Video commerce - the practice of using video content to promote, sell and support products or services online - is becoming a bigger and bigger part of consumers' purchase journeys. Nowadays, the play button is the most compelling call-to-action on the web. In fact, research has found that 50% of online video was accountable for 50% of all mobile traffic, and internet networking giant Cisco predicts that videos will account for 80% of internet traffic by 2019.
Thus, it shouldn't come as a surprise that videos have extraordinarily positive impact on consumers during the purchase lifecyce, and in driving brand awareness, engagement, and ultimately, conversion.
Ways to optimize your video content
With videos as a fairly new medium of content commerce, how can e-commerce companies make sure that they achieve the goal of converting viewers into shoppers? Here are some ways on how to create videos that engage viewers, rise in search rankings, and drive conversions:
1. Implement strong video descriptions, links, and CTAs
Besides creating video content, make sure to also work on all relevant information that you can put up alongside your video.
Videos should always be accompanied by a description where viewers can understand what your video is about, and find out more about the items featured - such as product specifications, reviews from established websites or testimonials from current customers.
A well thought-out description will also help with video SEO and will give your viewers an outline of the content - leading to a longer watch time, and hopefully, more engagement. For example, YouTube gives creators 5,000 characters to use in the description field, but the first couple of sentences are hugely important because they will be pulled through and used as meta data (along with the title and thumbnail) for the following:
- Google universal search snippets
- YouTube search results
- YouTube API
- Facebook, Twitter, and other social media
The more YouTube knows about your video - because you have told it via your title, tags, and video description, the more confidence they will have to rank it. So be sure to include your keywords (both main and long-tail), and create context and value in these descriptions.
Apart from putting up descriptions, you can also place external links in the description fields, driving traffic to a specific landing page elsewhere. This is important for e-commerce videos, where most of the time, the videos act as trailers for your product or service. According to a study by the website real SEO, 73% or consumers are likely to make a purchase after watching a video, so links to product detail pages on your e-commerce site let them do that. To drive viewers to your platform, include the link as high up in the description as you can. If you have built other assets (eg. landing pages, blog posts, or persuasive content) around a video, use the description to point your viewers towards them.
After your viewers have watched the video, you might want to encourage them to do any of the following - sign up for a special sales offer or promotion, enter a competition, get a free download, watch another video, connect on social media, and more. There are three ways to implement CTAs on your videos. You can include them directly in your videos using a screen (often at the end or during the video), an auditory request of the same nature (most commonly used in fundraising videos on sites like Kickstarter), or annotations during the video.
Annotations are the little bubbles of text that "pop up" on YouTube videos from time to time, reminding viewers to subscribe, comment, or view another video. These are great if you want your viewers to consume your content on YouTube since they can only link to other content (videos, playlists, channels, and others) on YouTube rather than external sites. For example, at the end of every "This Week's WOW" episode, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis uses some annotations to encourage viewers to watch other episodes in the series.
2. Create videos that are mobile compatible
Mobile is becoming the top medium for watching video content. According to video analysis platform Ooyala, mobile videos account for more than half the views of videos in total by the middle of 2015.
The wide array of smartphone and tablets available to consumers today have video play capabilities, making mobile compatibility an undoubtedly important feature in video marketing. It’s important to remember that most mobile videos will only play certain video file types (such as 3GPP and MPEG-4), and quality will depend on the size of the mobile device they’re viewing it from (such as a smartphone or tablet).
Most mobile video players will automatically chose the best version of your video based on the quality available and their internet speed. It’s also possible to look up for the best formats you can use when making a video for a specific device, or settle for a baseline codec and audio format to make sure that your video is compatible to a wide range of mobile devices.
Most video production software today often have a pre-set format that chooses and saves your video for mobile compatibility. So pick it from the list upon your video’s creation and you’ll be good to go.
3. Personalize your videos
Personalized videos enable you to use videos to connect and build stronger, one-on-one relationships with customers at scale. The possibilities for how and what you can do to personalize your videos are endless. You can start with using a video you've already created or commission a new piece of content to become the template. Then, link the data of your contacts such as name, job title, company, and feed it into the video where personalization tokens can be inserted. This allows unique details about each viewer to be seamlessly weaved right into the video content itself.
For example, with an email address, you can pull in the person's LinkedIn photo. With an address, you can insert a Google Street View image. With a website URL, you can pull in an image of the homepage.
Furthermore, when you promote the video to your database via emails, you can send them to personalized landing pages to view your personalized video - implementing personalization at every step of your cohesive campaign.
Personalized videos - complete with personalization elements - are great for sales prospecting, where your sales reps could try to get the attention of cold leads by addressing the lead's specific challenges in the video.
Bonus: Shoppable video content
The trend that is really catching on in the retail world is making images shoppable with visual technology. But think about it, why stop at image content? Why not apply the same technology and use case to videos? Afterall, CTR on video ads are generally between 2.4 to 3.5 times highter than standard banner ads. With current developments made in areas of machine intelligence and computer vision, products in video content such as fashion show streaming or user-generated videos are all searchable.
Now imagine your consumers watching your videos, use moving images in them as search queries for matching and similar products in your catalog, and being able to purchase products immediately. That's a direct path from video content to conversion.
End Goal: Using videos as an immersive product experience
The goal of optimizing your videos is to make the presentation of your product a richer, fully visual experience - to stand out, keep audiences engaged, convert, and build memorable relationships like never before.
Video marketing is proving to be one of the most effective ways to get shoppers for any e-commerce business. With a few adjustments in how you optimize your video content, along with new developments such as in-video and image search capabilities, your product can get a wider reach, better engagement, and higher conversion.