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If you’re serious about investing your marketing dollars into strategies that get results, building a sales funnel with tailored video messaging should be a strong part of your business growth plan.
Video is not only the most powerful content medium that can effectively move your target audience along the stages of the sales funnel to become buyers, but it helps forge a connection and build a bond with potential customers.
You may already know some tips and tricks for creating effective videos and have some degree of awareness about the sales or marketing funnel. But by diving deeper into the specifics of video content that you should use at each sales funnel stage, you can maximize the results of your efforts.
Here we’ll do a quick recap of the sales funnel, then dive right into the various types of videos that can help you nail each stage and move your audience from prospect to brand ambassador!
Sales Funnel Review
What’s the purpose of the sales funnel?
To hone in on the needs and desires of your target audience, deliver tailored videos that prompt them to continue to the next sales funnel step, and then seal the deal by inspiring your potential customer to become an actual customer.
Why can’t you just use the same video at each stage?
Because the whole point is to meet the person where they’re at in the decision-making process. The viewer wants (and needs) fresh content, new information and reasons why they should give you a chance — and this takes time. Optimize your videos for the top, middle and bottom of the sales funnel and the content will have much greater appeal.
Here are some things to keep in mind about each step of the funnel as you set out to craft your video content:
Top of the Sales Funnel: Hook & Educate
At the top of funnel, your main objective is to capture the audience’s attention on YouTube, Instagram or Facebook, then take that nugget of interest and further indulge their curiosity.In the TOFU stage, viewers don’t have a reason yet to keep watching, so you need to keep this video short and sweet. Click To Tweet
Make sure the subject matter starts out pretty general, and give them information that addresses some issue or problem that they might not know they have yet (or haven't yet named it). Be sure to mention your company, brand, product or service to plant the solution in their minds.
Middle of the Sales Funnel: Feed Their Curiosity
At the MOFU stage of your video marketing sales funnel, viewers have taken the time to finish your top of the sales funnel video or videos. They’re hoping to learn more about the problem you started to cover, and see what else you have to offer in terms of information and a possible solution.
A lot of companies like to create multiple videos for the middle of the funnel to give the audience a range of topics that will continue to feed their curiosity and start to build your company or brand up as an ally.
Bottom of the Sales Funnel: Get the Sale
In the BOFU stage of the sales funnel, the audience is considering you as the answer to their issue or problem. They want you to reinforce the features and benefits that are better than your competitors, and they still may have reservations.
Give them the opportunity to take what they’ve learned in the other stages of the sales funnel and make an educated decision. Address and questions you know they'll have and diminish any obstacles to make saying “yes” here a no-brainer for them!
Videos for Hooking Your Audience at the TOFU
Though you’ve cast a wide net with your initial contact videos, keep in mind you are dealing with an audience that has already been narrowed to fit your target demographic.
Whether it’s people similar to your current customer base, or you’re attempting to influence a new demographic, your targeted top-funnel videos must contain messaging that they’re open to hearing.
Speak to your viewers in a way that lets them benefit from taking the time to watch with the following video types:
Animated Explainer Videos
Animated explainer videos are a visually creative way to tell a story and are super versatile in both their appeal and what they can show.
At the top of your sales funnel, animated videos can send a message to your audience that you’re different from the herd. They can be whatever you and the animation team need them to be — funny, serious, insightful or direct.
Use animated characters to highlight a persistent problem that viewers may be facing in a way that makes them take notice and then introduce your product or service as a solution. Though you aren’t yet focused on selling at this introductory point, you can still give them valuable information that will allow them to start to building confidence in your brand.
EvaDrop is a new and innovative product, so they used an explainer animation to illustrate how it works:
Dive Deeper: How to Craft a High Converting Explainer Video
You might use corporate/brand videos when your goal is to let your audience know about the things that make your company appealing and successful.
This is a smart way to go if your company needs to raise awareness and help establish you as a player in the industry. Use a corporate/brand video to help shape your image in the public eye, build trust with your name and simply get people thinking positively about you.
