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How to use video at different stages of the buying cycle

14th January 2016

Video marketing is most effective when it matches the mood and context of its potential viewer. You don’t use the same email copy or calls to action at the different stages of your sales cycle, so why use the same video? You wouldn’t speak to your best mate in quite the same way as someone you’ve just met. Likewise, video content should correspond to where the viewer is in relation to your brand and your products or services.

We call this the ‘content pyramid’.

At the top is a single, emotional brand film. Generally this video has high production values and is aimed at a very wide audience.

Next is a larger layer of more detailed, but lower cost, content that is aimed at a segment of your audience.

Finally, there should be a good breadth of content that humanises the brand such as video diaries, behind the scenes or testimonials. This doesn’t have to look great, but it has to feel real. It is unlikely that your audience will watch all of this content, but they will choose the items relevant to them.

Read on for more help on maximising the effectiveness of your video content strategy at each stage of the buying cycle.

Awareness-raising

At this stage, potential customers are seeking information about how to solve a problem or meet a particular need. 

Content marketing is a good approach to pique interest. It should not be too sales focused, it’s more about sharing useful, helpful or entertaining content, and is encouraging people to buy into your brand message. It very much depends on the sector you’re working in, but broadly, can you offer solutions to the problems faced by the customer? Can you inspire them to find out more about your brand?

  • Devise an SEO strategy to target the audience at this stage. They will be searching for questions which describe their problem, so think about using suitable key phrases in blog content and creating videos which answer these ‘problems’ or needs. Search engines love video.
  • Run a video ad campaign targeting your key phrases.
  • People will also be searching for solutions online via social media too. Ensure that you are monitoring relevant keywords on social too and engaging and sharing video content.
  • As a rule of thumb keep videos short and sweet at this stage.
  • Videos should have CTAs which can help your customer find out more – watch another video, download a white paper etc.
  • Try to encourage users to sign up to your mailing list or follow you on social channels so that you can keep in touch with them. You could incentivise this with a contest or a more information or exclusive video content.
  • Create a video infographic on a relevant topic.
  • Maximise the growing power of social video with native content across social channels including Vine and Instagram.
  • A high level brand film will help to raise awareness in your market. Here is an example for Airbus which connects the viewer on an emotional level without being too sales-focused.

2. Consideration

Now your customers delve deeper into how you could help and also evaluate other sites. At this stage you can provide more detailed, specific information.

  • Film ‘a buyer’s guide to…’ which can help you compare and contrast products on the market in an objective way.
  • More detailed ‘how tos’
  • Video can really help to show your products up close. Fashion sites such as Asos, use catwalk footage so customers can see the product more fully. Here’s a film we created for an engineering firm.

3. Intent – proof points

Now the customer is serious about buying. You need to engage the emotional and logical parts of a customer’s head; by giving them rational reasons to buy your product but also developing trust in your brand so that they feel it’s the right decision. A brand film could be brought in here to strengthen trust in your products. 

Testimonials – both brand and user generated – are useful at this stage to encourage people that their decision is the right one. Ao.com, for instance, use a combination of their own reviews of products with user reviews.        

This stage is all about a final reassurance, so you could offer a trial before you buy scheme like opticians, Warby Parker. Watch their brand video below:

They encourage people to compare and share, and then curate the user generated word of mouth content it produces.

4. Purchase

Now people are ready to buy your product or service. It is important to ensure that this stage is as easy for your customers to complete as possible.

  • Encourage them to share via social media
  • If you find that you have a large drop-off at this stage of the purchase, test different options at checkout.
  • Email people who have abandoned the shopping cart.
  • Send an email with a video featuring a discount code for fans.

5. Customer loyalty begins here

When your customer has clicked the “buy” button, it’s just the beginning of your relationship. Here are some ideas for ways to retain this customer and create a loyal fan.

  • Email them for feedback, and encourage that they review your product/share it via social media.
  • Ask them to create a video using/reviewing your product, which could work well for certain verticals such as fashion/beauty or tech brands.
  • Create a short video saying thanks for their purchase.
  • Can you upsell or cross-sell? Email them a video of another product they may like.
  • Offer a coupon with a discount for their next purchase.
  • Produce videos featuring post-sales information or FAQs. For instance, Zappos offers a video on how to return items. This series of videos could also help reduce customer service queries, saving your team time and money.

You could also inspire your customers by sending them ideas for using/wearing the product. The example below brings us back to the beginning of the sales cycle as it could entice someone to buy the scarf…

Find out more about how to create video content that cuts through in our white paper.

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