November 25, 2015

Product Videos and Conversion Rates, Oh My!


The online shopping experience can make or break turning a casual browser into a lifelong customer. Many brands and retailers spend thousands of dollars–and even hundreds-of-thousands of dollars, on SEO, PPC, etc just to get shoppers to a product page alone. But once they are there, then what?

Getting shoppers through the virtual door is no longer enough. What can brands and online retailers do to increase sales and help consumers confidently hit, not only the “Add to Cart” button, but also the “Pay Now” button? One solution: Product Videos.

In the recent post by Martin Zhel, “How Product Videos Increase eCommerce Conversion Rates,” he carefully breaks down the benefits and best practices of product videos. Below is a brief overview:

It Helps You Rank Better.

**Helps with SEO;
**Decreases bounce rate;
**Increases the amount of time someone spends on your site;
**Attracts more high-quality backlinks and social shares.

It Is Sharable & Viewable.

**People are more likely to share a link to a video than to a PDF or text;
**In addition, people are more attracted to clicking on a video thumbnail than a non-visual material;
**Takes less effort and concentration to watch a video than read text.

You Communicate More Information.

**Video takes away any ambiguity about a complicated or intricate product;
**They help highlight key features and functionality better than text;
**A 30-second video is equivalent to a half page of text (more information in less time).

Need more convincing?

“The Digital Social Contract,” the latest Red Paper published by research giant Ogilvy & Mather, is loaded with critical information, and reported some eye-opening data surrounding viewership of online and mobile videos:

**Users will consume around 76 minutes of online video each per day in 2015.
**Of those 76 minutes, 39 will be spent watching video on mobile devices.
**By 2019, 81% of all Internet users (including 67% of Americans) will regularly watch a video online.
**In the US, 93% of children between 12-17 watch online video regularly. For 18-24 year olds the figure is 96%, for those aged 25-34 it’s 90%, and for GenX it is 88%.

In addition, the Red Paper states everyone between ages 12-30 in first-world countries is more media savvy than any other generation. Seems like a no-brainer, but that amounts to about 50% of the U.S. population–a demographic with an estimated purchasing power of $150 Billion.

Combine that with comScore’s data that 64-85% of customers are more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video, and it’s apparent that if you didn’t care about product videos before, you should start caring now.

Where to start?

Knowing the distinction between “branded commercial” and “product video” is an important piece. Product videos are distinctly there to highlight key features of your product, and should mainly live on your website’s and/or retailer’s product pages wherever the product is being sold.

So what can you do? Take advice from seasoned Digital Art Director, Erik Olsen. Below are Erik’s top 5 recommendations and tips to making a perfect product video:

1)  Story is King.  This is just as true in product videos as in a big Hollywood production.  A well crafted script that elegantly tells the story of your product is pivotal. The product must be empowered to share its story and a good script will do just that.

2)  Music is the heart beat. Imagine an important scene in your favorite movie.  Now take away the music.  Does it have the same impact or does it fall flat? Music sets the tone from the start. If your product is a hip new App targeting “millennials”, you probably shouldn’t be playing royalty-free stock music from the nineties.

3)  Voice-over gives your product… a voice.  Similar to music, a voice-over can quickly and easily set the tone for your video. You don’t need Morgan Freeman or James Earl Jones, but take the time and listen to at least three strong voice-over candidates for your project. Ask yourself, “Does this voice reflect my brand?”

4)  Audience.  An important piece of the puzzle that is often forgotten.  Your audience is intelligent, never forget that. When crafting your script, be clear about your target audience.  If your target demo is retirement age, using Hip Hop slang in your script won’t help get your message across. This will help you downline when picking out the creative elements for your video such as fonts and graphics.

5)  Time — short and sweet. No one wants to sit through a never ending sales pitch. Keep it simple, short and sweet.  SellPoints has the data to back this up. There is no need to list every feature or variant of your product in the video. A minute and a half is the sweet spot, anything more and people will skip ahead or worse, leave.

So whether created in-house or through an external team, remember, consumers will watch your product videos. So you might as well make sure they are so captivating, so engaging, and so informative that they could sell wood to a forest.

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