Driving without a roadmap – or in the 21st century, a GPS system – can easily get you lost on an unfamiliar route. When it comes to the customer experience, marketers have to know how their audience gets from point A to Z, from prospect to customer.
Without a customer journey map, marketers may not know how their customers interact with their brand as they move from the awareness stage to the purchase stage. A customer journey map is paramount in identifying the path that audience members take to make a purchase. But how do you go about creating a useful customer journey map?
First of all, it’s important to define what a customer journey map is. As its name implies, this tool tells the story of a customer’s experience with a brand from start to finish. The map documents their actions from the initial moment of contact, right through the process of engagement and relationship building.
Some customer journey maps are simple, focusing on just one part of the customer experience. Others are all-encompassing, detailing the entire process a customer undergoes before they make a purchase or subscription.
A customer journey map can assume various forms as well. They tend to appear as infographics, but they can also be formulated as interactive charts or any other visual format. The only requirement is for the map to present a clear picture of what the customer does from points A to Z.
Customer journey mapping has benefits for every marketer – including those who produce videos.
Pinpoint where customers might get frustrated or lose interest when using your product, service or website. For example, a customer journey map may reveal that visitors leave a website page when an autoplay video annoys the viewer.
A customer journey map puts you in your customers’ shoes. These maps commonly include the customer’s emotional state at specific brand touchpoints. The better you understand this, the better you can address their pain points.
Ultimately, understanding a customer’s experience allows marketers to optimize their websites and channels for a smoother journey. A smoother journey, like a well-paved road, encourages the customer to move forward towards their goal even faster.
To continue with the previous example, now that you know the volume of your autoplay video catches customers off guard, you can set it to play with the volume off or turn off the autoplay feature altogether.
Journey mapping aligns with SWOT Analyses (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats), because it points out what needs to change or what can stay the same to improve a customer’s experience with a brand.
Now we’re going to answer the main question this post presented – how do customer journey maps fit in with video content? Well, let’s first revisit the importance of the buyer funnel and where certain content formats fit within.
Different forms of video content will fit in at different points on the buyer funnel. For example, traditional ads or branded storytelling sits at the top of the funnel (the brand awareness stage).
Explainer videos can sit near the top as well, but may also align more with the interest phase (middle of the funnel) to acquaint customers with the brand or its products and services. Video tutorials or product demos are middle-of-the-funnel content formats that prime a customer to make a purchase. At the bottom of the funnel, you have sales-oriented videos intended to convert customers.
You need to know when, where and how to deploy any one of these videos. For example, inserting a sales video at the very first point of entry (such as a landing page) could drive a customer away for its overt intent to make a sale. In such a case, a video that informs, educates or entertains a customer would fit better at this stage.
Or take a personalized video for instance. To build a video that references a viewer’s goals, desires, and intentions requires you to collect some data. A customer journey map helps you figure out where, when and how to use your video content before you even produce it. Not only does it help you figure out the logistics of your video, but it also informs your entire content strategy.
When crafting a content marketing strategy, it’s easy to get bogged down in the details. The challenge, of course, is ensuring that the strategy and its associated content meets the demands of an audience.
A customer journey map informs marketers about what an audience wants from their experience with a brand, and therefore, how to optimize a brand’s channels to create such an experience.
Doing this will make the journey feel natural and relevant at any given moment, which will retain customers where other brands would lose them.