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How to Create a Video Sales Funnel Using YouTube

Video Content VS Strategic Placement & Remarketing

I hear it time and time again, “I tried running a video to capture leads online, but it didn’t work so I gave up”. This is the constant battle entrepreneurs and marketers face; they want digital video marketing to be successful, but they aren’t seeing success with their current strategy. It’s even more disappointing knowing that most confronted their fear of being on camera in anticipation of a pay-off, only to find it didn’t work and it wasn’t worth the stress. I’m here to ask you not to give up on video marketing, just restructure your strategy.

Advertising On Youtube Is Like Going To The Gym

Well, kind of. We know going to the gym helps people get into shape. You see success stories online, your friends tell you that going to the gym has helped their physique and energy levels. You even try to go to the gym yourself, “I’m going to go to Zumba tonight, because I have a date this weekend and I want to look hot”. (Side note, if you are speaking like that, immediately stop – for everyone’s sake.)

You wouldn’t expect to see results from going to the gym a few times or “going to the gym” but just hanging out in the hot tub, pretending you worked out.

When you do find the schedule and type of workout that works for your body and lifestyle, you end up feeling and looking amazing. It takes trials at different gyms, new workouts, consistent effort, and a will to succeed, but once you figure that out, you end up saying “I couldn’t imagine my day without a workout”.

Video marketing is similar in that trying it once and expecting results is as unlikely as going to the gym once and getting into shape. You need to try different types of creative, different targeting, and different strategies until you find the right system that brings in leads.

“I promise, I’m not trying to be head hunted by YouTube, I’ve just become such an advocate that it sounds like I am.”

Why YouTube Should Consider Hiring Me as Their Spokesperson

I like to drop this hilarious and not at all overused one-liner when talking about YouTube “I promise, I’m not trying to be head hunted by YouTube, I’ve just become such an advocate that it sounds like I am.” I really think the best way to explain why YouTube is so great is to simply explain how it works.

You know those pre-roll video ads that appear before your video of a clumsy cat or children on anesthesia? Well, that’s TrueView YouTube Ads. They may seem annoying and frustrating, but I bet everyone can name at least one advertiser that they’ve seen on YouTube.

Those ads appear on your YouTube account because you’re being specifically targeted by that advertiser. For example, my male friends talk about how many times they see Dollar Shave Club ads appear on YouTube. Well, as a female, I’ve never once been targeted those ads. This is because the profiles I’ve created, my search history and the websites I frequent are all telltale signs that I am female and would not need to purchase a Dollar Shave Club membership.

A web user that’s a foot away from their computer or mobile device, waiting for their video to play is as engaged as they’re ever going to be. YouTube’s 5 second counter shows users that they only have to wait five seconds, which means you have 5 seconds to catch someone’s attention and entice them to watch the entire video. We’ll get into strategy in a bit.

It’s Cheaper Than You Think

“YouTube Must be Really Expensive.” I hear that one a lot. Here’s how pricing works. You set your daily budget, very similar to AdWords. You tell YouTube that you only want to spend $X per day. Once you hit $X, your ads stop showing for the rest of the day. If someone skips your ad after the first five seconds, YouTube doesn’t charge you. You are ONLY charged when someone watches the entire video (or 30 seconds, whichever comes first). When the user does watch the entire ad, the cost varies, but the average in my experience is around $0.10/view.

So, let’s recap:

  • Specifically targeted audience of your choosing
  • Your audience is incredibly engaged
  • You decide on the content
  • You decide how much money you are willing to invest
  • You only get charged when someone watches the entire video or 30 seconds

If it’s not a “no-brainer” yet, then consider this Google-commissioned Neilsen Study done in 2016: On mobile alone, more 18 to 49-year-olds watch YouTube during prime time in the United States than they do the 10 prime-time shows combined. This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone reading this blog, as I suspect you’re here to figure out how to capitalize on this amazing platform.

So now that the user has seen your message and shown interest, what do you do? It’s time to build a funnel to capture leads and continue marketing to them.

