5 rules for online video to boost sales

Technology is triggering rapid growth in many areas and channels, but one of the fastest-growing mediums is the use of online video, or “v-commerce”, by brands. It’s becoming ubiquitous not just on computers, but outdoor screens, smart phones, and tablets will also be instrumental to this rise.

Consumers are increasingly expecting video to sit at the heart of their web experience, and online video consumption in the UK is projected to grow by 148 per cent in 2010. Initially, brands were cautious about it, but this is changing. ComScore estimates that brands using online video see sales lifts of between 20 and 40 per cent.

Marketing in 2010 is beyond just pushing messages at people. Undertaken correctly, “v-commerce” can significantly boost sales and increase customer loyalty and engagement. Follow these five rules to create compelling, good quality online video that’ll see sales soar.

1. Take into account all other marketing activities 

Don’t just post something on YouTube and hope for the best. Your v-commerce strategy should touch every bit of marketing activity around your brand. Towards the end of last year, Ogilvy Interactive reported that adding video to email boosted customer interactions by anything from 200 to 300 per cent. Combining video with social media also increases engagement, with the video acting as a “conversation starter” to both kick-start a campaign or extend it.

Online video content can be embedded directly into your e-commerce pages, and as our work with M&S TV has shown, this can boost sales by anything up to 90 per cent, while also doubling dwell time and repeat visits.

2. It’s a multi-platform world, not just computers 

Connection to the internet is possible through many different platforms and devices, and as a result, brands have to work harder at consistency of messaging.

By ensuring that the content you create is relevant across multiple platforms, the consumer is presented by a consistent message no matter where they come into contact with your brand. You can send variations of the same content to the consumer, depending on where they are, what device they are using, time of day, etc, through clever targeting and distribution. And by monitoring engagement, you can continually improve the content in order to increase relevance, consistency and engagement.

3. Ensure the video has a clear purpose and a call-to-action

You should never produce an online video without a clear function and call-to-action built in to the editorial. If the purpose of the video is to sell watches, make sure the video is clear about that. Crucially you must make sure the consumer can easily click on a buy button next to the content. The difference between traditional video and online video is that the web is not a broadcast medium, it is interactive, so to maximise the value of your content make sure that the calls-to-action are clear and that you are catering for people to be able to respond.

For example, The Online Publishers Association have reported that, on average, 52 per cent of viewers take a related action after viewing an online video they enjoyed. Don’t miss out on this opportunity.

4. V-commerce doesn’t cost the earth

There is a mistaken expectation that online video is expensive.

But the trick is to create content that is both high quality and cost-effective. Get your provider to create content that works across a wide range of platforms, where you can achieve fantastic economies of scale, providing further ROI. We call it “intelligent content”, and it’s a huge contributor to our success in creating compelling v-commerce for our clients.

5. Measure results and react

A major perk of v-commerce is the ability to measure usage, and to quickly respond to audience reaction. You can track how long a particular user has watched a piece of content, or how many people have engaged with the video, for how long, and what related actions they took.

This allows you to respond and to change the content in real-time – you can re-shoot and improve content if it isn’t delivering. This is one of the huge benefits of online video.

Chris Gorell Barnes is CEO of Adjust Your Set

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