Methodically laying out your video content to align with both the buyer’s journey and the corresponding path they take through your website is one of the best tactics you can use to ensure you’re delivering the right content to the right buyer at the right time. And as a result, convert more of those buyers. Cha-ching!

But for real, how do you go about tackling all that mapping?

Full disclosure: it’s not the simplest of simple tasks, especially the website path mapping part. That’s because the number of paths that visitors can take throughout your site is a phenomenally large number. And trying to determine the most common paths can be difficult, as a result.

That being said, tools like Google Analytics or other web analytics platforms like KissMetrics can help you start to map out current visitor behavior. If you’re lucky enough to be doing an entire site overhaul, then map out the process you want visitors to follow and build your content and design to influence their behavior. Take the wheel!

But if you don’t have the luxury of a clean slate, try some of these approaches to get an understanding of what visitors have consumed before getting to a certain page so you can tailor content accordingly.

User Flow Reports

As a starting point, check out the User Flow Report in Google Analytics (under Audiences >> User Flow). You can set the flow to start at some segment that makes sense for your audience like geography, landing page, source, etc. and see how visitors are traveling through your site based on the segment you select.

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Try zeroing in on the pathways that lead to the greatest success by looking at converting flows – a.k.a. the path that visitors who convert on your site follow. Find this by clicking “All Sessions”, then selecting “Converters”. (Of course this assumes that you’ve set up conversion goals in Google Analytics. If you haven’t yet or you’re unsure, check out this article!)

You can also use Google Analytics’ User Flow Report to look at the pages users have viewed before arriving at a specific page. Just click on the page you want to dive into and select “Examine traffic through here”. You’ll see the multiple steps a visitor took both before and after they viewed your subject page. In the example below, we’re looking at the path before and after Vidyard’s own Tour page (www.vidyard.com/tour).

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Pages Report

The usefulness of Google Analytics’ User Flow Report does start to falter when you want to drill down into some of your less popular pages – User Flow groups these together. Instead, take a look at your Pages Report. (Behavior >> Site Content >> All Pages). Go to Navigation Summary and click the page you want to evaluate beside “Current Selection”.

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Then choose “Previous Page Path” as your “Secondary Dimension”.

You’ll then be able to see the most common previous pages and next pages in a buyer’s journey throughout your site.

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Combine with Video Consumption Data

Dig even deeper to understand what content prospects are consuming on your page by looking at things like time on page or get even more detail with video consumption data. When you dig into each unique video, you can start to see what percentage of visitors consumed a particular page’s video and how much of it they’ve consumed.

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In Vidyard’s case, we can use this data to guide our decision on the content we include on our Product Tour page, for example. If viewers have already seen the basic intro to Vidyard video on our home page, and most of them have viewed it all the way through, we’ll use the Product Tour to skip more of this high level messaging and talk, instead, to more detail of the product.

Of course this becomes a more useful task when you start to get further in the site path. If we know that the majority of our visitors have already seen the Tour, About, and Pricing pages, for example, by the time they get to the Integrations page, this can help us to guide our video content and the CTAs we add at the end of them. At this point, we can assume that prospects are well primed for more in-depth content and a “Request a Demo” CTA to finish the video rather than a “Learn More” CTA.

And that’s using site consumption data to guide video content creation!

So once you know the consumption behaviors of visitors to your site, how can you use that information to guide your future content, and more specifically video content creation?

Connecting the Purchase Process

In order to create well-targeted video content, we need one more piece of the puzzle. That piece is an understanding of what our buyers are looking for by the time they reach the web page we’re serving them. Remember: ideally you’re helping them through this web journey in a way that makes sense to their parallel buyer’s journey.

There are various versions of buyers’ journeys, at least based on the terms used: awareness, interest, desire, action; or awareness, consideration, decision; and about 34 others (give or take). Regardless of what you call it, the general process is the same: discover a need, conduct research, evaluate that research, and make a decision.

You likely have this journey mapped out already and taped in four places on your cubicle walls (I’m secretly crossing my fingers that you do), but if not check out the post I wrote to hammer this out and try using the mapping template: The Nitty Gritty on Mapping Video Content to your Buyers’ Journey.

The most important thing to take away from mapping your buyers’ journey for the purposes of this exercise is the questions your buyers have throughout their search process. Try sticking to 1-2 questions for each stage and lay them out for each of your personas like this:

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This is a relatively simplistic view of mapping buyer stage to information needs. You can certainly embark on adding more detail, if you so dare. Take Rail Europe’s map as an example:

Adaptive Path Rail Europe Map

Once you have these information needs laid out, you can start to identify which page you’ll address each need on and the key message for each.

Bringing it all Back to Video

Now’s the time to determine where video can add value and meet your buyer’s need for information. You should be considering video if:

  • your topic is somewhat complex,
  • it would take a lot of text to describe your message, and/or
  • you want more in-content metrics like second-by-second consumption behavior

Essentially, yes – every page could have a video (or a few!). So how do you know what type?

Stick to these best practices we’ve developed based on internal research:

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And that’s it! Simple right? Well … in theory. But taking the time to plan your video content throughout your website will 100%, without a doubt, be worth the investment in time up front for the reward on the other end.

So give it a shot!

Kimbe MacMaster