Which content should you use across the purchase funnel?
Media like videos, images, 3D and 360º digital assets play a crucial role in helping businesses increase the conversion rate of their purchase funnel and improve media performance. And depending on what stage of the funnel the customer is in, some media will perform better than others. So in this article, we look at how to understand media performance across the conversion/purchase funnel. We will look at the best-performing type of media and factors that can affect media performance. We also look at statistics and research that highlight which kind of media converts best.
Let’s get started.
Best performing type of images for each stage of the funnel
The images you use at each stage of the purchase funnel play a crucial role in helping you maximize conversions. People are easily drawn to images and research also shows that at least 65% of people are visual learners. So if you want to catch customer attention and increase engagement across the purchase funnel, you need to use images.
But note that depending on the stage of the funnel, some images will be more effective than others. So in this section, we will look at the best-performing type of images for each stage of the funnel, in order to understand media performance.
#1 Awareness stage
A purchase funnel initiates when prospective customers first become aware of your brand, product, or service. At this stage, the prospects are looking for products or services that will help them solve their pain points. So to encourage prospects to move to the next stage of the funnel, your marketing strategies would focus on making them aware that you have solutions to their pain points.
Your main goal at this stage is to improve the visibility of your brand so you can start collecting leads. This means that the images you use here should answer the question “Who are you and what you do”. They should inform and help prospects answer questions without being overly salesy.
Here are some of the images you can use here:
Branded infographics: Infographics are a great way to educate your target audience. Customers also prefer infographics. Studies from the Nielsen Norman group show that people are more likely to share infographics than any other type of content on social media.
Here is an example of a branded infographic from Web data security company Incapsula (Now called Imperva):
Why their infographic works: Incapsula used infographics to educate prospective customers on how factors like site uptime, mobile optimization, and site security can affect business growth. The infographic does two main things:
- Educates their audience
- And also introduces their brand to the reader. At the bottom of the infographic, they let the reader know that they have solutions to their existing problems.
For a web security company, understanding how web threats affect people and their businesses are crucial. For that reason, Incapsula conducts regular research to both identify issues that people may be unaware of and assess how those issues affect businesses.
Most importantly, they turn their research into interesting and unique data stories, told through infographics. This helps them share their insights in an engaging way.
Simple branded images: Use branded images to create awareness for your product or service.
You can even use the image to show prospects how you can resolve their issues. A brand that consistently gets this right is Casper. They creatively use branded images to create awareness for their mattresses on social media.
Why the image works: A pain point that most mattress buyers have is transporting it. With this image, Casper shows their prospects how easy it is to transport their mattresses. Prospective customers in the market for a mattress and who love this feature will be happy to move on to the next stage of the funnel; the interest stage. Even in the example above, you can see a prospect signifying their interest by commenting and reaching out to Casper in the dm.
#2 Interest and evaluation stage
At this point, you’ve piqued the interest of the prospects. However, they are not yet ready to make a purchase. They are still evaluating your business and probably several others to find out which one will be the best fit.
At this stage, you should focus on building a relationship with the lead while establishing your brand’s product or service as the best solution for them. And the best way to do this is to create content that shows off your unique selling proposition (USP). It is important that you emphasize your USP in the places that prospects normally go to when researching. Like your website’s homepage, product page, and pricing page.
Ultimately, your marketing content at this stage should be geared toward helping you collect email addresses from prospects. With email marketing, you will be able to nurture leads into customers. The types of content you can use at this stage are guides, gated block posts, tip sheets, ebooks, squeeze pages, etc. And at this stage, you can use images to serve as illustrations for your content to make it more engaging. For example, you can use images to capture the attention of the reader on your squeeze pages or landing pages.
Here is an example of a squeeze page from GQ.
Here is an example of how to effectively use an image in a landing page from SugarCRM:
#3 Decision stage
At this stage, the prospect is one foot into the door. They like your product or service and are considering making a purchase. Your job here is to give them more reasons why they should buy from you and not your competition.
It is at this point that you show social proof by sharing testimonials, reviews, and user-generated content from other customers.
