Are you creating video content as part of your marketing strategy?
Have you struggled to convert your viewers into customers?
Our customers are faced with having to make purchasing decisions daily and are considerably more likely to buy a product or service that they understand.As business owners, our job is to make the transition from prospect to a customer as easy as possible for our target audience.
As business owners, our job is to make our target audiences transition from prospect to a customer as easy as possible. The solution is to create and organise our content (media) in a simplistic and entertaining format.
Video is the leader of the current content revolution.
Research by programmatic ad management platform, Sizmek, found that consumers are 27.4 times more likely to click through on a video advert than a standard banner or rich media post.
Yet, despite its popularity with consumers, the majority of small businesses or solopreneurs are yet to take advantage of the video medium on a consistent basis.
Historically there are three reasons for this:
- Video is often seen as the most difficult content format to create,
- Lack of creativity aka not knowing what content is valuable to your audience.
- Lack of education on the different video formats which can be created.
Advancements in smartphone technology mean that it is easier than ever to start creating video content.
For businesses that struggle to figure out what their customers want to see, they can start by answering their customer’s questions and creating content which solves the same problems as their product or service.
The key to using video and successfully converting prospects into customers is to diversify the format of video your create at each step of the customer journey.
The Customer Journey
The customer journey is a well-known marketing term which describes the average journey a customer takes before they make a purchasing decision. The popular concept is applicable to most types of businesses, but especially brands in the B2B market.
It looks like this:
Stage 2 Interest: They begin to search for information on how to resolve their needs.
Stage 3 Consideration: They begin to evaluate their choices.
Stage 4 Purchase: They choose which vendor to purchase from.
Stage 5 Retention: The new customer conducts a post-purchase analysis and may take further action.
Stage 6 Advocacy: They either become brand advocates or decide to move on to seek another brand which fulfils their desire or solves their problem.
Most businesses desire to appear at the Interest Stage and skillfully move customers across to the Advocacy Stage and video is the most powerful tool that small businesses have at their disposal.
Here’s how to get started.
Stage #1 Awareness.
Personalised Content: Vlogs
Customer Journey Position: Awareness.
Vlogs (video blogs) are the cheapest and easiest way for small business owners to start creating video content. There is no need for an elaborate marketing strategy or expensive equipment, all you need is a smartphone and a decent microphone.
Successful Vloggers are often those who are the most consistent and offer a unique point of view.
They are unquestionably the best way to humanise your brand and engage customers.
Best In Class:
Gary Vaynerchuk is one of the world’s most recognised Vloggers with his “Daily Vee” show.
He documents his day to day activities, including meetings, travelling and interviews.
Production companies can document their activities and talk through their busy day on shoots. They can demonstrate how they plan to set-up their equipment before an important shoot.
Artists and painters can talk through what inspires their work and how they come up with ideas. They can also document how they start the process of creating a new project.
Helpful Content: Educational videos
Customer Journey Position: Awareness / Interest.
Educational videos are the perfect solution for introducing your desired target audience to your brand without being sale-sy. Well produced educational videos have the ability to position your brand as a thought leader in your industry or field of speciality.
Your focus should be to address one specific topic and answer it clearly and concisely. Your goal at the end of the video is to ensure that your audience leaves the experience with an actionable piece of advice which they can immediately implement.
Unless your prospective customers are Nuclear Physicians or Mechanical Engineers, you should avoid creating content which is technical or complex at this step.
Best in class:
Brian Dean of Backlinko (hyperlink) produces educational videos for marketers and small business owners on SEO. His videos provide step-by-step actionable advice on how to improve your website’s ranking position and how to link building.
Athena Fitness specialise in pole dancing and aerial fitness classes for beginners. Their videos deliver value to their target audience by providing safe and practical advice for anyone who is interested in starting pole dancing lessons.
Most businesses can benefit from producing educational video content.
Fashion retailers can show their audience how to coordinate the latest season’s colours and styles.
