The customer journey has changed a lot in recent years. In both B2C and B2B markets, your audience is more proactive in seeking the information they want to inform their purchase decisions than ever before. Online video content has played a large role in this shift in purchasing habits. With so much content readily available at our fingertips, it’s no wonder that the easily consumed video format continues to have incredible cut-through with audiences.

A recent study released by Think With Google explores the prevalence of video in these changing customer habits and the impact on the marketing strategies of savvy brands, specifically in the higher education sector.

The article revealed that “eighty percent of prospective students who planned to attend an online university said that watching an online video influenced their application.” Google also discovered that students who participated in the study were “significantly more likely to say they felt confident, excited, or enthusiastic after watching program-specific or brand videos.”

The lessons to be learnt here are not limited to marketers in the education industry by any means. Video has the ability to connect with your audience on several levels and can be harnessed for marketers of any product or service. Google’s study outlines three key stages that video can be used to elevate your marketing strategy:

  1. Video augments research
  2. Video drives intent
  3. Video enhances positive emotions

You can see from these stages how even though the customer journey still follows the same fundamental progression, video has infiltrated each and every facet of the decision making process.

As a customer travels through the purchase journey, all of the information available to them causes regular expanding an narrowing of their consideration set. They are also likely to have several points of contact with your brand as the move toward a decision. This is why marketers need to incorporate different videos at strategic steps of the customer journey.

For example, perhaps you’ll start with an animated explainer embedded on your product or campaign landing page, followed by a filmed branding video in an email follow up to a form submission then a testimonial from a valued customer as your prospect moves closer to purchase. The possibilities are endless and directly tied to those three key stages listed above.

With so many opportunities to communicate in a meaningful way with their audience, marketers from all industries are using video to spark engagement and build connections. As Google summarises: “A video can give us goosebumps, move us to tears, or give us the feeling we can take on the world.” We couldn’t a

gree more.

You can read the full article over at Think With Google.