For most marketers, the concept of nurturing leads through their digital marketing funnel is not foreign.
And in terms of video marketing, the concept that they should be using more throughout their customer touch-points is not only known, it’s likely been screamed at them at every conference, workshop, and webinar. And it’s been emphasized in countless pieces of content they’ve read throughout the last decade.
So most marketers understand why they should be using video throughout their funnel, and they know the video push isn’t just marketing propaganda of the latest trend. The need to tell your story to consumers using video is here to stay. In fact, Cisco predicts that globally, IP video traffic will be 82% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2021, up from 73% in 2016. But what’s not as clearly known is when, where, and what videos you should be presenting to consumers throughout the different stages of the funnel to nurture leads with video.
The Five Levels of Awareness Established by Eugene Schwartz
One seemingly small, yet monumental shift in our marketing team’s thinking over the past year has been expanding the scope of our digital marketing funnel to accommodate the Five Levels of Awareness.
Originally presented by Eugene Schwartz in his book Breakthrough Advertising, this funnel-based concept presents a formula for nurturing leads in a way that provides them with the right content at the right time to encourage them to progress towards conversion. It outlines how aware the people are in your target audience of the problems that your products and services solve within your brand’s niche.
Although Schwartz’s book might be worth the read for all the details, I understand that you are likely a time crunched marketer, so I’ll give you the basics of what you need to know to ensure the effort you’re putting into creating and promoting more videos throughout the funnel gives you the return your brand is looking for. Let’s dive in!
The five levels of awareness are as follows:
- Unaware – Consumers are unaware they have a problem or a need
- Problem Aware – Consumers are aware they have a problem and are looking for a solution
- Solution Aware – Consumers are looking for proof that the solution works
- Product Aware – Help consumers decide to buy your product
- Most Aware – They’ve purchased! Aid consumers in next steps
Nurture Leads with Video
Where to start:
No matter the type of content you’re creating, it is important to start with understanding the goal. To start, you really need to begin with an understanding of the segment you are communicating to and ensure you are developing content that speaks directly to them. For instance, those that work in finance have very different needs than teachers. Our content directed to these segments should reflect that by using the correct verbiage, imagery, and acronyms that hit home for each consumer base. Your goal throughout these levels of awareness is the create content that makes the consumer feel as though your solution and product were developed with their needs in mind.
The next thing to keep in mind is that your goal is to capture their attention in the stage they are in, and only give them what they need to progress to the next level. This can be hard for brands who are accustomed to jumping right into their products features at their first touch with a consumer, but having patience instead by guiding leads through the level of awareness does produce results. For the first three stages (unaware, problem aware, and solution aware) keep your product promotions and features sets tucked away. They will receive their day in the sun during the product aware stage, but until then remaining focused on the consumer’s needs is a best practice that will pay off.
Lastly, align your goals (and therefore content) to each level of awareness:
Unaware – Consumers are unaware they have a problem or a need!
Put simply, when consumers are at this stage of awareness, they are nowhere close to considering your product or service because they aren’t even convinced they have a problem it solves. You need to provide content that helps them become aware of a problem or need they have.
Sure, you could try to do this with stand alone text and images, but when you have the option to create something more dynamic and engaging with an easy-to-use video editor, why wouldn’t you opt for the medium that’s proven to stand out in someone’s social feed and get you the clicks, impressions, and conversions your content deserves?
Keep in mind that 85 percent of Facebook videos are watched without sound. So even combining images with text that pops up to share your message is more effective than a stand-alone image with surrounding text. Consumers watch these silent videos in line at the grocery store, in meetings, and — yes — likely even in the restroom as well. But the good news is, they are watching! Applying video to these messages provides a boosted opportunity to engage consumers before they continue to scroll past, optimizing the opportunity that your message is received.
Here’s an example of a video we’ve used to help those that don’t even know what they are missing without a screen capture solution realize they have a problem that needs solving.
Other opportunities for video within this awareness stage include:
- Statistics-based videos highlighting thought leadership concepts or PR-oriented story lines. For instance, to aid marketers in realizing they need to be using video, we could create an animated infographic that calls out“Video Traffic will be 82% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2021! Is your content ready to stand out?”
- Connect with industry influencers who can help plant the seed of need to their audiences. Influencers are usually the first to report on trends, so stay connected so that they are highlighting a future need that complements your solutions to their audience. Remember, at this point, they aren’t promoting your product, they are promoting the need for the solution your product provides, so this approach doesn’t have the slimy promotion feel that sometimes results from an influencer plug!
