By Dr. Melody King, Special to the eTail Blog
Depending on what reports you read, some say video will be one of the hottest online retail trends in the coming year, particularly as more and more shoppers flock to tablets and mobile devices where video can mean the difference between browsing and buying. If you haven’t yet added videos to your online catalog, now’s the time to do it. But even if you have, how do you know you’re getting the most impact? Are there elements you can add or changes you can make to drive even more conversions from your product videos?
While catchy and outrageous might draw a lot of views on YouTube, it’s not necessarily what’s needed to get you better brand visibility and higher conversion. In fact, when it comes to e-commerce it’s often a simple, more direct approach that drives maximum performance of your videos. Consider the below if you’re thinking about creating or enhancing product videos to get the best ROI
Keep with your brand’s personality. Your video look and feel should reflect the level of polish and professionalism your brand and your website demonstrate. With recent developments in automated video platforms, it’s now possible to create high-quality, effective videos in very little time and at minimal expense. You can use your existing product data feed, including product descriptions and images, to quickly and easily develop highly impactful videos with highlighted text, background music, and voiceovers, that will increase your conversions almost immediately.
To ensure a consistent look that matches your company’s branding, consider uniform opening and closing sequences or a template that frames the imagery. By keeping with the look of your company’s website, customers will have more confidence in your company and it will also enhance brand awareness.
Test, test, test! The best way to see what elements of your videos work best is to run some A/B tests. You can test narration vs. no narration, male vs. female voice-overs, types of music, illustration vs. photography, different promotional offers, variations in text color, and so on.
One example is EyeBuyDirect, which created two versions of a video for its online glasses shop. The videos are identical, except that one uses a male voice and one uses female voice-over. Through the A/B test, EyeBuyDirect discovered that its audience responds more positively to the male voice, generating a conversion rate more than three times higher than the female voice version. You can read about EyeBuyDirect’s customer engagement strategies here.
Just remember to only test one variable at a time, so you know exactly what change generated what outcome. To test more than one aspect, you need multiple video versions and then you need to run the tests in succession. This is another way that automated video solutions are beneficial because they can create multiple versions very easily.
Make it Easy to Press Play. Just as you wouldn’t send out a direct e-mail without a call to action, it’s a good idea to include a Play icon in your videos. This is a small change that can have a significant impact on sales. (Of course, you should do an A/B test to see if this is the case for your site too.)
Make sure your videos are indexed. Having video on your site can also give you SEO benefits, as video tends to rank higher in Google. However, if you aren’t indexing your videos, those benefits are going out the window.
You can see if your videos are indexed by going to Google and typing “site:domainname” (your company’s domain name) in the search box, and clicking on “Videos” on the top left side of the search page. The number you see above the search results is the number of videos that are currently indexed.
Create a video sitemap. You need to be proactive about submitting your video sitemap. You can either do it manually for each video (a labor-intensive process), or you can outsource this service to make sure your video content is always up-to-date. Once indexed, you should start to see your products, especially those with associated long tail search terms, rising in the ranks of Google search. (This is particularly true since Google’s recent Panda algorithm updates, which now give preference to video in ranking results.) Also, because thumbnail video images appear alongside video listings in search results, your video results are likely to drive higher click-through rates.
Video offers tremendous opportunities to spruce up your site, give more credibility to your brand, and create stronger engagement with your customers. By following a few simple guidelines, you’ll see the return you expect – and possibly more.
Melody King, is the VP of Sales & Marketing for Treepodia, an e-commerce video platform provider.