Using social proof in your marketing content will help boost your conversion rate. For instance, a study from Power Reviews showed that customers interacting with different elements of user-generated content such as reviews, testimonials, and ratings can double the conversion rate. So at this stage, you should share client images and user-generated photos.
Here is an example from Monsoon. They share images of real customers wearing their products on their on-site gallery and in emails.
This UGC image works because it allows customers to see how the items will look on real people.
Other types of images you can use at this stage include:
- Product images
- Images that feature your product’s use cases
- “Before” and “After” images: Including a comparison image will show customers how your product will benefit them after using it. Here is an example.
At this stage, the prospect has decided to purchase from you. Your main goal here will be to fulfill the customers’ needs and ensure that the new customer has a good user experience when using your product or service. You can do this by providing support and educational materials that will help the customer use your product effectively. So use images that illustrate the best ways customers can use your products.
Another effective strategy at the action stage is offering promos, discounts, and bundle packages to customers. Doing so will allow you to make more sales and increase revenue. You can use images here to upsell products and promote special offers.
Best performing type of videos for each stage of the funnel
Videos are powerful tools to help you convert customers as they pass through your purchase funnel. Stats also show that using video can improve conversions by 86%. So in this section of the article, we will look at the best-performing types of video for each stage of the funnel.
💡 Since we have explained the different stages of the purchase funnel in the previous heading, we will go straight to look at the types of videos you should use for each stage.
#1 Awareness stage
At this stage, the prospect doesn’t know about your brand. Here are the kinds of videos you can create at this stage to help you capture the attention of prospective customers.
Explainer videos are short online marketing videos that businesses use to explain what their product or service is about. Use the videos to show the prospect why they are going through a specific problem and the possible solutions. Then promote your brand and highlight how you can help solve their problem. You can use live-action, whiteboard, or animated explainer videos.
Here is an example of an explainer video from Mint.
You can place explainer videos on landing pages, product pages, and your website’s homepage.
Consumers are constantly searching for solutions to their problems on search engines like Google and YouTube. Creating educational content and uploading it to YouTube and your website will allow you to come up in searches. This will help you capture the attention of your target audience before they even know to look for you. Similar to explainer videos, you can introduce your brand, product, or service. But preferably at the end of the video.
Here is an example of an educational video from Decathlon.
Use branded videos to let your audience know about your business and the things you offer. In your branded videos, talk about your company’s values and what makes it unique. Branded videos can be used as commercials and social media ads to help boost your brand awareness.
#2 Interest and evaluation stage
Here, you will use videos that show the prospect that your product or service is the best solution for them. Examples of some of the videos you can use to engage prospects are:
At this point, the prospects know what their pain points are and are looking for the best solution for them. You can use product videos to show the benefits of your solutions.
Product videos are also very important as studies from Wyzwol show that 69% of consumers prefer to watch a short video to learn about a brand’s products or services before making a purchase decision.
Here is an example of a product video from Headspace.
These videos are great for this stage of the purchase funnel. They allow you to better connect with your target customers and add life to your product or service. For example, you can create a lifestyle video that shows people enjoying using your products or services.
Here is an example of a lifestyle video from AllBirds.
#3 Decision stage
By this stage of the customer’s journey, they are ready to make a purchase decision. Here are two types of videos you can use to help motivate them to choose your brand.
Customer testimonial videos
As earlier explained, using social proof in the form of testimonials and reviews can significantly increase your sales conversion rate. Video testimonials are very effective because they allow you to build trust and credibility with customers. In fact, 72% of customers say that video testimonials make them trust a company more.
Here is an example of a customer testimonial video from Slack.
Case study videos
Case study videos are an effective way to show your prospects actual proof that you can deliver the solutions that you promise. They show prospects how other customers have successfully used your products.
Here is an example of a case study video from Freshbooks.
The short video showed how an SMB owner had benefited from using Freshbooks for 2 years.
#4 Action stage
Here, the customer has decided to buy from you. The videos you use here should educate the customer and ensure that they have a good user experience when using your product or service.
