Wooing your target audience with compelling video content at just the right moment is a recipe for success.
The Customer is in Control of the Process
The internet has radically changed the sales landscape in the last 15 years.
With so much information at our fingertips, over 80% of us now do our research online before making a purchase. Consumers are in control of the sales process now - researching, comparing products & services, gathering reviews & testimonials, reviewing pricing - before they ever pick up the phone, 'add to cart' or email with an enquiry.
So how does the average company - lacking the eye watering advertising budgets of the mega brands - compete and win in this sales landscape?
The answer is by dropping 'digital breadcrumbs' of compelling content throughout the customer journey, offering valuable information exactly when and where they need it, to entice them further down the sales funnel.
Customer Journey: the steps, touchpoints or interactions a customer has with your company
Whisper it - the sales funnel is almost NEVER as linear as you might have been led to believe.
In an ideal (digital) world our prospective client comes across an ad or social post, visits our website, easily finds all the relevant information and quickly makes a purchasing decision.
The reality is often much more like this.
Consumers aren't robots. They are not going to neatly conform to some linear funnel designed over 120 years ago.
That's not to say that the sales funnel as a concept is broken - it definitely is not.
As marketing teams it is up to us to deliver thoughtful, curated content that delivers value to our potential customers at the different points of their buying journey, to inspire curiosity, feed desire and propel decision making.
What Content Works Where?
Sticking broadly with the traditional steps of the customer journey, lets look at concrete examples of the types of content that work particularly well at each stage.
Your potential customers are searching online. You want to be discovered. They may never have heard of you, so won't be doing a direct search for your brand.
How do you let them know that you exist and have exactly what they need?
Understanding your target audience and the specific things that interest them helps you to create content that addresses those topics. What are they searching for? What key words or phrases do they use? What interests them right now or will be coming up soon (seasonality is important for many sectors like education and tourism)
This is your opportunity to join in broader conversations about specific issues, adding value and expertise to the mix. Blogs and Vlogs are a good place to start and share key ideas on social media channels to engage in the wider online conversation. How To Videos shared on your YouTube channel, website and promoted on social can find an audience looking for that exact piece of advice and Podcasts on a particular topic can also help you connect with a wider audience and grow your reach.
For example, if you work in education marketing and are trying to attract potential post-graduate students to your college, you could record a vlog on the growing demand for post-graduate students in a particular field, then create a short 'How To' video on applying for scholarships or funding your studies and then record a podcast with an alumni who can share their experiences and the impact it has had on their career.
Now that you have introduced your company to the potential customer, it's time to get more granular and show them how you best meet their needs.
Understanding the problems they want to solve and presenting content that shows how you solve these issues for them is critically important.
Remember, your content should always focus on your customer - what they want, what they are worried about, how they want to feel - rather than you and your brand. What benefits can you bring them, how special do you make them feel, what problems will you solve for them?
Focus on these messages as you share Explainer Videos or Demo Videos. Invite them to a Webinar that explores the issues they are dealing with. For service industries, share a Company Overview video to create confidence in the quality of your services.
Having different types of content available on demand (webinars, product demos) or self-service on your social channels, You Tube and website, means that the customer can find what they need, when they need it.
Having a series of short videos to share in a series of emails will help re-ignite stalled conversations and nudge the customer to act as soon as they are ready.
For example, if you work in hotel marketing you could share a '10 Things to Do in (insert location) With Kids' and share that on YouTube and social channels. When the potential guest clicks through to your website, you want to show them what makes your venue special and engage them with a series of short videos that speak to their specific interests - in this case, a family break. This could include a quick tour of your leisure facilities, or the spa, a video on the family-sized bedrooms and babysitting service, or a look at the newly launched kids menu and family dining options.
If they leave your site without booking, try email retargeting with one or two specific pieces of content that you know are relevant to their needs and keep them engaged.
You've shown your potential client all the relevant, engaging and distinctive content - now it's time to close the deal.
Case Studies, Customer Testimonials and Reviews are very effective pieces of content to share at this stage of the conversation, enhancing the credibility of everything you have shared up to this point. More than 50% of customers will check out testimonials and reviews before making a buying decision and creating Video Reviews will help yours stand out even more powerfully.
Live Demos are another a great tool to use to address any final questions the customer may have and help get the sale across the line. They also have the added benefit of showcasing the team behind the brand and helping to instil confidence in the quality of the product/service on offer.
By creating the content mentioned above you are making the decision to purchase easier for the consumer. At this stage of the customer journey the buyer should be reaching for their wallet and feel fully assured that your products / services meet their needs. Finally the ACTION stage of the journey has been reached!
But it is very important to remember that you should continue to provide content after the sale to ensure the customer has the best first experience with your product / service. Videos around Setting up the product and Tips and Tricks on how to get the most value from it are very effective pieces of content to provide your customer with after the sale. Always remember how valuable a returning customer is.
Now it is your turn to start creating those digital breadcrumbs for your audiences. Feel free to get in touch if you would like to learn how to create the videos that will drive your audiences to make the decision to purchase.