Videos together with a marketing funnel are among the most effective mediums to lead prospects through the customer journey, thanks to its intrinsic ability to engage viewers and make any type of content very easy to consume. Despite that, many businesses push video aside while others use it as an afterthought, simply because they think it’s too costly and takes a lot of time to create.
These are valid reasons. Even so, videos are powerful tools to multiply your return if done right.
Look at videos from a marketer’s perspective: 52% of marketers worldwide name video content to have the best ROI, while companies that use videos increase their revenue 49% faster than those who don’t.
This isn’t even surprising at all.
Statistics don’t lie about why videos are the best medium to attract new prospects and prime leads for conversion:
- Over 500 million hours of watch time are spent on YouTube every day. (Source: Business Insider)
- Over half a billion people watch videos on Facebook every day. (Source: Tubular Insights)
- 82% of Twitter users watch videos on Twitter. (Source: Bloomberg)
- 85% of internet users in the United States watch videos online. (Source: Comscore)
These are just four of the hundreds of stats proving that video is king in terms of engagement.
But how do you use videos for your marketing funnel? What makes a good video marketing funnel?
In this guide, you will learn how to create a video marketing funnel that converts your prospects into leads and leads into customers, including the types of videos best used and the metrics to look at every stage of the funnel. You will also get to know techniques on how to grab the attention of your prospects wherever they are in your video marketing funnel.
And by the end of this guide, you will walk away with the knowledge you need to get started with your video marketing funnel and all the ways to promote your video content at every stage.
What Is a Marketing Funnel?
A marketing funnel is a series of steps that potential customers undergo throughout the buying process.
marketing funnels can be as simple as clicking an ad and then making a purchase. But it can also be as complicated as going through multiple stages of the buying process. For a lot of businesses, their marketing funnel is caught in between simple and complicated.
Stages of Marketing Funnel
As mentioned, marketing funnels vary. They can look different from one another. Ideally, you want to convert each prospect into a sale, but it does not work like that all the time.
1. Top of the Funnel – Attention & Awareness Stage
The top of the funnel (TOFU) is where you introduce your brand to your potential customers. The goal here is to get your brand in front of your prospects and position your brand as the solution to their problem.
If your potential customers are not aware of the problem you are trying to solve, introduce the problem to them. Depending on where your audience hangs out most of the time, you can use videos for social media or videos that are optimized for search engines to attract people.
2. Middle of the Funnel – Consideration Stage
The middle of the funnel (MOFU) is where you educate your potential customers about your industry and the variety of problems you can fix using more in-depth videos. The goal here is to give your prospects a 360-degree view of the topic they care about most so they are informed when they walk away.
In the consideration stage, your potential customers have already acknowledged their problems and are actively looking for solutions. Your activities here are critical for the next stage, which is the decision-making.
You want to help them get the information they need so they can make informed decisions. You want to introduce how your product works, but you don’t want to be pushy. Videos work better for delivering in-depth content since they are much easier to consume.
3. Bottom of the Funnel – Decision & Retention Stage
The bottom of the funnel (BOFU) is where your leads make a decision. If you have groomed them well, they will very much likely become paying customers.
Because videos are so visual and auditory, they are the perfect medium to appeal to various kinds of emotions, making it easier to convince your potential customers to swipe. You can use videos that showcase happy customers, awards and recognitions, products, etc. This will largely impact the decision-making of your potential customers.
Customer retention efforts should also be included at the bottom funnel. By constantly giving valuable videos, they are a great way to retain your customers for a very long time.
How Does a Marketing Funnel Work?
Most people who stumble upon your product or service are not ready to buy straight away. In which case, you need to walk them through several steps before they buy from you.
Let’s say you have a dedicated Facebook page for your business that you use to get on the radar of your potential customers. You use that channel to send them to a free downloadable course in exchange for their email address. You include their email address in your email drip campaign that promotes an upcoming webinar. Then you use the webinar to sell them on your product or service and fill out a lead form. The last thing you want them to do is to work with your sales team and make a purchase.
In a nutshell, the marketing funnel will look like this:
Top of the Funnel
(blog posts, social media posts, display ads)
(case studies, white papers, ebooks, reports)
Middle of the Funnel
(webinars, product videos)
Bottom of the Funnel
(product demos, walkthroughs, consultations, proposals)
The funnel shape is very apt for online marketing because not everyone you attract will wind up as a paying customer. You will lose some prospects along the process. This is often referred to as “conversion leakage.” It’s normal for the most part. Nevertheless, a good online marketing funnel will keep the leakage under control.
