6 Smart (But Super Easy) Ways To Boost Your Online Store Through Video
Video’s popularity has never been higher. As a medium, it offers a huge variety of tactics, styles and functions for the creative marketer. And yet, it remains seriously under-utilized by ecommerce brands.
The fact is, if you want to give your online store’s marketing strategy that extra shot of dynamism, video is the way forward. Photos have their place, and blogs are useful, but video is the cherry on your marketing cake.
Read on to find out how exactly can you use video to grow your online store.
Why is video content important?
Video content has been proven to significantly increase conversions in ecommerce. This is because people generally tend to understand things better if it’s conveyed visually.
Communicating to your customers the great features of your products will naturally result in a better understanding of them, and therefore more sales.
And video is particularly good at navigating our increasingly social media-heavy world. Videos are super-shareable, especially on social media. Social video results in 1200% more shares than image and text content combined. And it’s not just shares that you can get. Paid ads such as Facebook ads are especially effective at generating leads.
As if that wasn’t enough, including video content on your store boosts your SEO. Following Google’s Panda update, it was found that sites with video content ranked significantly higher than those without.
And you don’t need to have Spielberg levels of knowledge to produce an effective, high-quality video either. There’s a variety of tools out there that make video editing easy and accessible, as well as a number of resources for you to learn the basics of recording and shooting.
Now you know why, here’s the how.
Product selection advice and reviews
We’ve all been there: dithering over which product to buy, unsure whether that smartbag will work with your phone, or if that dress will suit your style. Nine times out of ten we just pick a product and run with it.
But with video, you can select and review each product you have to offer. Run through its benefits, its drawbacks, who it might be suitable for, how compatible it is with associated accessories.
Customers don’t want to have to search high and low for the information they need when purchasing something, so you can provide it for them.
Who does it right?
The CB radio retailer Right Channel Radios is a great example of this. On their YouTube channel, they offer a huge range of video reviews of their products. They provide a general overview of the radio, as well as useful or interesting features that their customers might find handy.
With their reviews, they answer any questions their customers might have — before they’ve even asked them.
Provide additional value
The world of ecommerce is becoming increasingly democratized, with savvy brands exploiting all that digital marketing has to offer to get ahead of their competitors. To counter this, online stores need to provide more than just a product: they need to provide additional value.
This can be in the form of useful or engaging content related to the product or service you sell, and can be comparatively cheap to produce.
Some examples of videos that would provide your customers with additional value are:
How-to videos and guides
Tutorials & tips
Who does it right?
The ecommerce company Squarespace offers a staggering range of video resources on their website for their users to browse.
These cover topics ranging from pop-up shops to ecommerce-specific SEO, all things that any budding ecommerce entrepreneur would need to know when they’re building their first online store.
Showcase your product capabilities
We’ve all got that one friend who tells us about the time they caught a fish that was this big, but they forgot to take a photo before they let it back in the lake. We never believe them, and it’s not just because they’re a known liar. It’s because seeing is believing.
On your online store, it’s easy to list all the great qualities and features your product has. But if you really want your customer to know just how good what you’re selling is, tell it in a video.
Telling someone is fine, but showing is better.
This is particularly good for showing off your product capabilities against a generic competitor’s for shoppers who don’t have a solid reference point.
Who does it right?
You will almost certainly have heard of Blendtec. Starting in 2006, home blender manufacturer released a series of videos showing how effective their products are. They started by blending a box of matches to show the efficacy of the machine.
However, it soon went viral and they expanded to destroy t-shirts, rotisserie chickens, golf balls, and anything else their rapidly increasing fans suggested.
While you don’t necessarily need to blend things to create a good product capability video, this is a shining example of how video can demonstrate your product’s features.
Tell a story
Every brand has a story. Whether it’s a tale of how a mom-and-pop store pulled themselves up by their bootstraps to build the sprawling empire they are today, or a weaving narrative explaining the values that a global brand embodies: everyone has one.
Regardless of your story, using video to tell it is a great way to emotionally engage your customers. It can give you a human slant, showing your audience your brand’s core values and mission statement.
