How to Use Video at Each Stage of the Funnel

Advertisers have long understood the value of video in getting their brand stories across, and it’s why they’ve traditionally invested the lion’s share of their budgets in TV. After all, nothing quite matches the combination of sight, sound, and motion for grabbing people’s attention. Plus, our consumption patterns prove that consumers simply prefer video over other types of marketing.

Yahoo! Research reports that in-stream video delivers a 53% brand recall, far higher than any other ad format. Consumers watch nearly 7 billion videos on Facebook and YouTube each day.

On top of that, these stats from the 2015 Animoto Online and Social Video Marketing Study say it all:

  • 4 times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.
  • 1 in 4 consumers actually lose interest in a company if it doesn’t have video.
  • Customers are nearly 50% more likely to read email newsletters that include links to video.
  • 4 in 5 consumers say a video showing how a product or service works is important.

Video is typically used in the awareness phase of the customer journey. However, it can be effective throughout the entire sales funnel. It’s the perfect way to connect with consumers in the mid-funnel — when they’re actively seeking more information about a brand — and new technology lets companies directly drive leads, site visits, coupon redemptions, and sales from video content hosted online.

As marketers are increasingly held accountable for bottom-line metrics, video has evolved from a discovery tactic to an engagement tool that encompasses the full customer experience and directly influences business goals.

In this post, we’ll walk through a few ways brands can engage consumers through the full path to purchase using digital video.

1. Smart Targeting

Before digital video, brands had limited targeting options for video outside of regional targeting through television ads. Given the higher cost per view at the local level, many brands opted for broader regional or national buys.

Now, brands can get specific. They can select the kinds of publishers that match the audience they want to reach or even hone in on a niche group of viewers — such as those who haven’t shopped at their store yet. Rather than sharing one awareness message with everyone, smart targeting means companies can think holistically and create video ads with both the audience and context in mind.

2. Combine Long Form and Short Form Content

Different messages work for different stages of the funnel, and the videos look differently at each step. Short form content is especially great at the Awareness phase when viewers are new to your brand. Longer videos can be especially great for communicating with consumers who have already shown an interest in your brand. Longer content helps brands further explain products and build up trust in the interest and consideration phases of the buyer journey.

3. Increase Awareness

Once a brand has captured a viewer’s attention and achieved a completed video view, the brand needs to keep the viewer in the moment. ViralGains’ Video Explorer Engagement Card is a great way to do this. The Video Explorer shows additional videos in a video carousel at the end of the first video. This turns paid media investments into earned media and reinforces the brand story with consumers. It’s a great way to keep the momentum going and continue to build a relationship beyond the initial view.


4. Segment and Qualify

“But will they buy?”

Marketers are wise to look beyond views when judging the performance of their video advertising and ask themselves this question. Or, better yet, ask the consumer herself.

Brands can place Sentiment Surveys at the end of their videos to vet purchase intent, brand affinity, or product preference. Then, they can use this information to segment and qualify viewers and apply these learnings to future marketing campaigns.

For example, a brand can separate 4 and 5 star purchase intent survey raters from other viewers in a campaign. After the video stops playing, the brand can send high purchase intenders to an eCommerce landing page where those engaged consumers can purchase the products promoted in the video ad.

And as for everyone else? Low purchase intenders could get a separate experience with additional nurture.


5. Build Audience Profiles

Later in the buying journey, it’s important to be direct with calls to action. Video alone may not be strong enough. It could be a good idea to reinforce your message through another marketing channel.

Brands can build Audience Profiles of their most engaged viewers and re-market to those viewers on Facebook and the open web. Using re-marketing, brands can directly put in a call to action for sales, email capture, coupon redemption, or whatever call-to-action works for their campaign.

For years, consumers have demonstrated preference for video when learning about new products and services. This interest empowers marketers to use this content format to grow their businesses and build long-lasting relationships with customers.

New methods, such as Smart Targeting, Engagement Cards, and Audience Profiles, enable marketers to think beyond views with their video ad campaigns and create experiences that span the entire customer journey and deliver on bottom-line business goals. The most successful marketers of the future will embrace the challenge to be data-driven about their marketing and use video as a means to deliver ROI.

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