Those you retain, their buying intent grows as they move closer to the bottom funnel.
Your marketing funnel is not just for your customers, though. It can help you with your marketing decisions too. And it’s your main reference for optimization purposes if you want to know how to reduce the number of people falling out in every stage and maximize your conversion rate. Therefore, knowing your marketing funnel well is important.
How do you know if your marketing funnel pans out? This is where keeping tabs on success metrics or key performance indicators come in.
Key Performance Indicators
Tracking is so important that most marketing campaigns fail without it. Here are the overall metrics you should be looking at:
1. Traffic Sources
If you are running video marketing campaigns on multiple platforms, which you are likely to, tracking the traffic sources is important.
Different sources of traffic work better for different levels in the marketing funnel. Even so, there are times that one traffic source performs better than expected. In this case, keeping track of traffic sources enables you to earmark more budget and attention for your top-performing sources.
2. Time in Stage
Ideally, you want all people to convert, but this seldom happens if at all. Hence, it’s practical to keep an eye on how long people usually dwell in every stage of the marketing funnel.
If they are stuck in one stage for too long, it’s probably time for you to try something different to see if that will push them down the funnel.
3. Exit from Stage
This is pretty much like the time in stage metric, except you are losing people and you know which particular stage they leave from.
For example, it took 10 days for your email subscribers to buy from you, but 50% of them unsubscribe within 10 days. This is a problem you can solve by analyzing the exit from stage metric.
4. Close Rate
This is a good lead generation metric. It’s also a great metric to assess the quality of leads coming in.
If a big chunk of your leads from one source don’t close, there’s a good chance your marketing funnel failed to nurture your leads well.
A sale is the ultimate goal of online marketing funnels. For more complex funnels, the immediate goal could be to request a demo or quote, etc.
Whatever your funnel goal is, you need to compare the number of conversions to the number of people getting into each stage to gauge the overall effectiveness of your funnel.
Now that you have seen how an online marketing funnel works, let’s break down all three stages step by step, taking only video marketing into account. We will also discuss video formats and success metrics to use in every stage.
Top of the Funnel – Attention & Awareness Stage
The top of the funnel is where your ideal customer first interacts with your brand. You need to make a good first impression before engaging with them. One of the most effective ways to capture someone’s attention is through videos.
In his book Captivology: The Art of Capturing People’s Attention, award-winning journalist Ben Parr reveals seven ways to trigger someone’s attention. And one that’s so effective is what he called “Automaticity.” The premise is that anything that’s in contrast with the surroundings naturally gets our attention.
This is what Parr says about it in his book:
“We pay attention subconsciously and automatically to certain sights, sounds, and colors and other sensory stimuli based on the contrast they have with their surroundings and the associations we have with them.”
Unlike banner, text, and other static marketing mediums, videos can easily trigger sensory stimulation. Take Facebook, for instance. A user scrolls through his/her feed per usual. Then your video shows up on their feed. The user will most likely stop and look at the video that triggers the person’s sense of sight and hearing.
The same goes for video ads. YouTube, in particular, is really good at catching attention and raising brand awareness.
Over 90% of YouTube users discover new brands and products on the platform, while over 40% of shoppers around the world have bought products they found on YouTube. It only makes sense to leverage video ads on YouTube if you are trying to get the attention of a new audience.
Case in point — Adidas was able to double its brand awareness and ad recall for its new soccer shoe and saw a 317% increase in product interest when it ran a YouTube video ad campaign using various formats. Adidas used two long-form videos, a 6-second unskippable bumper, and a product video.
How can you take advantage of videos to get your brand front and center? What kind of techniques should you use to get more attention? And which video formats work best in the attention and awareness stage?
Attention-Grabbing Method: Framing (Contextualize Your Argument)
Using attention-grabbing methods is important in any online marketing campaigns. One effective technique you can use from Parr’s book is called “Framing.”
Framing works when you attempt to shape your audience’s worldview, either by changing it or adapting to it. One effective way to change how one sees a thing is by using repetition.
