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How does inbound marketing work?

Inbound marketing is a name for a strategy that works by attracting potential customers with the help of content that is designed to address their needs. Contrary to outbound marketing – which is the content shown to the audience that they don’t want to watch – inbound marketing aims to develop a connection with a customer by addressing their problems. Here the question arises: How to do that? The answer is simple. By adapting and using the process that every customer goes through before making a purchase. This process is called The Buyer’s Journey.


The Buyer’s Journey

The process every customer goes through before buying a product is known as the Buyer’s Journey. It begins with the realization of the customer that he has a problem. The next step of the process is that the customer starts searching for various companies or organizations that provide the product. Once they find a company they like, the final step is the purchase of the product and the process ends.
It may seem like a simple process but there is more to it. The buyer can go back and forth in different stages before finalizing a purchase. For instance, the buyer might have a change of mind before completing the purchase and go back to the stage of company selection. To avoid that, you need to continuously feed them content to help them move from one stage to the other. For that, you need to identify your buyer’s need at every stage and then make a suitable video for it.
Here it is important to realize that no single video can suffice for all stages. A separate video has to be made for each stage.

Awareness Stage

This is the first stage of your buyer’s journey. This is where they realize that they have a problem also known as the “pan-point”. Right now, the customer doesn’t understand the problem and starts to search for it. Now, you need to know that the customer is not ready to buy the product yet so don’t try to hard-sell just yet. The right approach is to genuinely educate your potential buyer about the problem and also suggest to them your product or services.

Educational Videos

This stage is ideal for earning customer’s trust in advance by educating them about their problem. Your customer is confused and trying to find a solution. There is nothing better than introducing an educational video at this point to help them learn.
Research has shown that people prefer videos over text when they want to learn something. That is the reason that the keyword ‘how to’ is more popular on youtube than on google. Videos are a more effective means of understanding communication in less time. The purpose of an educational video is to explain the working of a certain thing without trying to sell it. By making a good education video, you promote its value by increasing its ranking on search engines, views, and brand exposure. Keep in mind, your goal is to educate people about the problem they are facing and make them familiar with your product or service. This also serves as leading them towards the next step of the process.

Commercial videos

If your aim is not to educate but to promote your brand, commercial videos are the way to go. Commercial videos are a great way to create brand awareness in a short time. You have probably seen the commercial videos on TV. They don’t require an introduction. Commercial videos help us reach more audiences in less time. They are desirable when you are more focused on more views than the organic ranking. the main purpose of the commercial videos is to advertise your product or services. This doesn’t mean that you intend to close the deal with them but to promote brand awareness and create brand recognition. Commercial videos are short and crisp. This makes them ideal for online ads and for displaying on social media. Bear in mind though, commercial videos are difficult to organically rank higher in SERP. That is why it is better to use some of the budgets on paid advertisement as well.

Branded videos

Branded videos are a great way to develop a strong bond with your existing and new potential customers. Branded videos aim to send across a message that appeals to the emotions of your audience. These videos can be entertaining as well educational but their focus is always to create awareness of a topic that is relevant to your organization.

Branded videos do not promote your brand directly.

They might not even use the name of your brand. Rather they are produced to enhance your brand’s image and deliver a message that is closely related to your niche and personal to your brand.
Just like commercial videos, branded videos are also kept short. Again, this makes them ideal for use on social media platforms.

Social media videos

Social media videos are becoming very popular recently for marketing campaigns and for a good reason! If you ask what type do social media videos belong to? The answer is that it is a bit of everything! From commercial to explainer videos and many others: social media videos are designed to be used on social media platforms.
These are short videos with a much broader scope. While other videos are designed to be focused on being entertaining, inspiring, or informative, social media videos combine all of them. Social media videos are known to live or die by the seconds. That means that if a video on social media can grab attention in the first few frames, it will work.

Consideration stage

By now the customers have had familiarized themselves with the problem and now they are looking to answer it.
This doesn’t mean that they are ready to order your services or buy your product yet but they are now open to solutions. They are looking for services or solutions that can help them address their problem. This gives you the perfect opportunity to present them with what they need. It is time to show them how your product can serve them.

Explainer videos

Now that the stage of awareness is over, it’s the right time for you to showcase your product and tell them what you can do for them. This is where the explainer videos come into play! These videos are focused on one thing only: showing people how your product or service can help them. How your product can solve their problem and remember to do a lot better than your competitors. The purpose of the explainer videos is to talk about your product and tell how it can benefit you. It is all about creating leads as you deliver an effective and clear message that will prompt the customers further into your sales process. Explainer videos use the combination of meaningful visuals and interesting storytelling to engage viewers and keep them hooked till the end. They tactfully address all the problems that your viewer may be going through at this time. It is this carefully crafted design that makes this style of marketing so effective and the explainer videos are the backbone of it!

Videos series

Video series usually contain more than three videos that have a mutual style, concept, and target similar marketing goals. They are designed and developed to collaborate to achieve results that can otherwise not be achieved.
If you want to understand more about the video series, think of synergy. Video series are created with long-term thinking in the mind as a series can be around for a while. Bear in mind, individual videos from the series should also serve as standalone content other than being impactful in a series.

