If there’s one thing staying at home has revealed to us it’s that we watch a ton of video content. YouTube reports one billion hours of video are watched every day and research estimates social video ad spend will grow 44% from 2019 to reach $14.89 billion by 2021. In other words, video is still very much an effective tool in a marketer’s arsenal.

And with the right script and creativity, social media video marketing can do more than support a brand’s awareness and consideration goals. It can also guide prospects through the decision stage of their buyer’s journey, educate customers on their brand new purchase and fuel a brand’s advocacy plans.

In this article, we’ll explain how video content marketing can support five different social goals, provide types of videos that successfully align with each stage of the buyer’s journey and inspire your own social media video ideas.

Build brand awareness and put a stake in the ground with video content

If you’re like the majority of social marketers, brand awareness is your top goal. Social media video marketing is a great medium to reach new customers and show them who you are, what you do, what you stand for and what makes you unique.

Mint Mobile, a low-cost wireless carrier, was founded back in 2016. When Ryan Reynolds became the majority owner in 2019, he brought his marketing acumen, wit, a new vision and major brand awareness to the company.

In a world where big wireless companies are constantly competing and trying to one-up each other, MintMobile promises to be a company “that extends its middle finger to conventional truths while also pointing out where big wireless is letting people down.” The brand uses video driven by Reynolds’s dead-pan humor to get the message across.

In their “New ManageMint” video, Reynolds outlines what the wireless carrier is and identifies a benefit of the service that everyone loves—saving money. It’s short, funny, engaging and clearly explains what the company is all about and how it compares to competitors.

Don’t worry if you don’t have an A-list spokesperson to intrigue your audience. This type of video is not about who the face of your brand is, it’s about showing what your brand offers, how it solves customers’ challenges and what differentiates it.

In the first stages of the buyer’s journey, brands are just trying to capture consumers’ attention and introduce themselves, and with video, you may only have seconds to do it. If you’re creating awareness-stage video content, get right to the point. Thought leadership and educational videos of this nature can establish credibility and your brand identity, so when consumers have purchase intent your brand is top of mind.

Generate demand with tutorials and other types of how-to videos

Once consumers have reached the consideration stage, they may know about your brand and what you offer, but it’s your job to generate demand for your products and services. There are several ways you can achieve this goal with social media video marketing.

How-tos and tutorials show your product in action and make it easy for the consumer to envision how they’d use the product themselves. Skincare, makeup and beauty brands like ColourPop Cosmetics are masters of these kinds of consideration-stage videos. You can bet that whenever ColourPop has a sale or giveaway going, they will share short- and long-form social videos of makeup artists, influencers and real customers applying their products. Consumers can see the smoothness of foundations, color pigment of eyeshadows and creaminess of lipsticks as they go on.

When people can see how a product works or how other people use your service to solve a problem, they can more easily visualize themselves doing the same thing. Animated explainer videos can be an alternative option to live-action demonstrations. While they might be a bit more abstract, they’re still an opportunity to put the customer’s problem into perspective and introduce your services as the solution.

Consideration-stage videos don’t have to focus solely on your products or services. Now more than ever, consumers also consider a company’s culture and core values before committing to being their customer. When consumers find that a brand shares their values, 58% will buy from that brand. Videos that go deeper into your brand story and highlight your core values can establish an emotional connection with your audience, making it more likely that they’ll choose your company over a competitor.

Drive conversion by telling real customer stories through video

The decision stage is the point at which your goal is to turn prospects into customers. Customer testimonial videos show the real potential and payoff of your brand’s products and services.

People may know about Peloton’s stationary bike and workout classes but what people may be surprised and delighted to find out is that it also has a tight-knit member community. Peloton’s “Meet Our Members” video series features stories from people from all over the world. Each person shares their unique reasons for becoming Peloton members and sticking with it. The video shows these people in their everyday lives to establish relatability to the viewer. Then, they show them riding the Peloton bike, a real example of how the product might fit into your life too.

Some members clip into their bikes for a good sweat and endorphins, others, for an escape after homeschooling kids. No matter what the story is, the value of being a Peloton customer and member of their community is clear and compelling from start to the finish.

What makes these videos strong decision-stage content, is the aspirational, yet authentic, “this could be you” feeling. Peloton isn’t just making a promise to you as a customer and hoping you buy with blind faith. They’re showing that they’ve already earned their customers’ trust and made differences in their lives. Use this kind of video content to show potential customers the results and the real benefits that others have reaped and that they stand to gain from choosing your business.