If you notice, there are so many video ads that use repetition of the same statements over and over, or a short ad itself is played a few times in a row. This way of framing a message makes it so much easier to get hold of people’s attention and establish recall.
Attention-Grabbing Method: Disruption (Break Expectations)
Disruption is another attention-grabbing method you can take from Parr’s book. Anything that breaks our expectations often elicits a response from people. It’s human nature.
Considering the shortening attention span of people in the digital age, disruption is a great method to get people’s attention. As Parr says, the more disruptive, the more interesting.
Best Top-of-the-Funnel Video Formats
People are naturally visual, so videos are a great way to make them recall your product better. But using just about any type of video in the consideration and awareness stage won’t cut it. You need to know your audience wants or needs to see and meet them there.
Here are the best video formats you can use at the top of the funnel:
1. Explainer Video
Explainer videos break down usually complex concepts behind the product to make it more relatable and easy to understand. Animations and actual demos of how the product works are often used in explainer videos.
2. Corporate/Brand Video
Corporate or brand videos give a glimpse of your company culture, history, achievements, mission as well as the products and services you offer. Corporate videos are used to give your potential customers an inside scoop about your brand.
3. Educational Video
Education videos teach your audience about the ins and outs of your industry or niche. This not only helps in preparing your prospects for conversion but also puts your brand or company as an industry expert or authority. The most effective educational videos come in series rather than one-off releases.
4. Infographics Video
Infographics videos make facts and figures more snackable and friendly. If you are in an industry or niche where numbers are the name of the game, you can never go wrong putting them in an infographics video.
5. Lifestyle Video
Lifestyle videos are usually composed of alluring visuals and action shots promoting the lifestyle associated with your product, service, or brand. If your prospects aspire to have the lifestyle you are showing, it’s very easy to engage and push them further down the funnel.
6. Problem-Solution Video
Problem-solution videos are a dumbed-down type of video where you simply present the problem and solution. This is an effective format to target problem-aware audiences.
The basic metrics that matter most at the top of the funnel depends on what platform you are using. Here are some of the most common success metrics you should look at:
Reach is the number of unique users that saw your video in a day. If you are using Facebook and Instagram, reach is your apt TOFU metric.
Impressions are the number of times your videos surface on the screen. It’s pretty much the same for all platforms.
YouTube, however, has a special way of considering what and what is not an impression. It counts at least 1 second and at least 50% view of the thumbnail as an impression. Clicking on the thumbnail is also an impression.
Views are the most important video metric in the consideration and awareness stage. At this point, you are casting a wide net. You are looking for the best exposure you will get.
Middle of the Funnel – Consideration Stage
Since people are already aware of their problem, they are either looking for a solution or interested to learn more about a solution. In most cases, people in the consideration stage are using search engines to find that solution.
More than 55% of internet users use Google to find a product, and then YouTube to learn more before actually purchasing it.
Consumer behaviors have drastically changed over the past decade. The availability of options online has spawned a kind of mindset where people want to try first before buying.
Videos, for instance, are now a huge part of many consumers’ purchasing decisions. In fact, 40% of YouTube users use the platform to get to know more about a product before buying it. This isn’t surprising. Videos have the innate power to show the product in action rather than just a glimpse of it like they do in blog reviews.
Even more interesting is that the watching of “shop with me” videos on YouTube has cranked up to 1,000% from 2015 to 2017. With “shop with me” videos, viewers can watch YouTubers while they shop, giving them a virtual shopping experience and the decision-making that comes with it.
How do you use videos to educate potential customers? What techniques do you use to communicate your message effectively? Which video formats work best in the consideration stage?
Attention-Grabbing Method: Reward (Create Desire)
Using rewards creates desire. It inspires or motivates people.
Parr says rewards fuels people’s desire, whether it’s materials or rewards with intrinsic value like a sense of belonging, self-satisfaction, or a sense of purpose. This, in return, makes people pay attention.
How do you use reward in your video marketing funnel?
Think of the most attractive incentives that your target audience can say no to. Use these things to influence your viewers on how they see your brand.
Attention-Grabbing Method: Mystery (Leave Things Incomplete)
Leaving things incomplete provides a sense of mystery to the viewers. It’s an effective way to make people crave for more.
“Our memory is fine-tuned to remember incomplete stories and tasks,” Parr says.
But how do you use mystery in video marketing?
