How to Adapt Video Content for Each Step of the Customer Journey
One of the most challenging aspects of marketing today is that your target audience is everywhere.
The good news?
You can be, too. And here’s something even better: with video, you can make sure to stand out from your competitors.
Using video in your marketing can increase conversion rates by up to 65%.
However, just doing video isn’t enough; it’s important to dig into how familiar your viewer is with you already and what are the questions they want to be answered.
Using video in your marketing can increase conversion rates by up to 65%.
In other words, your video needs to be appropriate for the step of the customer journey they’re in.
Want to share the perfect video for every moment your potential customer is in? This guide will give you a hands-on plan to easily create a single video and optimize it for each stage of your customer’s journey.
Customer journey: an overview
A customer journey is exactly what it says on the tin: it’s the path a customer goes from learning about their pain point through to researching their options and making a purchase decision.
This journey, however, isn’t linear. Customers can now research their options in more ways than ever before—written content, video, podcasts, emails, and many more. As a result, customers interact with brands in an unpredictable way—an average of five times before deciding to buy!
Customer journey can still be divided into three main steps that you can create content (including our favorite—video) for:
- consideration, and
Keep in mind customers progress through their journey differently based on many factors, including industry and price ranges. Sometimes it’s easy for them to buy entirely on their own; other times, they will need a few conversations with a real salesperson.
Either way, you want to show up in these three key moments when they are ready for next steps. Thus, you become their trusted go-to brand and a logical solution for their problem.
Awareness stage of the customer journey
In the awareness stage, your potential customers are going through a specific problem and are researching and learning about it. They have many questions as they likely haven’t yet named the problem itself.
In short, they’re experiencing symptoms. Here are some early awareness problems for several company examples:
- A medical center: “Why does my ear hurt?”
- A car repair service: “Why is my car engine overheating?”
- An accountant: “Financial advice for small business owners”
Right now, buyers are identifying their challenge and want to learn about it. They aren’t yet looking for a solution.
Instead, they are trying to verbalize this problem and they are searching for someone they can trust to educate them.
Consideration stage of the customer journey
Your customer’s problem now has a name, and they are considering possible solutions and remedies.
They are no longer searching for generic terms or asking ‘why’ questions. They now want to know their options and opportunities in solving this challenge they now know they’re facing.
In the consideration stage, customers want to know their options in solving the challenge they are facing.
This means their queries are now increasingly ‘how-to’ questions, for example:
- How to cure an ear infection?
- How to fix a car engine leak?
- How to pay quarterly taxes online?
In their search, they are hoping to find start-to-finish guides, step-by-step directions, and a range of options including products and services to help them solve their issue.
In the consideration stage, customers want to feel confident they can address their situation.
They want to feel confident they can address their situation, learn the pros and cons of their options, and make an informed decision.
Decision stage of the customer journey
Finally, it’s time for your customer to select a solution. They likely have some options they like more than others, so they are comparing these with alternatives and they already have some expectations.
This is when customers want to be reassured and impressed. They want their last-minute concerns to be addressed. They want to be assured they have made the right purchase decision.
In the decision stage, customers want to be sure they have made the right purchase decision.
Their queries in this stage are usually:
- Comparisons (option 1 versus option 2)
- Trying before buying (free trial, return policies)
- Reviews and testimonials (does [solution] work for [situation]?)
Your customers want proof and validation to move forward with their purchase—and you can make it happen with video content.
Now, let’s jump into types of content that work for each stage.
Types of videos for each step of the customer journey
Now that you know what your customers are looking for in each stage of their journey, let’s dive into video specifics to make the most out of each stage.
In each section we’ll cover:
- The type and content of the video
- The best channels to post it
- The format and length of the video
- The goal and call-to-action (CTA) for the video
Awareness stage: answering common questions
As we mentioned earlier, this is a symptom-driven stage. Your potential customer doesn’t know about your or even the name of the problem they’re facing.
You can offer the initial solution they’re looking for: educational videos.
Educational videos don’t aim to sell a product or promote an offer. They provide valuable information that helps your audience understand their problem better—and become aware of you in the process.
