If you're a retail outlet looking to boost e-commerce sales, you might have heard of this online video thing. Video enhances a potential buyer's experience and makes them more likely to stick around. According to a statistics recited in a recent white paper published by video solutions provider Ooyala, retail site visitors who watch video are 64% more likely to buy than others. Ooyala has created a list of 8 tips to follow when creating content for your retail site, complete with examples of companies who have used video to their advantage.
Note: this article was modified from it's original version 12/7/2012
8 Tips & Recommendations to Convert Buyers
Ooyala's whitepaper mentions a comscore reported statistic that retail site visitors who watch video stay on the website two minutes longer than non-viewers, so if you're a retail site you want to make your video count. Which is what the first tip is.
1. Make Content Count
Ooyala gives examples of three different kinds of content that worked extremely well for some well-known retail outlets. The following videos are all on these companies' sites, but they all have YouTube channels as well, so I'm using those for embeds here. Let's take a look:
- Branded Lifestyle Content
Red Bull does branded lifestyle content extremely well. In this study, Ooyala singles out Vans and Whole Foods. Whole Foods set up a branded Facebook page with clips featuring health and sustainability tips. Sportswear retailer Vans went the "extreme sports" route, creating an entire website full of content. Here's an example:
- In-Motion How-Tos
This is where you take your knowledge on a particular category and create a video providing consumers with information, rather than making a selling attempt with your product. Trusting the consumer to make the right choice (buying your product) by building trust with them is an effective way to create a relationship with potential buyers. Outdoor equipment suppliers Cabela's and REI were mentioned here. Here's REI showing how to hoist a backpack:
- Customer Support
This is what you do for people who have already bought your product, building trust by being helpful and knowledgeable about the product they now own. Undoubtedly, many will have questions about how to operate a piece of equipment and having a video handy is the best way to demonstrate a product's use. Singled out here were Dell and Virgin Mobile. Virgin Mobile has videos ready for a variety of topics involving their phones, including this humorous one about how to set up voice mail:
2. Capture Consumers on the Move
Basically, make sure your video can be viewed across all devices. People are shopping more and more using a smartphone or tablet these days so your video being able to be seen on all of these mobile devices is important.
3. Be Discoverable
Nearly half of the retail sites out there don't index their videos at all, which is a missed opportunity.
4. Be Shared and Be Seen
Consumers share video more than they share articles or web pages, mainly because video rocks. Also, most video destination sites, especially YouTube, make your videos embeddable and they can be shared across Facebook and Twitter. And with a site like YouTube, you can use YouTube Analytics to see where your videos are being shared and what is resonating with viewers.
5. Find Gems in Emerging Markets
The other thing proper analytics can tell you is if your video is doing well in an unexpected market. Maybe you're in Los Angeles and your video is super popular in Minneapolis. Now you can direct market to towns that have already shown interest in your videos and increase your business presence.
6. Learn the Secrets that Keep Them Coming Back
Reviewing your videos' performance, what about it has resonated with your fans? Is it because it's funny, do they respond to shorter videos better than longer ones? Ooyala mentions something that is a bit of a difficult balance: branding is important, but over-branding can ruin the video. They say that consumers are 4 times less likely to share a video with over-branding.
7. Click to Convert
Putting a "click to purchase" button in your video gives it interactivity: if people are enjoying the video, they have easy access to buying the products right there in the video. And of course, YouTube has just recently begun to allow associated website annotation links in their videos, and they've been playing around with a beta for clickable ads for the very products that are in videos. Ooyala warns that you should keep such buttons out of the way or be able to be hidden so that it won't interrupt the viewing experience. I like this statement:
The more freedom of choice you give your customers, the more free they will feel to buy.
8. Let a Partner Handle the Heavy Lifting
This is Ooyala's sales pitch, as they tell you that a service like them allows you to focus on creating content while they focus on the video platform, analytics, etc.... It's one of the hardest things for people to do when they get into video. Surely the great content will be found on its own. Well, it won't. So if you have the means, hiring a service to focus on all the post-publishing work can be a big help.
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