Think of cliffhangers in movies and TV shows for a second. We tend to tune in to a series week after week or look forward to the next movie installment simply because the story is incomplete. And we want to know what happens next.
In the same manner, you can use a similar technique with your videos in the consideration stage. Don’t give everything away. Leave something to their imagination.
It could be as simple as letting them know about a current project that you can’t disclose in full details, and they can find out more about it next time. Or it could be a series of how-to videos where you deliver a set of topics in fragments so your viewers will look for the next one.
Best Middle-of-the-Funnel Video Formats
Your goal in the consideration stage is not just to educate your potential customers but to nurture them. The most effective way to do this is to use actionable content and that type that shows your social proof. Avoid offering salesy pitches or irrelevant content at this point.
Here are the best video formats you can use in the middle of the funnel:
1. Educational Video
Educational videos generally teach your prospects about your industry or niche. You can create videos addressing frequently asked questions and concepts that most consumers in your industry don’t fully understand.
2. Corporate/Brand Video
Using corporate/brand videos in the consideration stage can help sustain your customers and bring them deeper into your brand.
3. Product Video
Use videos to show your product or service in action, including how it works, how to take advantage of its features, what makes it different from others, etc.
4. Tutorial/How-To Video
These are practical videos about how to do things, how to use your product or service, or how they work.
At this point, people are ready to check out the resources you shared with them. Here are the metrics to look at:
1. Link Clicks
This is the number of clicks made on your video or video ad that lead to the destination URL, which could be a product or service page, contact page, or any other landing page.
2. Landing Page View
This is the number of people who land on your destination URL after clicking a video or video ad. This metric is also important to see how effective your ad is.
Bottom of the Funnel – Decision/Retention Stage
After all your attracting and priming initiatives at the top and middle of the funnel, this is where it all leads to — the bottom funnel. Unlike the conventional online marketing funnel, you don’t just convert your leads to paying customers, but you also want to retain them.
At this point, your leads have made up their minds and are ready to decide. They already know who you are and what you can offer. Your job is to convince them why you are the best option over your competitor.
Is it okay to give your leads the hard sell now?
This is tricky, and we wouldn’t recommend it. Because first of all, people who reach bottom funnels already have a high purchase intent. And second of all, if they are well-nurtured leads, your value proposition or unique selling point is already clear to them and you already have gained their trust, so often they don’t need to be sold hard to convert.
Note that your video marketing funnel doesn’t end when your leads convert. You need to make sure they become repeat customers. You do this by constantly getting in touch with them, nurturing them with useful video content until they become loyal customers or what we call “brand super fans.”
The amount of business these super fans can bring your way through their circles is insanely valuable. Remember, word of mouth is way more powerful than advertising campaigns. Nielsen has revealed that 84% of people trust the recommendations of family and friends over advertising campaigns.
What type of content should you use at this stage of your video marketing funnel? How do you convince your leads that you are fit to work together? And which video formats should you use to convince and retain them?
Attention-Grabbing Method: Reputation (Establish Credibility)
People trust experts more than anyone else. One way to catch your lead’s attention is to establish your reputation as an expert. Who are you? What makes you credible? How are you an expert in your field?
Use your achievements, awards and recognitions, work experience, or other similar credentials to display your expertise. Alternatively, quote field experts to make your video content credible.
Attention-Grabbing Method: Acknowledgement (Contribute to Your Audience’s Identity)
It’s human nature to feel the need for acknowledgement. It validates us and creates a sense of belonging. Take advantage of this human need to make your potential customers feel that they belong in your community and that there’s a brand that truly cares about them.
Best Bottom-of-the-Funnel Video Formats
Your goal at the bottom-funnel is not just to turn your leads into paying customers but also to turn them into raving fans. The key here is to use personalized and transformative video content to really drive home your value proposition.
Here are the best video formats to use at the bottom-funnel:
1. Testimonial Video
One fine example of a transformative content is testimonial videos. Testimonials break down walls of uncertainties on your potential customer’s part, that’s why they are super effective. For a lot of potential customers, they might be the last nudge they need to finally decide to buy.
Get the ratings and reviews of your customers, interview them if possible, and get them in front of your leads. Testimonial videos feature what your customers have to say about your product or service, how you have helped them, and their experience with your brand.
Besides having higher perceived value, webinars make for an effective bottom-funnel video format because they are usually offered as exclusive content.