Educational videos don’t aim at selling a product or promoting an offer.
These videos attract new audiences because they answer questions that are often searched on Google and YouTube).
The type and content of the video: Educational above everything else. List-style videos work well here: for example, ‘X reasons for [problem]’ or ‘X tips to identify [problem]’.
Best channels to post this video: Social media channels, YouTube, and key landing pages on your website.
Format and length of the video: Although different social networks have a range of options, you can never go wrong with a square (1:1) video for standard posts. Instagram Stories and Snapchat favor vertical (9:16) videos, and YouTube is all about the horizontal (16:9) format.
For length, here’s what video strategist Salma Jafri recommends based on different platforms:
The goal and call-to-action: Your goal with awareness videos is to educate your audience and reach as many people with the same problem as possible. Your CTA should therefore be asking for click-throughs to your blog or other resources and encouraging shares on social media.
Here’s an example of the awareness stage video we made:
Consideration stage: how-to videos
Now that your potential customers know what their problem is, they are looking for hands-on, actionable guidance towards finding a solution.
In the awareness stage, you help people identify their problem. Now, it’s time to deepen their knowledge of all their options and make them confident about making a purchase decision.
Here’s what video content might work best at the consideration stage.
The type and content of the video: Step-by-step content. If you can cover a topic with a ‘how-to’ as the beginning of the title, it will likely work well.
Best channels to post this video: Email definitely wins in the consideration stage. A video you share in an email can lead to a YouTube video or a dedicated landing page. If you can segment your email list prior to sending, even better—sending these videos to those who engaged with your awareness stage content is gold!
Format and video length: Horizontal (16:9) format. For length, you can go longer than for awareness videos, but make sure you can retain viewer’s attention and only make the video as long as it needs to be.
The goal and call-to-action: Your goal in this stage is to nurture your viewer. To do this, make sure your call-to-action gives them something with high perceived value, like a subscriber-only video series or an ebook.
This video from Dropbox describes how they solve problems of marketing teams:
Decision stage: demonstration, testimonials, and proof
This is where your video marketing strategy impacts your bottom line.
In the decision stage, you want your potential customer to feel what it’s like to own your products or use your services. You want them to experience the transition from their problem into the solution.
They now know a lot. This means you no longer need to stick to just educating them; you get to show them who you are, what you stand for, and what makes your offer unique.
Connecting through your story and your customer examples will become the ultimate factor to spark action from your viewer.
The type and content of the video: Product demonstrations, customer testimonials, and any other type of video that shows your product or service in action and conveys its impact on your customers.
Best channels to post this video: Email is ideal. However, you don’t need to limit yourself to just email. These videos have high impact, and you should leverage every channel you have. Highly specific landing pages, as well as social media, can work wonderfully for decision stage videos.
Format and video length: Horizontal (16:9) for email and your landing pages and channel-specific format (square or vertical) for the social media platforms of your choosing.
Keep your video under two minutes. This way, you can easily share the video across social channels while still communicating what makes your offer better than any other.
Keep your video under two minutes, to be able to share it across all social channels.
The goal and call-to-action: To get your viewer to sign up or purchase, don’t forget to ask them to. Whether it’s a free trial, a consultation call, or a direct purchase, have a clearly spelled out next step.
As I mentioned earlier, everyone’s customer journey is different. Can you sell your offer directly from the video? Great!
But if driving your viewer to action and – eventually – purchase requires more steps, encourage your viewer to take them one at a time. Good calls to action might be to reach out to a sales representative or sign up for a free trial.
Video creation strategy: a step-by-step guide
Once you have a strategy – and my tip #1 is to always have a strategy!, you can get down to actual video making.
If you think all those videos for every step of the channel are going to take a lot of work, fret not. Here’s how you can adapt one video for each step of the customer journey – before the cows come home.
Step 1: Define your core theme
Since you’re going to create a single video that you will later change based on the customer journey stage, it’s important that it’s on a topic that drives your core business.
