Wouldn’t it be convenient if your customers automatically flocked to your website, added products to their cart, and immediately clicked ‘checkout’? We all know it doesn’t work that way. We, humans, are complex, and customers often go through various phases and emotions before deciding to purchase – and then even more when it comes to staying loyal to a brand (versus switching to another).
Because it’s rarely a straight path, we call it a journey. The customer journey defines all the interactions between a customer and your brand. It’s what acts as a roadmap to conversion and helps illustrate and define various stages of a buyer’s decision.
Why is the Customer Journey Important to a Brand or Business?
As a brand marketer, your job – and the reason to understand the customer journey – is to help intelligently guide consumers towards your product or service. You implement thoughtful marketing and sales tactics with the ultimate goal of boosting awareness, increasing interest, achieving conversion, and retaining a loyal customer.
Easier said than done, of course. The customer journey is a relatively unpredictable cycle that requires constant effort and engagement on behalf of the brand to maintain and nurture the client relationship. It’s almost like that awkward first phase of dating someone: You don’t want to lose their attention or interest, but you don’t want to scare them away or annoy them either.
Knowing how to strategically support the customer journey is not only a talent but a skill. One important tool for the job is video, since stats show that nearly half of online shoppers look for a video about a product before clicking ‘checkout’, and 72% of customers would rather learn about a product or service by video.
Supporting the Customer’s Journey
Every stage of the customer’s journey requires different tools and tactics to successfully support their decision-making process. To illustrate this, let’s focus on each stage separately and discuss them in detail independently.
This initial stage is arguably the most important stage of the customer journey. Why? Because there are tons of competitors in the eCommerce sea. It’s up to you as a brand to inform potential customers of your product/service. Failure to do so will result in a lost lead.
By identifying a potential customer’s pain points, understanding their interests and motivations, and then providing them with content that best answers those needs, interests, and motivations, you position your brand to be on the radar of your ideal customer.
The most effective type of content during the awareness stage is an ultra-quick, informative and entertaining brand teaser video. In fact, according to stats, video marketers see a 54% increase in brand awareness compared to those who don’t use video. Of those, 93% confirm that video was the primary reason for conversion.
Think beyond just polished, studio-filmed video here. User-generated content (UGC) is especially powerful these days, and people value authenticity more than ever in eCommerce. In fact, according to a study conducted by StoryTap with 300 participants in the US and Canada, 93.9% of consumers find real customer reviews to be more authentic versus influencers. Consider a brand teaser video that includes shining reviews from your own real customers. Keep it short, but show your potential customers a real person who is satisfied with your brand.
In this phase, you’ll need to get in front of your ideal audience with a captivating video and let the journey take its course. If you’re new to video marketing, see our step-by-step guide to creating a video for businesses.
Once a consumer knows about your brand, it’s time to inform them of how and why you meet their needs. Consider this stage of the customer journey your chance to present evidence and convince. Product reviews and testimonial videos are an effective option for convincing; according to the same survey mentioned above, 70% of consumers said they always look for customer reviews before making a purchase online.
Now’s the opportunity to sell, but not too hard. Show consumers how your product or service suits their lifestyle, why it’s an ideal fit, and how they can benefit from it. This is also where you’ll make use of a powerful call to action like Learn More or Shop Now.
Example of a product review video:
The decision to purchase is an action that involves a complexity of considerations and emotions. A poor site experience or something as trivial as a promo code not working can result in a lost lead.
During this stage of the customer journey, it’s up to the business or brand to guide the customer towards the conversion, support them through any potential roadblocks or hesitations, and motivate them to ultimately make the right decision for both you and them: to purchase.
Research shows that video can increase purchase intent by 97%, proving to be an extremely effective audience conversion and retention tool. In terms of type, product reviews are key in this phase as well: 72.7% of customers said they are very likely to purchase a product based on a customer review. People want to know that they’re buying something of value from a brand that other people trust and recommend.
If you’ve made it to stage four of the customer journey, congratulations, you’ve successfully converted your prospect into a purchasing customer. The job, however, is not done. It’s never done, because this customer relationship will need continuous nurturing (again, like dating, but now you’ve made things *official*).
In the retention phase, sometimes called the service phase, the primary purpose is to do all that you can to retain and keep your customer satisfied. This can be accomplished in various ways: surveying their experience so far, following up through email to ensure satisfaction, providing answers to any questions (or complaints) they might have, and even by giving them more video content that strengthens their confidence in their decision to purchase from your brand.
In terms of retention, your FAQ video library is important. Self-service videos answering common questions or demonstrating how to use your product properly are another key retention tool. These can be made with help from your own staff and have the bonus of reducing call-in rates, since your customers will be able to take care of more issues on their own.
The final stage of the customer journey is where your brand would seek to cultivate loyalty and transform the once first-time buyer into a lifetime brand advocate.
It’s during this stage that you show appreciation, reward them for their loyalty with discounts or perks, and continue to provide the quality product or service they’re looking for.
Video support for this phase could include testimonials and recommendation videos showcasing loyal customers. Depending on the product, it might also include additional content such as tutorials, user-generated content (UGC), or how-tos to continuously educate a consumer as to different uses or applications of a product (think of a Glossier makeup tutorial or a GoPro user-submitted video of a unique adventure POV).
Use Video Content to Support Your Customer Journey
In summary, video is an extremely effective tool for optimizing each stage of the customer journey. Not only does it boost brand awareness and increase engagement, but it also improves conversion rates and retention rates when executed properly.
Not sure where to start? StoryTap is the patented video platform that enables you to easily create and share authentic experiences from real customers and employees at scale, from product reviews to self-service videos and more. Schedule a demo and we’ll show you how StoryTap can turbocharge your brand growth online.