Demo videos allow you to give your bottom-of-the-funnel viewers a clear overview of how your product works. Here is an example of a demo video from Kelty demonstrating how their Asher 55 bag works.
Webinars are a longer video format. It allows you to go through all the features and benefits of using your product or service in depth. You can answer all their questions and give them more information on how to use your product.
Another advantage of webinars is that they are highly interactive and will allow you to build a stronger relationships with the new customer.
Also read: Video Marketing Trends and Best Practices in 2022
Now that you know which images or video works best at each stage of the journey, it’s important to think about how you can improve media performance and better manage all this media aimed at supporting the customer journey. A Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution helps support the production, centralization, and delivery of your media. For example, it can help you to properly categorize your media depending on the customer journey and segment brand, educational, product content, user-generated content in order to user them efficiently across the purchase funnel.
Which kind of media converts best?
We have seen the best-performing types of images depending on the stage of the purchase funnel. In this section we will look at some statistics and research that show the best way to utilize different kinds of media; from images and videos to 3D and 360 media formats.
#1. 71% of customers think that videos explain complicated topics better
Customers prefer to watch videos to learn about complicated topics rather than read texts. So using explainer videos are effective in boosting conversion rates. They allow you to dive deep into a topic and explain it extensively. (useproof)
#2. 73% of people who watch demonstration videos are likely to make a purchase soon after
Demonstration videos allow you to show prospects what your product offers. Not only do demo videos show what features your product has, but it also shows the prospect how they can get the most out of it. (Animoto)
#3. Emails with videos usually have a 96% CTR rate increase on average
Including videos in your email marketing can significantly increase your conversion and click-through rate. (WordStream)
Here is a good example from Patagonia.
Patagonia embedded a full film that tells the story of a climber’s journey in the Patagonia region.
#4. 39% of people will call a vendor directly after watching an announcement video
Announcement videos are a great way to inform your target audience about a new product or service. It allows you to increase consumer awareness of your business offering while building up customer anticipation. Announcement videos work well when shared on social media platforms and when paired with emails. (Forbes)
#5. 85% of customers find visual UGC more influential than branded videos or photos
UGC videos are much more effective in converting customers than branded videos or photos. In fact, 79% of the participants of a survey say that they look at user-generated content when making purchase decisions. (Crowdriff)
#6. Using real photos instead of stock photos increase conversions by 45%
The type of image you use can boost your conversion rate. A study carried out by VWO where they replaced stock photos with real photos on a landing page increased the number of lead signups by 45%. And the good news is that you don’t need an expensive camera to take quality photos. With a good smartphone and proper lighting, you can take professional photos. (VWO)
#7. Using an image with a person smiling can increase sales by 10%
Alwin Hoogerdijk ran a split test to test the power of a smile. In the first test, he created a landing page with an image of a man frowning.
In the second test, the man was smiling.
At the end of the test, the result showed a 3% increase in signups and a 9.9% boost in sales for the landing page with the smiling man when compared to the landing page where he was serious. (AlwinHoogerdijk.com)
#8. Increasing image size by 28% resulted in a 63% increase in conversions
As well as the relevance and quality of the image, size also matters. A larger image means that the viewer will see all the information in the image. Using larger images on e-commerce products images will also improve the buyer’s shopping experience. (Blu Mint)
3D AND 360º IMAGES
#9. Using 360º images to display products will increase your RPV by 12%
RPV stands for revenue per visitor. 360º images are great for e-commerce sites because they allow the customer to interact with the image and have a full view of how the products look. (Optimizely)
#10. Using a 3D product configurator will increase user engagement by 66%
3D configurators allow consumers to visualize how your product will look in their space. The technology takes advantage of web 3 and the metaverse to creative immersive experiences for customers. A customer is also more likely to make a purchase when they can see how the product will look in real-time before making their purchase. (CCW)
When you use 3D and 360º images and videos on product pages, customers will be more confident when making purchase decisions. This is because they have a good understanding and feel of how the product looks in real life.
