From Browse to Buy: How to Use Videos at Every Stage of the Customer Journey

From Browse to Buy: How to Use Videos at Every Stage of the Customer Journey

video marketing ecommerce

Picture this:

Summer is coming and Suzy is on the hunt for a cool new pair of shades. She types “funky sunglasses” into Google and starts scrolling through one of the first search results, a website called Shadez.

Oh, look!

A photo of a pretty girl rocking a pair of cat-eye sunglasses. Hmm, yes, those are nice. What’s that? A blog post about outfits that look particularly fashionable with this style of frames. That’s helpful, but for some reason Suzy just isn’t convinced.

She likes the sunglasses, but doesn’t feel an emotional connection to them. She doesn’t need them. Maybe she’ll wait for a sale or find something similar at the mall. Suzy closes the tab and opens up Facebook.

What’s missing in this oh-so-common scenario? What could have helped Suzy along her customer journey and compelled her to click ‘Add to Cart’?

Now, imagine this scenario:

The first thing that Suzy sees on the Shadez website is a short video that explains the story behind the sunglasses: what inspired the designer when creating the line, how the sunglasses are meticulously hand-crafted, and the amazing packaging they come in.

Continuing through the website, Suzy sees a video from a popular music festival she’s been dreaming of going to. The girls featured in it are sporting the sunglasses and having a blast. On the product page for her favorite design, she watches a review video by a YouTube star she follows, vouching for the quality and durability of the shades. It’s final, she decides, “I must have them”!

She whips out her credit card and confidently clicks ‘Add to Cart’.

Much better, isn’t it? Do you see how video content made all the difference in the hypothetical case of Suzy and Shadez?

When consumers look for answers, discover new things, or make decisions, they're often turning to videos for help. Video content helps guide potential buyers through a long and complex customer journey.

Today’s customer journey is long, complex and involves a lot of consumption of various types of content through digital channels. This makes video the perfect medium for engaging potential customers. Why?  

Simply put, videos will attract and keep visitors on your site longer, significantly increasing the chances that they will make a purchase. Now that you’re convinced that you need video content, let’s explore the customer journey and the types of videos that are most effective at each stage.

What does the customer journey look like?

If we were to simplify marketing down to a single goal, it’s to reach potential consumers at the moments that most influence their decisions.

There are hundreds of different theories and versions of the customer journey, and we definitely encourage you to explore and do your research, but for the purpose of this blog post (and for the sake of our sanity), let’s define it in the most traditional way:

 customer journey

 

You stand a much greater chance of reaching consumers in the right place at the right time with the right message when you understand this journey and direct your marketing spending and messaging to the moments of maximum influence.

Let’s look at each stage in more detail.

Awareness Stage

Goal: Engage prospects and create awareness of your brand

Suggested Video Types: Branding, commercial, “About Us”

Every day, people form impressions of brands from touch points such as digital channels, advertisements, conversations with family and friends, and product experiences. The awareness stage of the journey is the point where the customer learns about your brand and something about it piques their interest. 

This initial stage of the customer journey is your chance to grab attention and try something different and unexpected with your video content. Now’s the time to let your brand story shine, tapping into your prospect’s desires.

Which types of videos are effective at the awareness stage? 

Branding, commercial, or “About Us”/ “Our Story” videos that are interesting or humorous are a great way to engage prospects and create awareness of your brand. At this stage, your video content should be short (1 to 1.5 minutes) and the recommended format is live action. 

A great example is a video by Frends headphones, displayed prominently on their “Our Story” page:

 

Consideration Stage 

Goal: Showcase how your product can help your potential customer achieve their goals and how your offering is different from the competition

Suggested Video Types: Explainers, “How it Works”

The accumulated impressions from the awareness stage shape the initial-consideration set of brands consumers pick between. Once a prospect has moved from simple awareness to demonstrating an interest in your brand, they have entered the consideration stage of their journey.

The consideration stage of the customer journey is your opportunity to showcase how your product can help your potential customer achieve their business or personal goals. The video content at this stage needs to position your brand as memorable and interesting.

Which types of videos are effective at the consideration stage?

Explainer or “How it Works” videos are a perfect way to show your target audience that you have a strong understanding of their challenges and pain points. An explainer video helps you connect with your potential customers by delivering a clear message on what your product can do for them and why they should choose your brand over the competition.

A general rule of thumb when it comes to explainer videos is to keep them under one minute long. Apart from that, the explainer video format is very flexible – feel free to explore various options, such as animation, whiteboard, and live action, based on your budget and level of product complexity.

Explainer videos can also be cheeky and fun, like this racy home page video by Beard King:

 

Purchase Stage

Goal: To convert the prospect to a customer by dispelling any remaining doubts about your product

Suggested Video Types: Testimonials, competitive comparisons

The purchase stage is the most exciting and critical part of the consumer journey – after all, this is when your prospect converts to a buyer. It’s time to close the deal!

At this stage of the journey, you need to eliminate any remaining doubts the prospect might have about your product. With that in mind, videos at this stage are usually of a more serious and direct nature.

