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How Interactive Videos Can Collapse the Video Sales Funnel and Boost Conversions

As the bedrock of digital marketing, the marketing sales funnel has been used to attract leads, nurture them, and convert them into loyal brand advocates since its invention in 1898. Due to technological advancements and their resultant changes in consumer expectations, the sales funnel has transformed from a linear process to an omnichannel loop of purchase behaviors.

Now brands must ensure that customers can discover them at any stage of the buyer’s journey (on any device) and sustain their attention long enough to nudge them to the next step. 

Interactive video combats these challenges by converging all sales funnel stages into a single destination. Not only do they shorten the sales cycle, but they also boost conversions by promoting single-session sales

You must be wondering, what are single-session sales?

We’ll explain that in a moment, but first, let’s briefly look at what a typical video sales funnel looks like and how interactive video can shorten it

Table of Contents
The Video Sales Funnel
Collapsing the Sales Funnel: How Interactive Videos Can Shorten the Buyer’s Journey
Incorporating Interactive Video Into Your Funnel
1. Awareness
2. Interest and Evaluation
3. Convert
4. Retain
Get the Most Out of Your Video Marketing With COTU

A Typical Video Sales Funnel

The Video Sales Funnel

Marketers use the sales funnel as a strategic tool to map the customer journey, from brand awareness to product purchase and beyond. The goal is to get as many qualified prospects as possible to reach the end of the funnel and become valued customers.

While sales funnels grow and develop based on digital technology, consumer behavior, and the different stages brands are in, their foundational principles remain the same. Hence, a video sales funnel has the same goals as a traditional sales funnel, i.e., convert customers and boost sales, except that it’s powered by video content.

Here’s what a traditional video sales funnel looks like:

  • Awareness: Catch the target audience’s attention while they’re looking for solutions to their problems. Make them aware of the solutions you offer and captivate them with your engaging videos, converting them into leads.
  • Interest and Evaluation: At this stage, encourage viewers to consider your solutions, build up their intent, and help them evaluate your offers.
  • Convert: Leverage consumer interest to seal the deal and provide the necessary information to set them up for success with your product or service. 
  • Retain: Nurture new and existing customer relationships to drive brand loyalty and repeat purchases.

Strategic video sales funnels let you move viewers quickly through the funnel in highly captivating ways that trump traditional hard-sell tactics.

However, in a traditional sales funnel, video is useful only in the awareness, interest, and consideration stages. You could also use video to nurture your leads by helping them evaluate their options. 

Yet, since regular videos only offer a linear viewing experience with a start, middle, and end, there’s no way to use them beyond warming up a lead—video is of little help in motivating the prospect to take the final step and become a customer. 

COTU’s CEO Richard Baugh notes, “it can take an average of seven touchpoints to get somebody to convert.”

Buyer's Journey Linear Video vs Interactive Video

Collapsing the Sales Funnel: How Interactive Videos Can Shorten the Buyer’s Journey

What consumers see, hear, and experience online based on their content consumption habits profoundly influences their purchasing decisions. Increasingly, they opt for engaging online experiences in which they can learn about products and purchase them with minimal effort.

Baugh explains that with interactive videos, “you’re showing people an array of everything that’s being used and giving them a chance to click on an item they want to buy,” simplifying convoluted purchase journeys.

For example, instead of navigating various websites to find a product or complete an action, viewers can directly click on a product they’ve seen in a video to reach its product page and complete a purchase without any touchpoints in between.

In this way, COTU makes single-session sales possible for its clients and their customers, i.e., the entire purchase journey is completed in a single session. 

An interactive video enables the buyer to see the product, learn more about it—its price, available sizes, colors, variations, and usefulness—and buy it there and then. 

“So now video is not just limited to awareness, interest, and consideration, but you can also ensure that people are having the intent and an opportunity to evaluate, then make the purchase as a result there. COTU allows the funnel that people currently go through to be collapsed and to move from start to finish at their speed,” explains Baugh.

Of course, not all viewers will end up buying your product. It only means they have an opportunity to purchase it, should they want it, while they’re still attracted to it.

Incorporating Interactive Video Into Your Funnel

More than 50% of shoppers say video has helped them decide which brand or product to buy. It’s common knowledge that interactive videos are visceral, engaging, and emotionally compelling. Thus, every brand can benefit from the medium’s persuasive charm and ability to usher prospects through the sales funnel.

Let’s discuss a few different ways you can use interactive video at each stage of the video sales funnel. 