Original equipment manufacturers can demonstrate how they come up with new adaptations of their machinery and their design process.
Restaurateurs can show how their top selling dishes or specials are made in the kitchen. They can also film the days that they are busy and engage with their regular customer
Stage 2: Interest.
Persuasive Content: Explainer videos
Customer journey position: Interest / Consideration
Explainer videos and educational videos are closely aligned, however, explainer videos dive a little deeper into your chosen topic.
Whereas educational videos explain the why, explainer videos give you the how and this is where you can introduce your business as a possible solution to the customer’s problems/desires.
However, educational and explainer videos can also work hand and hand.
The key to success is to start your video by asking a question or framing a problem that your customer maybe facing and then proceed to demonstrate how your business solves it.
Best in class:
Amazon created a beautiful explainer video for the release of their Amazon Echo Dot product. The video shows how the Echo can help organise their customer’s busy lives, create reminders, answer questions and order things online.
Mint is a personal finance SaaS company. They help consumers and businesses stay on top of their finances by providing an all in one dashboard which is linked to their bank accounts and credit cards.
In their excellent explainer video, they ask their prospective customers “How do you keep track of your financial life?”.
Then they explain how their software helps you to “take charge of your financial life”.
Personal trainers can demonstrate to prospects how to do specific exercises or how to organise a weekly workout routine.
Companies which sell educational children’s toys can show parents how to use the toys to engage with their children and improve their relationships.
Stage 3: Consideration.
Endorsement Content: Testimonials
Customer journey position: Consideration stage.
Testimonials are unquestionably the best tool to help businesses convert prospects into actual customers.
Third party endorsements solidify your brand’s ability to deliver on the promises you make to your customers. Well produced testimonials inspire the viewer to trust you and want to take further action.
Successfully produced testimonials are more than just endorsements, they should tell the story of your customer’s before and after the journey- what they were doing before they found you and how they feel now that they are customers.
Best In class:
Insolvency & Law is a business insolvency specialist based in the UK. Their testimonials are great examples of before and after story telling.
Their customers discuss what financial problems they were facing before they worked with Insolvency & Law, how they found out about the company and how they feel now that they are customers.
Codeacademy teaches people how to code and create websites and software applications. Their testimonials are short, well produced and to the point. They demonstrate how their customer’s lives have been transformed by learning how to code.
Testimonials should be used by every business across all industries. Just make sure that your video is focused on before and after storytelling.
Stage 4 Purchase.
Onboarding Content: Step-By-Step Video’s
Customer journey stage: The purchase stage.
The Onboarding process is often the most overlooked stage on the customer journey.
Businesses which find that they have a high churn rate in the first few months of acquiring a new client should thoroughly review how they help customers get started using their product/service.
Alongside good customer service, onboarding videos are essential to improving your customer’s confidence in their decision to purchase. It also helps to ensure that their initial introduction to your business is warm and welcoming.
Best In Class:
Leadpages onboarding videos are helpful step-by-step tutorials which promise that their customers can “create their 1st lead page in less than 10 minutes.”
Email service provider MailChimp, have numerous tutorials online to teach customers how to use their software. Every new feature release has an accompanying video with it.
Any product or service which requires some form of set-up or initiation process should be accompanied by a number of onboarding videos and demonstrations.
Furniture manufacturers (like Ikea) can significantly reduce the number of returned items they receive by providing useful onboarding videos which take the customer step-by-step through the process of setting up their newly acquired products.
Pet stores can increase their ability to sell add-on products such as grooming kits and pet food, by providing customers with videos on how-to care and maintaining their new pet.
Stage 5 Retention
Jobs to be done content: Webinar Videos
Customer Journey Stage: After the sale.
Webinars (web seminars) are a very popular tool which is often used by businesses at the Interest/Consideration stage of the customer journey. Brands tend to use this format of video to bring prospects into their funnel or close them as a new customer.
They deliver high-value content to your customers and cost next to nothing to produce.
However, what is often overlooked is the power of using webinars after the initial sale, to increase customer retention.