At the top of your sales funnel, remember it’s all about building awareness, so stick with talking about what makes you unique. Walk viewers through the behind-the-scenes values that define your company, how you invest in innovation and/or the community or how you take care of your employees.
First American cares about their employees and they wanted to show just how much with this video about the various benefits they offer the people who work for them:
Want to prime your audience for an eventual sale by giving them insights they’ll really value? Use the widely powerful educational video format to deliver helpful information about an issue that your viewers care about.
Keep in mind that even in the midst of an overflow of entertainment-focused content out there, many viewers seek out content that will make them smarter. In fact, if you market your video right, you may be able to get your video to come up in search results when people are actively searching for content about your subject matter.
Using the short span of your video to help them gain insight into a specific problem shows that you are committed to sharing knowledge to improve people’s lives, not just to make a sale, and gets them prepared for the next step — solving the issue.
Sumitomo creates educational videos, like this one that helps the viewer shop for winter tires if they don't know what to look for, in order to place themselves as a though leader in the tire space:
Lifestyle videos at the top of your sales funnel can help position your brand in the viewer’s daily life.
Connect with your target demographic with messaging and visuals that seem familiar and even personal. Show real people struggling with the pressing issue that your company solves, and then benefitting from investing in a solution (your brand).
Lastly, use your characters and words to spark the emotions that a customer might feel once they add your product or service to their life.
Adrenaline Shoc needed a fun and exciting lifestyle video to help launch their new energy drink brand:
If you want people to know all about the unique benefits your product has that make your customers feel like they made the right choice when choosing your brand, a simple problem/solution video is the way to go.
With problem/solution videos, you can highlight a pervasive problem and then demonstrate the ways that your product or service offers relief. Since we’re still in the “courting” phase of the marketing funnel, you should spend most of the video highlighting the issue, with a brief mention of the solution, to incite curiosity in your audience and drive them to the middle of the sales funnel.
ProLock demonstrates a really annoying problem with extension cords and they use a problem/solution format to show just how easy it is to solve with their product:
Pro Tip: Remember to plant your company or brand in the minds of your viewers, even if it’s a short mention, and always use subtitles so they’re sure to get the message even when the sound is turned down.
Videos that Move Your Audience Along at the MOFU
Now that your top of the sales funnel video has succeeded in driving viewers here to the middle of your funnel, don’t squander the opportunity to impress them!
Let’s use this key step to share why and how you solve problems for your customers, and all the ways you do it better than the competition.
Take what you’ve started at the top of the funnel and build upon the messaging to help viewers dive deeper into who you are and what you can offer.
Use the following video types to strengthen that bond and convince your audience to continue on to the bottom of the funnel.
With product videos, you’re focused on elevating the life-changing features and benefits of a particular product.
Use the surprise factor, humor, statistics or whatever makes sense for your product image to clearly explain why your product is THE answer. Clue viewers in to the strategy behind the product with peeks at how you integrate technology, your research methods or your development process.
Show specific features that are sure to turn heads; basically tell people with clever messaging and visuals why they need your product in their lives.
UAG shows off their new MacBook Pro military-spec tested case in this simple yet powerful product video:
Tips and Tricks Videos
Want to make people feel like they’re in on a secret that gives them an advantage? Use tips and tricks videos to share fun, helpful, insider information about your product or service.
Tell your viewers how to get the most bang for their buck by squeezing the most benefits possible from your product. Continue to build the customer relationship as you offer valuable tips that can make them feel like they’re ahead of the game. Use multiple tips and tricks videos to really maximize the value for viewers here.
Thaitrick made a video demonstrating 39 clever DIY kitchen tips and trick to make your life easier:
Instructional / “How It Works” Videos
“How It Works” videos are a great way to deliver instructional details before people make a purchase, which serves to get them into the mindset that they will inevitably become loyal customers.
