When it comes to reaching your customers, you can use many digital marketing tactics to influence purchasing decisions. From social media ads to a well-optimized landing page, digital marketing offers a plethora of channels for advertising your product or brand.
And, while a robust marketing strategy should include many of these tactics, one content strategy is taking center stage — videos.
Today, videos are influencing consumers at increasing levels. More and more customers turn to online videos to make key purchasing decisions. That's why it's critical for your digital marketing strategy to include video content and ads.
Understanding how you can best use this medium to reach your customers begins with understanding how customers use videos to make purchasing decisions.
Today, we’ll look at the key ways video influences your customers during their purchasing journey and some takeaways for how you can harness the power of videos to reach your audience.
The Key Ways Videos Influence Your Customers
There are very few consumers left who do not digest online video content. In fact, YouTube now has an astounding 2.1 billion users worldwide. And, in the U.S. alone, YouTube saw a reach of around 74% in 2020.
Not only is YouTube’s reach impressive by numbers, but it is also remarkably diverse in the content offered. From DIY home improvement videos to viral pranks, YouTube hosts every imaginable genre of video.
Beyond just YouTube, other popular video apps such as TikTok are also increasing in popularity, especially among younger generations.
In fact, in 2020, 82% of Generation Z and Millennials in the U.S. stated that they watched user-generated short-form daily videos.
With the increase in videos being created and consumed by both consumers and businesses, there's a new reliance on videos to make purchasing decisions.
Customers are using videos to make purchasing decisions in two key ways:
1. To Make In-store Decisions
Interestingly, consumers don't use video solely from the comfort of home. Recent data from Google revealed that 55% of shoppers say that they use online videos while shopping in-store.
Often, customers pull out their phones, do a quick search, and watch a video to gather immediate information on a product.
So what does this behavior mean for your business or brand? For starters, it means that you need to create a set of videos that are brief and to the point. If people are standing in a store and watching a video about your product, they are most likely trying to make a quick decision. They do not want to watch an hour-long, in-depth review of your product.
Secondly, it means that you need to determine how you can get in front of your customers when they are doing an in-store search. Whether through geographical marketing strategies or by strategically placing QR codes that lead to your videos on product labeling or in your storefront, make sure that it is easy for your customers to access videos quickly.
2. To Compare Brands and Products
Beyond just where customers are accessing videos, it is important to understand specifically what information they are looking for. In the same survey from Google, more than 50% of respondents said they use online videos to help determine which brand or product to buy.
Essentially, customers use their phones to watch a quick video, and then decipher the pros and cons among products and brands.
With consumers turning to online videos to decide between you and your competition, it is important to ensure that part of your video strategy includes quick product comparisons. Additionally, you need to weave the differentiators among your brand and others into your videos.
To do this effectively, you will need to start by understanding what your target audience values. Then, you can clearly highlight this benefit in your short-form videos.
How You Can Harness the Power of Video Marketing
The reality is that at least part — if not all — of your target customer audience is already using online video to make purchasing decisions. This makes it extremely important for you to harness the power of video marketing to influence your customers before they reach the final stage of the purchasing funnel.
The good news is that through five targeted steps, you can reach your customers through video.
1. Create a Cohesive Content Strategy
Online videos can take a few forms. They can be:
- A quick ad that surfaces via channels like YouTube
- Content that your business publishes for your own YouTube channel
- Social media videos that you publish to your Facebook, Instagram, or other platforms
With so many options for video creation, it is important to start your video strategy with a cohesive plan. Rather than standing alone, your video strategy should include direct tie-ins to all of your other content creation.
For example, if you see an uptick in customers searching for information about when it is time to take their car in for a tire rotation, your dealership might create a content strategy as follows:
- A blog that discusses important indications that its time to rotate your vehicle’s tires with a direct Call to Action to schedule a tire rotation at your service center
- An accompanying video embedded into the blog giving quick tips on knowing when to schedule a tire rotation
- A social media post that links to the video
- A short ad version of the video, giving a fast rundown on tire rotation, that is used to target YouTube users
This is just one example of how you can create a cohesive content strategy that uses different video forms to target your audience and influence their purchasing decisions. Regardless of what product or service you are selling, the key is to ensure that your messaging remains seamless across channels and content forms.
2. Surface Your Videos to the Right Audience
You could create the best video ever, but it remains useless if your target audience doesn’t see it.
The second step in your video strategy should be ensuring that your videos surface to the right audience.
You can do this through a few methods:
- Customer match strategy: Target your customers with specific video ads via Google by uploading your customer data.
- Remarketing and retargeting: Remarket and retarget to the same audience with fresh content by tracking your customers’ interactions with your website.
- Demographic audiences: Surface your videos to a specific group of users in a specific area by honing in on your target audience’s demographic information
- Affinity audiences: Find similar audiences based on shared interests by understanding what interests your audience has. You can then surface your videos to these affinity audiences.
In many cases, you’ll use a few of these strategies for your video marketing efforts. This will allow you to increase your reach and influence customers during key points in the purchasing funnel.
3. Become a Trusted Source of Knowledge
If the data shows us anything, it is that people turn to online videos to glean information. Whether they are making a product comparison while standing in a store or they are up late at night researching the latest model of Toyota, consumers trust online videos to provide them with knowledge.
The key is to become a trusted source of knowledge for your customers. That way, when they have a question, they will turn to you to find the answer. This can be extremely beneficial when it comes to reaching customers in the earliest purchasing stages.
When creating a video strategy, focus on what your business knows the most about. What can you share with your audience that will establish you as an industry thought leader?
This will look different based on your business.
For an auto service center, it might be providing detailed information on vehicle upkeep. For an HVAC company, it might be publishing videos that help homeowners tackle minor HVAC DIY repairs. And for a brand selling a product, it might be sharing tips about using that product.
The key is to provide a unique value to your customers that only your business can deliver.
4. Use Videos to Tell a Story
Beyond just looking to online videos to gather information, people are attracted to videos over many other content forms because video is compelling. It tells us a story. It engages us in a different way than a static webpage or blog.
As you design your video strategy, pay attention to the importance of storytelling. Your videos should:
- Have personality
- Showcase the voice of your brand
- Encourage your audience to stay engaged
This is where creativity is key. Think outside the box, and try out a few video styles. You never know what might resonate best with your audience until you try.
Want to differentiate yourself from your competitors?
In our Triad Automotive case study, we go over some important tactics you can use to differentiate your business.
5. Measure and Adapt
Finally, similar to every digital marketing strategy, be sure that part of your online video content strategy involves measurement and adaptation.
Publishing content is only the beginning. From here, you should be tracking analytics on views, conversions, and engagement. And you should use this data to adapt your strategy accordingly.
This becomes even more important when you are spending money on video promotion. Never set a campaign in motion and forget about it. Make sure that you, or members of your marketing team, are adjusting spend based on performance. This can help you cut down on marketing spend while increasing your reach.
Additionally, it can help you hone in on which channels are ideal for reaching your target audience.
Launch Your Video Campaign with J&L Marketing
Videos are a uniquely powerful way to reach customers who are making a purchasing decision. As such, no digital marketing strategy should be complete without the inclusion of video content.
If your business is looking to launch a video marketing campaign, talk to our team at J&L Marketing. We have years of experience successfully helping brands determine the best strategy for using online videos to influence customers' purchasing decisions. We can help you with everything from defining your target audience to brainstorming your video strategy to producing and publishing content.
Reach out today for a consultation with our video marketing pros.