More often than not, many of the marketing videos that we see are “explainer videos” or “product-centric”, or videos that tell how a product or service works. Let’s put this idea against the Stages of the Buyer’s Journey model and see where it falls into place.
The Stages of the Buyer’s Journey model breaks down a person’s purchasing process into 3 stages: awareness, consideration and finally, decision. The awareness stage is where a person becomes aware of the fact that they have a need (or want) that needs to be filled. Some examples might be, they have a cavity or need their teeth cleaned, so they need a dentist; their tires are starting to become bald, so they need new tires; they are going on a trip, so they need travel items; and so forth and so forth. Once a person becomes aware of a need/want, they begin to look at options, or what is called the consideration stage. Here a person is looking at different options, weighing various factors and getting a sense of what is out there. Basically, they are researching. After they have considered their options, they enter the decision stage and finally make a choice. Depending on the size of the need or the importance that it holds for them, this process can be moments or sometimes even years.
So back to our original question, where do explainer videos fit into the buyer’s journey? What was that? Did you say, awareness stage? That’s correct! Well, for the most part. The idea behind explainer videos is that they are making a person aware of a need/want that may or may not have known that they had. Here’s an example. A certain, unnamed insurance company with a spokeswoman named Flo tells us that their company can save us money on insurance. For most of us, if we own a car, we have car insurance already. That is not a need that we have. Sure we like to save money, but car insurance may not have been on our radar as a place where we could save money. So, this insurance company is trying to make us aware of a need, saving money, and offering their service as a way to fulfill that need. The next time you see an ad in front of a YouTube video your trying to watch or see a sponsored video, watch it all the way through and see if you can place where in the buying cycle they are targeting. Chances are good it’s the awareness stage.
So what does this mean for your business and for marketers? It means, the majority of video marketing is opening the door for people to enter the buyer’s journey for their product or service, and not following them through to the crucial stage of decision making. Let’s take a quick look at how we can maximize each stage.
At the beginning of the buyer’s journey, they are most likely unaware of two things: your company, and the fact that they have a need. At this stage, buyers are grappling with the following question: “how do I know if I’m interested if I don’t even know you exist?” As a marketer, your job at this stage is to create awareness of your product, service, or company, so that your buyers begin to understand what you do, and how you can help them.
Video Marketing Tip: Focus video content on the need/want…not your product or brand. Your storyboard should be based around creating scenarios and situations that your audience can relate to, with your product/service as the secondary focal point.
Once a person realizes that they have a need, typically the first place they turn to is Google and the majority (72%) will return to Google at least 2-3 times throughout this stage. Here the buyer is gaining greater knowledge of the need and at the same time, narrowing down options of companies and products that will address that need. The most common types of content that they are looking for are educational materials, reviews and testimonials.
Video Marketing Tip: The shift here is to give your product/service priority and the need becomes the secondary focal point. Utilize current and past customers to create testimonials of your product or service. Highlight the features and benefits of your product/service and how they address the need.
At this point, the buyer is ready to pick a product or service and make a purchase. They have already done the research and are probably familiar with your product/service. As they finish the buyer’s journey, the focus for marketers is providing exceptional customer service and ensuring that the customer remembers your company. Too often, business “take the money and run”. Let them know you are still there for them, even after they make their purchase. Build trust and loyalty, which is just as important in the digital world as it is face to face.
Video Marketing Tip: You don’t want to leave your customer after they click “Buy Now” or “Sign Up”. Leave them with some added value. This can be tips and tricks on how to use your product or service, alternative uses, or how to use their purchase in conjunction with other products or services you offer. And finally, be sure to brand your company! There are exponentially more product and service names than there are brand names. If you want them to remember anything, it’s who you are…not necessarily that one product they bought.
As you think about your video marketing strategy, keep in mind your buyer’s journey. Are you leaving them at the door, so by the time they get to the Decision Stage, they forgot how they even got there? Walk them all the way through and don’t let them forget who you are.
Real Digital Productions can help you create marketing videos that follow your buyer’s journey.