Webinars in bottom funnels are often gated. So when they sign up, it usually means they are on board with your message and have already considered you as the potential solution they are looking for. Not to mention, people who sign up for webinars are often more receptive to sales pitches.
3. Case Study Video
An in-depth version of your testimonial videos is case study videos. These involve a more detailed look into how your brand, product, or service has helped your customer. These usually include the process of how you achieved the desired result and the numbers if there are sales involved.
Case study videos can also be like before-and-after videos, showing the entire transformation process that other clients went through. This is best used for products or services in industries like fitness, home improvement, beauty, etc.
4. Product Demo
Leads who request for product demonstrations are already one step away from becoming a customer. Often they have already made up their mind but still need to address their remaining concerns about your product or service. They just want to be 100% sure about your brand.
With product demos, you are simply walking your leads through the process of using your product or service, for instance. Product demos can also be used in webinars, training videos, and customer support videos.
Micro conversions are the KPIs in the bottom funnel. These are smaller actions instrumental to your bigger goals. They typically indicate that your leads are on their way to performing a more valuable action.
What should you be measuring at this point? Here are the most important KPIs at the bottom-funnel:
1. Case Study Downloads
If you are using a case study in the form of a gated ebook, look at the number of downloads or signups. If you are using case study videos, the number of views is one way to look at it.
2. Webinar Signups
There are at least three metrics used for webinars. One is signup where people register. Two is the attendance rate or the number of people who actually show up at the webinar. And three is the number of people who reached the end of your webinar.
3. Product Demo Booking
Product demo booking is the number of people who scheduled or requested a demonstration with you.
What’s Next After Video Marketing Funnel?
So you’ve built a video marketing funnel. It’s time to map out your distribution strategy for your videos.
Note that some video formats work better on certain platforms than others. But of course, there are exceptions. That is why tracking metrics is important so you would know exactly the performance of your content.
The thing is, don’t rely on a single traffic source. If your customer research tells you that your potential customers are on Facebook most of the time, don’t rule out Twitter or LinkedIn or any other platforms. Wait until you have enough data to back that indeed Facebook is what you should be focusing on moving forward.
Ways to Promote Your Videos
Where should you promote your videos? Here are the different ways to promote your videos based on where they are in the funnel:
1. Top of the Funnel Videos
Social media is the most optimal platform to post TOFU videos. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are all great ways to start, depending on the type and length of videos you are posting.
For example, Twitter has set maximum video length at 2 minutes and 20 seconds, so it’s good for short videos. YouTube, meanwhile, is best for long-form videos. Snapchat and TikTok are good options if you are marketing to a younger generation.
Again, it’s important to know your audience and where they hang out most of the time.
In addition, you can add videos to your landing pages and optimize it for some target keywords. Properly tag and caption your videos for maximum results. Be as descriptive as possible because that’s what Google likes.
Make sure to direct your traffic sources to the right destination URL or landing page — the one that’s going to carry your prospects to the next steps of your video marketing funnel.
2. Middle of the Funnel Videos
As soon as your prospects crossed the middle funnel, you likely have captured their contact details. You can send your video content with your contacts through lead nurturing emails.
You can also use social media and your website pages to amplify your middle funnel videos’ reach. If you decide to run PPC campaigns, they should arrive at your landing pages where your video is present.
3. Bottom of the Funnel Videos
At the bottom funnel, you can use videos on bottom-funnel landing pages, direct emails from your sales representatives, product or service pages, and sales presentations.
If you are hosting videos on Facebook or YouTube, you are casting a wide net. But don’t expect that your views to conversion ratio will be high unless you are doing retargeting ads.
Get Started on Your Video Marketing Funnel
Whether you use it as a standalone strategy or as part of your overall online marketing strategy, video marketing funnels are effective to help improve the customer journey and make smart marketing decisions.
The thought of using video funnels can be intimidating, considering the time and budget you need to pour into it. But if you will put the video funnel best practices above, you are halfway done with the work.
Once you get your foot in the door, it will become easier to think of new ideas to attract new customers and sustain ones. And when your video marketing funnel starts pushing your prospects down the funnel, you know you are doing it right.
At the end of the day, an effective video funnel involves the most important steps — knowing your audience, testing different videos and variables, optimizing your funnel, and sticking to what works.