Video delivers a unique opportunity for online retailers to engage their customers on a much deeper level and, in turn, often provides a dramatic uptick in your traffic, conversions, and even your customer lifetime value.
That said, the popularity of video makes it one of the most widely utilized (and competitive) content formats. In order to see results from your videos, your brand will need to develop a sophisticated ecommerce video strategy. (It’s not as complicated as it sounds.)
That, right there, is exactly why we created this guide.
Each video you create should have a documented strategy that will help it to be most successful.
We’ll be going over the step-by-step process of creating a highly effective ecommerce video strategy that helps you define clear objectives for each new video and evaluate the most efficient way to accomplish them.
Let’s get started!
Ecommerce Video Stats
If you’re reading this, you probably have a pretty good idea of just how important video is to ecommerce brands. However, here are a few killer ecommerce video stats to reinforce the concept:
- 80% of all global consumer Internet traffic will come from video by 2019
- 52% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI
- 92% of shoppers say visuals are the most influential factor affecting purchase decisions
- Nearly 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store
- Native Facebook videos have a 135% greater organic reach vs. photos
- 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter
Now that we’re done touting the benefits of video, let’s move onto creating your strategy…
Developing Your Ecommerce Video Strategy
Let’s get into the step-by-step process of developing your ecommerce video strategy. Each of the following steps will help you craft a unique strategy that supports the accomplishment of your unique objective and your video success.
Step 1 – Document Your Video Strategy
The first step in the process is to make sure you document your strategy. As you work through each of the steps, add them to a living document that you’ll be able to refer to as you create your video.
This will help to keep your video on track and allow you to organize your plan of attack for creating a highly successful video.
Step 2 – Video Goals and Objectives
Once you have your document created, you’ll need to define the “why” behind your video. The best way to do so is to list out clear goals and objectives that you want your video to accomplish.
Goals are the foundation of every ecommerce video strategy and will allow you to create a video that actually does what you need it to. To get the goal-setting process started, get your team to help you answer the following questions:
What are the objectives for this video?
The objective of your video will ultimately determine many of the other variables in this list.
Attract New Shoppers
If your goal is to get new shoppers to your website, you’ll need to create a visually engaging advertisement that grabs people’s attention and doesn’t let go.
With the thousands of ads people are accustomed to seeing each day, how will yours stand out?
Will you use stunning cinematography, humor, or undeniable authenticity to keep people watching and get them interested enough to head to your site?
Once you have people on your site, how can you use video to increase their chances of converting?
Remember, video can be used to convert shoppers into leads as well as customers. Depending on the products you sell, you may be better served showcasing the benefits of joining your mailing list or downloading your offer (think: product guide, style guide, lookbook, etc.).
If you’re looking to get them converting right then and there, a killer product video that blends professional videography and highly authentic user-generated videos (reviews, testimonials, use cases, etc.) could get shoppers that much more excited about the real-life benefits of what you’re selling.
Increase Average Order Value
If you’re trying to increase the average order value of your conversions, what about a video of your product and some popular items that pair well with it?
Rather than simply having a suggested items list, you could show shoppers just how great each of those items go together. For example, a video of your snow sport supply store displaying the beanies, gloves, and goggles that go best with the pants and jacket combo being featured.
Boost Customer Lifetime Value
Too many ecommerce brands have focused their budgets on initial conversions but don’t fully prioritize marketing that supports the lifetime value of their customers. Think about how many points you can earn with your customers by sending them videos about how to use your products after they buy.
You could send customers of your online kitchenware store recipes that showcase your products being used in new and exciting ways. Your fashion brand could send videos on how to wear the items to achieve the latest trending look or a timeless style that your products deliver. Send customers of your outdoor supply company inspirational videos on how other customers are using your products in the most amazing parts of the world to get them excited to do the same.
The point is to continue providing value after the purchase and video is an excellent way to do that.
Who will be watching this video?
One of the most important aspects of creating a highly effective video strategy is understanding the defining characteristics of the types of people that will be watching it. No matter the objective, you need to create a video that deeply resonates with your viewers in order for it to be effective.
If you try to create a video that appeals to everyone, you’ll never connect with anyone deeply enough for that video to deliver the return you’re looking for. If you don’t already have documented buyer personas, be sure to outline all of the important characteristics of your intended viewer.
This way you’ll be able to focus the content of your video on their needs. From there, move onto the specific segments of this ideal buyer that you’ll be targeting with your video.
If you’re using your video to advertise to cold audiences, you’ll need to quickly and clearly be able to deliver visual information about the benefits that your customers receive from your products. Consider using your best customer testimonial videos to authenticate your claimed benefits and pique people’s interest in your offerings.