Funnels Aren’t Just For Keg Parties

By now, you’ve probably been inundated with the word “funnel” and other verbiage surrounding building funnels to capture leads. Your video strategy should be no different. Think big-picture when building out your marketing strategies. I use whiteboards, but a few of my colleagues like the old-school post-it note process. Write out the full interaction flow between your brand and your customer. Map it out first.

Here’s an example of a typical funnel I’ve seen kicking around the web:

If we use this funnel to describe video marketing, it’d translate like this:

Awareness – Show your ad to the right people

Interest – The user clicks the ad, reads about your company

Decision – The user fills in a contact form

Action – The user becomes a customer

I’m going to say this is obvious as far as funnels are concerned. Let’s kick it up a notch.

Awareness – Show your ad to the right people

Start off with an engaging ad. “Hey, you! I have this incredible thing that will completely change your life, it’s free and easy and gluten-free.” I’m not serious about this, as this is clickbait, and I would never suggest tricking someone to click. Try different creatives to see which one brings the longest view rate and the highest click-through rate. If you can evoke a positive emotion, you’re in the right direction. Don’t try to be funny if you don’t know for sure that you’re funny. It’s awkward and ineffective.

Interest – The user clicks the ad, lands on your website

Make sure ad traffic lands on a page that’s actually related to the ad they just watched. Don’t make them look for this amazing new product or service; give them the answer right away, without them having to hunt or scroll. That might mean building a specific landing page to highlight the specific product, service, or promotion from the ad.

Emphasis – Keep the ads coming

The user has shown interest in your brand at some point by clicking one of your ads, so let’s keep showing them your brand under different lights. You now have engagement and you should continue to tell your story. If they clicked the first ad talking about how awesome your product is, have this round of ads talking about the specific ways they could benefit from this product. Maybe create a testimonial video from your clients talking about how your product has revolutionized their lives. You should be willing to spend more to have people watch these videos, as you’re now only targeting this ad to people who have already shown some interest.

Enthusiasm – The user clicks the ad again

Now they are even more qualified to make a buying decision. It takes a few tries and a few different messages to get your point across, so break it into viewable chunks and frequent them to your customers until they buy. I would consider having these users directed to an even more stripped down landing page, with bullet points and a simple way to buy. They’ve already shown interest by reading about your products and services before. Make it really easy for them to buy from you. You can also cap the number of times a specific user will see your ads in a week. If you’re worried about hitting the annoying threshold, pull back on the frequency.

Decision – The user fills in a contact form

Action – The user becomes a customer

Reaction – Now that they’re a customer, keep them one. Continue to interact with them online through email communication and remarketing ads. Switch the ads they see away from “sales” videos and continue with “upsell” videos. If they’ve booked an appointment with you for a specific type of service, show them ads for a supplementary service. If they bought a product, show them ads for a related product to complete the set.

People Like Being Marketed To As Long As They’re Being Entertained

For the sake of humanity and sanity, please try to make your videos interesting. You’re not only competing with other businesses. When you advertise digitally, you’re competing with funny cat videos, kids on anesthesia, celebrities, people falling down and everything else you can imagine on YouTube. Keep it interesting. Give the user a reason to want to watch the entire video.

I always recommend hiring professional creative people to plan and execute on video content. Just because YouTube makes it easy enough that you can DIY, doesn’t mean you should DIY. Hire professionals where it matters. If bringing in new customers to your business is important to you, then make sure it’s done right.

An Example With Puppies

Because who doesn’t love puppies?

Awareness Ad – targeting people who are in the market for a puppy. Purina created a series of episodes in collaboration with BuzzFeed to tug on the heartstrings of puppy lovers.

Emphasis Ad – an emphasis ad doesn’t need to be a different theme, it could be an extension of the story to create an emotional attachment with your brand.

Remarketed Ad – Because Purina Puppy Chow is only for puppies 1 year and younger, a great idea would be to market to these same people ads about food for older dogs in about 12 months. You could keep them in the funnel waiting for the 12-month mark and hit them with a series of ads that will keep them emotionally attached to your brand.

Written by Amanda Wilhelm

More Articles By Amanda Wilhelm

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