Businesses can use webinars at this stage of the customer journey in two different ways.
- To provide further information on the development of their products or services and offer tutorials to help customers get to grips with their products.
- To help customers with jobs to be done content.
“Job’s to be done” (or JTBD) is a theory which focuses on customer motivation.
The purpose of the theory is to help inspire brands innovation process by understanding what their customers want next.
The theory is taught at Harvard Business School by Professor Clayton Christensen and it has been utilised and endorsed by hundreds of Entrepreneurs across the world to help them build successful businesses.
In his book, When Coffee and Kale Compete, author Alan Kemet says that people buy and use products because they want to better themselves in particular ways.
“ ‘Job’s To Be Done’ helps us understand that even though solutions and technologies come and go, human motivation changes very slowly. In some cases, human motivation hasn’t changed at all.
What motivates people to make a purchasing decision is whether or not the product or service on offer can make them a better version of themselves.”
– Alan Kemet, When Coffee and Kale Compete.
Best In Class:
SaaS company Lead Forensics are great practitioners of the JTBD framework. Their software helps B2B companies identify potential customers who may visit their website and provides real-time analytics on which pages of the site they visit.
Lead Forensics have created an Academy which provides training for their customers on a variety of B2B business related topics, including, sales, online marketing, website analytics and driving web traffic to your site.
They also host weekly training webinars for their customers on these topics.
Although these subjects are not directly related to their main product offering, they are subjects which will help their customers (online marketers and salespeople) become better versions of themselves by providing relevant educational content.
Although this type of content works particularly well for B2B businesses, there are some instances where it could work very well for B2C companies.
Baby and toddler clothing designers could produce a small range of children’s books which come with each purchase of their items. This then encourages parents (their target audience) to have an experience beyond the purchase of their clothes.
Property development companies can offer removal and temporary storage services to their customers. One of the biggest challenges for home buyers is hiring removal companies and finding storage services. Offering this service would remove that obstacle from people who are considering purchasing a new home.
Stage 6 Advocacy
Exclusive Access Content: Interview videos and Online Summits.
Customer Journey stage: Turning customers into brand advocates.
Converting customers into advocates of your brand is no easy task. In fact creating an effective content strategy at this stage could possibly cost more than the other stages.
Fortunately, you have several options to help you successfully create exclusive access content which your customers will love.
- Interview thought leaders: find industry specific thought leaders and interview them either face to face or via Skype.
- Interview customers: Not to confused with testimonials, these interviews can be conducted either face to face to via Skype.
- Online summits: These are the online equivalent of a live conference at a fraction of the price. Organise your keynote speakers and host your event over the course of a few days. For more information, read this fantastic article by Bryan Harris, founder of VideoFruit, which goes into more depth about how to get an online summit up and running.
Best In Class.
Ted Talks have produced some of the most popular and viral videos online. The contents unique selling point is that each of the speakers are some of the most unique individuals and thought leaders from across the world. They share their ideas using Ted’s unique platform as a method of self-promotion. The content of most of the Ted Talk’s are entirely exclusive to the platform and most speakers use Ted to increase their presence in their specific market place.
One way that brands can be successful with interviews or conduct an Online Summit, is to focus on a very targeted subject matter and find all of the recognised thought leaders or subject matter experts from that niche.
For example, If you sell SEO marketing services, then find the leaders from across the world and invite them to share their unique ideas with your customers (just like Ted Talks).
If you decide to interview your customers, focus on finding your most successful customers. Ask to do a deep dive interview which highlighting the strategies and tactics they use to ensure the success of your products or services.
Additionally, if you attend events and networking seminars, you could interview the attendees and keynote speakers and share that content with your customers.
Which part of your customer’s journey could you improve with video content?
How many of the above examples are you using as part of your customer journey? Could any of the strategies mentioned help you to convert new customers and retain existing ones?
Leave a comment below and let me know how you plan to take advantage of video as part of your marketing.
Also published on Medium.