Sales videos are quintessential marketing tools. Stats show that 67% of people make a purchase after watching a branded social media video.
Should you commit to sales videos for your brand?
Research by Wyzowl says that brands are spending more on video marketing. 95% of video marketers plan to increase or maintain spend, while 59% who don’t use video aim to start doing so in 2020.
While it’s clear that sales videos are a must, most marketers struggle to find the right place in their marketing funnel for them. If you’re in the same boat and looking for a way to capitalize on the low-hanging fruit that is the video to help grow your brand, keep reading.
In this blog post, I’ll unpack the simplest way to incorporate video into your content strategy using a video sales funnel. You’ll learn what a video sales funnel is and how it works. I’ll also share how to create your very own funnel, what types of videos you should create, and wrap-up with best practices to help accelerate your success.
What is video sales funnel?
A video sales funnel is a funnel that uses a collection of videos to attract, educate and convert buyers. When created effectively, it’s a great way to streamline customer acquisition. It’s alive 24/7 and can accelerate the sales cycle.
How do video sales funnel work?
Video sales funnels are designed to turn people from strangers into leads and customers. That said, here’s a look at how they work:
1. People with specific problems begin to search online for answers. They find your brand and content (via search, organically on social media or via paid ads).
2. As your audience watches your videos, they begin to find answers to their questions. This usually takes place at the top of your funnel (more on this later). As they learn more about how to define the challenges they face, and how your brand and solution can help, they proceed on their journey down your funnel.
3. Buyers arrive at the decision-making step. While this is typically where they make a purchasing decision, this can differ depending on what kind of solution or product you’re selling. For example, enterprise account software would likely include a demo before it can be signed off on and purchased, where a home theatre system can be bought immediately.
It’s not uncommon for buyers to not purchase a product or sign-up for a demo immediately. Research by Unbounce shows that landing page conversion rates can range from 12% (the best of the best) to below 2%. This shows that most people who see landing pages aren’t ready to purchase upon the first visit.
This is where remarketing is vital. Using cookies, you can target buyers on various platforms. From Facebook to Google’s ever-expanding ad network, you can serve-up highly-personalized ads that make the right offers at the right time.
Which videos go into a video sales funnel?
Funnels are designed to guide buyers along their journeys, whether you’re marketing an over-the-top or OTT video streaming service or eCommerce store. The goal of attracting, educating and converting strangers into customers or leads is the heavy-lifting your videos need to take care of.
The good news is that video sales funnels are just like content marketing funnels. They follow the same structure and stages include:
Attract strangers at the top of the funnel
Top-of-funnel (ToFu) content is geared towards drawing-in and helping strangers define and better understand the problems they face.
Instapage shows how easy it can be to create ToFu content with a simple 3-minute video. It explains what inbound marketing is, why it matters, what matters most when using inbound marketing, and what mistakes to avoid.
Educate at the middle of the funnel
Middle-of-funnel (MoFu) content is designed to educate problem-aware buyers who are ready to start looking at potential solutions to their problems and how those solutions work.
Coshedule uses a smart and short explainer video to share how their content marketing tool helps businesses grow. The video covers how CoSchedule fits into your business and how various team members use the tool.
Bottom-of-funnel (BoFu) content converts educated buyers into leads and customers. It’s content used to reinforce the value of your product and this is done with case studies and testimonials, and demos show how your product works.
Monday.com shows how their product works in a short 5-minute demo on how real estate agents use their project management tool.
Retention is an important part of growing any brand. When it comes to content in your video sales funnel, retention videos are designed to make your product more accessible through education. These include tutorials and how-to videos, all designed to equip your customers with the knowledge they need to continue using your solution.
Quickbooks shows how to create products and services in their account software tool, a task new users will need to perform to use the tool.
How to create your video sales funnel
Now that you know what types of videos go into an effective sales funnel, it’s time to build yours. This five-step process is all you’ll need to design a highly-effective funnel.
Step one: Conduct an audit
To build your funnel, you’ll need to review your performance or risk replicating the same results. Start with an audit of what you have and how it’s performing. Your goal is to identify your video content gaps for each stage of your funnel and determine what type of content you need most.
For example, let’s say you have a YouTube channel designed to advertise a course on how to create a membership site. It’s filled with videos but for some reason, your channel doesn’t seem to grow. In this scenario, you’ll need to examine the types of videos you have. Typically, I’ve seen that channels with more BoFu content struggle to grow because their audiences can’t make the leap from defining what problems they have to buy a product without the right content.
The fix? Create more ToFu and MoFI content to attract and educate your audience. A good ratio to use is a 60%/40% split (ToFu/MoFu) as you build your audience. Once you’ve created a large enough subscriber base, then begin to focus on stronger BoFu content.
Step two: Gather some intelligence
Video sales funnels are filled with content. And as all smart marketers know, for you to engage your audience with valuable material and offers, you need to understand who they are. If you haven’t yet, develop your personas. Learn all there is to know about what moves your buyers to purchase, and what they want out of a product like yours.