Problem Aware – Consumers are aware that they have a problem and are looking for a solution
If you are using video marketing to highlight your products, services, or company, you likely have a few product highlight videos, some customer testimonials or a company/brand overview video. And if you’re edging on the advanced side, perhaps you even have a few commercials that cover why your products are the solution to the problem your prospects are looking to solve.
You know video is an engaging medium to tell those stories, and therefore understand that it’s worth investing the time and effort to create each piece of video content. What you might not know, is there is a step earlier in the process that you could start introducing videos to reach consumers who are potential prospects to ensure they are looking your way when they start to look for a solution!
Those within this stage of awareness are in research mode and are very open to solutions. This is the time to deliver content that speaks to their newly discovered needs and spoon feed them solutions that guide them towards your product competencies.
At this stage, you should be reiterating the problem they are trying to solve and introducing them to the solution. But as mentioned before, we’re not yet telling them about specific products or throwing product features at them. Why? They aren’t yet fully convinced of the solution they need. These videos should only present solution-based concepts to ensure they are headed in the direction of your brand long term.
But why not just show them the product and let them get on their way?
Simply put, they aren’t ready. Consumers who have just become problem aware don’t yet need a product, they need someone to guide them towards the correct solution. Take this opportunity to let your brand shine with thought leadership content that gains a prospect’s trust and has them eager to learn more from you as they start to look for more specific solutions.
Some examples of video content within this category include:
Webinars: Within the problem aware stage, online events can be a phenomenal lead generation tool which then allow you to deliver follow up information to keep guiding consumers towards conversion with future touches. If you plan ahead and record your webinar using a screen recording tool, you can also later slice and dice your full length webinar into smaller pieces of quickly digestible video content. These bite-size videos can then be used for an educational series of video content, used throughout an email nurture series, within social promotions, email newsletters, and more.
Remember that these videos should be product agnostic, so save the slide deck that goes over features or provides a product demo for later. Instead, focus on what problems your product typically solves and generalize the solution. For instance, TechSmith Snagit might offer a Webinar on how customer service teams can deliver outstanding support that saves their staff time using screen recording. Notice the promotion below doesn’t say Snagit?
If you’re already creating blog content focused on guiding problem aware consumers to their solution, enhance your blog post by creating a quick intro video to your blog. Use these videos when promoting your content on social media. You can also provide this video at the top of each blog so if readers only have 30 seconds, they still walk away with your message top of mind having quickly absorbed your key takeaways!
This awareness stage is all about thought leadership, so let’s talk about how you can use video to inspire engagement at your in-person thought-leadership speaking opportunities.
Conferences & Events: While at the event, connect with other thought-leaders in your space and provide your online audience with an exclusive interview that covers a few tips on the latest industry trends. Or jot down your biggest takeaways from the event and provide a candid, authentic message to followers by sharing the best parts of your presentation live. Recently, Matt Pierce, our Learning & Video Ambassador at TechSmith, did a quick video interview with industry influencer Owen Video to accomplish just this!
More engaging presentations: Enhance your PowerPoint slides with animated GIFs or quick videos to mix up content throughout your presentation. Plus, a quick 30 second video will allow your speakers a moment to check your notes and grab a sip of water.
Geolocation Advertisements: Create a quick video to promote what you’re speaking about and an event and use geolocation targeting to target the vertical or segment attending the event within an appropriate radius around the venue. Those attending the conference will see the video and be more likely to attend your session, given they’ve already had an interaction with your brand. And if they don’t, you’re still connecting with the audience you’re after and providing them with a relevant touch. Below is a video we created recently to highlight four presentations our staff was presenting on at Content Marketing World in Cleveland, OH. We then targeted marketers in the Cleveland area in the days leading up to our presentation (and on the day of our presentations), so we could catch everyone flying in and getting settled for the conference.
Solution Aware – Consumers are looking for proof that the solution works
After consumers discover the solution to their problem (or are solution aware in funnel terms), they may still be hesitant to purchase a solution. Why? It could be any number of reasons, but likely they aren’t yet convinced they have time, budget, the talent, the team, the expertise, or confidence that others out there found success in solving this same problem in this way. At this point consumers are likely researching the solution further to validate it’s the route to go, and video marketing can help.
