If a picture is worth a thousand words, a product video could very well be worth a thousand sales. Considering that video now appears in 70% of the top 100 search results listings, and that viewers are anywhere from 64-85% more likely to buy after watching a product video – this is one marketing force you can’t afford to ignore. Here’s why:
Online video marketing has finally come of age. We no longer have to deal with a glut of sluggish connections, incompatible technologies or bland commercials begging for our business. These days, smart companies and innovative entrepreneurs are turning the online broadcast medium into a communications cornucopia: a two-way street of give-and-take.
How Well Does Online Video Convert?
The great thing about online video is that people vastly prefer watching over reading (just consider the last time you watched the news versus reading a newspaper!) It spans nearly every industry and demographic.
Organizational housewares e-tailer StacksAndStacks.com reported that visitors were 144% more likely to purchase after seeing a product video than those who did not.
Even car parts retailer Advance Auto Parts has found that including instructional and how-to videos both on its site and Facebook has led to some surprising findings. Visitors who watch video stay on the site twice as long and visit twice as many pages versus those who don’t see video. And, sharing those how-to tutorials on Facebook further increases the retailer’s reach.
Unique Uses of Video Marketing
Increasing conversions is about more than just sticking a product video up on YouTube or your website. You have to think of a creative edge that helps improve the shopping or browsing experience. For example, video production company FlipSeek has created a technology called Live Link Video where you can embed “hotspots” into a video to make certain parts clickable. Like the outfit that model’s wearing? Click it for a product page and to add it to your cart.
Even if you don’t sell products through a shopping cart, you can still take advantage of the personalization that video offers. For example, Lands’ End is always looking for ways to improve its customer experience – even going so far now as to employ live chat personal representatives that you can talk with either by text or face-to-face. The video chat/recommendation also works on several mobile devices, including iPad, Android and iPhone and uses the shopper’s location to recommend nearby products.
Sometimes, product video marketing can both inspire and backfire at the same time, as what happened for Dove when it was revealed that their “Campaign for Real Beauty” actually had real women go through a complete transformational process (both digitally and cosmetically).
When the “Campaign for Real Beauty” launched a few years ago, there was a great deal of positive press, especially regarding young women and their self-esteem and image. It wasn’t long after, however, that their message backfired when it was revealed that these “real beauties” had undergone quite a bit of cosmetic and digital retouching.
(UPDATE: As of 10/7/2014 This video has been removed by the user)
The best way to make your videos viral is to get the customer involved. Billabong’s I Surf Because… is a great example. Surfers choose a starting video, enter a statement, and then have the option of sharing it with their friends – all featuring Billabong branding. Before you can share your creation, you’ll need to fill out a short form with your name, email, age, gender and location.
The Future of Online Video
In the future, you can expect to see more of a focus shifting toward personalization of online video, such as what video technology company Eyeview has created for its clients. Personalized video allows more precise segmentation of an ad to run in a targeted demographic. But it’s not just local areas benefitting from this customized targeting. Videos can be developed to focus on real-time deals, weather and even the time of day.
So far, the results look very promising. In a consumer study conducted by Eyeview, the ads resulted in a 100% more favorable view of the brand, together with a 73% higher chance of recommending it, and a 37% increase in the likelihood that the customer would visit the store again. For companies, it’s a win-win: not only are you making the video more relevant for the people who live in that area, but you’re also increasing its effectiveness and reach considerably.
Wondering how to incorporate these kinds of numbers into your own marketing campaigns? Here are a few important steps to keep in mind:
- Hire a professional, local company to shoot your product videos. You want all the benefits of proper lighting and setup. Sorry, but your digital camera won’t cut it here.
- Show the product from several angles. Show how it’s put together and zoom in on its best features.
- Look for ways to involve your brand evangelists in the making or marketing of your products, similar to how Lands’ End uses live chat virtual representatives.
- Focus on getting more mileage out of your videos by segmenting them for different geographic areas, different shopper demographics or other groups.