Personas aside, do some competitive research, too. Visit social media pages and YouTube channels to learn more about which content they produce does best. Pay attention to what types of videos they have more of and what problems and challenges they help buyers solve.
Step three: Set some goals
Knowing what’s missing and how the competition is performing, set some goals for each stage of your sales funnel. These can be to attract a certain number of views or generate a number of leads. Whatever you opt for, goals are important and will guide your performance and act as a benchmark for results.
Here’s a look at metrics you can use to set goals for each stage of the funnel:
- ToFu: number of views
- MoFu: watch-time
- BoFu: click-throughs to landing pages
- Retention: complete video views
Step four: Create content
Creating content is where your groundwork all comes together. You know what your audience wants, what your competitors have created, and it’s time to position your content head and shoulders above the rest.
But before you hit record, think about before and after states. Often, creating engaging videos can be tough. What do you lead with to grab your audience’s attention? And, how do you deliver value that connects the dots between where they are in the buyer’s journey and a more beneficial outcome?
The answer is to focus on before and after states of your buyers. DigitalMarketer introduced the idea as a way to hone-in on what matters most to customers. Before and after states give marketers a clearer picture of where your buyer is when they come across a video at a stage in your marketing funnel, and the outcome your video should help them realise.
As DigitalMarketer created content for their flagship product, DigitalMarketer HQ, they completed the before and after state grid. They looked at what buyers struggled with, how they felt, and what their average day looked like before and after coming across the product.
Step five: Promote your content
Lastly, promote your videos. Creating great content isn’t enough. You must share it as far and wide as possible to reach the most buyers possible. While many think promotion is complex, it’s not.
Use social media to share content in your video sales funnel on all of your accounts. Incorporate your content into your email outreach strategy. Use email broadcasts and newsletters to reach subscribers, and, if you can, commit some budget to paid media. The greatest truth about digital marketing is that it can all be measured. So, track results and focus on doing better.
Best practices create video sales funnel
While the steps above will simplify the creation of your funnel, there are a few best practices that can help accelerate positive results. Here are four to help you create powerful videos that grab attention, hold it, and beg click-through.
1. Use a tried and tested formula
Ever wonder whether the perfect structure for a video exists? Well, it does. As you create yours, here are three parts all videos must have to engage your audience.
Part one: The hook
Attention spans aren’t what they were a decade ago. In fact, according to research, the average attention span is just 8.25 seconds. This means that your videos need to be powerful enough to capture your audiences from the start.
That’s where your hook plays a pivotal role. A hook is a statement or question that gets your audience thinking. When communicated, it should resonate with viewers and pull them into your video.
One of the simplest ways to hook your audience is to immediately share what you’ll cover in your video. For example, if your video is titled “How to Create Niche Video Membership Sites”, tell people that you’ll give them a step-by-step process for doing exactly that.
Part two: Provide value
Once you’ve hooked your audience, it’s time to deliver the goods. How much should you share? We use two rules of thumb at Uscreen.
The first is to offer as much as is needed to get the message across and nothing more.
The second is to share valuable content.
What makes for content valuable? Anything that’s not easily accessible or would be worth your audience spending money on to learn.
Part three: Close with a strong call to action
One can’t overstate the importance of an effective call to action. Unfortunately, most marketers don’t create great calls to action and struggle to move the needle for their brands.
Calls to action must be direct and value-laden. They also need to connect the dots for viewers, helping them see that the next logical step involves following your direction.
Keywords and descriptions matter
Keywords are critical for all online content. They help bots find relevant information and serve it up to buyers. As you create your videos, be sure to use the right keywords and descriptions.
While SEO is a factor, don’t stuff keywords into your description. As much as they matter, using too many terms can do more to hurt your rankings than help.
Thumbnails must be engaging
Thumbnails are the first thing people see when searching for videos. Make yours as engaging as possible by testing combinations of text and a hero image.
For instance, as YouTube is a visual platform, people choose what to watch based on what a video thumbnail looks like. YouTube recommends using thumbnails that indicate what viewers will see.
To make your thumbnail stand out, use colors that contrast with those of the platform you’re on. The more your thumbnails blend into the rest of the platform, the easier they will be to miss.
Hold your viewer’s attention
Pattern interrupts were discovered in the study of neuro-linguistic programming. A pattern interrupt takes place when the human mind is interrupted by a new idea, one it can’t help but latch onto.
When used in videos, they help hold viewer attention, something that can influence how well your content ranks in search results. For example, audience retention is a major metric and it influences your success on YouTube. By introducing pattern interrupts, you’ll be able to hold the attention of viewers for longer, and positively influence your audience retention score.
You can create pattern interrupts by switching between camera angles or shots, or by using graphics as you explain a concept.
Video sales funnels are a must today. They do what salespeople can’t, they operate 24/7 and can streamline lead and sales generation. But to make your work effectively, you must create the right content for each stage of your funnel and make it engaging. Put your buyers’ needs first and help them solve problems. Then lead them down your funnel with valuable educational information and conversion-focus videos connected by strong calls to action.
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