Reaching Early-Stage Customers with Your Video Content

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About a year ago I got married. In the hectic lead-up to the ceremony, between finalizing seating charts and last-minute venue details, I suddenly realized something. We were spending all this money on these beautiful flower arrangements. So, what was going to happen to the flowers after the ceremony? Were they all just going to end up in a dumpster?

I wanted to find some way to preserve them as a keepsake.

And so, just like billions of other people on any given day, I entered a buyer’s journey.

I didn’t know what I was buying, exactly. I just knew I had a problem — and that I was willing to spend money to solve it. 

For your business, whatever you sell, your customers usually start out just like me. They have a problem, and they go looking for a solution. 

If you’ve created the right video content and put it in the right places, these potential buyers can find you. 

And all of a sudden, if they find and watch your content, you’re first on their list — a list that, at this point, probably only has one name on it. Yours.

This is the power of top-of-the-funnel video content. You just need to do it right. 

Video in the awareness stage

To understand the power of “awareness stage” video content, let’s get back to my story. 

Like I said, I didn’t know what I was buying, exactly. I just knew I had a problem — and that I was willing to spend money to solve it. 

This is pretty true for every early-stage prospect, and it doesn’t really matter what they end up buying. Could be new grass seed or it could be chiropractor service. They start out “problem aware” (the grass on that side of the house keeps dying; my back hurts every time I get up), and they start doing research.

We call this the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey. 

And for me, my problem was preserving my flowers. 

No matter what you sell, your would-be buyers are looking for answers, not a sales pitch, so plan accordingly.

TOFU video content — Dos and Don’ts

Do: Map out your buyer’s journey

Work with your team to understand your buyers. What problems do they have that you can solve? What decisions do they make to move forward? If you don’t know your buyers, you won’t know how to resonate with them. We use this template with clients to help them understand their customers.

Don’t: Give a sales pitch

Early on, people are looking for information so they can feel well-informed. This is the wrong place for a sales pitch. You have industry knowledge. Share it freely.

TOFU-Video-sales-pitch

Whatever you sell, it’s a better fit for some than it is for others. Be clear about that. A pickup truck is a perfect vehicle for some people, but it’s a bad choice for others. 

Do: Pay attention to where your buyers spend time

Talk to past customers and learn about how they found you. Learn where they spend their time online. Identify your “workhorse channels” where you should put the most effort.

Don’t: Think of video marketing as a short-term play

A lot of marketing takes time to bear fruit. You should always be evaluating the data (see below), but you should also be patient and give things time to work. That means you can’t pull the plug and stop the investment when your video doesn’t take off. 

Do: Track engagement data

What are the positive signals you can track and report on? Remember, there might be a dozen touchpoints before someone actually subscribes or enters your database. Likes, shares, watch time, impressions — these things matter, so track them over time to see trends.  

Don’t: Assume you know everything about your buyers

Remember that buyer persona workshop you did back in 2019? Yeah, your buyers almost certainly have changed since then. According to research from Meta, 88% of CEOs worry that their customers are changing faster than their business can keep up. So, keep listening, keep interviewing customers. Older data may not yield the results you’re looking for.

TOFU video content examples

Let’s check out some examples of first-rate awareness-stage content. Two shorts, and two long-form videos. 

Example 1: Tarte Cosmetics — Fall Makeup Tutorial Short 

Why I like it: It’s timely, it has quick cuts which are important in shorts, and shows a process from start to finish. The product is mentioned in the title of the video, but it’s not the hero, the makeover is the hero of the video. 

Example 2: Southwest Exteriors — 8 easy ways to make your home more efficient

Why I like it: This video does a good job of meeting buyers where they’re at. It offers a number of solutions, not just the main solution the company sells. The CTA is another video. (They touched on everything interior in this video, the next video they offer is all about the exterior of someone’s house.) It’s not a sales pitch. 

Example 3: CSI Accounting — Accounting & Bookkeeping basics for small businesses 

Why I like it: The video gives an overview of the steps a small business owner should go through to be able to do this on their own or with an accounting service. It’s very helpful and informative. However, I’d like to see a next step that’s not just about contacting the business. 

Example 4: The Secret to Fixing Knee Pain – Squat University 

Why I like it: The video paints the picture of the problem, offers tactical solutions, and the CTA at the end is a list for you to screenshot. There’s no whiff of sales pitch here. It’s all done in the short form format.  

From problem to purchase 

In the example from my wedding, I found my way to a company that solved my problem. 

Honestly, they solved it in a way that I didn’t even know existed: they encase the flowers in epoxy resin. (If you’re interested, the website is here. They’re called Blossom & Rhyme, and they do beautiful work!)

As someone who trains marketers, I have to say how impressed I was with Blossom & Rhyme’s work. They had great top-of-the-funnel content for when I was in the awareness stage. They gave me information without a sales pitch, and I came to understand their process — a process I didn’t even know was an option when I started my research. 

And, it’s important to note that they were far from the cheapest option. But I trusted them, and, in the end, I gave them my business. In the year since I got married, I’ve recommended them to a dozen friends. 

That’s the power of great marketing. The right content can start that unaware prospect on the path to brand ambassador. 

If you want to learn how to do it, reach out to us at IMPACT

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