One of the things on every ecommerce seller’s “to-do” list is to create an ecommerce product video. Amazon and other online retail partners have given you a place to put product videos for ecommerce on your sales page. They strongly recommend video, even if the implementation is a little weak. There are lots of stats that say others are increasing product sales with video. So, how do you create a video that does more than waste money?
Plan for sales
First, the goal of every video your company creates should be to somehow lead to more sales. No matter what your company does, you need sales. You need the right sequence of videos to drive sales. You can’t expect people to buy your product after seeing just one Amazon product video. You need to guide them through the process and help them get to a point where they are ready to buy. How often do you see a product online that is interesting but you’re not ready to buy right now? Your prospective buyer is the same way.
This is why social media is so important. It allows us to stay in front of our buyer until they are ready to make a purchase. A lot of online retailers make it harder for you to promote your product and track sales on their site, but it can be done without breaking the rules. First, we need to change the way we look at social media ads. The first goal of your social media campaign shouldn’t be to sell more on a retail partner’s website. It should be to capture emails. Let’s say that Amazon goes away tomorrow or, more likely, for some reason, decides to ban you from their site. What would you do? Well, if you had an email list, you would have a better chance of surviving than if you didn’t have an email list. There is some bad advice out there that says email is dead. Don’t listen to those people. Email is alive and well and very important to the survival of your brand because it gives you a direct connection to your prospects and customers.
Email is still powerful
Let’s look at that last statement for a second. Email is gives you a direct connection to your customers and prospects. Let’s say you want to launch a new product. You can simply email your list to announce your new product. You can also stay in touch with your prospects or customers with weekly or monthly emails.
Here is how the process works: Your ad invites them to a landing page. To get them to this page, you need to have something on the page that they want that is worth exchanging for their email address. This is called a lead magnet. Two types of lead magnets that work well for sellers are discounts and educational content.
Let’s say you already have a video ready to go. You can’t just post your video to social media. You need to buy ads. Online advertising costs continue to go up so how do you stand out. Brands that use and omnichannel video marketing system will find better results than those that just focus on one platform. Companies who create engaging content will get more reach and conversions out of their ads. Cookie-cutter templates with stock video are not going to accomplish this.
Maybe you’re thinking, “I’m a marketer. Why should I care about video?” Video is actually more valuable for you as a marketer because you can track how much of the video someone has watched and then retarget them with more videos.
Who should you retarget? Retarget people who have interacted with a post, viewed an ad, watched a video, or have given you an email. It is important to stay in front of these people with content that helps them move to the point where they are ready to make a purchase.
Budget for Product Videos for Ecommerce
It is the Wild West when it comes pricing a video. There are lots of inexperienced video creators making videos that all look alike and don’t drive sales. What’s causing this horrible phenomenon? Budget is the reason so many videos online look alike. Your budget will depend on your sales. You may have to start small and increase spend from there. It is important to know your budget before you go into the video process. A good video doesn’t cost just $300 or even $2,000. I can’t tell you exactly what your video will cost, but here are some things to keep in mind: A video editor or camera operator is an artist and, while they might be able to create a nice-looking video, it won’t drive sales. Why? Because this person is an artist, not a creative director or video marketer. Your budget determines how creative you can be. The more creative it is, the easier it will be to attract viewers. A good video will have a 3 – 5-year shelf-life. I would recommend budgeting 100 – 200k for the right sequence of videos to drive sales. I know this sounds like a lot, but when you spread it over 5 years and consider that its purpose is to increase sales, it’s like hiring a salesperson you don’t have to pay commission to and who works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Now that you have a plan that will drive sales and a budget, what type of video are you going to create based on that plan and budget?
Types of Product Videos for Ecommerce
I wrote a blog post a few years ago with 11 different types of videos that you can create, so I won’t repeat that here, but I will touch on a few of the top ones and expand upon one type in particular.
Product Review Videos
These are the most common type of product videos for ecommerce. They should be as short as possible and feature real people. Why? Because people help add scale to your product and people connect with other people.
User-generated video should be part of your video funnel, but you should not rely on them. While the voice of the satisfied customer is a very important step in the buyer’s journey, you shouldn’t rely on them because customers don’t always get the product message right and they also don’t totally understand the product like you do.
This is another form of user generated video, but I thought it would be good to talk a little bit more about influencers. Influencers bring an audience with them. Therefore, if you can create a video, the right influencer can introduce you to a whole new group of customers. Using paid influencers also gives you the opportunity to help them with the message.
A good sales video is a powerful tool to increasing sales. To get everything, we need to create a great sales video. Let’s start by looking at the infomercial. As much as you might hate informercials, the fact is that they work. The secret to why they work is the script writing formula that they use.
In the informercial world, this type of video is called “Direct to Consumer marketing” and the reason it is so important is because it gives you, the brand, more control of your sales. By selling direct to your customer, you are lifting all your sales even if you are selling through other partners as well. For our version of this, we combine the infomercial with everything you love about a really great super bowl commercial. We give it strong creative ideas and characters. Then you take that and apply the following formula:
- Capture attention – Because people have so many messages vying for their attention you need to start by capturing their attention. This is especially important for social media ads on sites. This opening moment needs to be what I call ‘thumb stoppable;’ which is just a fancy way to say it gets people to stop scrolling on their phone to watch your video. On sites like Linkedin and Facebook, the videos start without sound and on YouTube, if the video is an ad, you only get 6 seconds before someone can skip. So that opening few seconds are the most important. Next you talk about the problem.
- Problem – all product and service exist because they solve a problem. This step is when you talk about that problem that you are solving. The bigger the problem, the better.
- Poke the problem – In this step, you are like a doctor who keeps poking at you until you tell him it hurts. You can talk about what happens if the problem isn’t solved. What is the worst-case scenario?
- Solution – You need to make it simple. If it is overly complex it will confuse people. This isn’t the time introduce your product. That is the next step.
- Introduce the product – this step speaks for itself.
- Credibility This can be done in a lot of different ways. However, is should be subtle. If your claims are too big, people won’t believe them. You can talk about the benefits of your product or service.
- Call to action – This is where you tell them what to do next. Make sure to keep it simple: “Order yours today” or “Contact us to get a free quote.” The more complex the call to action is, the more sales you lose.
- Social proof – this is where you can share any endorsements, testimonials, or success stories.
Does your product really need product videos for ecommerce? Here are some questions you can ask yourself. Do I have a clear plan for how this video will drive sales or am I creating this video for vanity purposes because the CEO or someone else thinks we should have a video? Do I have the budget to properly invest in the right set of videos that will drive sales? Do I have the budget and a plan for social media marketing? If the answer is no to these questions and you still want a video, find the cheapest video that won’t embarrass your brand. If the answer is Yes be ready to take some calculated risks and be ready for all the increased sales.