Video is a great way to show others the success they’ve had with a solution and also provide helpful content that builds confidence in the consumer that they are on the right track to solving their problem. The trick here for most marketers? Keeping this content product agnostic. The aim is to build confidence in the solution, not your specific product!
In this stage of awareness, the leads you’ve generated through the unaware or problem aware touchpoints are looking for further validation. They want to know that the solution they’ve discovered has worked for others and will work for them too. It’s your job to put their minds at ease. It’s at this stage that we can start to introduce consumers to our products as well, but we should be subtle, it’s not yet time for product tutorials or feature checklists.
Some examples of video content within the solution aware stage include:
- Helpful how-to based content. The goal here is to research what your audience is searching around your solution and ensure you have eye-catching content that is easy to absorb once they arrive at a list after Googling. Be sure to create and post your video content in a way that is SEO friendly. For instance, knowing the idea of video editing can be daunting for new creators, we create helpful content around video editing tips and tricks. Here’s one example:
Notice that the content which highlights how and when to use J-Cuts and L-Cuts when editing video, is very general and could translate over to any video editor the consumer ends up choosing, but we’re showing the examples using our video editor. This is what I mean by subtle. We’re not shouting, “USE CAMTASIA TO MAKE J-CUTS and L-CUTS!” But we are subtly helping the consumer build confidence in how to do something while building familiarity with our product. When they do start to look towards what product to buy, likely the first brand they consider is the one who they have at least some familiarity with.
- Pre-plan your customer testimonial videos to get each interviewee’s take on the transition they made from problem aware to solution aware. Have them talk about how the solution (not a specific product) solved their problem. For instance, we might present corporate trainers in this category with a video clip of a customer saying “We were struggling to train our remote employees until we discovered video as a solution.” We’re validating that the solution our leads have chosen is the right path because it has proven to work for others.
- A good old fashioned 30 second commercial works well here, too. During the tail end of the solution aware stage, leads can be pushed to the product aware phase with a validating segment specific commercial that re-establishes their problem, validates this new-found solution, and introduces them to the product. When I say segment specific, I mean that these videos should be created in a way that really speaks to them and all aspects of your audience should be considered. This is likely to be the most expensive video your team makes and often includes an outside actor to be sure it’s polished. Here’s an example of a Snagit Commercial developed specifically for the IT segment. Take note of the subtle touches to ensure anyone in IT feels as though this content would really speak to them. (server racks, showing someone how to connect their printer, casual workplace.)
Product Aware – Help consumers decide to buy your product
Hooray! Your target consumer is product aware and browsing your product page and seemingly moments away from clicking “Buy Now”!
However, it’s not time to celebrate….YET.
Instead, you should be using videos to double down and provide validation that they’ve found the one. That is, the product or service that’s going to be the solution they’ve been searching for.
Consumers that view videos of products during the purchasing process are 85 percent more likely to buy. That’s just one obvious reason to include videos on your product pages, but there are other types of video that can help to ensure that product-less consumer makes the switch to customer by clicking that “Buy Now” button.
In this stage of awareness, we carry the leads we’ve generated and nurtured throughout each level of awareness across the finish line.
This is where we really let our products and services step into the limelight. Go ahead and showcase those features, provide that rotating 360 view of your product, and let those customer testimonials that mention the products and features by name shine.
Here are a few ways you can use video to accomplish your goals within the Product Aware stage:
Put your segment-specific customer testimonials to work
Customer testimonial videos work to provide that last bit of approval purchasers need before making the leap from lead to customer.
These testimonials should highlight the specifics of how your offering solved your future customer’s problem and showcase validating proof points that your product or service is the key to success.
If at all possible, have the star of your success story provide actual data points about how your product or service saved time, saved money, or increased overall output.
Additionally, having a customer authentically spell out how great your customer service is post-sale is an excellent way to seal the deal.
When gathering content onsite with your customers to create video testimonials, remember that you’ll need B-roll footage, and ask enough questions to tell their transition story with then and now type insight.
Keep in mind that your final testimonial video should only be 30 seconds to 2 minutes long, but you can always use the rest of the content you’ve captured to build out a longer case study for your sales team to put to work later.
Here’s an example of a completed segment specific customer success story featuring how Camtasia is used to develop training content.
Product Overview Videos
If you don’t have a product overview video on your product webpage or in the store cart, you’re missing out.
Allow people to double check their selection with a re-confirming, pre-purchase video they can watch during this final process.