#11. 82% of people that visit a product page activate the 3D display feature
If you run an e-commerce business or an online store, using 360º and 3D content formats to display products will significantly boost customer engagement rate and sales conversions. (Cappasity)
Factors that affect media performance
There are other factors that affect media performance. Along with the relevance and quality of the media you use, they are functional and technical factors that can affect how successful the media is.
Functional factors such as size, type of media used, and factors can affect media performance. Let’s look at each factor individually.
SIZE: Depending on the platform or medium that you are sharing the media to, size matters. You want to ensure that the media is properly adapted to the viewer’s screen size, resolution, and bandwidth. For instance, social media platforms have recommended media sizes depending on where you are sharing the image to.
So it’s important that you resize your images before sharing.
But how can companies with a large number of media assets resize everything with ease? Well, the Wedia DAM solution has media delivery and optimization functionalities that allow you to automatically resize any image easily thanks to APIs, plugins and of course the Wedia Content Picker, that connect the DAM solution to your key channels (web, e-commerce etc.).
With the Wedia DAM, you can also generate new variations of images for different use cases. For instance, a single image can be resized to be used on your social media platforms, as banner images for ads, and product images for your e-commerce website. Check out Wedia’s solutions.
COLORS: Using the right colors in your logos, websites, and visuals not only makes your content more attractive but also affects the way customers buy.
Colors affect brand recognition. In fact, research shows that using a signature color for your brand can increase brand recognition by 80 percent.
So, how can brands use color in their marketing to maximize conversion rates and sales? It’s simple: they need to consider contextual factors and A/B test their marketing content to determine which color combinations work best. Digital asset management solutions like Wedia’s can automatically detect and change colors of your assets to fit better with the context.
For example, you can automatically change the background color, the landscape, or color temperature of an image so that it is most appropriate to the time, the geolocation, the weather or the likes of the consumer, creating multiple combinations of the same image in order to find the one that improve the user experience.
💡 Check out this article on color psychology for a better understanding of how colors influence buyers’ purchase decisions and how color impacts conversions.
TYPE: Depending on your marketing objectives, specific types of media will work better. For example, a packshot image on an e-commerce product page will work best when you want the customer to have a closer view of your product. You can also use packshots to show your products alongside their labeling or packaging.
Here is an example of a packshot image:
On the other hand, you can also use a lifestyle image. A lifestyle image shows other people using your products. This type of image is great if you want to help customers visualize themselves using your product.
Here is an example of a lifestyle image:
The main technical factors that affect media performance include website speed and load/display time.
When your website takes a long time to load, it significantly reduces the user experience and conversion rates. In fact, visitors will abandon your website if it takes too long to load.
So what is the recommended website load time? According to a study by Portent, 0 – 4 seconds is the best load time for maximum conversion rate. The study further showed that a website that loads in 1 second has an e-commerce conversion rate 2.5x higher than a site that loads in 5 seconds.
One main reason why your website is slow and also takes too long to load media is that file sizes on the page consume a lot of bandwidth. Large file sizes slow down web pages. By simply resizing and compressing images before uploading, you can increase your website load time.
Brands should therefore consider technologies that can help quickly adapt and deliver media worldwide. For example, Wedia’s DAM uses Akamai’s CDN infrastructure to give our clients the ability to propose the best customer experience, making it possible to view video and images of the highest quality.
How to analyze media performance
To ensure that your media assets are performing optimally, you need to analyze their performance in terms of engagement and sales. But the reality is that this can be difficult if you manage hundreds of videos, images, and other media. This is where a digital asset management solution like Wedia becomes useful.
Wedia provides you with all the data you need to analyze media performance. With Wedia, you can analyze the total number of views each piece of media has gotten over a specific period. You can even analyze media performance by breaking down views by type of content (packshot, lifestyle video, etc) or country/region.
Wedia DAM analytics allow you to identify the best-performing media content throughout the customer’s buyer journey, as well as compare different media and understand media performance. This will allow you to make more informed decisions when deciding on what content to create and deliver to your audience. Check out Wedia’s solutions.