You love it or hate it, videos are popular these days. Sometimes, insanely so. However, many marketers are yet to utilize this tool, especially in the eCommerce industry. They overlook the fact that videos can actually help them improve their eCommerce sales, necessary to blow past their competition and go to the next level. In case, you have been ignoring the power of video in your marketing mix, you can no longer afford to do it. Video is the future.
Most eCommerce marketers think that having a few quality images of the products with zoom features is enough. But they fail to realize that while photos are important, they have certain limitations. A quality video is the closest thing you can provide to your customers next to actual touching and feeling. It therefore should be an integral part and a secret weapon of your eCommerce marketing strategy.
According to a study conducted early this year by Animoto, “businesses using video have a leg up in 2015.” The study revealed the following statistics regarding incorporating video in your marketing mix:
- Consumers are 4 times more likely to watch a product video than read about it
- 1 out of 4 consumers lost interest in companies that failed to have a product video
- Out of every 5 consumers, 4 people agreed that product/service video is important
It is therefore obvious that having a proper video strategy in place is crucial, especially for an online store. It basically helps you to achieve two objectives – product promotion to attract new customers and increase on-site average order value (AOV) to improve conversions.
But before getting into details about how to increase your eCommerce sales with a video strategy, let’s why is it important for your online store.
How Video Helps eCommerce
As mentioned, product videos can dramatically improve your conversion rates. Online shopping, although popular, fails to provide the advantage of actual touching and feeling that is normally associated with brick-and-mortar stores. So you need to provide something that at least help your customers to better understand your product. Video does that apart from providing a detailed information about the products you offer.
Don’t believe what we say? Consider these statistics. According to ComScore, visitors are 64 percent more likely to make a purchase after watching a video. Another study from MarketingSherpa finds eCommerce stores that have product video attract 300 percent more traffic, i.e. two to three times more monthly unique visitors and 157 percent more organic traffic from search engines. It also generates 100 percent longer on-site time spent per visitor.
These stats are self-indicating that having video on your eCommerce website is one of the most effective ways to generate leads and improve conversions along with killer copywriting, quality images and user reviews.
If you are still doubting whether or not to incorporate a video strategy, here are a few takeaways you need to consider.
It Improves Your Ranking
A Forrester Research study indicates that a video on your website’s landing page can increase your chance of being ranked on page 1 of Google by 53 percent. In addition to the regular search results, Google also displays images, news, maps and videos in their search engine result pages. So when you are adding product videos to your websites and optimizing them for ranking, there are chances you will rank on Google for those videos as well.
For better ranking in search engines, host your product videos on YouTube, the leading video sharing platform owned by Google. Besides, YouTube gets over a billion monthly unique visitors.
Engage Your Visitors
The Marketing Sherpa study we have referred to previously in this post also found that having videos on your website results in 63 percent increase in page views. It also doubles the on-site time spent of your visitors. In fact, users are spending more and more time watching video on the Internet. The average time spent for 2015 as found by eMarketers is 1:55 hours each day for digital video, whereas it is only 1:44 hours for social media.
This is especially applicable for millennials who spend 48 percent more time watching videos online than the average users.
The reason behind this is quite simple. Users find is rather easy to watch a short, 3-5 minutes product video than reading a detailed product description. Besides, videos are compelling enough to engage your users better, encouraging them to make a desired action.
Get More Shares
Pew Research Center found that the number of people sharing videos online has doubled in the past few years. Cisco too found that Internet video streaming and download “will grow to more than 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2019”.
One of the advantages of video is its inherent shareability. When was the last time you shared an interesting video on Facebook? Perhaps today? Just five minutes back? Studies indicate that compelling videos not only engage your visitors but are also more likely to get shared on social channels.
Since we live in an age of information overload, something that’s easy to read and digest is always a welcoming sight. This is exactly what videos offer. It is therefore no surprize that people prefer to click on a video thumbnail more than opening a page that’s devoid of such fascinating visual elements.
So if you think a picture is worth 1,000 words, wait till you see what video has to offer. According to Forrester Research, a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. And nothing can beat that, period.
Using the audio-visual elements you can convey as much information as you want very quickly. A well-made product video allows the customers to understand how the item would look in real-life. And if you can strike an emotional chord with your customers, telling them what to feel about the item, they are more likely to make the purchase.