Which types of videos are effective at the purchase stage?

Testimonial videos go a long way in helping you build trust and credibility with customers at the purchase stage. Seeing and hearing a satisfied customer genuinely talking about their personal experience with your product helps connect with viewers on a personal level and back up the claims you make on your website.

Like most marketing videos, video testimonials are most effective when kept short. 45-60 seconds is ideal, although anything up to 3 minutes can work (especially if you’re featuring more than one speaker.)

If your product is spec heavy, you can also consider creating a competitive comparison video.

For example, Leesa Sleep has a dedicated YouTube playlist for customer reviews and unboxing videos. Check it out here:


Loyalty Stage 

Goal: Help customers justify their purchase and stay engaged with your brand, encouraging repeat purchases

Suggested Video Types: Tutorials, inspirational, vlogs/live streaming

The loyalty stage of the funnel is all about customer success and retention. Here, you need to make sure that your excellent customer support shines though and you’re keeping customers engaged with your brand. The goal is to make them genuinely want to learn more, and as a result buy more.

To keep your new customers loyal to your brand, you want to present them with educational and inspiring content that will help them justify their purchase decision.

Which types of videos are effective at the loyalty stage?

At the loyalty stage, some great options for videos include: customer on-boarding or training videos, demonstrations of new features, best practices from other happy customers, and even vlogs or live videos showing interesting things from your company or daily life.

As we progress through the customer journey, you’ll notice that the number of options for effective video types increase. At this particular stage, the length for videos is also much more flexible, as loyal customers are invested in your brand and are willing to spend time watching helpful content from a trusted business they look up to. 

Luxy Hair does a fantastic job of engaging customers at the loyalty stage. Their YouTube channel is filled with fun hair tutorials, some using the product (hair extensions) and others not. None their content feels insincere or like a ‘hard sell’.

Here’s an example: 

The founders of Luxy Hair also have personal YouTube channels (here and here) where they post lifestyle vlogs, seamlessly plugging products from their various business ventures.  

Advocacy Stage

Goal: Encourage loyal customers to become brand advocates and promote your product across their networks

Suggested Video Types: Company news/culture, consumer generated content, social  

When a customer reaches the advocacy stage, not only are they super loyal to your brand and have made repeat purchases, they are also voluntarily promoting your product. This provides social proof to others and further builds your brand exposure.

At this stage of their journey, the customer is so excited about your product and the goals it has helped them achieve that they want to tell their network. The video content targeted to customers at this stage of their journey, above all else, needs to be created with ‘shareability factor’ in mind.

Which types of videos are effective at the advocacy stage?

As with the loyalty stage, there are a number of videos that could be very effective at the advocacy stage: inspirational, company news and culture, customer generated content, and contest promotion are just a few examples. At this stage you also have a great opportunity to engage your audience with authentic Snapchat and Instagram video content.

Considering that the goal is to have this content shared across social networks, you need to be more conscious of video length than in the loyalty stage, where longer format videos work perfectly. Try to stick to 1 minute or less.

A brand that has mastered the advocacy stage is Frank Body. Using their flirty, tongue-in-cheek brand character “Frank” and creative video content, they’ve built a massive global community (683K on Instagram) of fans who promote their products.

Here’s an example of a short sharable clip they’ve produced:

 

Putting it all Together

By incorporating these videos into the customer journey, you ensure that there's something for new visitors and loyal customers alike.

Here's what that looks like across the "funnel"— from awareness to advocacy:  

 

video marketing for customer journey

Resources to Help You Get Started

By now, you know the power of video, but maybe you’re not sure how to get started on creating the content you need. Here are some additional articles and resources that will help:  

  • How Much To Make A Video is a tool that will help you easily estimate the cost of a video by playing a quick game. 
  • ReelSEO is a fantastic resource for video marketing, with a ton of original content, tips, tutorials and opinion pieces from leading digital marketers and video professionals. They also maintain a monthly leaderboard of the top video creators across various social media channels, so you can easily keep an eye on competitors and get inspiration.
  • For those of you who love data, check out Think With Google. Google maintains a robust blog with a section focused on video, collecting lots of insights from YouTube. There are a lot of interesting case studies here from Fortune 500 clients. 
  • If you’re looking for a quick way to add a beautiful free video to your home page, check out Coverr.
  • When it comes to finding a videographer for creating a custom video for your business, check out Veed.me

Recommended Reading:

Parting Words

A well-timed video at just the right spot along your potential customer's journey makes all the difference when it comes to converting shoppers into buyers. Once you understand your ideal customer persona and how your brand maps to their consumer journey, you can build a killer video content plan to be there at the critical decision moments.

What do you think about using video content throughout the buying journey? We’d love to hear any other tips or success stories. And as always, bring on the questions and comments!


shopify-author Marsha Druker

About The Author

Marsha Druker is a Content Marketer at Veed.me. With a global community of talented videographers, Veed.me is a new way to shop for professional video production based on a simple, e-commerce like approach. Marsha loves creating content, community building, and all things PR & digital marketing. For more video marketing advice from Marsha check out the Veed.me blog.

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