Use a longer-format video to really dive into some of the factors your customers should know about to optimize their product experience. You can use feedback from current customers or issues you’ve helped them solve to shape the topics you cover in your instructional videos.
Later, when you’re ready to ask for the sale at the bottom of the funnel (see below section), viewers may already feel as if they know a lot about your product and have bonded with your brand by that point.
Big Train uses how-to videos to help explain how to use their products and ingredients:
Pro Tip: No matter which video type you go with, your target audience should leave the middle of the funnel understanding the severity of the problem and feeling excited about the possibility of finding a real solution. Try giving your audience multiple videos at the middle of the sales funnel to solidify the connection and make it harder for them to say no during the next step!
Videos that Turn Leads into Buyers at the BOFU
By the final phase in your sales funnel journey, your wide net of potential customers has been whittled down to a small amount of prospects who now know your name, as well as the value proposition you’re offering.
The hard part has already been done; they’re already interested, so in the BOFU, you’re trying to nudge them right where they already want to go — from shopper to buyer. Make sure you effectively leverage the hard work you’ve put into the first two video phases by offering the following types of content to drive your message home and get the sale.
You don’t want to mince words here at the bottom of the funnel, so the webinar video format should be direct and almost entirely product- or service-focused.
With a longer run time, you can go through all the features and benefits that make this move a great decision for your viewers. Teaching your audience how to use your software, for example, is a subject that is ideal for webinars.
Address common doubts here to smooth out that decision-making process that’s happening in their minds right now. Show you care by acknowledging their hesitation, answering their concerns and giving them solid information about how buying your brand can make a difference.
Close.io uses this long-form webinar (a recorded video) to teach SaaS sales strategies that help convert leads into customers:
Customer Testimonial Videos
What’s more convincing than people just like your target audience speaking truthfully about how glad they are they purchased a certain product or service from your company?
Testimonial videos often carry more weight than one-sided conversations, since we tend to not only trust other people’s positive experiences, but also put ourselves in the happy customer's shoes and imagine ourselves having one, too. Great feedback from users also goes far to convey the genuine emotions that come from making a wise purchase.
Omada Health showcases not only how they care, but how easy it is to implement even in a large company with these real-life testimonials:
Case Study Videos
If you want to connect with your audience in a way that builds trust beyond a doubt, case study videos not only show viewers that they’re not alone in their problem, but also help reinforce the idea that your product or service really works.
These types of videos highlight real-use cases and deliver actual proof that your company delivers what it promises. Like testimonials, case studies can be powerful and persuasive, because viewers tend to connect with the subjects and picture themselves having a similar experience.
Nurture Digital shows just how they helped Nike promote their events by creating premium digital content and working with influencers in this case study video:
Demo, or demonstration, videos can give your bottom of the funnel viewers an immersive experience that lets them see exactly how your product works and what to expect.
This format uses the “show don’t tell” approach to highlight your product in use, doing what it’s made to do and solving problems? Use demo videos to take the brand or company trust you’ve built up thus far and parlay it into real product trust!
Frame.io uses this demo video to show how using them eliminates having to use Dropbox for file sharing, Vimeo for video review, and email for communication in order to close the deal with new customers:
Pro Tip: Remember, the bottom of the sales funnel is your viewer’s last stop where they must decide to buy or fly. With the videos presented here, you want to maintain some consistency of the buyer's journey to continue the momentum of the videos they’ve seen so far.
Avoid repeating the same videos from the first two stages, since an audience will see right through your shortcut. Give them new reasons to say “yes” while reminding them why they’ve watched up until this point.
Get Started On Your Strategic Video Marketing Funnel Strategy
Optimizing video for your sales funnel strategy is an art and a science that takes time to master. Consider the impact of the various types of videos mentioned above to help move viewers through your sales funnel.
Test different videos, change variables (such as the order, length or amount of videos) as needed, and make sure to measure your sales funnel success by tracking your videos’ views and partial views once you go live.