I was washing my car on Sunday when it happened. A nondescript sedan pulled up in front of my house and two girls in matching shirts popped out of the back seat and ran off in opposite directions, each carrying a stack of postcards. I should also mention that it was my son Blake’s 7th birthday and we were expecting company in about an hour. I was scrambling to finish washing the car and still had a list of things to accomplish before my guests arrived. It was hot outside, I was in a hurry, and I knew what was about to happen. I was about to be solicited.
Luckily, for all parties involved, one of the girls ran right past me, crammed a flyer in my mailbox, and ran onto the next house muttering something about an invitation to a community party with train rides and hotdogs. I was polite, but at the same time, unnecessarily frustrated. That’s when it hit me. You can’t deliver an effective message at the wrong time. All I cared about at that moment was getting ready for a birthday party, so the second those blue-shirted, flyer-passer-outers jumped out of their car at me, I was both unreceptive to their message AND hostile toward the message sender. No amount of hotdogs or train rides could have gotten me to that party.
Let this be a lesson to you when you’re planning your video strategy. You must understand where your ideal customer is in their buyer’s journey when you attempt to engage with video. Think of it like the good ‘ol marketing funnel. Your marketing practices are probably set up to walk your customers down the funnel from awareness to conversion anyway, so you might as well use the most impactful digital tool available to you to tell your story at every step in the customer journey.
Your ideal customer knows that they have a problem that needs to be solved. You know that you can solve their problem, but they might not even know you exist yet. That’s where awareness videos can be helpful in allowing your brand to be found in the first place.
Think about your last online shopping experience. For me, it was buying a sleeping bag. I have an old Coleman sleeping bag that’s fine for backyard campouts with the kids, but what I was looking for now was a high-quality, sleeping bag designed specifically for backpacking in cold weather. So, at that point, I could clearly identify my problem and I thought I knew how to solve it. So, logically, I made my way to a reputable outdoor retailer’s website. When I got there I was faced with a lot of brands that I didn’t recognize and a huge variation in price. No offerings from Coleman to be found.
At this point in my product search, some brand awareness could have really helped me out. At the Awareness stage in a buyer’s journey, a brand introduction video, would be a valuable tool. Many shoppers (myself included) when faced with options, will start by narrowing choices down to brands they know, or at least have heard of. Brand awareness is a powerful thing that can help you stand out in a crowded space and get past the awareness stage, so you can tell more about your products or services later as potential customers consider their options.
Another great way to reach your customers at the awareness stage is to answer their “How to” question. We’ve all performed that “How to” Google search, right? After I was initially scared away from buying a sleeping bag because I didn’t know the brands or how much I should spend, I now had enough self-doubt that I wasn’t really sure I even knew how to buy a sleeping bag. So I Googled it…How to buy a sleeping bag. Thankfully, the search results yielded a handful of great videos, one of which took me right back to the website that had recently confused me. They had a whole section of educational videos that answered all kinds of “How to” questions.
As a video marketing tactic, I love this! It gave me the information I needed to narrow my search. I didn’t have to bounce around to lots of different websites; I could get the education I needed and buy a sleeping bag all in the same place. What a time to be alive!
At this point, your ideal customer may have a better idea of what will solve their problem, and if you’ve done your “Awareness Job”, then they should now know that you’re brand is a viable option for solving their problem. When potential customers reach this stage of their buyer’s journey, what they need is more information. Maybe they’ve narrowed their choices down to a few good options, and are willing to put the time into learning more about your product offering. When reaching customers at the consideration stage, your video marketing strategy should focus on drawing viewers more deeply into your product or service offering.
Videos that feature your product or service can help your ideal customer to visualize themselves having their problem successfully solved. If your offering has an element of complexity to it, video can make it easier to understand. Testimonial videos are also valuable to buyers who are weighing their options. Since customer reviews are now so important, testimonial videos give an opportunity to share other successful customer experiences with future buyers.
People often like to know something about the company that they’re buying from too, beyond just an introduction to the brand. Here, you have an opportunity to humanize your brand. If there’s an interesting story about the founding of the company or the company’s values, a video like this can help potential buyers know that they’re buying from a company that they can believe in and that will support them after the sale.
So remember that timing is everything. You likely have several opportunities to deliver the right video message at the right time as your customers move along their buyer’s journey. Part 2 of this post will focus on using video to convert prospects into paying customers and how to support them with video after the sale. Stay tuned!
Are you interested in staying ahead of the game with video marketing? That’s where Spotted Yeti Media can help. Contact us today to setup a meeting. We’ll help you discover how video can help to “show the world you exist.”