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How to Power Your Sales Funnel With Video Content

Editor's Note: Today's post comes courtesy of Jon Spenceley, the Community Marketing Manager at Vidyard. He's passionate about helping companies get the most out of their video marketing investment.

When a prospective buyer starts searching for a solution and lands on your website, there’s nothing more engaging to present them with than a quality video. According to a Zappos customer study, 60% of customers prefer to watch video over reading text, and visitors typically spend a full 5 minutes longer on a page when video is present.

Video can power your sales cycle at every step of the buying process, but not all content is relevant to everyone. Different content appeals to viewers at different times, so this post outlines what kinds of videos you’ll want to have prepared and when to serve them up to your audience.

The Importance of Buyer Personas
First off, understanding your customer is critical. If circus performers are your target market, a lion tamer isn't going to want the same content as a trapeze artist. Same industry, but wildly different roles. Understanding the pain points for each of your customers is the key to producing content that solves their problems. If you're looking to start building out buyer personas for your customers, check out this guide by the team at Eloqua.

Top Of Funnel Video Content
Whether you call it “Loosening the Status Quo” or “Exploring the problem”, leads that are beginning to search for solutions are hungry for information.

Prospects in this early stage may not have even identified their problem yet. They're frustrated, but not necessarily enough to sit through a product demo or a long-winded webinar. Having robust content that educates them about your space without pushing them directly towards your product can open their eyes to possibility, giving you the opportunity to follow up with more content if they raise their hand.

Funny office videos, thought leadership content, or product announcements may not resonate with every viewer, but as this content is shared organically, it will eventually make it to someone who’s interested in what you do.

Having email gated video content can be effective for collecting lead contact info, and including a video call to action, or form allowing leads to put up their hand is always a good idea. Don’t restrict access, but don’t lose out on lead generation opportunities either.

Middle of Funnel Video Content
As buyers gain more interest, you have the opportunity to hit them with more targeted content. Adapting your content by industry may seem like a daunting task, but if you work with a core concept and simply aim to demonstrate how your product can help various buyers, you’ll have a huge library of targeted content at your disposal.

Mid-funnel prospects want content that helps them evaluate your product’s fit for their organization, and help bring others onboard. Rarely will you be dealing with one decision maker, especially in B2B sales, so you’ll need to articulate your product’s features as they appeal to both decision makers and on-the-ground users. Make sure your advocates have the resources they need to showcase the power of your product, and they'll push for it on your behalf.

Effective mid-funnel video content can be gated, as prospects this far in the sales cycle have already put up their hand. Make sure when you are collecting information from email gates that you don’t hit people with the same gate twice – nobody likes to re-enter their contact details.

Late-Stage Content 
Late-stage buyers are more likely to appreciate longer video, so recorded webinar content relevant to their interests, or custom-made, highly personalized sales presentations and demos will be most effective here.

Buyers at this stage need to justify the cost of your solution, so you should have customer testimonials explaining the ROI of your platform, or demos showcasing specific product features ready to go. Going back to the circus analogy, this is where you tell the lion tamer how you'll decrease bites and increase applause, or the trapeze artist how you can keep them on the bars and out of the nets more often than before.

Video Is Just One Piece
Above all else, the key to success with video marketing is understanding that it's an important tool in your marketing toolkit, but it's only one tool. Ensure that you are tracking viewer analytics and pushing this data into your marketing automation platform. Segment, nurture and score your leads based on their viewing behaviour so you can send them relevant follow up.

Video is an incredibly powerful tool for engaging with your leads and driving your sales process. Track and measure how your prospects are interacting with your video content, and you'll have even more data to help zero in on the exact solution they need to solve their problem.

Looking for some fun video content? Check out our People's Choice Award nominees for the 2013 Markie Awards. Vote for your favorite - the polls close today! Winners will be announced during Eloqua Experience October 23-25, at the Hilton Union Square in San Francisco. Follow the event discussion on Twitter with the hashtag #EE13

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