Here are a few examples of what a core theme might be:
- Real estate agent’s core theme: buying or selling a house
- Travel agency’s core theme: booking a summer holiday
- Office furniture company’s core theme: selecting the perfect desk and office chair
- Marketing agency’s core theme: increasing revenue through Facebook ads
Can you see the pattern? Your core theme should be something that drives your business forward and impacts your bottom line the most.
Later on, you can play around with other services and products you offer and topics you cover in your content. However, it’s important to identify one core theme first to kick off the customer journey video process.
Step 2: Create a storyboard for your main video
Storyboard consists of main occurrences in your video through images and text—kind of like a comic.
Since you’ll be tweaking this video from an awareness (answering a question) version into the consideration (how-to) and decision (proof) version, storyboarding will help you take your core theme into a visual outline for this main video.
This way, you will have a structured timeline based on your initial brainstorm and you will easily spot areas to make changes between versions of your video.
Your storyboard should contain up to 10 points you want to cover about your core theme.
For instance, if we go with the real estate agent’s core theme of selling a house that I mentioned earlier, the storyboard can include the main steps of selling a house.
For the three stages of customer journey, it means this video can shape up as:
- X tips for selling your house fast (awareness stage)
- Step-by-step, more detailed video guide on selling your house (consideration stage)
- How we can help you sell your house (decision stage)
It’s up to you whether one point will be covered in a single scene or more. Most importantly, keep it down to the necessary ones to maintain viewer’s attention throughout.
Step 3: Build your storyboard as a video project
Now that you have your main scenes and key points ready, you can start making a video. Here’s how.
In your video editing software of choice, start creating your video timeline by creating one scene per point. Each scene should have a photo or a video, as well as text that explains what the scene is about.
Along with that, your video should have a title scene at the beginning, and a call-to-action at the end (we’ll talk about CTAs later).
To get an idea of this layout, check one of Buffer’s videos from Twitter, which follows the project layout described here:
Got Social Media Creativity Block? 🤔
Bust Through With These 5 Content Ideas 👊
— Buffer (@buffer) July 6, 2018
From here, you can tweak your video by adding or removing scenes and editing text, fonts, colors, and formatting.
You can also play with more tips by using a single video clip, just like we did in this example:
9 Use Cases to Boost Your #VideoMarketing:
📱Social Media Video
🎞Facebook Video Cover
📩Email Newsletter Video
▶ Explainer Videohttps://t.co/j2vgxiL4nf pic.twitter.com/JLytHQk8jZ
— Wave.video (@wave_video) July 12, 2018
Once you’re finished, it’s time to adjust your video for different customer journey stages.
Step 4: Optimize your video content and format
With the previous step, you’ve created your baseline video. This video fits perfectly into the awareness stage since it’s based on tips and you can use it to reach new audiences.
To optimize this video for the consideration stage, you should turn tips into practical steps that can educate your viewer to take action. You can do some of the following:
- Add an extra scene for each tip, diving deeper into each point with actionable takeaway for each
- Replace the photo/video of each tip with a video of yourself or a team member talking to the camera and walking the viewer through the tip
- Add a clip of your team members or customers for each step, demonstrating how it’s done.
As for the decision stage optimization, you can use a similar approach, but from a case study or demonstration perspective.
For example, the video can be themed “How [customer] sold their house in [number of weeks]”.
If one of the steps in the baseline video was Make small upgrades, you can replace this with They made small upgrades with footage that shows it and a line of text explaining it.
You can optimize each scene this way by turning it into a case study or a demonstration of your product or service through the same points you used in awareness and consideration stages.
Step 5: Optimize your call-to-action
A quick final step is to make sure your video encourages action you want the customer to take in each stage.
This is as simple as changing the text and the link on your end screen. Here are a few examples of the calls to action that work:
- Awareness: an invite to read more on your blog or share the video with others
- Consideration: a highly valuable resource to learn even more
- Decision: a call to sign up or purchase
Remember, what your viewer does next will depend on this step, so make sure to make the most out of it.
Time to make the most out of a single video
You are now ready to make a single video work for you on every step of the customer journey.
With a little optimization work, you can build a library of video assets that will turn a casual viewer into a raving fan and a loyal customer.
How do you adapt your video content for the customer journey? Share in the comments below!