In 2018, closing a sale is no longer a job that is left entirely up to a salesperson. Consumers are taking it upon themselves to make sure they buy the right product at the right price by researching information online. In fact, 82% of customers conduct research online prior to making a purchase.
In a way, it’s as if the consumers are doing the selling themselves.As a brand, you can stand on the sidelines or you can make the customer's job easier – and video content is a great way to help both you and the buyer close the sale. Click To Tweet
In this article, I will go through 9 effective tips that will help you do just that.
But first, let’s review the buyer’s journey to understand how video fits into the process.
The Buyer’s Journey
In short, the buyer’s journey is the process that a potential customer goes through when purchasing a product or service. It is divided into 3 stages: Awareness, Consideration and Decision.
It goes something like this:
The buyer will first become aware of a need that he or she must fulfill. They will then consider different solutions to address that need. And, finally, after vetting all options, they will make a decision as to which solution they ought to pursue.
Each stage requires specific information to be available to the buyer in order to help them move through this process. That means that all marketing content, including video content, should be aligned with each stage’s objective. The decision stage is not the same as the consideration stage or the awareness stage.
For example, if a buyer is at the decision stage, a how-to video may not be relevant for the buyer anymore. You’d probably be better served by showing them a testimonial video instead.
Why? Think about it. If a buyer is ready to make a decision, it means they’ve already researched all options. A how-to video is redundant at this point. What the potential customer really needs is a final push to help drive their decision. The reassurance of getting other opinions on a product might be just the right nudge to turn the lead into a customer.
This is the kind of thinking you want to have when producing content for each stage of the buyer’s journey. The two questions you want ask yourself are:
- In what stage of the buyer’s journey is my lead?
- How can my content help move the buyer to complete this journey?
Keep these two questions in mind as you go through the 9 tips below.
Related Content: How to Optimize Your Content Strategy with the Buyer’s Journey
Tip #1 – Know What Information Your Audience Is Looking for in the Decision Stage
At this point, potential buyers have done the research and have probably come up with a shortlist of solutions to solve their problem. However, only one of those solutions will ultimately make the cut. So what are potential buyers looking for at this stage?
Most likely, they’ve already gone through a checklist of features and specifications your product offers. Don’t waste time presenting them with a product-centric video.
The reality is that, more than information about the product, the buyer at this stage is looking for reassurance that once they make the purchase they feel that they’ve made the right choice. This only comes by having generated brand trust.
Before bestowing this trust in your brand, buyers will be looking for references and testimonials from both common customers and authorities (experts and trade publications). They want see how engaged the company is with its customers and how it handles feedback from its community. These are intangibles that can make or break your sale. So focus on these aspects.
Tip #2 – Know Which Type of Videos Work Best in the Decision Stage
Now that we know what the buyer is looking for at this stage, we can start thinking about the types of videos you can make to push these leads into sales. We can discard educational or how-to videos since they are more appropriate for earlier stages of the buyer’s journey.
During this stage you want to concentrate on how to build the brand trust I mentioned earlier. Since you already know that users are going to be looking for references, why not beat them to the punch?
How can you do this, you ask?
A testimonial video comes to mind. Make your own. Reach out to currently satisfied customers and/or experts and let them do the talking. People tend to trust their peers. Capturing their account on video will do a lot more than having them rely on some faceless written review.
Related Content: 12 Engaging Types of Video Content that Viewers Love to Watch
Tip #3 – Choose Your Distribution Channels Wisely
Once your video is ready, you need to think about where you are going to publish it and who you are going to target.
For example, just because Snapchat is the new trendy app doesn’t mean that your brand needs to be there. Unless, of course, you are looking to target a young trendy audience. On the other hand, if your service is geared more towards businesses, then a professional social network like LinkedIn is a better fit.
Having said that, you can always start with the bigger, more encompassing social networks like Facebook and YouTube. The great thing about starting with these two is that you can reach a broad audience and gather all kinds of engagement data. This will help you identify what resonates with your audience. More on engagement metrics later.
Tip #4 – High-Quality Videos Matter
Don’t settle for mediocrity. People can tell when something is not up to par, even if they can’t point out exactly what it is. That is why you should take care to make every aspect of your video the best quality possible.
Your videos should be well lit and recorded with HD Video. It’s 2018 – nobody wants to see pixelated footage! Especially when the video is meant to inform the viewer about an important purchasing decision.
Another word of advice: if there is anything you want to get right, it’s the sound. This is especially true for video with a lot of talking. These must be well recorded without any background noise or echoes. This means you will have to use dedicated microphones and audio recording equipment. Never use the in-camera microphone. Doing so will make your video look amateurish, even if the footage is gorgeous.
