Online Video Ads and the Customer Funnel

Can Online Video Ads “Grease the Wheels” of the Sales Funnel?

The sales funnel, otherwise known as the sales process, refers to the series of steps that customers take during the sales process. While each sales funnel differs slightly from the next, each one is geared towards raising awareness, generating interest, influencing decision-making—all leading to a purchase.

Marketing and advertising departments toy with many novel concepts when driving customers through the sales funnel. One of the most effective ways to generate results is through online video ads. The internet dominates the marketing spectrum. Gone are the days where billboards and TV ads monopolized the market.

Companies realize that it is increasingly important to maintain a strong online presence, and to captivate their customers’ attention on their home turf. This typically takes place on PC, mobile, Mac, Android or iOS devices. The sales funnel is comprised of many stages, each one unique in its processes.

The four major levels include awareness, interest, decision, and action. This has proven to be the most logical, effective, and results-oriented conversion system. It effectively generates interest among prospective customers, leads them through the funnel until they become buyers, and then repeat buyers. Online video ads are highly effective conversion mechanisms for sales funnels.

How effective are Video Ads Compared to Photographs?

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In the days of old, back in the 1990s and 2000s, billboards and banners were highly effective forms of marketing. Still photographs captivated the attention of passersby with static images and catchphrases. Nowadays, sophisticated online video ads evoke personalized and sensory reactions in users, increasing their effectiveness by as much as 135% more than photos.

These online video ads defeat text-based marketing content, and they work throughout every stage of the sales funnel. Modern-day marketing has made the case for online video ads. Statistics prove time and again that customers who see well-constructed videos are far more likely to purchase products than those who don’t. Equally surprising is that people are more likely to convert even if an e-commerce platform features video that they do not watch.

The 4 Stages of the Sales Funnel and How Personalized Video Ads Assist

  1. Brand Awareness

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At the top of the sales funnel is brand awareness. Online video ads are effective means of conveying the essence of the brand to the customer. Unlike TV advertisements, they have the flexibility to be personalized and to make the ideal companion for national campaigns. A perfect example of this pairing was done by Carolina Lemke, a famous sunglass creator. The company created a personalized campaign to complement their summer national campaign, featuring Bar Refaeli and Steven Tyler. The Facebook campaign—where everyone could dance with one of the stars—created buzz on social media, as well as a deep connection between the national campaign and the individual.

Personalized video ads are intentionally shorter than TV creatives. YouTube pre-rolls are typically 30 seconds – 40 seconds, and displayed on the internet. Online video ads are accessible through social media channels like Facebook, G +, Twitter and email. Users can readily engage with them, and share them with friends. During stage #1, an effective online video ad can introduce the brand to the people and make it appealing.

  1. Generating Interest

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The effectiveness of an online video ad is easily seen by the level of interest that it generates among users. Once a video advertisement has been tailored to the end-user, it virtually guarantees a better outcome than a non-personalized advertisement. Social media makes it possible to share these videos, generate feedback, and drive customers to action.

Companies that engage their clientele with effective video advertisements tend to retain a far greater proportion of their active users, and social media sharing spurs additional interest. Great feedback came from the weekly summary videos done for 888.com. Amir Levy, client value management team leader at 888Poker, said that players are excited to share their videos on social media and look forward to receiving their weekly video. If a computer glitch delays their video, they call support asking why they didn’t receive their personalized video—a true indication of interest and engagement.

At stage #2 of the funnel, customers tend to “feel out” the product and to play with it. Personalized videos help them “own” the product and get familiar with it.

  1. Decision Time

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This is the decision part of the sales funnel. Online video ads are effective because they engage customers on multiple levels. They are personalized to resonate with the individual. There are many forms of personalization that are possible with online video ads, notably dynamic video retargeting.

If a customer has previously purchased or shown interest in a company’s products/services, that customer can be re-targeted via email to match his/her preferences with past purchases. Statistics reveal that dynamic video retargeting creatives on YouTube are some 47% more effective than non-dynamic creatives.

Customers tend to avoid content that is generic; they actively seek out video marketing content that communicates with them. Effective online video ads can serve as point-of-sale tools.

  1. Sealing the Deal

The sales funnel is effective when the online video ad channels the customer through each of the four stages. Everything culminates in the final stage of the process: the sale. Treepodia has conducted extensive research on video retargeting. The numbers indicate that the click-through rate (CTR) increased by 74%, and the return on investment (ROI) increased by 49% when using dynamic video retargeting, as opposed to generic retargeting ads.

Once your site visitor is getting close to a purchase, it’s important to offer value-added services to the client. This includes appreciation initiatives, discounts, promotional offers, and incentives to return. The numbers reflect that optimized online video ads are highly effective in retaining the patronage of existing customers.

Cisco has forecast that by 2019, 80% of online traffic will include video streaming. Online video ads will certainly feature prominently in this new paradigm.