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How to use the flywheel model to create compelling video content

Written by: Chélin Ramos, Art Director at Stratitude

If you haven’t heard the term ‘flywheel’ in marketing, let me fill you in. The flywheel is a concept that originated from HubSpot, to better contextualise how the customer lifecycle has changed over the last few years.

As fake news and sensationalised sales claims continue to plague our information environment, customers have grown sceptical and are thereby conducting their own research – asking networks for advice, reading online reviews, searching for comments on social media – to validate information. More research equals more knowledge, more knowledge equals higher expectations. And one of those expectations is a business’s ability to care beyond transactions.

Remember the marketing funnel? For years, businesses have structured their business strategies around it. Not to say it didn’t – or doesn’t – work (the flywheel does not replace the funnel), but today customers have more power and influence over your brand than you do. What a customer says about your business is far more valuable than anything you have to say about yourself, and the traditional funnel doesn’t factor any of that in.

The Harvard Business Review reported that 57% of B2B purchasing decisions have already been made before customers have had any contact with the business in question. Third-party review sites, peer-to-peer recommendations, and word-of-mouth have already given buyers everything they need to know. Which means the traditional funnel has one very large flaw: Customers are viewed as an afterthought. It’s a model that simply produces customers – it doesn’t consider that customers can help your business grow.

In comes the flywheel.

(Now try to stay with me.)

A flywheel is an energy-efficient wheel used to store energy based on how fast you spin it, how much friction there is and how big it is, the key here being energy. Say we compare customers to energy; the funnel and the flywheel begin to look very different. In the funnel, customers are an outcome only, which means all the energy you put into acquiring that customer is wasted if you don’t convert them. In the flywheel, customers are the energy.

When 81% of buyers are trusting their families’ and friends’ recommendations above the advice of any business, the flywheel considers this constant flow of conversation and factors in the importance of customer experience. Deliver an exceptional customer experience and their positive energy will push your business forward, causing it to gain momentum. The happier the customer, the more referrals they will generate and the more sales they will drive. Happy customer > referral > sale > happy customer > referral > sale > happy customer > referral > sale… spin, spin, spin.

Now suppose someone came along and asked, “Which push caused this thing to go so fast?” There is no real answer; it’s a nonsensical question. Was it the first push? The third? The hundredth? In truth, it was all of them added together – a constant flow of customer experiences working together to drive your business forward.

If you’re still with me, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with video marketing. Everything actually.

We know it takes customer experiences to make the flywheel work, but how do we create those customer experiences and where do they fit in? To answer that, we must look at the different stages of the flywheel.

There are three phases: Attract, engage, delight. Think inbound marketing – we use an effective marketing campaign to drive quality traffic to a site to increase reach, engagement, and conversion rates through “owned” and “paid” media. And what’s the most effective way to do all of that in 2022? Video marketing. Simple, right? Not really.

Companies often jump into creating videos without considering their audiences. What are their pain points? Their habits? Their likes and dislikes?

Video marketing isn’t something that can be done on a whim. Through every phase of the flywheel, a well-thought-out video marketing strategy must be put in place. There are too many components to consider to ensure a memorable customer experience. Understand the purpose of each phase and you will be able to identify the video type to drive that purpose and get your business spinning.

PHASE 1: ATTRACT

This is your first point of contact – the phase that converts strangers into visitors. It’s a crucial step. Here, potential customers are searching for a solution to their challenges and deciding which business provides it. So, your video should introduce who you are, address a problem and demonstrate how your product or service can help. You want to attract their attention, provide unsolicited value, and start building a relationship before you ask for anything in return.

Which video should you use?

The goal of this video is to expand reach and build trust. If you are looking to garner shares, you’ll want to create something impactful and entertaining, and probably stir a bit of emotion. All the while providing enough important information to set yourself up as an authority on the topic. For phase 1, it is recommended to use:

  • Brand videos to show people who you are, what you do and why you do it. This is a basic overview of your company mission and values.
  • Micro videos or short videos (5-15 second videos) designed as a quick way to grab attention on social media. These are a great tactic to show off your brand personality.
  • Thought leadership and industry FAQ videos to show knowledge in your industry by offering free information to help build the trust you need to reach phase 2.

PHASE 2: ENGAGE

You have their attention – great! But now you want them to engage with your brand so you can nurture new relationships and turn visitors into leads.

A healthy balance should still exist between building on the relationship and closing the deal, so it’s important that you continue to gain their trust while encouraging them to perform an action. Give them a reason to buy into your business and present them with solutions and insights that align their goals to their pain points, so they are more inclined to purchase from you.

Which video should you use?

It’s during this phase that you gather customer information so you can make the sale. Essentially, you want to convert and close. This is an opportunity to prove to your audience that you can get the job done, and that you can do it well. The best videos for this purpose are:

  • Testimonial videos showing how you helped solve a similar problem for another happy customer – proof that your business is a credible one.  
  • Case study videos to give insight into the inner workings of your business by demonstrating how you unpacked a problem, provided a solution and delivered a positive outcome.
  • Explainer videos or instructional videos to teach your audience something they don’t already know and to educate them on your different products or services.

PHASE 3: DELIGHT

Excellent! You’ve closed the sale and you have another happy customer’s positive energy to channel into your flywheel. During the “delight” phase, it’s up to you to continue to help, support and empower your customers with relevant content that will add value to their experience with your brand.

Why is this so important? It’s through this phase that the customer will either choose to promote you or not. If they have a great customer experience, they will refer you to their peers and your business wheel will continue spinning forward.

Which video should you use?

The goal of this video is to ultimately get your customers to wrap themselves up in your brand and promote it far and wide. You need to stay relevant by starting to support them immediately after a sale is made. Here, we recommend:

  • Thank you videos or onboarding videos as a next step after the sale has been made. As your first piece of communication, it would be valuable to send something welcoming them to the community or getting them started with their new product or service.
  • FAQ videos touching on a lot of questions they might be asking about their new purchase. It helps to develop a library of these, so new customers can constantly refer back to them.
  • Instructional videos (or how-to videos) to provide detailed instructions on how to get the most out of their purchase.
  • Topical videos that can address every-day challenges and demonstrate how their new product or service can assist in these areas.

Every video marketing strategy is made up of the right content, the right channels, and the right optimisation tools. How the content-channel-optimisation mix gets applied depends on what phase of the flywheel you’re concentrating on. But it all starts with the flywheel.

Companies that choose to adopt the flywheel model over the traditional marketing funnel have given themselves a massive advantage because they have the support of an entire community of people driving their business forward and helping them grow.

If a business chooses to create exceptional experiences from the first point of contact and align their success with their customers to delight, gain loyalty and promote love, they will grow because their customers believed in them. Treat your customers like the driving force they are, and it will result in a stronger business, stronger relationships, and a clearer path to growth.

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