By Hope Horner
While online shopping has been around for a while now, it’s starting to become the preferred way to shop in America. The trend is based on the actions of the two largest age demographics: Sixty-seven percent of Millennials would rather browse and buy online, and 56 percent of Generation Xers agree.
The sea change toward online shopping isn’t the only notable internet trend of 2017. Video is everywhere you look online, and it’s being consumed at an incredibly high rate. In fact, Cisco predicts that video will make up about 80 percent of all internet traffic by 2019.
Businesses the world over are realizing (and capitalizing on) their customers’ preferences for video and its astounding marketing power. The e-commerce space, in particular, has much to gain by jumping on the video marketing bandwagon.
Know Thy Audience
One of the biggest reasons customers still visit traditional retail stores is so they can touch products before they buy them. While you can’t really offer your customers that same luxury as an e-commerce retailer (yet — technology still has a way to go in this regard), the next best thing is helping your audience envision what it’s like to physically touch and use your product.
Video is an excellent medium for relaying this sensory information, as this example from HolaBird demonstrates. This video not only explains the product, but also features a consumer unboxing and using it. HolaBird’s ad is even more effective because its audience is people in their 20s and 30s who like to run.
Who is your audience? Unless you have a truly original product, your customers will be doing research on your competitors. So make sure your own ad features your target audience to help them see themselves putting it to use, and tell a story that resonates with that group.
Here are a few tips for creating effective video advertisements tailored specifically to the e-commerce consumer.
- Feature products that can benefit the most from a video.
Creating a video can be done on a budget, but it isn’t necessarily a cheap process, so it might not be as viable to showcase cheaper items or extras. Instead, focus on top-of-the-line products that command high prices and have features worth explaining.
Novel products can also benefit from video ads that highlight their originality. This video for Nine Line’s Stout Hoodie, for example, features a specific product and uses humor to perfectly illustrate its value. It also accomplishes this in under 30 seconds without a single spoken word so that the viewer doesn’t lose interest.
- Curate videos from consumers on social media.
A huge portion of social media involves videos, most of which can be embedded on other platforms and sites. A video strategy that relies on curating user-generated videos from social media has a couple of distinct advantages: It goes a long way toward keeping production costs manageable and limits the potentially long lead time of creating your own videos from scratch.
It also provides almost endless content, affording you the flexibility to quickly post a steady stream of updates. User-generated videos present unique perspectives of your product. In so many cases, happy customers touting the benefits of your product will be your best salespeople.
- Upload and optimize your video for YouTube.
Uploading to YouTube helps make your video infinitely more discoverable, and if you do some keyword research, you can potentially reach an audience of thousands. Optimizing your video involves presenting it to precisely the right audience, and there are numerous ways to accomplish this.
TrueView in-stream ads play before the video your audience is choosing to watch on YouTube. They may include the option to skip the ad after five seconds, though some can’t be skipped and will play pre-roll, mid-roll, or after the main video.
In-stream ads are powerful because of the customization options they offer. They can present different calls to action to various audiences, or A/B test different CTAs or overlay text delivered to the same audience to see which performs better and drives more potential customers to your homepage.
One of the great things about e-commerce is the depth and breadth of your prospective audience. Even if you choose to avoid the complications of international shipping, you still have a huge pool of potential customers. Still, getting the word out about your business or brand is the most important step you can take toward generating sales, and producing a high-quality video ad can be a great way to do that.
Whether you highlight your best-selling products or merely tell your brand story, making sure to target your specific audience will lead to maximum conversions, giving you the best ROI possible.