using different type of video ads for each phase of your sales funnel, you’re ready to get started constructing the funnel with informative, entertaining, can’t-miss video content.
To ensure you stay on track with your sales funnel video strategy, begin by creating an outline of your plan. Review the recommended videos for each stage of the funnel and decide what will work best for your brand, product and customer. As you map out your video messaging to match each stage of the funnel, the content should be broken down like so:
Top-of-the-funnel content (wide audience): 50%
Middle-of-the-funnel content (medium-sized audience): 30%
Bottom-of-the-funnel content (small pool): 20%
After you outline your plan and choose your ideal video styles, get it into action with an expert video production team. Best of luck on building your sales-focused video funnel!
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor