Video marketing works.
Surveys, statistics, case studies, even competitors producing video content - Wherever you look, it's clear that video marketing can boost your bottom line.
Video marketing is also expensive.
Just doing "spray and pray" video marketing is a great way to burn your budget.
You need to do more than just put out a couple videos and hope for the best.
You need to develop a smart video marketing strategy.
But where do you start?
- How do you incorporate video content into your current digital marketing strategy?
- Do you create a separate video sales funnel?
- What's the best type of content for every stage of the sales funnel?
- What about for your particular business and niche?
In this article, we'll show you everything you need to know to start using videos in your marketing funnels.
We'll walk you through the theory first:
- What the hell is a video sales funnel anyways?
- The four stages of the video sales funnel
- The goals and key metrics for each stage of the funnel
- The best type of video for each stage
Once you understand the theory, then we'll walk you through the seven steps to take to develop videos that will drive more leads and more sales.
What is a video sales funnel?
A video sales funnel is just like a traditional sales funnel, except it uses video content to be more memorable and more engaging. Just like a regular sales funnels, it's designed to attract, interest, and finally convert prospects into paying customers.
And the goal isn't just getting the final sale anymore.
The modern buyer's journey has changed significantly, even compared to just ten years ago.
Whether it's the shift from single large purchases to subscriptions (in both B2B and B2C), the rise of influencer marketing, or consumers' values impacting the brands they buy from, purchasing decisions are becoming more and more dependent on the relationship the buyer has with your brand.
This means that you have to build a relationship with your prospect throughout your marketing and sales funnels.
This progresses from:
- Building rapport with your audience by identifying their problems and empathizing with them
- Creating trust by guiding them and educating them about their problems and potential solutions
- Spurring action by offering specific solutions to their problems
- Maintaining the connection through a delightful post-purchase experience
And before you ask, yes, this also applies to B2B purchases, big-ticket or small.
Video marketing at every step of the video sales funnel
Identifying how prospects come across your content
The biggest challenges in creating an effective video marketing funnel are (1) meaningfully engaging potential customers, and (2) measuring that engagement.
Just because your video has gone viral or won some award doesn't mean it will drive sales.
Your marketing videos have to turn audience engagement into action - and to know if they're driving value you need to measure it.
The first step to cutting this Gordian knot is identifying where and how potential customers are coming across your video content.
Generally, they'll come across your marketing videos in one of two ways. You can think of these as push and pull notifications for apps on your phone:
Active search/Pull content:
- Although this is a minority of cases, they're usually the highest-intent prospects. They're either looking to solve a specific problem, or are looking for a specific product or service. The prospect has created a 'pull' request, and this is your opportunity to feed them the information they're looking for.
Passive reception/Push content:
- Most customers encounter your brand for the first time without actively searching for it. This could be while browsing social media, reading industry publications, links from other websites, or even via recommendations through their network. You need to send them a 'push' notification of your content - at the right time, on the right platform, to the right audience, etc.
Identifying how customers are coming across your content is key to identifying appropriate call-to-actions and metrics.
For example, you might have a single marketing video for your product that you're using as an ad and on a landing page.
The person viewing it on your landing page is most likely actively searching for information or for your product, so you would want to create a CTA that encourages them to get more information, or even to purchase the product.
On the other end, the person viewing the ad might not even know they have a problem. Nudging them to take a questionnaire to see if they have the problem, or to go to a page showing customer success stories might be more appropriate.
To start thinking this through, you can ask:
- Where are potential customers watching this video? Is it on a landing page, on Youtube, on TikTok or other Reels?
- What is the prospect looking for at this point? What information or entertainment will appeal to them?
- What is the highest impact action they can take? This might be as abstract as remembering your brand the next time they encounter a problem, all the way down to requesting more information or even purchasing your product.
Video marketing at the top of the funnel (TOFU)
This is where you draw prospects in towards your business. They are likely encountering your brand for the first time.
Generally they aren't problem-aware at this stage. If they are, the problem isn't a priority for them.