1. Awareness

Top funnel (TOFU) video content is for consumers who have just become problem-aware but require more information to define what they’re experiencing before discovering a solution. Video topics at this stage should be broad and designed to educate, inform or address common questions or pain points. These represent opportunities for your brand to showcase its value.

At this crucial discovery stage, videos should appeal to emotions and excite viewers about tackling problems. Awareness videos are expected to move leads to the next funnel stage, where your brand can shine.

  • Educational/How To: How-to and educational videos inform viewers about a particular topic or skill set. They offer highly actionable, genuinely helpful advice and build consumer trust. TOFU interactive videos that include expandable product cards with links to detailed information can help to fast-track and improve the customer’s understanding of products or services, leading to quicker conversions.
  • Brand Films: In these videos, brands portray engaging (and often emotive) stories that connect audiences with their core values and missions to make their products more appealing. These interactive films can have clickable end-screen carousels to direct viewers to “about us” or similar pages where they can read more about the brand and its endeavors. You can also guide viewers to relevant lead magnets or display products used in the video.
  • Company Stories: Valuable for businesses, nonprofits, and schools, these videos share the story behind a brand, organization, or product, heightening its value, plight, or prestige. Here, interactive end-screen carousels can guide viewers to informative blogs, donation pages, and sign-up forms.

COTU Recipe Video

COTU’s recipe video showcases the potential of interactive how-to content. Product cards and a recipe link appear in the video as the meal is prepared, so viewers can purchase the ingredients needed to make homemade pizza. It’s easy to apply the same interactive functionality to other how-to videos featuring fitness equipment, beauty products, appliances, etc.

Metrics To Track: Tracking two key metrics will help you gauge the effectiveness of interactive video and product cards: the first metric, clicks, and the second metric, click-throughs. Clicks indicate the number of people who showed interest in a product by expanding the product card. Click-throughs represent the percentage of viewers who take the next step in the sales process by clicking on a call-to-action to go to another page.

2. Interest and Evaluation

Prospects at the middle of the funnel (MOFU) are interested in your products but they aren’t ready to commit yet. They conduct even more research, listen closely to their peers, and generally need extra validation before making a purchase.

Since 85% of millennials have bought a product after watching a video, interactive videos can be even more successful in convincing prospects at this stage that your brand is the solution they need. These prospects have defined their problems and solutions. So, you’ll require a thorough understanding of their decision-making process to convince them that your brand is better than competitors. 

  • Product Videos: These could be unboxing videos, expert reviews, or feature videos that showcase how a product may function in real life. You can add key features or additional options on the expandable product cards to help consumers make up their minds. About 94% of marketers agree videos increase product understanding. They work exceptionally well for modular products and product groups.
  • Explainer Videos: As the name suggests, these videos explain how a product or service works to answer consumer questions and dispel any doubts. They focus on a customer pain point and introduce your brand’s product or service as the solution. You can use interactive expandable cards to provide viewers with layers of information throughout the video. Offering a clickable link to a product page at the end of the video is a surefire way to promote sales. 
  • Comparison Videos: Comparison videos show the features, benefits, pros, and cons of two products side-by-side. They help viewers decide which products best suit their budgets, needs, and other constraints. You can insert product cards in comparison videos to highlight specific product features and direct viewers to more detailed product pages or marketing literature to position your brand as the superior option. 

COTU’s About Video

In this video, COTU adheres to the classic explainer video structure. It hooks the audience by explaining the specific customer pain points and then presents its software as a solution, followed by a call-to-action to schedule a demo. Rather than driving an immediate sale, it encourages viewers further down the funnel.

Metrics to Track: High click-through rates on product cards toward the end of the video indicate a positive level of interest during the engagement phase of the sales funnel. Critical metrics such as increased sign-ups and downloads of marketing material provided by embedded links show your products or services are being considered for purchase.

3. Convert

The most qualified leads reach the bottom of the sales funnel (BOFU), but they still need an extra push to convert. Social proof can reassure them of their decision to purchase and remove any lingering doubts they may have. 

Another way to dispel any fears is to set your customers up for success even before they’ve purchased from you. Use your interactive videos to answer their questions and provide them with as much information as you can about how to get the most out of your product. 

