Video and the Consumer Buying Cycle

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Every metric that we might use to measure the success of a business video, is based on some kind of audience behaviour, be it views, shares, dwell time, completion rates or next best actions. So to stand any chance of earning a positive viewer behaviour, and delivering some kind of return on marketing investment, we must start by creating content that is interesting, useful and relevant to the audience to which it is aimed.

If a financial services company produces a video explaining a product, but customers who are eligible for this product do not watch the video, then it is a failure.
However successfully it tells the story a company thinks important, it will not be a success unless the people it is aimed at care enough to watch it, engage with it or otherwise act upon it. We don’t care what companies make or do. We care only how what they make or do can help us.

Creating successful video is about delivering the right message, on the right platform, at the correct time.

At every point in the customer journey, from awareness to consideration, through conversion, post sales support and retention, we can create video appropriate to the needs and interests of our audience. I will give an example of how a company might use video to engage with a consumer at each of these moments. These opportunities to engage with video are by no means exhaustive, but they consider the full consumer buying cycle, using fitness as an example.

It’s January 3rd, and like so many of us do, Sarah has decided her most important New Years Resolution is to get fit. She goes onto Google to see what time her closest gym opens on Monday morning. She also has a quick look through the classes to see what’s on offer. Having joined the gym in the past, and never been quite sure what to do on the gym floor, having a good range of classes that finish well before she needs to be in work is important.

‘Total Body Workout’ sounds interesting, but maybe a little bit hardcore, so Sarah heads over to Youtube to find a video showing the class in action. Here the gym has missed the opportunity to answer this question on their own website, at the moment Sarah wanted the question answering. The Youtube results are seriously crowded. Nevertheless, Sarah watches one of the three million, two hundred and forty thousand videos served for her Total Body Workout search query.

Before the video starts, there is a pre-roll advertisement promoting a local boxing gym. She recognises their logo, and being hellbent on all things fitness, for January 3rd at least, Sarah watches all 2:46 minutes of the the advertisement – of course it doesn’t feel like an advert, because it’s entertaining, informative and very timely. Boxing gyms are normally macho places, but the video shows this gym clearly isn’t. There are testimonials featuring people Sarah can relate to, and the workout looks fun and completely different, so she decides in that moment to do a trial visit.

The next hour is spent watching boxing related fitness videos on Youtube. None of these are produced by the local boxing gym, but with each one she watches, Sarah becomes more convinced that she is going to enjoy her first class. Watching several related videos in one sitting is a common behaviour, which is why so many best in class businesses who use video successfully, create video hubs within their websites.

The boxing gym offer memberships, but most people opt for pay as you go classes. This means that unlike a traditional fitness club where an annual contract might be mandatory, the boxing gym need to keep people excited and coming back week on week. In order to inspire people to return, they post short workout videos that are motivational as well as instructional to Facebook.
Some of these videos are incredibly simple and shot by an instructor during the class. Others are more carefully put together to show off new classes, interview the gym instructors, promote workout challenges and social events. These videos keep Sarah engaged, motivated and reminded to return. From the gym owners point of view, these are the big desired outcomes. On a macro level, they are seeing improved newsletter open rates, more sharing of their content, better placement in the search engines compared to their non-video content, and more visibility on Facebook thanks to their algorithms giving preference to video.

Not all of the videos are made by the boxing gym – that would be too expensive for a business of this size to manage. They also share video content created by other health professionals, lifestyle brands and businesses with a like-minded client base. This content offers value to the club members like Sarah, but it also solidifies partnerships that the gym is forming with others, and allows them to tap into each others client base.

In this case, video has been used to make Sarah aware of the boxing gym, to show preference for it over her local more traditional gym, to visit once and then to keep returning.

Whatever product or service you sell, a strategic goal-oriented approach to video production and video marketing can be used to achieve measurable business objectives. Do get in touch if you would like to discuss how video could be best used in your business.