The goals at this stage of the video sales funnel are usually to:
- Attract and entertain potential customers
- Generate brand awareness
- Start building a relationship and connection with prospects
- Introducing them to the problem you solve (and the results you bring)
Key metrics at the TOFU
The KPIs here are murky, especially since the customers might not take action immediately.
Occasionally, the KPI can be direct purchases, but customers usually aren't ready to buy at this stage.
Instead, you have to think through your videos' and your customers' intents at this stage in their buyer's journey, and base your KPIs off these.
Generally, they can be grouped into three buckets (we've put them in order from most specific to least specific):
- Video view count: A video that is getting lots of views is most likely generating significant brand awareness.
- Clicks: This can be measured through unique tracking URLs, increased website traffic and engagement, or even direct purchases (especially if you have a short sales cycle).
- Social engagement: This can be measured through the number of shares/likes for a particular video, a boost in followers after your content is released, or simply the number of views on your video or social media pages.
- Website traffic: This can be the most difficult KPI to assign meaningful attributions to. However, if you see a boost in search or direct traffic to your website, especially soon after a video is released, this can be an indicator that your TOFU video content is working.
The most appropriate CTAs are also murky for TOFU video content, and generally don't have to be as strong and specific as later on in your video marketing funnel.
You can base your CTAs off the KPIs you've identified in the previous step.
Again, these can range from fairly specific to quite ambiguous:
- Direct actions: These encourage the prospects to directly engage with your brand. This could be "Buy Now", "Learn More", "Try a Demo", or any other CTA that encourages a clear action with your brand.
- Social engagement: Simply including a CTA to share or like your video, or to follow your social media page can drastically improve engagement.
If the goal of your video content is pure brand and/or problem awareness, then you might expect very few people to actually follow through on your CTA (although this doesn't mean you shouldn't include a CTA).
Instead, you want to implant your brand's story and personality in the customer's memory. Include strong branding at the beginning and end of your video to take advantage of the primacy and recency effects.
Best video types for the top of the video sales funnel
The best types of videos for the top of your funnel include:
Animated explainer videos
You can achieve many goals at once with these, thanks to the near limitless possibilities of the animated format.
In a single explainer video, you can describe the concept and problem you're solving, how you solve it, what its features and benefits are, address prospects' concerns, all while entertaining them and building brand awareness. This can move customers down your video sales funnel very quickly.
Social media videos
Social media is simply the best way to reach a broad range of potential customers.
First, you can create video content for your social media pages. These keep your brand on your followers' and connections' minds, and give them an opportunity to share content they find is valuable.
Second, you can create ads for social media. These can help build your brand awareness for a larger audience. Most platforms allow you to target specific demographics. Use this to your advantage by targeting audiences like your current customers, or specific groups that you think will respond to your messaging.
Live action videos
There are two options here.
The simplest, fastest, and cheapest way is making user-generated style videos. Recording a short video on your smartphone for TikTok or Instagram can generate awareness with very little investment. Posting clips from podcasts or webinars you've recorded can also be an easy win here.
The other option is to produce live action marketing videos and ads. These take more upfront investment and will usually have a longer lifespan, so it can be wise to work with a professional video marketing agency to create a video that captures your branding and messaging.
Video marketing at the middle of the funnel (MOFU)
At this stage, your target buyers have started to look for solutions to their problems and are actively researching your brand.
Your video content should do one of two things here:
- Educate and inform
- Build trust and authority
Do this by sharing and exploring various aspects of the customer's problem.
First, create videos to directly address the most common issues and questions your target audience has. Once you've covered these, it's important to also take the time to explain lesser-known aspects of the problem.
Next, start educating customers on various solutions to their problems.
This can be how your product solves the problem, but not necessarily:
Think of the last time you've searched for an Excel function. The person publishing the article or Youtube video is almost always selling a course or product, but they provide the simple solution free of charge!
Lastly, you can start comparing your solution to your competitors.
And don't only show how your product is better. Include cases and situations where it's not a good fit - This will increase your prospects' trust in your brand due to the Pratfall effect.
Key Metrics at the MOFU
The KPIs here are any signs of increasing trust in your brand.
Common metrics include:
- Newsletter sign-ups
- Case study or guide downloads
- Requests for more information
- Prospects asking specific questions on your blog or social media
The CTAs at this stage should nudge the prospect to continue using your brand as a source of information and authority.
