The use of video is changing the way ecommerce retailers engage with consumers.
New video companies are attempting to revolutionise the way businesses connect with producers of high quality video content.
I took part in a video workshop recently, given by a new start-up called VideoScamp. I participated in filming and used a professional camera for the first time. In addition, I had access to editing tools that I’ve never used, nor heard of before, and that is certainly an advantage to me now. If I was to do the process again, I would put more planning into the video – more than the few hours that we had.
Advantages of Video
Using videos as part of a business can have many advantageous for a company, that shouldn’t be dismissed. For example, videos can help with the search engine optimisation of a website. By having videos and articles with the same keywords the value of the video is that the website may rank higher organically. In addition, several long-tail keywords with videos can be targeted to scale rankings even further. Online businesses should look at it as a serious option for improving the quality of their websites.
Social media has a huge impact on the sharing of videos by allowing users to share popular links. Having a video on major sites such as Facebook and Twitter drastically increases the chances of exposure, as users are more likely to share an interesting video than an article. Videos enhance the public’s impression of the organization’s products or services, put a human face on the organization, and ultimately build the brand. The creation of organization videos may be the most powerful methods of creating a strong mental impression of the organization in the public’s mind, and social media has a strong relationship with the impact they can make together.
Alleviating doubts through video reviews may increase the chances of increased sales. Take, for example, a website that reviews cameras and includes the webmaster’s affiliate links at the end of each review may bring the users to the review. For a physical product such as a camera, a video review can show things to the visitor that simply cannot be conveyed effectively through text. In these cases, a video is a far more effective tool to increase the chance of conversions, and subsequently helping the company make money online.
The recent automation of video creation means that production is seamless and almost completely automated. By limiting the need for human intervention in video production, today’s video creation technology has given the confidence to a lot of webmasters to use video on their websites. And since video offers high ROI, it’s an obvious choice for improving online brands. Video marketing is highly beneficial for improving brand recognition and customer retention.
Among others, video can create a personalised experience for the customer. By guiding visitors to different sections of a website using video can make the whole experience similar to visiting an actual store. Videos put a face on the merchant and make the users more comfortable doing business with them. Using intelligent data mining, many websites are now providing personalized video experiences that are catered specifically to the individual customer’s buying habits and in many cases reference past purchases.
Case Study – Asos
As part of ASOS’s 2012 Christmas campaign, the company incorporated clickable, interactive videos to buy items, also known as ‘shoppable videos’. The videos starred three famous women in fashion which highlighted the brand’s Christmas products. The campaign, created in-house with content product partner Future Collective, let consumers use interactive TV to switch channels and explore different outfits. ASOS used the line ‘Watch her videos, shop her style, and listen to her jamz to get ready for your Best Night Ever’, and encouraged viewers to ‘Pin’ their favourite outfits to Pinterest.
As a digital brand, ASOS videos are a key part of the engaging customer experience. They are efficient, creative and flexible and help deliver shareable, shoppable content. The secret of content marketing is to connect to the lives and passions of the target audience and not just to see the world through the eyes of the brand, which is natural and inevitable for most if not all in-house content teams.
ASOS use their YouTube channel to promote their shoppable videos since their campaign last Christmas. They use specific bands and celebrities to promote their core values and encourage consumers to buy.
ASOS’s Year-on-year sales jumped 24% in the UK for the three months ending 30 November 2012, with total. ASOS is in the process of an aggressive international expansion with total retail sales increasing 30% to £166m for the three months ending 30 November 2012. It also claims to have increased its customers by 35% to 5.4 million in the same period. The retailer has achieved a 57% growth in US sales, 42% growth in the rest of the world and 15% growth in the EU during the period.
As seen from the ASOS case study, successes and failures in video marketing are easy to measure when it comes to a spike in sales. However, if that doesn’t occur it doesn’t mean that the video wasn’t successful. For example, the virility of the video promotes the brand through reach. It is extremely difficult to measure the returns created by an online video. More money can be spent on determining success than actually producing the video. However, there are a number of metrics that can be used to determine the success of a video.
The number of views of a video depicts the amount of times it has been opened. This doesn’t automatically mean that the video was watched through till the end, but will let you know that at least the thumbnail and title are attractive enough to get a click from potential viewers. The click-through-rate (CTR) ties in with that, as if a video received 4000 views but only 1000 of those viewers clicked on the link to your site, then your CTR is 25% and you need more engaging videos that get more traffic to your website.
Product videos are a great way to improve conversion rates online as they reassure the customer by helping them make an informed purchase decision. However, conversions of a video are significantly more difficult to measure, depending on their call to action. Whether they bought products, signed up for newsletters or registered an account on a website, conveniently placed links will help them follow through. ROI is a more measurable asset, as it is the amount of money made as a result of the video. The ROI measure helps assess the real value derived from the viral web videos.
Audience engagement measures if the viewers are engaged throughout the whole video or if they leave, where exactly do they drop off in the video. This gives video marketers an idea of how sticky the video really is. It is important to use the right tools such as YouTube Insights, Google Analytics or other video analytics and monitoring tools let you scrutinize all the aspects of online videos. These are used to find out number of plays, time viewed, traffic sources to build a successful viral marketing campaign.
Now try and make your mind up to see if you want to use video or not!
(Sources for the stats given upon request)