When selling an eCommerce product online, having a video makes viewers are more likely to purchase your product. Customers who watch 2 – 4 videos before purchasing spend 11.2% more than those that only watch one video. Those that watch more than 4 videos spend 61.4% more than those who watched 2-4, according to research by Liveclicker.
Product videos are now more important than ever. With the announcement that Amazon is going to allow video for 3rd party sellers, this opens up Amazon product video production to a whole new group of products. I have seen a lot of money wasted by people trying to save money on product videos. Think of a video for your product as being like a good salesperson who never has a bad day, shows up for work on time, and always gets the message right. Now spend according to what you would pay that person per year.
You can create a product video on your cell phone but it is hard to make it look good. I say this as someone who has spent the last 14+ years making product videos for some of the top brands in the world. Recording a video on your cell phone is easy but making it look professional takes a lot of work. I have recently done some testing and it took twice as long to create a video of decent quality on a cell phone compared to using our professional cameras and, no matter how hard we try, there is still a noticeable difference.
Start with a plan
Start your video creation process by creating a plan for your video. What do you want your video to do for your business? Do you know who your customers are? Here is a hint: It is not everyone! Even if it is a product that everyone needs, such as toothpaste, your brand will attract a certain type of person and it is important to know who that is because it will drive the style, emotion, and story that you tell about your product. All of this will save you money in the long run. The more you can narrow your video towards your ideal buyer the greater return on your video investment.
How to budget
If you have more than one product, I recommend creating a video for a few of them just to get started, maybe 10 or 20. This will give you a chance to test the waters when it comes to sales and the video agency who you have creating the videos. That being said the more videos you can create at once, the more money it is possible to save. So, if your budget is limited you may need to create more videos to get the cost per video to go down.
Another cost-saving measure is to create a template for each video using the same location and on-camera talent. A custom video for each product gets expensive fast. I recommend starting with your top products, the most returned products, and those products that require a demonstration or really need to be seen in action for people to understand better.
The challenge to selling online is that the viewer can’t touch the product and they are not likely to ask questions, so you need to anticipate those things to keep them engaged and think ahead to what information your video should provide to help the buyer make it through the buying process.
What is the best length for product video?
When I spoke with Amazon a few years ago, they were really pushing for standard product videos to be about 30 seconds long and I agree. Some styles of video can’t be fully implemented in 30 seconds. That is OK because if they are done properly, the viewer will stick with them because the content is valuable. Your video should only be as long as they need to be, no longer.
But as a general rule, 30 seconds is the best for a regular product video. Your video needs to be as long as it takes to get the information across to the viewer and keep them engaged. The more free advice you can give prospective buyers, the more they will connect your brand and product as the right choice to solve their problem.
What should you do if you sell worldwide?
Keep in mind that people from different cultures and languages buy things differently. This is why you see a lot of product videos created without words in a generic style. Different cultures buy differently, so understand that your ultra-creative video targeted to 20-somethings in the US may not be well received in a different country. This especially goes for funny videos. What is funny in one country may not translate well in another.
Don’t forget mobile
Make your video mobile friendly or plan to create a mobile-friendly version. Sites like Facebook and Instagram recommend a vertical video or square video, so make sure to keep the product front and center on the screen for viewing on tiny mobile device screens.
Which type of products should you create a video for?
It really depends on your product and how people buy your product. Will your audience benefit from a how-to video? The idea of a how-to video for your product is that it needs to provide the same sort of information that a sales associate or representative would provide. If you sell clothes, you should consider creating a video that talks about how to take your measurements or how to match a shirt and tie. If you sell toilet replacement parts, you should show them how to use your product to fix a leaky fill valve.
Companies whose products sell for over $100 or do huge volume find it easier to justify spending money on product video. There are many different styles and the style you create will depend on your budget, product, and audience. If you are a b2b company, don’t fall into the trap that your buyer is boring. They are still people and if you can find a way to educate, inspire, and entertain them, you will stand out from the crowd. Make the call to action simple. Every video you create should invite the viewer to do something; leading them towards making a purchase.
The call to action can vary from a strong ‘buy now’ to a simple invitation to learn more. Make sure your video only has one call to action.
No, but really what type of video should I create
The most powerful way to sell online is direct response videos. Direct Response TV is the industry term for an infomercial. Stick with me here. It’s what I like to call ” The New Infomercial.” The most effective type of product video is what we call the “new infomercial.” They are ‘hybrid product videos’. They combine the best part of traditional branding and the infomercial.
So, what does that look like? With traditional branding, think Super Bowl commercials: strong brand identity, emotionally driven without an in-your-face sell. Now combine this with the best part of a traditional infomercial: problem/solution.
Share and advertise on social media
Create an ad plan that will put your product in front of new customers, remind existing customers that you are there, and reach out to those who have shown interest in your product but still haven’t purchased. You can also use other types of video to promote your product; such as behind the scenes, customer testimonial, and to keep engaged with your customers.
Be strategic about where you post your videos, especially when placing it on your own website. Make sure you are meeting your viewers’ expectations every time they view one of your videos.
This will help move people through the sales process. If it is allowed, you should test using video in place of your hero image. Most eCommerce sites won’t allow for this, but make some noise and get them to really start supporting selling with video. Most sites such as Amazon bury the video as the last of the images; which I think is a huge mistake.
Test and tune
Make sure you monitor the video’s performance for the first 40 – 60 days. Look at engagement rate. Is the viewer watching the entire video? Should it be shorter or longer? Did the video increase the Average Order Value (AOV) for your product? Check your conversion rates. How does this product with a video compare to a product without a video?
Some of this testing may not be available on your retail partner sites, so make sure you have a way to test this. If you can’t measure it, then your video is a waste of money no matter how many studies and blog posts say you should have video.
Remember, while a video for your eCommerce product will help sales it may not be right for your product. Don’t get lost in the glitz and glam of video and spend money on something just because you think you need it. Find someone to help you determine if a product video is worth investing in for your product.