Editor’s note: This post originally appeared as contributed content on Salesforce.com

While most marketers are aware of the incredible effect video can have as part of the marketing mix, I still see a lot of B2B brands create top-of-the-funnel explainer videos and call it a day. This is a huge mistake as a worthwhile video strategy doesn’t end at the top of the funnel if you’re trying to realize ROI.

The good news is that Aberdeen has found 60% of best-in-class companies are now using video from initial awareness through to post-sale, and this comprehensive approach has everything to do with how prospects consume information. Today’s customers go through more than half of the buying process independently, so it’s critical to have a complete video journey on your website to guide prospects in the pre-purchase phase.

What’s the Ideal Content Mix?

Create video for entire funnelFirst off, I know you’re wondering, “Mike, how much video content should I dedicate to each stage of the funnel?” Based on what I’ve seen work for major brands on YouTube, here’s an example of a highly functional video content mix I’d suggest as a rule-of-thumb.

As you can see, you’ll only need about 15% of your video content targeted to top-funnel prospects (a little can go a long way), whereas most of your content should focus on the evaluation or mid-funnel stages.

Top of Funnel Content

To attract prospects initially, you’ll need videos on high-level topics with mass appeal. Collateral in this stage needs to have an authentic tone, and aim to help viewers complete tasks that matter to them rather than push your products. So what should you create?

I’d recommend you produce:

How-to content libraries: Showcase your expertise with a dedicated how-to video hub on your website. This helps improve your SEO, and your content ends up serving as your first line of case deflection.
Repurposed webinar content: Record your webinars and break them down into chapters so that folks can find topics they need quickly. This ensures you’re top of mind for engaging, authoritative content within your industry.
Thought leadership interviews: Capture one-on-one chats with your company’s CEO and other VIPs or industry superstars. Content by influencers is widely shared and you can leverage leaders’ social networks.
Fun content showcasing company culture: Show off your quirky support staff, show us what your employee game night looks like, ultimately show us why we should care about you and why you do what you do.

You can optimize content in this part of the funnel with video calls to action. A pop-out CTA, for example, can prompt a viewer to watch another video, download your white paper or – if you want to coach viewers further down the funnel – guide them to your website for conversion.

Salesforce_Vidyard_1_Call to Action
Use pop-out CTAs within video content to move viewers from top-funnel content to more in-depth assets.

Mid-Funnel Content

After using top-of-funnel content to guide your viewers to your website, you’re now looking to help leads evaluate and justify your solution with more, in-depth or long-form content (the stuff you’ll need the most of!).

In this stage prospects are determining if you’re right for them, so you’ll want to produce:

Detailed product demos
Client testimonials
Video case studies
Videos showcasing how your solution integrates with other key products and services in your customers’ ecosystems

Try setting up a meeting or a call with a prospect in this stage by sending out a personalized video in an email. A targeted, personalized social message is a surefire way to impress a prospect.

In terms of optimization, mid-funnel content is where you can start introducing email gates for collecting viewer contact info. Leads at this stage have already put up their hand and you can start to send them more targeted content based on what you know they’ve been watching already (their viewing history is readily available with data from a video marketing platform).

Content at the End of the Funnel

Videos can help you seal the deal when it comes to closing and they can help you post-purchase when you want to reinforce that you were the right choice.

Content in this stage can include:

Nurture campaign videos: Create videos tied to specific campaigns and release them at exactly the right time. If you know your target lead is going to be at an event you’re also attending, for example, create a nurture video to encourage a meet-up.
FAQ videos: If you have a great FAQ video on your site, you can reuse it here to prompt a lead to close, (i.e. “Great demo with your whole team today, if you guys have any further questions feel free to call, or check out this fun FAQ we filmed to give you a quick rundown of any last-minute questions”)
Customer check-ins: follow up on your customers use of your product; how have their first 2 weeks been?
Instructional videos: Post-sale can often lead to more questions about your services, so create a video to cover any issues you note customers might have. You could also showcase your friendly support staff.

In late-stage/end of funnel video, you’ll want to use CTAs to prompt demos, trials, and you’ll want to make sure you’re easy to contact. Because it can be difficult for an AE to set up time to demo your product as soon as every lead needs information, video assets can become the sales reps that never sleep for your company.

A well-positioned and thorough series of how-to and/or instructional video can provide your leads with the information they need, so they don’t have to contact sales for a demo. As mentioned, 70% of the purchasing decision is made before your lead even communicates with sales and, for this reason, bottom of funnel content can also engage leads in the earlier stages. Every feature, nuance or function of your platform should be captured on video and available as a resource on your website.

Overall, video is a very persuasive medium; it’s engaging and leads can use it to make their way through the entire funnel at their own pace – you just have to set up the content journey. Map your content to the funnel, set up your ideal content mix, and connect your video marketing to ROI.

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