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7 online video formats to guide your buyer's journey

Written by
SJC Team

According to Zenith’s Advertising Expenditure Forecasts report, online video advertising will be the fastest-growing digital channel this year, rising 26 per cent to $63 billion.A pretty impressive stat to ignite your video strategy.But first, let’s look at recent consumer habits, accelerated by the pandemic, that reinforce why video today is a fundamental part of the new customer journey.

  1. Canadians are shopping a lot online. According to Vividata’s Spring 2021 report, 9.5 million Canadian adults shop online in an average week, with Gen Y showing the greatest affinity for ecommerce.
  2. Consumers are watching record amounts of video. In 2020, 96 per cent of consumers increased their online video consumption.  And as of 2021, an average person is predicted to spend 100 minutes per day watching online videos. In Facebook’s 2021 Q2 ratings, Mark Zuckerberg explains that “video now accounts for almost half of all time spent on Facebook. Video, in particular, is becoming the primary way that people use our products and express themselves.”
  3. Adults spend an average of three hours and 43 minutes on their phones each day. In 2020, mobile sales made up more than one third of ecommerce sales, a growth of 26.6 per cent versus 2019.

Video will soon become as ubiquitous as text. The challenge (and opportunity) is to decide what type of video will effectively engage your audience in their digital path to purchase.

What type of video will work best?

First, ask yourself: where is my buyer in their journey and what am I trying to make them do (or feel)? Are they at the top of the marketing funnel, just finding out about my brand, at the bottom of the funnel and a click away from purchase – or somewhere in between?Videos can involve bigger budgets and longer lead times than other content formats, so it’s important to consider your audience and where they are in the customer journey at the outset.Curated from our portfolio of recent client work, here are seven types of video to consider as part of your content marketing strategy:

Top of the funnel

Here, your main goal is brand awareness so content will be more general and splashy. The goal is to entice viewers amongst a sea of online content.

Inspire your audience

Video Type #1: Recipe Videos

Overview: Provide the visual step-by-step process to make a delicious looking dish
Example: Recipe videos for My Brick Home

Inform your audience

Video Type #2: Educational Videos
Overview: Teach your audience about a topic tied to your brand
Example: BC Egg x Today's Parent "4 reasons to eat eggs"

Entertain your audience

Video Type #3: Custom content video series
Overview: Engage and appeal to your audience's emotions with real-life narrative storylines connected to your buyer persona
Example: Chef Artois, a cooking competition video series for Stella Artois in partnership with Toronto Life, produced by SJC Content and Bokeh

Another example:
Maclean's x Surex custom content video, "The Meaning of Home." Connecting through emotions and human stories is so powerful, and video is one of the best ways to do that.

Middle of the funnel

Your target audience has been inspired and/or informed by one of your videos geared for top of the funnel engagement. They know who you are, their interest has peaked and now they are interested to see what you have to offer.

Demonstrate to your audience

Video Type #4: Product Video
Overview: Showcase the features and/or benefits of your product or service
Example: Serta Spectrum "unboxing" video for Amazon storefront

Another example:
"What's New" video for Staples Canada

Video Type #5: Explainer Video
Overview: A product video that goes into more detail on the features and benefits of a product or service.
Example: Explainer video for Alphabroder's new digital catalogue

Video Type #6:
360 Experience Videos
Overview: Showcase your product from every angle.
Example: Interior 360 of the Lexus UX

Bottom of the funnel

Now your potential customers are on the cusp of making a purchase, perhaps comparing one or two final options. A slight push (in the form of a video, no less) can convince them they are ready to make the buy.

Help your audience

Video Type #7: Tutorials
Overview: Support your audience with how-to examples using your products or services. Reassure them that you will be a valuable resource post-purchase as well.
Example: How-to videos for Whirlpool

Another example: Vichy x Chatelaine skin consultation video to promote Skinconsult AI. (Find out how it was part of an exclusive multi-platform campaign including print, digital and social.)

SJC Content works with many of Canada's biggest brands to incorporate video in their marketing strategy across web, social and e-commerce platforms such as Flipp and Amazon. If you are interested in exploring video options for your brand, we'd love to help. (Watch the video below for more of our video work and you can also check out our video portfolio.) Write to us here and we'll be in touch.

Content that converts  is one of the eight
2021 media & marketing trends defined by our SJC thought leaders. We take a deep dive with the research, stats, insights and tips to help you assess how this trend might be one to consider for your marketing strategy this year. Check out the first four articles in our Behind the Trend series: content that fuels e-commerce, media brand trust, virtual events and print.

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