In the broadest sense of the term, video marketing has been around for nearly a century. The television and cinema adverts that have been around for decades and are still very much with us certainly count as “video marketing”. However, it is a testament to the extent of the ecommerce evolution that when you read the title of this article, you probably thought about online video marketing. Indeed, online video marketing has been one of the most far-reaching commercial evolutions that the Internet age has brought on. Video marketing is a bit more challenging than other digital marketing processes but it can be managed. It’s not like checking a list of action movies on Netflix or something like that, you’ll need to find the right learning resources as well for this discipline. To see that this is so, you just need to consider for a second that nearly every business does it.
What’s new in video marketing?
So, while technically on par with the visual adverts of old, online video marketing for ecommerce is practically a new phenomenon. The technology is different, the creative process is different, and the way the video material is disseminated is totally different. Furthermore, ecommerce has, as in so many other areas, ushered in a powerful democratization when it comes to video marketing. A successful online video marketing campaign today can be – and often is – comprised of videos shot in portrait orientation on a smartphone. In other words, videos that were made for nothing, or next to nothing.
That is certainly a stark change from the super expensive ad campaigns of old. Indeed, just as anyone can successfully set up an ecommerce site for only a little investment, video marketing is no longer something you need to wait for. Things like behind-the-scenes videos of the product creation process, Instagram stories showing the products in action, testimonials submitted by users with a webcam, and many other “low-budget” productions are all viable video marketing material. And they can be amazingly effective marketing material at that. For example, the aforementioned portrait orientation smartphone videos, are popular because of the viral video phenomenon – one of the major cultural phenomena of the Internet age.
This example is a good one to study because it shows just how video marketing works and reveals that for which your company should be aiming. The most popular videos on the Internet are not professionally made; it is all about the content of the video. Moreover, a successful viral video is one that shows something people want to watch. If it provides this, it will be spread far and wide even if the video quality were what one would consider “amateur”.Of course, this is not to say that you should not expend time, money, and effort on producing quality videos – or that they all need to be grainy smartphone videos – but paying a bit of attention to what makes viral videos so successful will aid any video marketing campaign.
Another relatively new phenomenon in modern video marketing is social media. Or in other words, how videos are shared around the web. Social media sites – especially video-heavy ones such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube – collect millions of viewers on one website and offer a platform that has literally never been available before. There are millions of users on any major social media site, and that theoretically amounts to millions of potential customers. Of course, the flip side of this is that it is harder to stand out. This underscores the need for a striking brand identity, quality products, and a bit of a company reputation. Nevertheless, all that goes beyond video marketing; these are the elements of business and commerce that will never change.
Creating marketing videos
So, all the above sets out why you should invest in video marketing. It does not need to be a big investment and the potential returns are significant. But how do you get started? Naturally, that process begins with creating video marketing material, and at this point, several things need to be considered. These are:
The web response speed is vital for ecommerce. In fact, it has been estimated that a user will click away from your ecommerce site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Furthermore, more than most website elements, this could be because of your videos. Videos are large files, and the more you have the greater bandwidth your site will require. But videos are, more often than not, hosted in one location and merely embedded on ecommerce sites. You need to browse the different video hosting platforms and find what is right for you and the videos you hope to make.
To the layperson, SEO is most often associated with text content. SEO expertise is a serious discipline and there are SEO services you can turn to, but a knowledge of the rudiments is essential knowledge for anyone running an ecommerce site. However, most SEO amateurs know only one thing – including SEO-relevant keywords. There are two points here where videos are concerned. The first is that videos contain text too – titles, descriptions, tags – and the second is that video content and thumbnail images will also affect SEO performance. There is no space to get into the details here, but every video should be optimized one way or another.
How do you make your marketing videos? Videos are typically large files that make use of many other digitally heavy elements. If you make your videos at your business premise or at a studio (as is common with multimedia companies) then you are going to need the requisite Internet speed. Generally, upwards of 300/300 Mbps is required, and it is also wise to investigate new advancements in Internet service, for example, WIFI 6E technology and cloud storage. When it comes to filming the videos, we come back to how high-end you want the video to be on that scale of “smartphone video to high-end commercial”. And again, a clear representation of your brand and a bit of innovation will go a long way.
Getting your videos out there
So, once you have your video marketing material to hand, what is the next step? Naturally, you have to get it seen by as many people as possible. However, this goal should have an important caveat added – as many people as possible, but the right people. Indeed, a TikTok video promoting a new app should not be posted on a DIY Facebook page. This is why understanding social media is important – you want to reach your niche, but expand it as much as possible. Theoretically, the Internet allows you to reach anyone anywhere, so this should not be neglected. Some solid and widely applicable advice is certainly to create a multi-pronged video marketing plan, with close deference to the realities of social media. If you are not a video production professional, you can also use web tools like free online video editors or apps to simplify the workflow.
This is not only because you want to reach the correct online communities but also because some types of videos suit certain social media sites better than others. For example, a 20-minute video taking the viewer through the manufacturing process of one of your top products is a great idea, but it’s not the type of video that would fair terribly well on Instagram. Here, short, colorful videos predominate. Far better than sticking such a video on YouTube, and attempting to accrue subscribers to your channel. Anyone who watches a full twenty minutes of your content is a strong contender for a customer, so embedding the video on your ecommerce site and including a prominent link to that site, wherever else it appears, might well be necessary.
In the end, top video marketing material will always be videos that have the potential to be shared far and wide, but also to the right people. It will also be material that ultimately leads back to your ecommerce site. SEO, judicious social media posting and simple video quality can all contribute to this. If done right, the rewards are clearly significant. This is why there are infinitely more ecommerce sites engaging in video marketing than those that do not.
Photo credit: The feature image is symbolic and has been done by Thananit Suntiviriyanon.