In a perfect world, your ideal customer will instinctively know who you are and why your product is right for them. There’d be no long customer journeys, and no late nights spent comparing your solution to that of your competitor’s.
In this imperfect (and less creepy) world, where marketing messages don’t get beamed into your head, every time we buy something new, we have to trudge our way along the customer journey.
What is the customer decision journey?
The customer journey is very similar to an old-time adventure. At first, there’s a pain point. Something isn’t quite right in your life. Let’s say you really like drinking tea.
You can go to the shop and buy brand x, y or z tea. This is the familiarity phase. You know these solutions are out there either through ads, conversations, articles or the endless recommendations from Aunt Sue.
You pull out your phone and start researching. That’s when you read about Awesome Tea (not a real brand.) You’ve never heard of it, but once you dive into the reviews and YouTube videos, and you learn about its many uses, it worms its way into your top three options.
You read some more content. You watch an unboxing video on YouTube and just seeing Awesome Team makes you more keen to try it.
You make a decision and place your purchase. While you wait for your order, you read some more content around the product just to make sure you made the right decision. When the package finally arrives, you make the first cup. It’s pretty good.
As if by magic, you get an email from the content marketing team thanking you for your purchase and telling you about some other ways you can use Awesome Tea. Over the next few months, they send you more interesting content about hot drinks and uses for the product. As you begin to run out, they send you a coupon for your next purchase. You place your next order and start telling your friends about how awesome Awesome Tea is, becoming a brand advocate.
This is the customer journey in a nutshell. There’s a pretty clear path to purchase. You move through the five stages of awareness, familiarity, consideration, purchase, and loyalty. Unfortunately, it isn’t this straightforward anymore.
The rise of social media has transformed the way brands and customers interact. The customer decision journey isn’t a path, it’s a cycle. We’re always on different parts of it, as information and videos we come across pull us forward or push us back.
These days we’ve got constant access to information. Targeted ads follow you around the internet. Marketing emails fill your inbox. Friends and colleagues tell you about the latest stuff they bought, and influencers you follow share information about the tools and products they use.
The journey never ends. Once the customer reaches the loyalty stage and begins to recommend your product, they haven’t reached a magical last step where they’ll stay forever. That’s why marketers create retention strategies like loyalty awards, special deals for existing customers, and nurturing email campaign sequences to keep their product fresh in your mind.
Supporting the customer’s journey
The customer isn’t going to walk through by themselves. At every stage, they’ll need different kinds of content to guide them through and support their decision-making process, and video is the perfect medium to do it! Let’s break it down, stage by stage!
The awareness stage can be tricky. Your potential customer isn’t really looking for something to buy yet, but they have a growing need.
Your strategy at this stage should be to identify the customer’s buyer persona and go after that. Understand their interests, the kind of content they consume, and their motivation to make a purchase.
The best type of content for this early stage is low-commitment, informative content designed with your ideal customer in mind. The aim is to position your brand where they’ll come across it. One of the ways to do that is by creating exciting, relevant content built around your shared interests.
Create attention-grabbing videos that answer questions that tap into the things you’ve got in common. Outdoor gear store REI does a fantastic job of creating great videos for this stage of the purchase funnel.
In this video, two team members go on their first mountain biking trip and share stories about their experience. There’s no mention of specific products or gear. Instead, this video embraces their ideal customer’s love for the outdoors.
The point is to get your brand in front of your ideal client. Depending on your product, you can also create:
- Inspirational videos
- Fun infographics for questions they have
- Funny videos that tap into your shared sense of humor
- Opinion videos on shared topics of interest
Get out there and make that connection.
You’ve introduced yourself, and your potential customer knows who you are. At this point, your supporting content needs to dig a little deeper.
Create a list of questions your customers ask, and create videos that answer them, focusing on one question at a time. Offer a few different options that include your product, but don’t focus on it completely. This builds trust. It introduces the customer to your product while showing them you’re interested in helping them find the best solution for their needs instead of just pushing your product. This works best for brands that compete on more than just price.
Play around with the video format. You can create how-to videos, guides, or even trailers.
The customer is pretty confident you’ve got what they need. Right now, you’re competing with the other brands in their top options list. Supporting content for this stage is all about differentiating yourself from the group.
Create short video tutorials and show potential customers how your product solves their issues. To make these even more effective, include testimonials from real customers. Adding a sprinkling of social proof reminds them that your product’s been tested by their peers.
You can also create video case studies that highlight the benefits of using your product, and share real data from your customers. This style of video is particularly effective if you share tangible results tied into a story of success. The numbers are important, but the key selling point is the fact that your product helped another customer achieve their dream.
Most purchases fit into the overarching narrative of our lives. A pair of running shoes aren’t just footwear. They’re a means to get fit and live the life you want. Use video to show potential customers how your product fits into the story of their lives.
Remember, this is the big one! Every video made for this stage needs to have a strong call to action.
For more complicated products, short explainer videos that take the customer through each stage can be really helpful.
Your key goal here is to keep the customer from bouncing and guide them through the last few hurdles. Be supportive and clear, and highlight those solutions. Buying things can be a pain. Your job is to motivate the customer through the pain so they can reap the reward.
Cultivating loyalty starts immediately after the purchase. There are a number of different ways a loyalty program can be structured – through points, stamps, coupons or even through paid programs (like Amazon Prime). Videos can be used to augment customer loyalty in each of these cases. For example, you can create a thank-you video that thanks the customer for their purchase and tells them what’s going to happen next. Ideally, you have an email nurturing campaign set up in your CRM (customer relationship management) that’s ready to support them and start building loyalty.
Video is a great tool to use during your nurturing campaigns. You can create advanced guides that show your customers how they can make the most of your product. This highlights your dedication to their experience and continues building trust.
You can also create videos around product updates and other customer success stories.
Keep the cycle going
The customer’s journey doesn’t end. It’s a constant cycle, much like getting fit or eating healthy.
Video content can help strengthen your relationship with existing customers, and increase retention rates. It’s a powerful way to improve your purchase funnel and get those conversion rates up.
Ready to make your first video for the purchase funnel? Why not try one of our free templates today?
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