These videos should be quick and reassuring. Aim to highlight key points or high level features and reaffirm that their purchase will get the job done. Then, get out of their way so they can make their way through the cart.
If you’re generating leads for B2B sales, a great way to have your sales team add a personal touch is to include a personalized video in their emails or an introductory video in their email signature.
This allows consumers to put a face to your brand name and it allows you to showcase your personality and expertise in an engaging way. Plus, it provides statistics so you know if a lead watched an entire video or even watched a video multiple times.
Use this data driven feedback to score leads so that your sales team is spending their valuable time on those most likely to convert.
Most Aware – They’ve purchased! Aid consumers in next steps
Whew! You did it. You’ve nurtured your prospect all the way to purchase and your product offering is sealed, signed, and delivered to the newest addition on your customer list. They are now at the Most Aware stage of the awareness funnel. What now?
After taking a moment to relish in your success, and rightly so, consider what next steps your new customer will likely experience on their journey with your brand.
You can use this opportunity to provide status quo materials to make sure they get just what they need to use the offering they’ve purchased. Or…. you could take that up a notch by providing them video content that gets them up to speed quickly in an engaging way, while also providing more personalized touches with you brand with video content.
This video content can put a face to your brand name and allows your newest customers to form a deeper more fruitful relationship long term with your company.
In this stage of awareness, we have the opportunity to turn our new customers into brand advocates to are excited about keeping a connection with your brand and are excited to brag to others about the relationship they’ve just started.
Let’s explore a few ways your team could start making these connections.
All onboarding is not created equal.
For starters, according to Experian’s white paper on email marketing, welcome emails have 4 times the open rate and 5 times the click rate of any other type of email that’s being sent.
This is when customers are most excited to get to know you and your offerings, so my advice? Give them what they need in order to build deep trust and understanding within this newly formed relationship.
This is not the time to bury the lead, make them drudge through content to get to know the real you and what makes your product work, or leave any key information for later.
Present the facts in a real, straight to the point, let’s really get to know each other in a quicker and engaging way… with video.
Provide tutorial videos allow users to push play on the elements they really need to know, so that they can get up and running quickly.
Tutorial topics should be focused and offered through as many touch points as possible at the start of this relationship.
Don’t just link to your tutorials in your receipt, but create a video onboarding series that can be presented via email within the first two weeks.
Perhaps your product is quick and easy and only requires one video. Or perhaps you need one video to get them into the product and using it, but inspiration based tutorials are required in the coming weeks to turn them from a user into a rockstar user.
Whatever the case may be, delivered these must-know snippets via video tutorials.
Newsletter are a great way to provide continual bits of helpful and inspiring content to your subscribers and customers on a continual cadence.
Video content should be a key component of that regular content of course, but a great way to humanize your brand is to add a human element to your regular newsletter with videos.
Personally say hello and do a roundup of what’s included in each newsletter through a quick video. Use that time to let your most engaged audience in on any exclusive news.
Our direct marketing specialist implemented introduction videos into our newsletter content last year and if you’re wondering about the results:
- The overall newsletter click through rate was up over 3 percent.
- The letter from the editor video received more clicks than any other piece of newsletter content that year (2016).
- We gained 4 times more subscribers to our YouTube Channel on the day she released the first letter from the editor video than we do on a normal day.
Check out this video from TechSmith’s newsletter editor!
Humanize your brand
Once your customer is on their way to being a rockstar user, make sure you’re providing brand experiences that delight them, and let them get to know the real you on a regular cadence as well.
This is the type of touch that makes a customer excited to be on your team as a user and more likely to tell their friends they should be giving you a look.
Simply put, putting faces to your brand creates empathy and a deeper connection because humans connect with humans, not logos.
Wondering where to start? Be yourself, but capture a bit of that magic on video and share it with those in your network.
Here’s an example of Team TechSmith giving our network a peek behind the curtain by introducing our employees to our customers.
Share campaigns results through videos
In the end, no matter how you’re using video or what campaigns you’re launching, you’ll need to showcase and share the results to your team. Use video here, too!
Showcasing stats, campaign results, and other analytical content should be done using video by emailing a screencast that explains your data to provide viewers with the context they need with a human touch.
Remember, the goal is to reach the right consumer, with the right content to match their awareness level, at the right time. Doing so with video ensures that you’re doing everything in your power to keep consumers engaged with your brand along their customer journey.
Ready to start adding video to your customer journey funnel? Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Successful Video Pre Production.