How to build a great video marketing sales funnel

Inside an enviroment where consumers receive a lot of information, video is able to capture consumers’ limited attention, follow their path to purchase, and drive conversions. Find out how in the blog!

How to build a great video marketing sales funnel
Marketing Team
Video Marketing How to build a great video marketing sales funnel

In an overcrowded environment where organizations, each with its own communication agenda, compete for consumers’ limited attention, more than other types of content, video makes it possible to gain visibility, motivate users to continue along their path to purchase, and drive conversions. Therefore, to take advantage of the many benefits of video marketing, companies are increasingly centering their marketing and sales activities around video.

So, what are the actions and resources that organizations can leverage to build an effective video marketing sales funnel? How to optimize all aspects of the funnel to attract more leads and convert them more easily? Before answering these questions, let’s try to clarify what a video marketing sales funnel consists of.

5 benefits of video marketing

From marketing sales funnel to video marketing sales funnel

To be successful in selling your products or services, it’s first necessary that any people who would be interested actually know that those products and services exist. Any business proposition, no matter how perfectly it may respond to a need or desire on paper, does not produce any value if it doesn’t reach an audience of potential customers. Becoming accessible is often not even the necessary and sufficient condition for gaining visibility.

If the offer is not made at the right time and in the right place (whether virtual or physical), it could go unnoticed, get lost in the chaotic flow of content we are inundated with on a daily basis, or worse, be inappropriate and annoying. To make their communications successful, companies use a marketing sales funnel, a representation of the buying journey that the customer goes through from the moment he or she learns about a business, service, or product to his or her eventual retention.

The transition from marketing sales funnel to video marketing sales funnel is logical and intuitive: a video marketing sales funnel is a funnel whose content consists of videos. In this case, videos are the assets used by brands to guide target audiences throughout the customer journey.

The video marketing sales funnel gets complicated: more touch points, more opportunities

The macroscopic changes that have taken place as a result of the advent of the digital age have evolved with the marketing funnel, which develops in the circular form of the customer journey and is divided into four stages (awareness, consideration, decision, and retention).

Today, the marketing funnel, that descriptive model invented in the late 1800s (probably by Elias St. Elmo Lewis) has become incredibly complicated with the advent of the digital age and the explosion of touch points. It has taken on the structure, both fluid and circular, of what McKinsey has dubbed the consumer decision journey. This is where the buyer persona proceeds, following decision-making processes—that tend to be progressive but not linear—from the discovery of a need to the identification of the product or service the customer will decide to buy, to its purchase and eventual retention.

Video marketing sales funnel enhances the richness of the decision-making process

Consumers today have many options: making instantaneous decisions, for example, or postponing the choice to take it up again at another time. In their new status as subjects who are able to more freely modulate their decision making, consumers can count on many new channels that in turn gives rise to a dizzying increase in brand-customer interactions. The result is an explosion of information that companies can only manage by focusing on gaining insight into the behavior and habits of an increasingly profiled target audience. Video marketing manages to extract meaningful insights from this huge mass of information and employs the data embedded in videos to drive specific actions (from increasing awareness of the brand, product or service to calls to action).

The concept of the video marketing and sales funnel needs to account for this expansion of touch points and buying channels, the explosion of product choices, and the emergence of an attentive and informed consumer. A more sophisticated approach is needed to help marketers navigate such a complex environment. The funnel must be able to interpret, express, and govern the consumer’s decision-making process, which has become circular from a linear path and moves from initial recognition to active evaluation (in which the research process takes place), from the closing of the transaction (when consumers buy from the brand) to the post-purchase phase, the one where customers can experience, express themselves, and share.

The video marketing funnel does not simply follow the changes that have transformed markets and consumers, but by virtue of the inherent qualities of video—content that is extremely flexible as well as powerful—it goes along with these same changes, enhancing the richness of a decision-making process that, while it has become much more unpredictable, also opens up previously unimaginable spaces for interaction and offers new opportunities for establishing truly meaningful relationships.

The stages of the video marketing sales funnel: awareness, consideration, decision, retention

A video marketing sales funnel is designed to attract, educate, convert, and retain buyers using video at each stage of their buying journey. To build a well-performing video marketing sales funnel, the first thing to do is to perform a detailed analysis of the communicative functions that videos must fulfill at each stage. Let’s go into detail:

  • Awareness: the potential customer becomes aware of a problem—a latent need and the possible solutions put forward by a specific brand (responsible for the awareness and therefore a privileged interlocutor). At this stage, the video serves to capture the attention of the target audience and present the brand and its world.
  • Consideration: the viewer evaluates the different solutions that can help the customer solve their problem. This is the time of research, both online and offline, of those who have already faced the same critical issue and of reading reviews. Here, video is the intermediary, describing the solution in more detail, detailing the benefits and practices. Consumers venture into a search that does not proceed in a linear and progressive sense but is structured in a cycle of advancements, discovery, comparisons, rethinking, and changes of direction, which leads them to inquire about competitors, on multiple channels, over a period of time that can be prolonged if the answers sought are not convincing.
  • Decision: The viewer has moved toward a particular solution. The video must then present the potential customer with “irrefutable” (or rather, credible) evidence of the satisfaction derived from using the product or enjoying the service.
  • Retention: The lead has been converted. A purchase has been made. But the marketer’s work is not done. We are in a post-purchase phase that is an extremely sensitive time for the company, not only in terms of targeting (video analytics allow for valuable information about acquired customers), but also for investing in practices to establish loyalty and turn customers into advocates. Video content at this stage, in addition to keeping the relationship alive, aims to convince customers to share their shopping experience (for example, through a review on their social accounts—the more authentic the story, the more it contributes to a brand narrative that will be perceived as trustworthy).

