We’ve gone beyond the point of video being an up-and-coming trend. It’s here, and marketers should be using it to attract audiences and keep them engaged. That goes for eCommerce as much as any other industry.
Data shows that video isn’t just effective when it comes to marketing. There’s also a continuously growing demand for content in video form. And while some 43% of consumers want to see brands produce more video, it’s not just the consumers who want more visual media.
More than half of marketers worldwide say video delivers the best ROI.
Additional data from HubSpot’s State of Inbound reveals that marketers fully intend to add more video. The three targeted distribution channels drawing the most attention from marketers moving forward are YouTube, Facebook native video, and Instagram.
Brands who use video are able to grow their revenue 49% faster than those who don’t use video. But can eCommerce companies see the same benefits? Are there ways to use video without creating direct product promo spots?
Absolutely, and it’s what customers are looking for.
In fact, 4x as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. According to Google, almost half of internet users search for product-related videos before even visiting an online store.
The Proof is in the… Purple
There are plenty of brands out there using video every day on their product pages and as part of their marketing. One of the most recent uses of video by a startup offers a prime example of what video can do for reach when you think outside the box.
And you’ve likely seen it in your social feed at some point. I’m talking about the Purple bed.
The company launched a successful Kickstart using video that was funded in just days, but it was their Goldilocks video demonstrating the “Raw Egg Test” that really turned heads.
The video has attracted more than 125 million views on Facebook. The company utilized multiple video channels to make sure it had the most expansive reach. Check out the views on the same Goldilocks video on YouTube (along with other content videos they’ve created.)
As a result of the video campaign, the company is now selling hundreds of its Purple mattresses every day.
What Makes Video So Effective – Especially on Social?
Simply put; people just love watching video. It’s a format that combines visual with audio making it more engaging than any other marketing medium. That’s why the average person spends 88% more time on sites that use video, and 92% of mobile consumers share videos with their network.
The engagement goes even higher when they’re native to Facebook rather than just shared links.
But it’s not just about getting customers to share interesting or entertaining content, like the Purple mattress video that went viral. Videos have become a part of the shopping process, especially for Millennials.
Key takeaways from that point to how today’s consumers:
- Want more video content
- Specifically seek out video content while shopping to be better informed
- Are more likely to make a purchase after seeing videos
- Are more likely to share those videos while shopping
Your customers want more video, sure. But they also want more than just typical product promotion.
Customers Want a Story
Some of the best product videos go beyond just rotating the item in 360 degrees to give the customer a look-see. They tell a story.
The products are presented in a way that is a branded narrative, even if it’s subtle, that show the product being used. A storytelling approach to video makes it clear why the customer should/would want it, and can’t live without it.
Josie Maran does this exceptionally well by making connections between the product, motherhood, health and beauty – all things the target audience cares about.
When you have your product used in context with a story (even a basic one), it makes it that much easier for the video to survive outside of your product pages in channels like social media as it’s shared.
Size Isn’t Always Important
A long explainer video can do exceptionally well when it taps into the right customer emotions. Those emotions play a huge part in social engagement, sharing, and even consumer purchases.
Buzzsumo analyzed the top 10k most shared articles and were able to map those articles to specific emotions.
Not surprising that the most popular emotions were:
- Awe (25%)
- Laughter (17%)
- Amusement (15%)
Despite being a much longer video, the Purple explainer video featuring goldilocks hits on awe throughout while also touching on amusement. It uses those emotional elements to keep viewers engaged.
Squatty Potty did the same with its longer explainer video.
The tongue-in-cheek toilet humor captured attention and drove social shares.
Both of those videos are proof that longer videos can do well. With that said, it’s still a good idea to aim for shorter content. There’s really no concrete rule about how long a video should be. Just over half of videos published in the last year were under 2 minutes in duration.
Though HubSpot does share some data on how video content length should vary by the channel its posted to:
- Twitter ~45 seconds
- Instagram ~30 seconds
- Facebook ~60 seconds
- YouTube ~120 seconds
Making a Human Connection
The whole point of using videos for your products is to make it easier for the customer to relate to your brand and visualize using the product.
A good product video shows emotion and connects with the customer on a deeper level. They’re ultimately left feeling like you understand them and have created a solution specifically for their needs.
Even animated video can connect you to a customer with the right words.
Like this animation for Spotify’s U.S. launch, created by Potemkin and Identity Works.
