The “customer journey” has become a buzzword in sales and marketing over the past few years – and for good reason. Evaluating the entire experience you provide to users and customers allows you to identify the areas where you are doing a great job, the areas that can use some work, and even help you fill gaps in the experience that can immediately contribute to your bottom line.

sales funnel awareness phase

Video is a great way to boost engagement at every phase of the customer journey. This post is the first in a series that will help you optimize your customer journey with video by developing phase-appropriate content. We’ll start with how to use video at the Awareness phase of the customer journey.

When it comes to Awareness phase marketing, your goal is to entice prospects to learn more. You can do this by connecting with prospects in a way that makes them feel validated, expertly relating to their problem, and instilling hope for a solution. And if they’ve decided they want to learn more, you’re well on your way to making it to the top of their list. 

How to use video in the Awareness phase

Toolbox Marketing defines the Awareness phase as:

“Awareness is the first stage of the buyer’s journey… This is the stage where the customer acknowledges that they have a problem or a need to fill. The customer will start by conducting a very broad search. The customer at this stage is not ready to make a purchase but rather is simply looking into what options are available.”

To summarize, Awareness phase prospects…

      • Have identified they have a problem that needs solving.
      • Are conducting a very broad search.
      • Are looking into their options.

Here are three tips to create effective Awareness phase video marketing that helps turn prospects into leads.

If you’re still unconvinced that your next piece of sales collateral should be a video, here’s a blog that might change your mind.

1. Speak to your prospect’s problem.

As the old saying goes, “The first step to solving any problem is to identify that one exists.” 

While you can create materials that help a prospect recognize they have a problem, you have a much higher chance of bringing them deeper into the sales funnel if they’re already looking for a solution.

To convert prospects who know they have a problem but haven’t found the right solve, focus on two key messaging areas:

  1. Demonstrating your expertise by accurately depicting the prospect’s problem
    This says, “Your problem is real and you aren’t the only one.”

  2. Positioning the problem as one that can be effectively solved
    This says, “This problem can be solved and there are people who can help.”

Video allows you to quickly communicate complex challenges and solutions in a way that allows a prospect to see themselves in both the struggle and the triumph. 

A lot of marketers try to do too much too early in the customer journey. They waste valuable seconds of an awareness phase video outlining heavy RTBs (reasons to believe) like all of the features of a software solution or 8 ways they are a better choice than their competitors. Instead they should use that time to create a “you’re in good company”-esque message.

Remember, your audience knows their problem but they may not yet know the solution(s). If you focus your Awareness phase marketing on solution-heavy content and keywords, prospects may never find you — especially if you use proprietary solution names that are not heavily searched. 

Focusing on the solution at the top of the funnel leaves you hiding in a place that prospects don’t know to look. (If you’ve ever played hide and seek, this doesn’t end well if you didn’t bring snacks.)

Center your awareness marketing efforts instead on relating to the prospect’s problem (and aligning your SEO strategy to this approach). Then you’ll be easy for them to find. Meet them where they’re at.

Your job with an awareness video is to validate your audience by relating to their problem and inspiring them on their journey to find the right solution.

2. Keep it simple!

Effective marketing in the Awareness phase should take a simple approach. Save strong proof points for later in the customer journey, like in the Consideration and Decision phases.

Prospects haven’t yet established a relationship with you – they are not willing to give you oodles of time. Since they know very little to nothing about you, they’re probably not too keen on watching a three minute video explaining all of the ways your AI finds potential risks in their vendor management program. They just want to know that you understand their challenges and can help with solutions.

Use your Awareness phase messaging to show prospects that you see them, you hear them, and you can help them. Inspire them to spend time learning more or reach out to you to discuss 1-on-1.

Shoving more sales sheet details at prospects before they’re ready to absorb the information can overwhelm them. And overwhelmed prospects often bounce away from your video, away from your page, and out of your sales funnel. 

3. Stand out from the get-go.

Prospects at the beginning of the B2B customer journey are combing through a lot of information to create a list of potential options. 

They’re generally not going to make a purchasing decision from one customer journey phase alone. In other words, they won’t jump from Awareness to Decision with unknown firms. However, they can decide if you’re worth short-listing with one video (moving from Awareness to Consideration).

Here are three tactical approaches to help you stand out from the competition:

    • Position their problem and/or solution in a way that is authentic to someone who is “in the thick of it.”
      Takeaway: Analogies are a great tool to communicate an understanding of complex challenges and industries. They can help you simplify and demonstrate expertise.
    • Use clear insider language to communicate the problem and solution.
      Takeaway: Research your audience and how they talk about themselves and their challenges. Use that intel to craft a message that feels like you’re speaking right to them.
    • Demonstrate empathy towards your prospect’s business challenges.
      Takeaway: Don’t shy away from the “elephant in the room,” like struggles with stakeholder alignment or profit goals. Use the taboo or traditionally unspoken to create marketing that connects with prospects in a way the competition isn’t willing to.

If you develop your next awareness phase marketing video based on these three tips, you should see improved video performance and increased conversions over previous efforts.

Our next blog in this series will cover how to use video in the Consideration phase of the customer journey and position yourself as the solution front-runner.

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