Each of the stages of a video marketing sales funnel corresponds to different marketing strategies, which in turn include to specific marketing tactics and established practices: Top of the Funnel (TOFU) for awareness, Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) for consideration, and Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) for decision and retention. Now, we’ll take a closer look at each of these three types of strategies, highlighting the best-performing videos for each.

TOFU: attracting the public

The upper part of the video marketing sales funnel is where content should be created that relates to a difficulty or obstacle that the customer might encounter or, having already encountered it, would like to overcome. Audiences are composed of people who are often already aware of an urgency or need (or have just become aware) but need some additional information to define the problem before finding a solution. Top-of-funnel videos must therefore be designed to capture users’ attention early in their journey. The most suitable ones are:

  • Educational and demo videos. Videos that do not show what the company sells or produces but give clear answers about how the product or service can provide the most immediate or convenient solution for a given need.
  • Corporate video. Communication and promotion tools that companies can use to help customers understand and remember the brand, its activities, products, or services. Used to present and reinforce the visual identity and reputation of a company or institution, corporate videos can show how an organization operates in its various processes and departments. They are also used to help define and communicate a company’s position in the marketplace: its mission, values, goals, and history.

At this stage, videos must be optimized for SEO, must be relevant and above all be of good technical quality.  

MOFU: inform and educate your audience

Videos in the middle stage of the video marketing sales funnel are designed to inform and help people form an opinion. As buyers progress along their journey, they seek to better understand the company’s proposed product or service: how it works and whether it is the most appropriate solution to their problem (which they now know more about).

The most effective videos are those that clearly explain and emphasize the advantages of the product or service over those of competitors. In the transition from consideration to decision stage, the tone of voice can become more confident and incisive without ever lapsing into arrogance and maintaining the credibility of what is being said and shown. Space is also made for subjective characterization of user experiences: this is the time to humanize the message to make it sound even more authentic.

  • Explainer video. They explain often complicated concepts, processes, and problems (e.g., using a product or service) by breaking them down into easier-to-understand ideas. Explainer videos are able to offer concrete answers to concrete needs. They convey even very complex messages clearly and fluently. They do not aim to sell, but to inform and educate. Animated explainer videos are a simple and effective way to introduce product details. With animation, you can make fun and interesting, engaging videos.
  • Product video. This is content that shows the use of a product within one or more contexts of use and concretely demonstrates its benefits. In this case, the description of product features is not valuable in itself, rather it serves to highlight the product’s ability to solve specific customer problems.
  • Video FAQ. All answers to frequently asked questions from customers. At this stage, the video must clarify every possible doubt. The goal is not to lose users before their conversion.
  • Case studies and customer testimonials. These videos are a great way to increase customer trust: the great added value comes from the fact that it is not the brand itself that gets the exposure, but it is other parties that recognize the quality and usefulness of the solution offered by the company.

The key metric here is viewing time: the longer people watch videos, the more likely they will recognize the value of the product and be convinced of its usefulness with respect to their particular situation.

BOFU: retain your audience

This is the time to “nurture” new customers so that they continue to be satisfied and remain loyal to the brand. There are different types of videos that can be used to ensure the best customer experience at this stage.

  • Personalized videos. With personalized videos, companies can leverage a flexible and effective format. Personalization fuels communication that delivers the right content to the right person, at the right time. Video can create suggestions and emotional engagement like never before. Incorporating personalized video as part of a communication strategy can help improve the customer experience by investing in the entire brand messaging system.
  • Social media videos, which are made to be posted on social networks, are short, aimed at a small, select audience (the viewers the brand already has and those it wants to connect with), optimized for mobile viewing, and adapted to the platform that will host them and aims to trigger reactions such as shares, comments, and likes. They are designed to tell a story quickly and engagingly. They tap directly into the interests of the viewers they target and are synchronized to their habits. They are designed to create engagement.

The way we assigned individual videos to the different stages of the video marketing sales funnel is not defined once and for all. The funnel’s extraordinary longevity depends on its being a tool open to contamination and overlap. It may be that a corporate video, for example, needs to be used in the retention phase to strengthen the brand image at a time of transition, or that social media videos are most useful in TOFU, because only on those platforms can particularly important segments of the audience be met. Explainer videos, then, because of the relevance of the information they convey, can be incorporated at any stage: to show how the company is organized (TOFU) or to update customers on new features (BOFU).

A future-proof video marketing sales funnel

The video marketing sales funnel is a theoretical model with profound practical implications, an operational hypothesis that helps marketers target consumers along their sales path: from initial awareness of the brand’s business, to consideration of the products and services offered, to making a purchase, and subsequent retention. We have seen how structuring it into four stages allows for a comprehensive view and full exploitation of the potential of different types of video, depending on the different goals of the company.

Thanks to the Babelee platform, all the videos planned in the content strategy can be produced automatically and easily on a large scale. The Babelee platform can enhance the reach and effectiveness of the video marketing sales funnel, propelling digital communication directly into the future.

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