Engaging the Senses: The Rise of Online Video Marketing

Although e-commerce within Australia is booming, for those traditional consumers who enjoy the interaction, as well as the touch and feel aspect of the shopping experience, shopping online can be somewhat unfulfilling. It is this void that retailers can fill by leveraging video in order to create an opportunity for interaction and give their brand a personality, while informing, educating and/or entertaining consumers.

“We are largely a visual TV trained born and bred society. The human brain processing visual stimuli faster than other senses. The cliche ‘if a picture is worth a thousand words’, then a video (at 25 frames per second) is worth much more,” says Scott Maxworthy, CEO, CLIVEvideo.com.

According to the ‘State of the Internet – Australia’ report by ComScore released in February 2011, 10.3 million Australians viewed video online, making up 60 percent of the total population. Of this YouTube (included with Google Sites) was the most popular video site in Australia, following by Microsoft sites and Facebook.

In the Power Retail ‘Video in Online Retail’ Special Report, we uncover how local and international retailers such as Shoes of Prey, Kogan, Zappos and ASOS are innovating and leveraging video within their digital offering to boost sales and customer engagement. We also delve into the up and coming trends of interactive and user-generated videos (UGVs), HTML5 and mobile.

“One of the most significant trends we’re seeing in retail is that shoppers are becoming very educated on the products they’re interested in. And it’s certainly not salesman making that happen, it’s people doing their own research online,” says Daniel Kopel, Video Guy from Hard Hat Digital, who also runs production house Kommotion.

He outlines some of the benefits to retailers who include video in their digital marketing mix:

  1. Attract, educate, and engage a large audience.
  2. Build your brand.
  3. Highlight your products’ special features and benefits – your way.
  4. Increases time spent on your website looking at your product.

In terms of results, Peter Graves, Regional Sales Director, Brightcove, points out that, “Video is 53% more likely to appear on the front page of search engine results than text, resulting in improved SEO and the likelihood customers will find you online.”

“Video is a great customer engagement tool, which presents easily viable social sharing and viral opportunities. Featuring video on your website may also result in fewer product returns and customer support costs, as customers are better informed about their purchase decisions.”

Production Concerns?

Though obviously an engaging medium, the thought of producing videos amongst the myriad of other operational and marketing KPI’s raises concerns for even the most diligent retailer. After all a video speaks volumes to the brand, it needs to be slick, professional and represent the company in the best way possible.

However, video does not necessarily need to be that difficult as often the simplest videos with few bells and whistles are the ones that cut through and engage audiences.

“The trick is to remember that you’re not trying to make something slick and professional, you’re trying to make content that people can relate to,” advises Jodie Fox, Co-Founder and Director of Fashion, Shoes of Prey.

“Social etiquette applies to your videos and nobody wants to watch a really long video, so remember to keep it short and sweet.”

Marketing Integration

Video can integrate and lend itself to marketing in a powerful way, in many cases enabling a broader reach than more traditional forms of media. However, in order to maximise return on investment, it should be coupled with an integrated online marketing strategy.

The most ‘natural’ integration for video is through social media, whereby the very nature of such channels thrives on entertaining, informative and/or popular content. This often leads to peer-sharing and the production of user-generated content.

John Lawson, CEO of 3rd Power Outlet, Inc. and founder of award winning industry blog, www.ColderICE.com – gives some tips on how retailers should consider incorporating video into the marketing mix:

  1. Videos are naturally shareable and easy to view on multiple platforms. Once your video is posted, be sure to include it in your email and social campaigns.
  2. Since the hosting cost is ZERO on YouTube or Facebook make sure to spread the link via social marketing for more views.
  3. Ask viewers to rate or like your video to enhance viewership and boost SEO.

Always mercurial, consumer expectations of the online experience will no doubt closely follow the trend of the ever-changing sphere of general online consumption – of which video is becoming integral. The key for savvy retailers is to first and foremost know their target audience and keep in mind how the content produced will serve to enhance the customer experience and/or induce an action.

For more insights and best practice advice, download the full Power Retail Video in Online Retail Special Report.

One thought on “Engaging the Senses: The Rise of Online Video Marketing

  1. I think that video is going to be a real game changer for many online companies. Its the logical next step and everyone should be thinking about it.


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