More than that, it can show that you offer more than just a product or service, but an experience.
Indeed, it is this feature that sets great online stores apart from good ones. Storytelling can — and should — form the backbone of any marketing strategy, regardless of your industry or business.
Floridian businesses in particular lend themselves to storytelling. The Sunshine State is steeped in stories. Surrounded on almost every side by the ocean, its history of settlers, conquistadors, and explorers is ripe for inspiration.
If you’re building your store from scratch, integrate your story into your strategy from the off. Create stories for your products, your history, your brand ethos — these resonate with customers.
For example, Florida is often known as the hospitality state. Appeal to that in your brand story, letting your customers know they’re valued by you. Touching on local roots is a classic storytelling method that resonates with consumers, connecting them with your brand.
For an example of a Florida brand that nails their storytelling, look no further than Funky Buddha. Proudly Floridian, Funky Buddha’s About page tells the brand’s story from its humble roots as a tea room to the booming brewery it is today. And that is reflected in its beers too, with names like Floridian Hefeweizen and Pineapple Beach embodying the Florida vibe.
Funky Buddha also releases videos for its beers, creating stories about its products to give them depth:
Generating hype about its beers makes them larger than life — more than just a product. It creates a story that connects customers with them.
Appealing to a sense of regional identity is a great way for local online businesses to transcend the digital gap and boost their online store. They don’t even necessarily need a brick-and-mortar location.
By imitating Funky Buddha and creating video stories with a local spin for your brand and products, your digital business can appeal to local audiences and increase online sales and engagement.
It is this connection that drives sales, using stories to open new relationships.
Like all good stories, yours will follow a set narrative. It’ll have a beginning, a middle, and an end, and it needs to evoke an emotion. That could be sadness, humor, disbelief — anything, as long as they engage with the video.
It could be an uplifting video about how your brand brings people together, or it could be an amusing look at how your product solves a problem.
When you see an advert that resonates with you, think about what you like about it and what makes it work, then bring that to your video.
Who does it right?
A dazzling example of storytelling done right (and my personal favorite) comes from tech brand Samsung:
It tells a story, not in an overt way but through a powerful visual narrative. Super simple but super inspiring, I’ll admit it makes me well up a little every time I see it.
Instructional or tutorial videos
For most of us, if we’re learning something new, it’s better to see it done in front of us than read a step-by-step guide by ourselves. Whether it’s fixing a boiler or cooking a dish, seeing it done makes it a whole lot easier.
And the same can be applied to your ecommerce store too. Rather than enclosing a leaflet or guide, which can often prove more confusing that beneficial, create a simple but thorough instructional video instead.
This works particularly well if you sell technical products such as cameras or gadgets, or if you sell items that require careful or fiddly installation.
Who does it right?
It’s not just technical products that get their own instructional videos. The American makeup brand Maybelline offers video tutorials for a range of products, from mascara to foundation.
And they not only cover the basics of makeup application, but also show viewers how to create a variety of different looks and styles.
In doing so, they make their website become a one-stop shop for all their customers’ needs.
Finally, videos can be used to entertain. Using an amusing, quirky or fascinating video is a simple yet subtle way to sell a product or market your brand. Humor is a great tactic in your marketing toolkit, and is perfect for distracting customers from any overt advertising they might be experiencing.
Who does it right?
Well, the online gift retailer Vat19, for one. Selling a wide variety of cool and wacky toys and gifts, Vat19’s YouTube channel mostly features them pushing their products (and themselves) to the limit.
From making giant bowls of cereal to eating insect snacks, it’s a veritable goldmine of entertaining and hilarious videos, as well as great ads for their brand.
Hopefully you’ve seen by now the sheer variety of video content available to you. From product reviews and tutorials to storytelling and just plain entertainment, there’s a wealth of options out there for your brand to get stuck into. The only limit is your imagination.
About The Author
Ecommerce Tips is an industry-leading ecommerce blog dedicated to sharing business and entrepreneurial insights from the sector. Start growing your business today and check out the latest on Twitter @myecommercetips.