How to Create a Foolproof Ecommerce Video Ad Funnel

Not too long ago, the only video content an ecommerce brand would ever dream of having was a beautiful brand video on their homepage. This info-packed, mildly emotional content would serve as a great intro to the brand. While this form of video content may still be valuable for your website, there is a better way to use your video resources for ecommerce marketing and it’s actually a way that has results attached to it.

Video is incredibly powerful in communicating and selling, but how you create it and where it’s used go hand in hand. Getting this right will be the difference between making revenue off of your video content or failing and losing a lot of cash.

This is why full-funnel video advertising should become your best friend, if you keep some key principles in mind.

Before we start… What’s a funnel?

If you’ve been around marketing people for a bit you’ve surely heard of funnels, and we’ve written about using funnels in Facebook and other ad platforms. A marketing funnel can be as simple as three steps you take your potential customer through on their journey with your brand. Applied to video marketing, we will create video content to move people from the top of the funnel (cold traffic – people who have never heard of your brand) to the bottom (warm traffic – people who are ready to purchase).

Why attach a funnel to ecommerce video ads?

Videos are without a doubt the best way to build an emotional connection between your brand and your customers short of being with them in person. So rather than creating a stand-alone video for any user to watch, apply a funnel method to keep your video content as relevant as possible for viewers throughout the customer journey. You will carefully construct every video to do its job for each step, whether that’s introducing your product for the first time, answering frequently asked questions, sharing valuable content, or informing them of new products you just released. Along the way this facilitates a relationship with the customer and develops your brand while you sell. The end result? You gain more long-term customers!

Example of a Simple Video Ad Funnel at Work

Let’s take a look at a simple 3 step funnel that we would execute across paid social channels. For each step of the funnel, we’ll use examples of videos from one of our clients, Groove Life Silicone Rings.

Step 1. The Impactful Intro Video

Channels: Paid pre-roll ad on YouTube

As you might expect, the purpose of the Impactful Intro is to grab the attention of the user and hook them. This is likely someone who has never heard of your brand before. Since pre-roll YouTube ads appear before a video the user actually wants to watch, you must be intriguing enough to interrupt their pattern. You have just a few seconds to hook the viewer or they will opt to skip the ad.

With that in mind, make the first 5 seconds of the video very engaging, and keep the overall length between 30 and 60 seconds. Pitch your product or brand in the most memorable way possible, you want your name to stick in the viewer’s memory. The goal here is to get the viewer to click through to your site, or more likely, search for your brand on Google later on.

The primary goal: get them to remember your name (and search for it).

Check out this top-of-funnel video ad from Groove Life:

Step 2. The Follow-Up

Channels: YouTube Display Ads and Google Branded Search Ads

Next, you have a couple of options for how to capture a user that has seen the intro video but has not visited your site yet.

The primary goal: get them to visit your site.

1. Be sure to set up YouTube Remarketing Ads, which allow you to retarget video viewers with video ads on the right side of their screen while surfing more YouTube videos or with image-based ads on Google’s display network.

In this video, the goal is to be less sensational and more educational. Check out this example:

2. Google’s Branded Search campaigns are an absolute must. In fact, it’s part the secret sauce in a successful video ad strategy. If done well, your top-of-funnel videos from Step 1 will get the right customers searching for you on Google and other search engines. When they do this, we want to take every opportunity to show up for that search. This way, if a video viewer decides to search for your brand name or product on Google, your paid search ad will show up at the top of their search listings. For more info on this, read about the importance of buying your branded terms.

Example of branded search terms for Groove Life

Example of branded search terms for Groove Life

The goal of this follow-up is to make yourself as available as possible in the user’s path in order to get them to your site to learn more about your product.

Step 3. The Haymaker Video

Channel: Facebook or YouTube Retargeting Ad

At this stage in the funnel, a user may have already made a purchase by now. If not, this last step is to reach them one last time with our best offer. In this example funnel, this step is assuming the user has visited your site. If they haven’t, we keep them in step 2 with more educational content. Here we use Facebook retargeting as well as YouTube retargeting. Create a custom audience that has visited the site but not purchased within the last 7-14 days. You may need to adjust this time span depending on the amount of traffic visiting your site.

The primary goal: get them to purchase.

For this custom audience, use another video that is still short and memorable, but this time focus on the features and benefits of your product. Think through potential objections or barriers to purchase a potential customer might be processing and impactfully answer those in the video. If you have video reviews or testimonials from other customers, you can test those videos as ads as well! With this last video it’s also important to give the customer a reason to buy right now… you must create urgency.

Hint: For extra impact, create your own punchy captions to call out the main points of your script. Facebook does offer options to generate captions, but in our experience they aren’t as effective of creating those yourself in the video.

Here’s an example of a bottom of funnel video that also includes a great offer:

Next Steps

We won’t get into advanced Facebook video funnels here, but there is a lot you can do in Facebook based on how long the user has watched your video ad. For example, consider creating more custom retargeting audiences for those that watched 50% or more of your video but did not purchase.

If the user did purchase, this is not the end! In fact, it’s only the beginning of turning a customer into a raving fan!

Don’t start throwing more ads at the newly acquired customer, but retarget purchasers with more content that communicates the purpose and values behind your brand. Utilize videos that tell your brand story, thank your customers for their business, look at how your company gives back to the community, or even offer a coupon for friends and family.

Final Advice

The biggest mistake you could make while building and testing your video ad funnel is giving up. The second biggest mistake would be to try and get each video perfect. The goal of this strategy is agility, quickness, and learning fast. These are normally not high-production shoots. Some of the most effective are shot and edited on your phone! We mentioned the first five seconds are crucial for capturing your audience’s attention, so test, test, and then test some more. In fact, we encourage you to test dozens of variations of the first five seconds for each video to find what works best.

As you monitor these ads, watch for key metrics such as watch time, average watch time per impression, and video plays at 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%. These will inform your process of narrowing down what intros are capturing views and which are not!


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