Common ones include:
- Book a demo
- Request additional information
- Download informational materials like case studies or guides
- Signing up for a newsletter
These are also all excellent opportunities to capture email addresses and start a drip marketing campaign.
We have just one warning: Don't be spammy.
Your drip campaigns should be aimed at providing valuable content to prospects. Only give them relevant information to continue building trust and brand awareness, otherwise you risk damaging your brand's reputation.
Best video types for the middle of the video sales funnel
The best types of videos for the middle of your funnel include:
Tutorials and educational videos usually walk customers through how to use your product, or they can even explain alternative solutions to their problem.
These give prospects an idea of your product's user experience, while building trust in your brand at the same time.
These videos showcase your physical product. They show off how it works and its results.
Don't just include shots of the product either. Show off the experience of using the product, and its design and packaging. Showing customers enjoying the product and its results adds a human touch to your product videos.
These videos help inform potential customers about what using your product is actually like.
Webinars give you the opportunity to continue building trust and connections with prospects.
You can walk through common problems users have, how to use your product or service for a specific situation, explore emerging topics in your industry, or even do a lecture where you explore the theory or science behind your idea.
The webinar format has two major benefits:
First, you build trust and authority with prospects when they see you're taking the time to interact and share your knowledge with customers.
Second, interacting with prospects in the chat or through the camera strengthens your personal relationship and connection with them.
Video marketing at the bottom of the funnel (BOFU)
The prospects that make it to this point are the most qualified leads you're gonna get.
They've usually done their research and have a specific problem they need solved. They've been exposed to your brand and have started to trust and connect with it.
Now, they need a trigger to make their final purchase decision.
Do this by focusing your video content on:
- Your product or service's real-world business results
- The personal benefits and outcomes your clients experience
- Common objections to making the purchasing decision
The KPIs here are all about whether prospects are taking action towards an actual buying decision.
The exact metrics to use generally depend on your product's price. You can track actual purchases for lower-value products, but higher-ticket items usually require a follow-up by your sales team.
The KPIs are usually:
- Direct purchases
- Sales calls booked
- Trial sign-ups
The CTAs at this stage are simple and direct extensions of your KPIs - You just need to provide a prompt for the viewer to make the final purchase decision (or enter your closing and sales process for larger purchases or SaaS products).
There's no need to reinvent the wheel. The classics are fine here:
- Buy now
- Book a call
- Try now
- Get in touch
Best video types for the bottom of the video sales funnel
The best types of videos for the bottom of your funnel include:
Product demo videos
These videos go in-depth into how to use your product.
Unlike MOFU tutorial videos, which are aimed more generally at building awareness and trust, product demo videos show your product's specific features, use-cases, and results.
Focus these videos on the features that differentiate your product and the specific pain points your product solves.
Since you've already built customers' trust in the previous stages, the goal here is to differentiate your product and the results it creates.
Here, you compare your product with your direct competitors.
Go in-depth into how your product outperforms the competition. Include the key features that set your product apart, and the specific results they achieve as well.
And don't be afraid to show when your solution will be a bad fit. A damaging admission can be great to build even more trust with your potential customer (not to mention keeping problem clients out of your hair).
Customer testimonial videos
Social proof is one of the most powerful influencers of people's behavior.
Seeing positive comments and reviews from actual clients can build the last bit of trust needed to make the sale.
Capture customers' reactions to your products and how pleased they feel about them. Help solidify your prospects' reasons for choosing you and confirm that they aren't making the wrong choice.
These are a particularly important for complex products and big-ticket items with long sales cycles.
Prospects will be willing to watch a 20-30 minute since they should have high buying intent by now. Talk to your sales team to make sure you're including all the information they use close and convert prospects.
Coming out of the video sales funnel: Video marketing for remarketing and retention
Just because you made the sale doesn't mean you're done with your video marketing.
Now, you want to lock customers into your loyalty loop.
The basic version of this is just using your previous marketing videos to promote repeat purchases.
But effective remarketing is more complex than just using your funnel's marketing videos to get repeat purchases and referrals.