Decision stage

Finally, it’s the end of the process and your customer is ready to make the decision. They have already become familiar with your brand and how it can help them but it's still not over yet. The customer wants to make sure that he is making the right decision by choosing you over your competitor. It is time to strengthen and reinforce the trust that you have been building up to this point.

Product videos

There are only a few things that are as effective as a good product video. It is natural for your customers to doubt while shopping online since they can not see or feel the product like they would in a market. Product videos are designed to present the characteristics of your product and show its working. The purpose of these videos is to show your customers the ability of your product and how it can benefit them. It can be technical or simple depending upon your targeted audience. Keep in mind that the simpler the approach, the broader the audience you will capture.
Product videos can also be used for digital products where you can use a screencast to show its features and how it works.
You can use a more direct approach in suggesting to buy the product. Remember, no one watches the product video if they are not interested in buying the product.

Case study or testimonial videos

Nothing is as effective as testimonial videos when it comes to overcoming the last minutes of doubt. People don’t usually decide to purchase unless they fully trust you. We, as social creatures also require peer validation for making decisions. Testimonial videos address those aspects.
It is easy to make a testimonial video. Have your previous customer share their positive experience with your product or service. They can tell how they had a problem and how the product benefitted them. If done right, any customer who can relate to the testimony will be prompted to make the final decision. It's also important to know that the video has to look authentic. If a video looks fake or rehearsed, it can very well backfire and have the opposite effect. That is why it is a good idea to share real reviews from authentic clients.

‘About US’ or company culture videos

People are more likely to close a deal if they feel a personal touch from the brand and feel close to it. That’s what the culture videos or the company story videos are all about. They are designed to attract the empathy of your clients by adding a human touch to your brand. This can prove vital at this stage of the process. It can be accomplished by showcasing the company’s mission, values, team, and vision that makes it all possible. There are different ways to do that. One way to accomplish that is by telling a story about the origin of the company and its story about how it got where it is today. Another way is to simply broadcast a few meaningful and important events of the company. Whatever way you choose, tell it with a good story to keep the people engaged.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Videos or Questions and Answers (Q&A) Videos

We all know that people only choose to purchase from a certain brand when they are sure about it. If they are doubtful, confused, or have any sort of query, they may not choose to purchase your product or service. That is why FAQ and Q&A videos are very important to clarify all such queries.
FAQ videos hold great importance as they are meant to answer all the questions that potential customers and consumers may ask about your company and its products. Thus, these videos target the potential doubts of the customers that might otherwise prevent them from buying the product. In otherwise, these FAQ and Q&A videos help to improve sales of the product. Also, they decrease the burden on your customer service staff that is always busy answering the same kind of questions.
Isn’t it just great that you do not have to wait for getting your query answered and all you have to do is simply visit the site and know the answer? This takes much less time and effort, and the queries are answered in a much clear way. Also, you can even make the video entertaining as they are always better and the audience loves watching such videos so why not do it for your brand promotion and growth! These videos also show that the company cares about its customers and the problems, and wants their experience to be as smooth as possible. All this helps in converting more and more audience into your long-term loyal customers, thus helping your business excel.

How-to Videos and Tutorials

Tutorials, commonly known as the how-to videos, have become a very powerful source of marketing these days.
These educational videos have their significance and follow a particular style and structure. They are meant to focus on a specific process and give a stepwise explanation of how it is carried out. It is due to this reason that the tutorials or How-to-videos hold great importance and are said to be one of the most searched contents available online.
Now if you want your tutorial to be effective, you have to consider a few things. Make sure that they are clear and simple to understand. Nobody wants complex instructions that may require further explanation. You just have to stick to the natural process, and this is how you can make a popular tutorial video easily!
If you do it right, you can educate a huge audience, which not only generates interest but also helps you gain complex marketing goals for example up-selling.

Bonus Videos:

Just before we sum it all up, there are two other videos as well that you must know about.

Internal Videos:

Internal videos also have a huge importance in any business growth, thus they must be also be discussed. These videos are not actually for the potential customers, but they are about the employees of the company. Good communication has prime importance in the performance and growth of any company and as we have already mentioned, there is no way of doing it except through videos.
Now coming towards the use of the internal videos, it depends totally on the company’s needs and the message you are trying to convey. Just make sure that whatever message you are trying to convey is received in the form of a breeze.
The internal videos are of great importance and thus quite popular for the training, growth, and development of the employees. They help in cost reduction and can provide exceptional results as compared to other methods. With that, these videos can also often be used to convey any sort of sensitive information within the company and that too, in a very appropriate manner. This also helps ensure that every member of the company is on the same page regarding a specific issue or topic.

Wrapping up

Marketing videos have a huge impact and if used in the right manner, can produce extraordinary results. You just need to know when to use them and how to use them correctly. If you understand your customer’s journey and work on the type of video that works best in each stage, you can achieve anything you want. We hope that reading this will help you choose the right strategy for your business, thus helping it grow exponentially. Good luck!