By the time someone reaches your site, they’ve demonstrated interest in your products but they have yet to trust your brand enough to buy from you. You may find that short product videos with examples of real customers using your products are an effective way to start building that trust right off the bat. You may also want to test using a popup to welcome shoppers and deliver your initial offer to try to convert them into a lead, using video to clearly communicate the benefits of that offer.
By the time someone has bought from you they’ve demonstrated their trust in your products and brand. You can communicate more directly with your existing customers via retargeting ads or email since they’ve already experienced what you’re selling and aren’t as prone to aversion or abandonment. That said, you should approach your customers with an implied gratitude and make them feel like whatever you’re offering them is a unique deal just for them.
Where will we be placing this video?
The objective of your video will likely determine where it’s used, but it’s important to document the specific placement location, as well as the details of how it will be implemented as a part of the overall user experience of your site, pages, ads, emails, etc.
If you’re using this video on your product pages, you’ll want to give your shoppers as much insight into what your product looks like, how it works, the benefits they’ll get from it, and what they can expect in real life (vs. touched-up product photos).
Videos that you include on your product pages should paint your products in a positive light while remaining authentic and building shopper trust. These videos can include voiceover narration or customer-generated audio as a part of their testimonials.
Paid ads need to communicate your message quickly and clearly and should speak to the unique needs of your ideal buyer. Also, consider that 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, meaning that you’ll need to put any spoken audio in subtitles for those viewers.
Videos that you include as part of an email will vary depending on the purchase stage of the viewer. If you’re sending videos to a list of prospective customers as a way to nurture them, you’ll need to consider that you still need to build trust and the best way to do so is by providing value.
To use a previous example, your outdoor supply company could send videos on the “Top Ten Time-Saving Camping Hacks” or “7 Hidden Gems of the American Southwest” to provide that value and establish a trusting relationship that gets people over any reservations they may have about your brand or products. Sending a video with user-generated outdoor stories could help you accomplish the same goals.
If you’re sending video to your existing customers, your goal is still to provide continued value, but the approach would need to be tweaked slightly to speak to your valued customer rather than someone you’re still trying to get to convert.
Step 3 – Identifying Existing Assets and Opportunities
Part of developing your video strategy is being as efficient as possible. That means not duplicating work and using what you already have to the best of your abilities.
For example, do you already have footage of your products or user-generated content that you can include in your videos, or do you need to shoot the whole thing from scratch?
Take the time to review any existing video assets that you already have so that you can get the greatest return from your investment and streamline the production process. As you determine what you can use, document those assets and how they can be used within your ecommerce video strategy.
Step 4 – Production Planning
Now that you have established clear objectives for your video, exactly who’ll be viewing it, where it will be used, and what you need to produce to complete your video, it’s time to get into production planning.
Benefits and Messaging
Each video you create will need to clearly communicate the benefits the viewer will receive from taking the desired action from your video. To ensure your video is communicating that message clearly, ask the following questions:
- What are the core benefits of your product?
- What problems does it solve?
- How does it improve the lives of its users?
- What questions or feedback do you recieve from shoppers?
- How is your product unique?
Make sure that your video is in line with your brand, your values, and your mission. You want your video to feel authentic and your customers to recognize it as your own.
Length and Structure
Online attention spans are fleeting, so you’ll need to keep your videos short and sweet. That means cramming as much value and information as can be communicated clearly into a sub-60 second clip, or sub-30 seconds depending on application
Plan the length of your video based on its intended application and audience. For example, your existing customers are far more likely to watch your longer videos than a cold audience.
Narration and Scripting
When creating the video strategy for your new video, one of the most important things to consider is the most effective way to communicate your marketing message.
- Will your video simply be visuals with music?
- Will it show someone on camera using your product and talking about it?
- Do you plan to use strictly user-generated videos to tell your story?
- Will your video use voiceover narration to describe the featured product(s)?
If someone will be speaking in your video, be sure to create a script that reads naturally and quickly highlights the items outlined in the “benefits and messaging” section above.
Not all videos need audio (remember the stat about Facebook videos being watched with the sound off), but you’ll need to plan either way. If you plan to use music:
- From where will you source it?
- Will it compete with your speaker or voiceover narration?
- Which part(s) of the song do you want to include in the video?
Planning out your music is just as important as planning out your narration. By doing both, you’ll be able to deliver an exceptional audio experience to your viewers that is complementary rather than conflicting.
Now that you know what you’ll be including in your video, be sure to include the other production details such as:
- People involved
- And anything else that will affect the end result
With this information documented and all of the details of your ecommerce video strategy in place, you’ll be far better prepared to produce your video and generate far better results wherever you choose to use it.