Online videos are growing in popularity, as more and more people watch videos on the Web — from movie previews to amateur productions. Broadband penetration is increasing especially in the United States, allowing more Internet users to enjoy sound, movement, advanced interactivity, and hence videos online.
As competition increases on the Web, big businesses are now using videos as a new way of showcasing and highlighting their products, building brand loyalty and engaging customers. There are several ways you can use videos to improve your ecommerce site’s sales and visitor loyalty:
1. Showcase your products in action
You can create product demonstration or video instructional videos to show visitors how to use the products you sell. These videos allow customers to see your products beyond the 2-dimensional pictures, and provide them an opportunity to see how the product works, understand the functions of the product, help them know what they can do with the products, and give a better sense of the size and shape of the product.
Home Depot is one ecommerce site that extensively uses videos in its website. In fact, their site showcases the videos in their homepage under the Knowledge section and they even have a dedicated section for videos that range from 20-second product demos to decorative painting tips to promoting their Installation Services department.
HGTV.com offers a number of informational and inspirational videos, which are basically clips from their shows. Some of the products offered in the HGTV Marketplace include a product demonstration video that you can watch such as the video flipbook
Blackberry, which offers wireless handheld devices, has a section on product demonstrations that showcases the features of each of their products using rich media.
QVC.com , the official site of the home shopping network on TV, extensively utilizes videos on their website. Videos are a perfect content for their website as it allows visitors to watch the shows again, see how the products are presented and demonstrated, and even catch products they were not able to watch on TV.
2. Use videos to boost your brand.
You can also offer videos that appeal to your audiences as additional content of your site. Visitors are likely to come back to your site if you offer videos related to their interests that cannot be found anywhere else. Better yet, make the visitors feel more valued and important by letting them share their own videos about your topic.
Lowe’s Home Improvement uses videos to give design tips showcasing their products, such as their videos for organizing different areas of the home (e.g. garage, laundry, kitchen and the basics of getting organized). Their site, though the use of these videos, becomes a go-to place for learning and gathering knowledge in various aspects of home decorating and improvement.
Adobe.com has a Tutorials section that demonstrates how to use the various Adobe products. The videos offer step-by-step tutorials on new features, key workflows, and advanced techniques. These videos provide Adobe product users and enthusiasts with deeper content that they cannot get from any other site. Better yet, Adobe even allows customers to give feedback on the videos, further engaging the visitors.
Buy.com takes the growing popularity of videos with consumers a step further by allowing their visitors to upload video reviews of their products. Visitors love customer reviews; in fact, a Forrester Research study found that about 76 percent of online shoppers consult customer reviews. Having a user demonstration in a video format enhances the credibility of the website.
3. Turbo-charge your marketing by using video sharing websites.
Google bought the video sharing site YouTube for a whopping $1.65 billion in 2006, a clear indication of the growing power of videos. With YouTube’s traffic quadrupling in the first half of the year, companies are flocking to YouTube to boost brand awareness and benefit from the power of viral marketing.
One of the most notable product launches done in YouTube was that of Smirnoff Raw Tea. Launched in August 2006, the highly successful viral video features an unexpected group of preppies rapping (instead of the typical rappers) making a soft pitch for Smirnoff Raw Tea. The video introducing the alcoholic tea beverage has since been viewed 3,088,323 times as of June 2007.
Small businesses are also tapping the power of YouTube. Terrence Kelleman, the inventor of a creative jewelry line, used YouTube videos to launch his company Dynomighty Design onto the national marketplace with the video, “magic magnetic” . While not as successful as the Smirnoff product launch, the free posting in YouTube allowed this small business to generate interest in the product in a highly cost effective way.
Videos aimed at promoting products on sites such as YouTube are actually a tricky balancing act. The marketing angle must be done subtly, without being overly commercial or promotional; otherwise the audience might reject it. On the other side of the spectrum, if you hide the brand too carefully and create a seemingly witty or hilarious video that catches the interests of the viewers, you can also be accused of deception. The least you want to accomplish is to have your video backfire on you and cause consumers to reject your product.
- Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business (New Rules Social Media Series)
- YouTube for Business: Online Video Marketing for Any Business (2nd Edition) (Que Biz-Tech)
- YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day
- Beyond Viral: How to Attract Customers, Promote Your Brand, and Make Money with Online Video (New Rules Social Media Series)
- Video Marketing For Dummies