It doesn’t just drop features. It highlights the benefits and value for the individual.
Ethical Coffee Chain has done an exceptional job of telling the story behind the coffee bean. They draw the customer into their world to make a human connection with their target audience by sharing their values and their mission.
How You Can Leverage and Start Using Video
If roughly 75% of consumers are more inclined to buy a product after watching a video about it, it stands to reason that you probably want to work this element into your content strategy.
But what kind of videos should you make, and how should you distribute them?
Check out these examples to give you an idea of the direction you can take to find one (or more) that work best for your brand.
General Product Videos
When you know your audience, you don’t have to go to great lengths to capture their attention. Even a simple video on your product page can be enough to boost conversion. Even as much as 80% or more.
Labelle Mafia Clothing wanted to make it easier to purchase clothing and used simple model videos to showcase its products.
A smart tactic for an industry that is known for having high returns. With some products, you just need to show them in action, like this video from Training Mask.
It takes the customer on a journey in a short amount of time, speaking specifically to a niche audience. It’s a little bit of an explainer, a little storytelling, and that human connections rolled together into a great product video.
How-to videos are great for delving deep into the range of features as well as benefits of a product while also showcasing how they’re used by the customer. These types of videos are great for product pages where your customer is deep into the buyer’s journey and just needs a little bit of an extra push to help them make a decision.
They can also be used in cart abandonment emails as a terrific hook to bring the customer back, or in product promotion emails around new launches or features items. According to WordStream, emails containing video increase click-through rates by up to 96%
Vat19 Is another eCommerce brand that does it right with product how-to videos. As a company that sells a variety of products, they make use of videos as a means to separate themselves from the vast sea of online retailers.
These how-to videos not only show how to use the product, but they also do an exceptional job of educating as well as entertaining the viewer. They work, too. Vat19 has collected over 4 million subscribers on YouTube by producing and posting hundreds of product videos on the regular.
Cart abandonment is fairly common in eCommerce, with the average rate hanging right around 69%. It happens for a number of reasons ranging from shipping prices to concerns over security. Sometimes though, the customer just wants more information.
Rather than encouraging them to leave to do their own research, you can use comparison videos on your site (and social channels) to help them make the decision on the spot. Brands can either create their own comparison videos, or turn to content curation from online publishers who have done comparison videos – like this one from The Verge comparing the Surface Pro 3 to the MacBook Air.
Smart brands use this tactic to increase their conversion and keep prospective customers in the funnel. The average conversion rate for sites using videos like this is 4.8%, compared to just 2.9% for eCommerce sites without video.
You know who your customers trust the most? Other customers.
According to Nielsen, 92% of customers put the bulk of their trust in earned media such as peer reviews and recommendations from friends & family.
Use that to your advantage by sourcing user-generated content for your product pages and social channels. This can include videos like:
- Customer success stories
- General use videos of customers using products
- Video testimonials and reviews
UGC video is effective because it’s trusted 50% more than information from other sources and it’s watched 10x more than content created by the brands themselves.
And there are plenty of people out there creating content around the brands they love. A 2013 study by Google showed that 75% of YouTube users agreed that if they love a brand, they tend to tell everyone they know about it.
Those customers are using video to do it, and that’s where the eyeballs of your audience are predominantly going – user-generated content.
A study from Octoly confirmed as much by looking at several major brands on YouTube:
The majority of views for those brands (over 90% for many) were attributed to user-generated content. Whether you source it manually, hold contests or campaigns to inspire customers to generate content, or use a tool like Yotpo to curate it, you can only benefit by working UGC into your customer’s journey.
All of this effort in creating and sourcing videos equates to building trust. Product videos, in the various formats listed above, provide your customers with the information they need to help them make an informed purchase decision.
When they better understand the product, and how it fits into their life, they’re far more comfortable with making that purchase and they’re ultimately happier that they’ve made it.
Happy, delighted customers are less likely to return products and far more likely to talk about your brand, as well as share the videos you’ve provided.
What types of video do you use in your online store’s content strategy?
About the Author: Ronald Dod is the Founder and Owner of Visiture, an internet marketing agency that focuses on Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click management for eCommerce businesses. His passion is helping eCommerce business owners and marketing professionals navigate the SEO & Social Media landscape and put together a plan to increase the bottom line through new traffic and conversions.