Over the past few years, content marketing has opened up a wide field of opportunities for B2B companies. Brands across all niches have been using content marketing to reach new audiences and stay in touch with their most loyal customers.
But out of all the types of content out there, video has become a driving force. Thanks to its versatility and widespread appeal, video content has become a staple in most brands' marketing strategies. After all, a skilled production team can tailor the medium to fit any type of audience and any type of campaign goal.
However, that's easier said than done. Not all marketing videos work the same for every marketing objective. That's why we're going to break down some of the most effective types of videos for each stage of the buyer’s journey.
Stage 1: Awareness
Think about your potential customers for a second. Their journey starts way before they even think about buying a specific product or service from a brand. The first thing on their minds is that they have a need or a problem. So they start looking for information to help them solve it.
The type of content you'll want to create for this stage is educational. You’ve probably seen your share of how-to and tutorial videos on YouTube. The goal of these videos is to start building trust with your audience by offering valuable, helpful content. Be empathetic and meet your audience members where they are. Think of it this way: How can you offer a piece of sincere advice that can help them with their problems?
At this stage, avoid overtly trying to sell your audience something. That part comes in the following stages! For now, make sure your videos convey that you understand your prospects’ problem and that you have the information that can help them navigate their journey.
And remember: An educational video is good only if it’s helpful. So try to keep your message simple and brief — like the following example from Adobe.
Stage 2: Consideration
By the consideration stage, prospects have done a fair amount of research and learned that several options are available to choose from. So they’ll start looking at the products and services on the market, checking prices, and comparing benefits.
At this stage, potential customers will want to know everything they can about your products and services and the differential benefits you offer. And there are no better pieces of content to fulfill this task than product videos. Because product videos come in all shapes and sizes, you have a couple of options in the forms of product demos and explainer videos.
Product demos focus on showing what your product or service looks like and how it works. These are especially helpful for software companies that want to show audiences the whole range of functionalities their product offers.
Explainer videos have a similar goal, but they often rely on the use of creative animation and engaging storytelling. Explainer videos are among the most effective types of marketing videos because they can explain complex concepts in a fun and easy-to-understand manner.
The following example is an explainer video for an iPad point-of-sale system designed for enterprises and small businesses. Notice how it begins by describing a problem, points to the solution, and then takes the time to go over every benefit of the service. And extra points for that wonderful and imaginative use of motion graphic animation!
Stage 3: Decision
The last stretch toward the purchase is the most critical stage of the buyer's journey. None of the previous stages will matter much if you're not doing a great job in the decision stage. So don’t declare victory just yet!
So far, your potential customers have researched and compared all the possible solutions and moved on to create a short list of potential candidates. But there might be some doubts or concerns keeping them from making that final decision, and if you resolve those worries, your brand will become the lucky winner.
First-time buyers tend to have last-minute doubts about how your products or services work and whether your company will be up to the task. Thankfully, testimonial videos can help your brand build confidence by showing what previous customers have to say about your work. When it comes to converting prospects into buyers, your already-happy customers can become your best assets.
The video below is an excellent example of an honest, unbiased customer testimonial. Notice how the review is split into two main questions: "What was working with the company like?" and "Would you recommend this company to others?" If your client has a positive answer to both of these questions, chances are your testimonial will be very convincing.
By now, I hope you have a more concrete idea of what inbound marketing powered by video can bring to the table. Especially when you match a video with your target audience's progression in the buying cycle, you can secure more leads and close more business to boost your bottom line.