I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear the term “Buyer’s Journey,” I always end up visualizing images of bright-eyed, ambitious, everyday folk embarking on a long, meandering expedition through perilous obstacles in pursuit of an epic quest to accomplish an impossible task. Is that just me? Oh, whoops - I’m thinking of the Hero’s Journey, not the Buyer’s Journey. Although, now that I’m thinking about it, the Buyer’s Journey does actually have a lot in common with the Hero’s Journey.
Made popular by Joseph Campbell in his book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”, the Hero’s Journey details a hero who goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and then comes home changed or transformed. Sound familiar? That’s because every movie, book, tv show, short film, and video game (mostly) follows this same format. My theory is that the Buyer’s Journey your customers go through in order to purchase your product actually mirrors those same steps. A customer goes on an “adventure” to solve a problem in their life, a “decisive crisis,” if you will, wins a victory by solving that problem, and comes home having changed - aka, with a new product that solves said problem.
It might be a silly comparison, but focusing on the similarities between the way we tell stories and the way we make decisions can help you better understand the psychology of your prospective customers - especially when creating and using video content to help your sales funnels. Video content helps you to better engage with your prospective clients along every step of their buyer’s journey, and better convince them to choose you over the competition.
Hopefully you’ve already done your research and you’ve started to understand and define who your potential buyers are with a buyer persona. By doing so, you can better map the video content you create to their individual buyer’s journey. The goal of the content you create will be to address the challenges and concerns your buyers face in each phase of their journey, and video content is the best content for the job.
Here is how you can integrate video content into each area of your marketing funnel to engage your buyers on their own hero’s journey towards buying your product.
“Act One” - Engaging your Prospective Customers in the Awareness Stage
The buyer's journey begins with the awareness stage. This is the stage where your prospective buyer first learns he has a problem. Using the first Lord of the Rings movie, the Fellowship of the Ring, as an example, this would be the phase where Frodo learns about the one ring and all the trouble with the bad guys trying to take it from him. For your company, this would be the phase where your future customer, who for now we’ll call...“Frodo”... needs to become aware that he has problem that he needs to fix. Your job is to help Frodo realize he has a problem, and attract him back to your website or landing page to learn more and develop an interest in your company or product as the solution to this problem.
Society of American Florist - Educational Video
For this stage, you will want to focus on creating an industry video or educational video. An industry video is a video that highlights the opportunities within your industry as a whole, while not necessarily promoting your brand. In these videos, you’re targeting people that do not even realize they have a problem. You can feature stats, trends, or industry news usually meant to highlight the magnitude of a “problem” in order to attract the right customer - Frodo.
On the other hand, an educational video is meant to educate potential customers on how to take advantage of your products at large to solve their problem. So where an industry video would highlight a problem in an industry, an educational video would aim to share educational content to fix said problem. For example, if you run a marketing company, you would make an educational video called “how to advertise on Facebook” to educate potential customers on how to solve the problem of reaching new audiences with Facebook advertising.
Speaking of advertising, you will need to promote your industry or educational videos with advertising dollars in order to attract your customers. Learning the right channels for finding and reaching the right prospective customer is paramount to figuring out where and what to spend.
BONUS TIP: If you’re still struggling to attract prospective Frodos to your company website during the awareness phase, consider making a commercial. Commercials are typically short, attention grabbing videos that highlight your company’s best features - either with a clever scene, gorgeous imagery, or a laundry list of exciting features to overwhelm the competition. Whether promoted digitally through Facebook ads or broadcast nationally on television, make sure your commercial has a clear problem-solution and a definitive call to action.
“Act Two” - Guiding your Prospective Customers in the Consideration / Evaluation Phase
Your videos worked - you’ve educated Frodo so he knows he has a problem, and now he’s looking for solutions. Don’t assume that just because you’re the one to point out Frodo’s problem that he’s going to choose you to solve it. This is where video content is critical to engage with Frodo and address any and all questions or concerns he might have regarding your product or service.
In the Fellowship of the Ring, after Frodo decided to take up the task of carrying the one ring, he had to make a series of critical considerations about how he was going to help “keep it secret and keep it safe.” Who could he trust to help him with such a difficult task? Similarly, during the consideration and evaluation phase, your own Frodo will be evaluating the various methods available to him to solve his problem. Any video content you create should aim to address these sames questions. Some of them include:
- “What type of solutions are out there?”
- “Where else can I find information on potential solutions?”
- “What are the pros and cons of each solution?”
- “What are the deciding factors that will determine my decision?”
In this phase, your content should give Frodo the information he needs to address how he’s going to solve his problem and make him aware of potential solutions, the best of which should include your product.