  • Customer Testimonials: Customers discussing their positive experiences with a brand’s products or services in testimonial videos provide social proof of the value of those offerings. Adding interactive cards that let viewers book experiences or purchase the products mentioned in these videos makes it convenient for consumers to take action based on the recommendations they see. 
  • Demo Videos: These videos provide a step-by-step demonstration of how a product or service works. They’re also a valuable resource for customers seeking assistance, regardless of the time of day, and therefore enhance customer support. Interactive product cards can direct viewers to landing pages to sign up for in-depth webinars to learn more about highly technical products.
  • Shoppable Videos: Shoppable videos contain links to purchasable products. Clicking on these links redirects viewers to product pages so they can buy products without searching for them online. Inserting expandable product cards, end-screen product carousels, and product grouping cards boosts sales and ensures shoppers stay on your website for longer.

COTU Shoppable Video

Presenting a carousel of products and including an urgent call to action at the end of the video (such as “Buy Now”) is an effective way to encourage purchases. This is incredibly impactful because the viewers have just seen the products used in real-life scenarios and can better envision how they might fit into their lives.

Metrics to Track: Sales are the primary metric for BOFU videos. It is also advisable to compare performance across multiple campaigns. If leads make it this far but fail to convert, you should A/B test the design and placement of your videos’ clickable elements. 

4. Retain 

No sales funnel is complete without the retention or loyalty stage. That’s because acquiring new customers costs 5 to 25 times more than retaining existing ones. Interactive video marketing is integral to retention because it keeps customers in the buying cycle, increasing the likelihood of future purchases.

BOFU interactive videos can increase customer lifetime value (CLV) and foster loyalty so long as they offer valuable and helpful content and introduce customers to new products.

  • Related Product Videos: With COTU’s analytics, brands can leverage consumer interaction data from previous videos to make personalized videos about related products. Moreover, COTU makes it easy to cross-sell and upsell by letting you group multiple products together within a video.
  • Discount Offers: Videos showcasing special deals and promos, particularly limited-time offers, can effectively encourage viewers to click through and make a purchase. COTU’s analytics allows marketers to see which products viewers have shown an interest in, so they can retarget consumers with videos featuring products they are most likely to purchase. 
  • Donations: Fundraiser videos are one of the most effective ways to engage potential supporters, raise awareness, and increase donations. Organizations can fundraise by adding a donate button to the expandable cards in their videos. After all, people are more likely to contribute to charitable causes when it’s convenient. 
Video Marketing Statistics

Get the Most Out of Your Video Marketing With COTU

With COTU’s video editing software, creating interactive videos is as easy as A.B.C. All you have to do is drag product overlays along your video timeline to place them in the desired positions. Preview it, publish it, and share it with the world—simple!

Read More: How to Make an Interactive Video That Increases Engagement and Drives Leads

COTU’s support team is always ready to help you create an account, upload and tag your first video, and even brainstorm different interactive video ideas for your brand based on your goals. Following are a few tips you can use to maximize the ROI of your interactive videos. 

  • Keep It Concise: Videos with the highest retention rate are at most five minutes long unless they’re in-depth, post-purchase product tutorials. Limited time means you should focus on one topic per video to keep viewers focused. 

    For example, when creating a demo video, focus on a single product only. The best product demo videos are short, informative, and to the point. Find a balance between length and value to ensure your content engages from start to finish.
  • Go Niche: With so much content available, people selectively view what resonates with them and meets their needs the best. In addition to finding meaning and purpose in what they consume, 50% of Gen Z and millennial consumers have said that they watch things so that they can discuss them afterward.

    Interactive videos bring your brand to life, giving viewers something to discuss. Niche marketing means speaking to a small group of people who connect with your brand. With a loyal customer base, you are more likely to expand your business than compete against thousands of other brands in a broad, vague market.
  • Track the Right Metrics: Tracking metrics such as product views, expandable card clicks, and click-through rates, measures the effectiveness of specific product cards within your videos and determines which parts of your videos are the most impactful.

    For example, you can track whether viewers are more likely to engage with your products in the first few seconds or later in the video.

Overall, aligning your metrics with your goals is a critical step in measuring the success of your video marketing efforts. Doing so helps you to make data-driven decisions and optimize your video marketing strategy for maximum impact and return on investment. 

Many brands use videos to market their products and services and increase their reach and profits. You need creative, engaging, and interactive viewing experiences that ensure a delightful journey for your consumers through the sales funnel. 

COTU provides the tech to produce engaging interactive videos that can bring your brand videos to life. On the backend, it tracks numerous metrics and offers you a wealth of data to inform your future campaigns and business decisions. To learn more, request a COTU demo today!