Online video is trending as a tool

Online video is trending as a tool to generate conversion improvements. Online retail companies such as ASOS and Zappos.com introduced videos on its product pages. Online video production companies promise conversion improvements of 200%. Is it too good to be true and how can online marketers use videos successfully?

Just to be clear, let’s define online video. We can agree that it is a very broad term. There are, often costly, online viral video campaigns such as Tipp-ex A hunter shoots a bear or Blendtec- where an iPhone gets blended. Not sure if that is funny, but the company reports a 700% improvement in sales. There is a lot to admire in such product viral video campaigns. Nevertheless, let’s focus on the easier to replicate product videos:

  • Product videos such as on asos.com or zappos.com
  • Explanatory video about a company or service on a landing page, such as hubspot or dropbox

These 2 video styles can relatively effortlessly and cheaply result in high impact marketing results. Zappos realised 30% higher conversion improvements with video on product pages with video. Vidyard’s case study  achieved a 100% improvement with video on its landing page.

It can be questioned if such videos always work. A/B testing can demonstrate if a video landing page or written content/photo’s works better. This would be a very interesting research question.

Video Software Company Wistia shows that more people stop watching a long video than when watching a short video. A 30 second video was compared against a video of 90 seconds. Viewers of the long video stopped watching earlier (within the first 30 seconds). The expected viewing length influences the quitters negatively with the long videos, whereas the short videos viewers persevered (only a couple of seconds to go).

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Another learning from Wistia is that potential customers are more likely to watch video than existing customers. This complements Susan Weinschenk‘s theory

that the human brain learns better when new stuff is introduced via story telling. Storytelling and online video combined can convince site visitors to buy your product.

Online video producer Follet recommends to keep it simple in relation to music, voice-over, visuals etc). Don’t attempt to tell everything within 1 minute. He suggests the following best practice:

  1. The problem – name the customer’s problem (0:00-0:20)
  2. Introduce your product as solution or answer (0:20-0:25)
  3. How it works  (0:25-0:50)
  4. Call to Action – tell customers what to do (0:50-0:60)

Bryan Eisenberg (#thegrok) mentions some rules when designing your landing page with video. Is your video product presentation on the upper part of the site. Is there a clear CTA? Let the user initiate video interaction. What shows the video frame?

Thus, what would your strategy be around video? How do you realise your objectives and goals such as conversions and how do you measure?

It could be something like this:

  1. Create added value for the customer

Consider if video can add value for your clients. Do not have a video that is like a photo slide show with music. Conversions only improve with relevancy. Don’t add videos just because it is hip and cool, but because it helps visitors to understand your product or service.

2. Measure and test

You can only measure success when you have goals. A video player enables metrics such as play rate, loading time, average viewing time, segmentation, closing times et cetera. Just video views should not be a goal however. Videos can irritate and turn visitors away. Relate e-commerce data to your specific videos. Use A/B testing to see if video works for you. Set up KPIs and test which page performs better, the original or the variant. Only then you can measure if you achieve higher conversion rates with online video and if the sale value offset the cost.

3. Incremental

Do not make 500 product videos. Start small and learn from published videos. After how many seconds do visitors click away? Do particular products work better than others? Which page position works best? Try and learn.

Thus, start small, test big and prepare a business case. Do this before you’ve spent a small fortune that you cannot afford.

#Bridge/Evangelist Blogging

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