Leverage video to keep your customers satisfied and engaged

It’s not just marketers who want to make sure they’re seeing a return on their investments. Once a prospect becomes a customer and enters the adoption stage, educate them about how they can get the most out of your products and services.

For AirBnB hosts, reviews are essential reputation builders. When renters are choosing their home away from home, reviews could seal the deal or steer people elsewhere. And good business for hosts is good business. That’s why AirBnB works with “superhosts” to create tips and tricks style videos about “How to Host.”

This kind of fun, energetic how-to video is ideal for platforms like YouTube, Facebook or IGTV, where people are willing to spend a bit more time watching and learning.

If your products or services have a lot of bells and whistles, features based on specific needs or there’s a learning curve that comes with them, lean into educational video. Content that’s focused on hacks, tips, optimization or special features can put complexities into perspective and make customers more confident. Webinars and social media live videos can be highly effective mediums for this kind of content. They give customers a chance to engage with your brand in real-time, ask questions and get answers they’re looking for.

Skincare regimens are not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing and if people use the wrong products, things could easily go awry. To help customers find the right products, the skincare brand Origins, partners with influencers to host their “Shopping Live” series on Instagram.

In each live stream, influencers talk in detail about new or featured Origins products. They discuss how and why they use those products, share the results they’ve seen, teach how products address specific skin concerns and respond to customer questions as they come through. These videos aren’t just an attempt to sell products. They ensure that customers feel understood, heard and empowered to pick the products that are best suited to their needs.

Going live can help you capture a broader audience, but it’s your biggest fans and existing followers who are most likely to tune in. Unlike posts that show up in people’s feeds, Instagram Live streams appear at the top of the interface at the beginning of Stories. Followers who have their app open when you go live will also receive a notification that you’re broadcasting, so they can easily tune in to get the latest from your brand.

Inspire evangelism and embrace customer advocacy

By the advocacy stage, you have happy customers that will sing your praises and champion your brand.

If you kept up with viral moments of 2020, you probably already know about Nathan Apodaca AKA doggface208. When Apocada’s truck broke down on the way to work, he didn’t let that setback keep him down. He grabbed his longboard, a bottle of Ocean Spray juice and created a TikTok seen round the world. The video was so popular that it inspired the #DreamsChallenge and a wave of people, including Mick Fleetwood and the CEO of Ocean Spray, creating their version of the video.

@oceanspray

Rolling into the weekend like… @420doggface208 @mickfleetwood @tiktok #dreamschallenge #cranberrydreams

♬ original sound – Ocean Spray Inc.

His TikTok, one of the most viral in 2020, was an organic, spur-of-the-moment video that Ocean Spray spun into advocacy-stage gold. The value of Ocean Spray shares nearly doubled in less than a month, “Dreams” returned to the Billboard charts for the first time since 1977 and Apocada received a new truck courtesy of the brand.

The beautiful thing about this kind of advocacy video is that it doesn’t feel like you’re being sold anything. Capitalize on organic, genuine love for your brand and product using social listening tools like Sprout Social’s. With listening, you can meet the moment and capture brand mentions from engaged profiles and surface user-generated video content.

TikTok’s Global Head of Business Marketing Katie Puris told Adweek, “You can’t plan for viral. Don’t just wait for a moment to be opportunistic, but plan for this to be a component in the way you think about building your brand all of the time, with an always-on strategy. And have a plan in place for when these opportunities do show up.”

Not every advocacy video will be viral or come straight from your fans. Employer brand strategies can also be bolstered by advocacy videos. Consider also showcasing your colleagues to show the ins and outs of your company and why they love working there.

Achieve your goals at all stages of the buyer’s journey with videos for social media

By investing in social video, brands have an opportunity to increase awareness, build stronger connections with their audiences and grow their business. At Sprout, we believe in the power of social video. Harness that power with Sprout Social’s video publishing and analytics tools to optimize your strategy and measure the results of your efforts. Sprout analytics reports have unique video metrics that align with your goals at all stages of the funnel.

Unsure which KPIs to focus on? Download this cheat sheet with the important social media video metrics to track for each stage of the buyer’s journey, from awareness to advocacy.