How to do that, however, is a different story.
Increasing eCommerce Sales with Videos
The following are different ways you can leverage video to improve your eCommerce store’s sales and revenue.
1. Add Product Video
Product videos are designed to give your viewers detailed insight about the product’s capabilities. The audio-visual technology allows you to bring your products to life, which is never possible with text and images. You can not only provide a 360 degree view of the product but also a fluid look at the item. Since this is the closest an online shopper can get to the item he/she wants to buy, no details will be lost.
There are basically three types of product videos – general product videos, behind-the-scenes and how-to/product demos.
A general product video is the most common type of product videos we see in the online stores these days. These videos display the product from various angles, showing the features and specifications of the item. They often speak about the primary benefits of the products in order to establish an emotional connection with the potential buyers.
These type of videos are ideal for displaying products like jewelry, clothing, accessories, home-furniture and other stationary and visual items. Many brands are also using them to provide a touch-point about upcoming products to enhance curiosity and customer loyalty.
Next comes behind-the-scenes videos. If you want to add storytelling to your marketing mix, these videos are your best possible chance. Behind-the-scenes videos tell users how a product is made and where it comes from, sharing the story and the hard work behind your product. They are more engaging as these videos aim to trigger customers’ emotions to drive sales. Combine behind-the scenes with your how-to video videos and you have a killer strategy to win over your potential buyers.
Finally, we have the product demo videos. As the name suggests, these videos demonstrate how users should use the product. These are basically instructional or tutorial videos that help potential buyers to understand complicated or technical stuff in an easier way. If you have more technical products, especially those requiring installation, having product demo videos on your eCommerce store is one of the best ways to instruct and teach your customers.
2. Include Several Types of Videos
While product videos are the most crucial part of an eCommerce website, your video strategy should go beyond it. The goal is to include several types of videos. Start with an about us or explainer video. In these videos, you don’t just talk about a particular product. Rather, you talk about your business.
An about us or explainer video aims to build your brand loyalty. It should speak about who you are, what is the story behind your brand, what you offer, how it helps people and why should they care about your brand etc. These videos should establish a sense of trust between the brand and the customers.
Another type of video your eCommerce website should include is customer testimonials. Chances are, you already have customer testimonials but they are probably in text, along with a tiny thumbnail image of the customers. While they are also useful, customer testimonial videos make it more authentic and credible. And a recent study by BrightLocal indicates that 85 percent of buyers read online reviews to determine the reputation of a business.
Interview happy customers and add video testimonials to share the positive experience of your existing customers, which in turn, will help you to build trust and reputability.
3. Leverage Off-Site Video Strategy
Again, your video strategy should not be limited to on-site videos. While on-site videos are designed to encourage your customers to make a purchase, off-site videos help you reach out to new potential customers as well as spark the interest of the old ones to come back for more. YouTube and Facebook are the two best platforms for your off-site video strategy.
But the question now arises: What kind of videos should you create for off-site marketing? Here, we have two options for you.
Create educational videos. One of the best practices of eCommerce video marketing is to provide your target audience with some additional value. Educational and thought-provoking videos are your best bet here. Consider the pain points of your target audience and the problem your product solves. Now, create an educational video content based around these areas. Add some extra value to show your expertise.
One thing to note here is that these educational videos may or may not be related to your product directly. For example, if you are a food store selling organic grocery items online, you can create off-site videos like ‘how to create organic Christmas cake’ or other healthy Christmas recipes and post them on YouTube, Facebook and other social and video networking sites.
The idea is to invoke the interest of your target audience in such a way that it also broaden your brand influence.
The second option is to create promotional videos. You can create short videos to promote special offers, deals, events and upcoming sales and post them on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and other social platforms. This is, in fact, the best time to leverage promotional videos, especially if you have a strong presence on Facebook. This social networking site now auto-plays videos in the Newsfeed. This makes your promotional videos easily shareable. Compared to photos, videos can generate 135 percent growth in Facebook’s organic reach.
But make sure, your off-site videos are short. A study by Social Bakers find that “videos under 2 minutes generate the most YouTube views.” This is quite obvious; even if you overlook the buffer time and slow connectivity at some parts of the world, no one is interested in knowing unnecessary details of your store and/or products. Viewers find short, concise videos more compelling and engaging. Use this information to your advantage.