WeWork - Brand Video
The most popular type of video for this phase would be a brand video, also known as the explainer video. Brand videos offer a high level overview of your company’s mission, which if done right, should be uniquely tied to the problem your company is aiming to help Frodo fix. One added benefit of a brand video in this phase is that since Frodo will likely be introduced to your company through your website, a brand video will feel like a welcome and natural addition to your homepage.
Bar none, the best video to provide Frodo with during his evaluation phase is the testimonial video. By showing Frodo a testimonial video at this stage of his buyer’s journey, he can get the bulk of his questions answered from other Frodos just like him, who had the same questions, concerns, and hesitations, but took the risk anyway and ended up satisfied. Testimonials let your customers speak to their satisfaction with your product or service in their own words, and nothing is more powerful than the power of a good recommendation.
Keep in mind - it’s critical to keep your prospective buyer engaged with content in your marketing funnel that answers as many of his questions as possible. By doing so, you keep him from needing to go outside of your funnel for further research and information. Education is a powerful tool, and video is a powerful medium to educate with. That’s not to say that Frodo won’t look elsewhere for reviews and other options, but the more ammunition you give him in your favor, the more he’ll have to stack against less-equipped competitors.
BONUS TIP: A fun video to provide Frodo with in this phase is a day in the life video. Day in the Life videos show how your company or a customer operates on the day to day, and can help the buyer to visualize themselves using your product, or endear them to your company to help build credibility for your brand.
“Act Three” - Leading Your Prospective Customers in the Decision Phase
The final phase of your prospective customer’s buyer’s journey is the decision phase. In the "Fellowship of The Ring", this is where amid chaos and confusion, Frodo speaks up and decides “I will take it!” This is exactly what you want your Frodo to say when referring to your product, but how do you get there?
Once your Frodo leaves the evaluation and consideration phase, he has already determined the deciding factors that are going to make his decision for him. The role of your video content in this phase is to help Frodo realize the value your product or service provides him, and help him justify his purchase by addressing all of those deciding factors. These deciding factors can be different for every Frodo, because not all Frodos are the same. However, you can make several key predictions, as most deciding factors come down to:
- Price - Which option is the most cost-efficient option?
- Quality - Which option seems to be of the highest quality / effectiveness?
- Reliability - Which option comes from the most trusted, reliable source?
- Efficiency / Ease - Which options can I get the fastest and is the easiest to use?
Inspired Interiors - Before and after video
One great video you can create to address all of these questions is a before and after video. Before and after videos provide the viewer with an instant understanding of what you’re offering and helps them visualize it for themselves. By showing Frodo his problem before your product, then his problem solved after using your product, he can very quickly make a judgement call about your product’s effectiveness. Plus, he can use this product video to evaluate the quality of your product and the efficiency and ease of use. Meanwhile, you’re building credibility by showing your product in action instead of hiding behind a picture on the internet or a silver-tongued sales team to do all your selling for you.
Another video that could be helpful in convincing Frodo that your product is the best solution is a product review video. With a product review video, you can work with a third party source, be it a social media influencer, industry journalist, or known celebrity they know and trust, to review your product and give their take. You could even stage a product review that includes your product up against the competition and demonstrate who comes out ahead.
Magic Flask - Product Review Video
At this point, your product just needs to have a compelling sales point against the competition, and Frodo should have all the information he needs to complete his buyer’s journey.
BONUS TIP: When launching a crowdfunding campaign for a new product or gadget, you should use similar tactics to the above in your crowdfunding video. Crowdfunding videos must be engaging to help sell your company’s purpose and vision to would-be campaign backers and future customers. Your crowdfunding video should make the viewer aware of an important problem fundamental to your company’s core mission, provide them with specific information to evaluate and consider your your product or service against potential other options, and inspire them into making the decision to back your campaign. Want to really knock it out of the park? Create and cover your campaign page with multiple videos, like a day in the life, testimonial (if applicable), product review, or before and after video.
By creating and applying video content to your marketing funnel that addresses each individual phase of your customer’s buyer’s journey, you can use targeted, visually stimulating, creative content that engages customers better than words and pictures, helps customers better retain the information you want them to remember, and answers customers’ questions they’ll be asking other sources anyway. And like the hero’s journey, the buyer’s journey is universal - we all go through the same process when making the decision to buy, even if we don’t realize it. By using video, you’re able to capture the buyer’s imagination better than any other type of content. Why do you think we love the movies so much?
If you’d like more information on this topic, check out the webinar we produced with Kissmetrics.
And if you’re interested in investing more in video content for your own sales and marketing funnels, book a call with one of our creative producers today to kick around some potential video package options, like our popular “engage” pro package!