With modern businesses investing heavily in their online presence, video represents more than the opportunity for creative venture – it’s an active response to the expectations of a web-savvy audience.
Hubspot research proved 69% of marketing, sales and business professionals had used video marketing before. A further 31% are planning to use it in the near future.
This steady rise in popularity has transformed video production from novelty to necessity for the most successful inbound marketing strategies. The upshot is, join in, get smart or get left behind.
So how do you fold it in to your overall inbound marketing strategy?
The best approach is to be clear about your goals and target audience from the start.
Identify weaknesses in your marketing funnel. Where does engagement stall to a halt?
Strategically adapting video for different stages of the inbound methodology will help strike a chord with tentative prospects. Tailoring your video production to your audience increases viewership and improves ROI.
This breakdown is intended to show you where to begin and provides examples of video formats that are complementary to each stage in the buyer's journey.
The attract stage reveals that first glimmer of interest.
There is a good reason click-bait is successful at generating (low-quality) traffic. The ‘information gap’ theory explains our susceptibility to it. According to George Loewenstein of Carnegie Mellon University, this curiosity is rather simple: it crops up when we feel a gap "between what we know and what we want to know".
Curiosity drives traffic, and video provides several ways to evoke it - through headlines, description, visuals, sound etc. By triggering questions and curiosity, you can shepherd visitors further down the sales funnel.
At the top of that funnel, your aim should be to catch attention, entertain or help. This is why educational or humorous content performs well. Low-effort consumption flourishes in the attract stage.
It might be your first touch point with a prospect, so you need a compelling hook. Explainer videos are good for this purpose; they shed light on topics and problems through the power of storytelling and can be used to explain broad concepts, products or services.
Length is critical - viewers are not invested in you at this point. The first 3 - 10 seconds of any video is the most important, so cut to the chase.
At this time, an emotive video is the most effective. Emotions have been proven to influence buying decisions and are the driving factor behind shares. Telling a story that represents your company values without being overtly promotional will make viewers more likely to share it.
Attract stage videos build brand awareness and encourage viewers to explore and get social. Interaction is the primary goal. They prove particularly popular on social media.
Take advantage of your video campaign by establishing links between the video and your other content offers. Direct people towards landing pages on your site.
By the convert stage of the inbound methodology, you have already gained personal details about the lead and have begun to build trust.
Now is a good time to nurture that relationship by encouraging them to dip their toe in the water. You can do so by beginning to introduce your products and services. 52% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.
A demo video may be suitable for this purpose.
Within it, you can demonstrate knowledge of common problems and outline the main advantages of your solution to customers. If you work in SaaS, for example, this might be a good opportunity to give interested leads an overview of your software. It is the first appropriate time to move towards the showcasing your specialities.
Always use visuals to demonstrate your subject clearly and give viewers a preview of the core message. If you have the budget, consider using animation or graphics.
In the convert stage, people may not be ready to talk to sales. They are on a quest for information.
So the question is, are you answering their cry for help? At this point, your lead is aware of a problem and is actively seeking a resolution.
Demonstrate your understanding of their pain points and offer valuable solutions. Conversion videos are about arming your prospects with helpful and relevant information.
We have written before about optimising keywords around topics. This is relevant to video too - across all stages. To choose a topic, you should conduct keyword research around your industry and create video that mirrors consumer concerns.
If you are struggling to close, use a video to persuade leads to choose your business over your competitors.
Video has the ability to deliver details to people who are receptive to hearing about your company. It is less intrusive than sales calls because prospects can watch under their own volition.
Live videos permit potential customers to look under the lid of your business. You could broadcast interviews, a 'day in the life' or event footage. Make people feel part of the activity by taking them behind-the-scenes.
Alternatively, case studies and testimonials are ideal for sharing positive feedback.
Recommendations from happy customers inspire trust and boost brand authority. They are the perfect format for your video marketing campaign if you see high traffic that requires a push to close.
By this point, you can expect that your lead is actively researching your company, and they are likely doing so on your site. This may affect where you decide to host your video. A massive 81% of people feature video on their brand website.
Online engagement doesn't end after the sale. The delight stage is pivotal to sectors that suffer heavy churn rates and depend on customer retention for continued success.
Delighted customers become brand advocates. They spread the word about your company culture, mission, products and services.
Furthermore, when consumers encounter issues with a product or service they typically head online to find help. A video that answers user queries takes the pressure off of your customer service team and delights customers in search of a fast answer.
Marketers that use video grow revenue 49% faster than those who don't. It encourages social media shares, increases time spent on your website and boosts lead generation.
Remain aware of the buyer's journey and adapt your video production to suit different stages. Done right, video can be used to drive traffic to other content on your site - blog posts, white papers or eBooks.
Using video, you can take somebody with a passing interest and encourage him or her to engage with you in a more meaningful way.