Related Content: 20 Pre-Production Tips to Create Successful Video Content
Tip #5 – Adapt Your Videos to Different Channels
You’ll want to make different videos for different platforms. This way you can be sure to reach more people.
Read up on the video guidelines for each platform and then tailor your video to meet those guidelines. Say, for instance, that you want to target a particular niche on Instagram. It will do you good to know that there is a 60-second limit to videos on this platform. So if you already have a finished 2-minute video on hand, all you have to do is trim it into a 60-second version.
Keep in mind, however, that adapting your video goes beyond just tweaking the technical specifications of it. You have to think about what each channel represents in terms of what it offers its users. For example, Instagram is about lifestyle and in-the-moment interactions, so posting a detailed FAQ video may not be the best choice.
Instead, you can opt to publish such a video on YouTube, not only because there’s virtually no time limit, but because you’ll also have the added bonus of embedding it into platforms where users may be more willing to spend the time watching it.
Related Content: 7 Ways Video Helps Inbound Marketing
Tip #6 – Show the People Behind Your Brand
Human interaction may not always be possible in the hyper-connected world of e-commerce. It’s probably very likely that your leads have gotten this far into the sales funnel without ever having interacted with a human being at your company.
This is a great opportunity for you to introduce the people behind your brand and to bring a human touch to your product or service. One way to do this is by making a company culture or behind-the-scenes video.
A company culture video can range from having members of your team talking about what they do to help get the product to market, to showing your team members in situations unrelated to the product itself (e.g. Christmas party, team-building activities, fundraising event). The protagonists in these videos should be the people behind your brand, not the product itself.
Be genuine. If it looks overly scripted or if your team is not fully invested in your company’s culture, a video like this could actually harm your image.
Tip #7 – Choose the Right Voice and Tone
This is a short but important tip. Just as you would choose the right channel for your video, you should also choose the right tone in your video. This means knowing what your brand wants to communicate and how it wants to present itself to the world.
If your company sells extreme sports gear, your video should be thrilling and ooze with excitement. If you’re a SaaS company, you may want to employ a more sophisticated techno-futuristic look and feel.
This decision will ultimately be left up to whether your audience responds enthusiastically enough to act upon watching the video. Which brings me to the next point.
Tip #8 – Measure Results with Analytics
You’ve made your video, you have identified the proper channels, and you are feeling confident that the message will help turn your leads into sales. If only that was enough!
While you may have done everything right up to this point, you actually don’t get to decide whether you’ve made a successful video or not. Your audience does. That’s why measuring results with analytics is so important.
Facebook, Instagram and YouTube will give you all kinds of useful data regarding user engagement with your video. As an example, here are some of the things Facebook Ads measures:
- 3-Second Video Views
- Cost per 3-Second Video View
- 10-Second Video Views
- Cost per 10-Second Video View
- Amount Spent
- Video Watches at 25% / 50% / 75% / 95% / 100%
With this data, you will be able to identify which users are not just scrolling past your video, but which ones are actually engaging with it. You’ll also know which target audiences are giving you the most value for the money you are spending in promoting your video.
You could also use one of the many third-party tracking solutions available to track any links in your video’s description. These links could lead to an offer landing page, to your company’s main website or to a product checkout page.
The takeaway here is that you’ll have an additional metric to see whether users are taking further steps beyond just watching your video and if they are, in fact, buying your product.
Related Content: Top 5 Reasons Why Your Videos Are Not Performing Well
Tip #9 – Apply What You Learn from the Data
After you have gathered engagement data, it is time to turn those numbers into insights and those insights into action. The kind of insights you want to be looking for have to do how the make-up of your audience relates to video engagement.
For example, say you targeted your video so that it includes all U.S. geographic regions and all age groups. After running your video for a few days, you check your data and you notice that this particular video had higher engagement with the 25-40 age group living in the northeast.
There are two things you can do in this scenario:
- You can keep targeting this video to the northeastern 25-40 year-olds, while at the same time trying to reach as many of them as you can.
- You can stop targeting the video to the least-engaged demographics and maybe start thinking about trying a different version of your video for those age groups and regions that show promise.
I know this is a simplistic example. The point I’m trying to make is that in order to have a successful video, you can’t just rely on your assumptions. You have to let the data tell you where your video works best.
Closing a sale comes down to how comfortable a buyer feels at the moment of purchase. Consumers today have more choices than ever when it comes to buying the goods and services they need. This can be disorienting since most of the time they won’t have the luxury of having a human being by their side to guide them through the buying process.
Whatever was gained in convenience with all our technology was lost in human rapport. Luckily, video can help bridge this gap by literally showing consumers that there’s a familiar face behind the product they are about to invest in. Tailoring your video around this concept will set you apart from the countless faceless brands on the web.