Your customers have already been convinced to try your product. Now you have to show them they made the right decision - especially since your competitors are going to be trying to convince them otherwise.
You can do this in several ways:
- Continue building a relationship and connection with your customers. Show them the real people behind your brand and the community you have built up around it.
- Make them feel part of your brand story. Get them involved in the community, and encourage them to get their network onboard.
- Show them the success and results other customers are getting. See our previous comment about social proof!
- Continue exposing them to your brand. Not only will it keep your product on their mind, but costly signaling theory suggests they will be more convinced in it's value since they see you have the extra budget to advertise to existing clients.
Many of the KPIs here are murky again, just like at the TOFU. Measuring how your videos improved brand awareness and connection in existing clients is particularly challenging.
However, you can easily track two other important KPIs here: Repurchases and referrals.
There are really two classes of CTAs at this stage.
The first class is similar to CTAs at the TOFU. You want to continue to create awareness and encourage customers to share your content and engage with your brand.
The second class is focused on getting repurchases and referrals. Some good ones to use are:
- Buy again
- Share discount code
- Refer a friend
Best type of videos for retention/remarketing
These videos show how customer's lives have been improved in the long run.
Seeing that others are getting to spend more time with their families, traveling, on their hobbies, or even enjoying higher social status can all convince the customer they made the right choice.
Customer success videos
These videos show the results that your satisfied customers are seeing and how pleased they are with them. Again, we love social proof.
Get your customers to help you market your business. Promoting a referral program with video will make it more memorable, and more likely that customers will take action.
Steps to creating and optimizing your video sales funnel
1. Audit your current content
Start by categorizing your current video content according to where it fits in your marketing funnel.
Using the KPIs we mentioned above, try to get an idea of what content is working well and resonating with your audience.
Also look into other content that you reuse for your video marketing funnel. Is there a blog post or landing page that's key to your inbound marketing strategy? Are there key search terms that you could double-down on with video?
2. Audit your competitors' content
Use this to see what types of videos are working for their brand, what sections of the funnel they're investing in, and what advertising platforms, influencers, and audiences they're targeting.
These can all give you clues about what might work for you, especially if they've been investing in a particular area for a long time.
But be careful.
You're doing this to make comparisons and get inspiration, not copy.
Remember, you need to maintain your brand narrative to stay unique.
3. Create a list of areas where you're missing video content
Make a list of various areas of your business that would benefit from your video content.
This could be specific landing pages on your website, platforms you're not advertising on, or audiences you're not targeting. It can also be particular stages of your funnel that are missing content, or specific video types that would create value.
For example, you might decide that a short explainer video could be used to drive conversions on your product comparison page.
And don't worry too much about exactly what content you need. You can develop this later on, or with a professional video marketing agency.
4. Prioritize your list
After creating your list, arrange it in order of priority.
What should come first?
We can't really tell you offhand. It will ultimately depend on your business priorities and objectives.
In general, however, you can consider the following questions:
- How much impact would you expect the video to have?
- How expensive would it be vs your budget?
- What's the expected timeline vs your deadlines?
- Do you have existing content you can repurpose?
5. Identify the KPIs for each potential video or stage
Many businesses simply release their video content and hope for the best.
Don't be one of them.
Define success beforehand so you know whether you're getting the results you expected.
6. Start creating your video content
The next step is to actually create your video content.
You could go through all the steps of the video production process yourself.
Start by writing a script and storyboard. Once you have a clear vision for your video it's time to start hiring animators or actors. Then, film or animate your video, and put the finishing touches on it.
Or just hire a professional agency.
7. Promote your video content
Producing video content without promoting it is like working out without eating right. Making the content is the hard work, but promoting it is what gets the results.
For paid ads, make sure to use the audience targeting available on social media and networking platforms. This will get your videos in front of the right users at the right stage of the funnel.
Organic promotion and outreach are also effective at improving your video's reach. Find influencers or communities that would be likely to appreciate and share your video content.
Lastly, share your video through your social media accounts. Simply posting it on Youtube is a good start. You can also cut your video up into smaller clips to share on social media posts, stories, and reels.