When people think of content marketing, they jump to SEO blog content.
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. SEO is still one of the most effective ways to get your business in front of prospective customers, and that will likely continue for the foreseeable future.
But this hyperfocus on written content can sometimes lead businesses to overlook other ways to drum up interest with content.
More specifically: the power of video is being underutilized.
This may seem like a strange claim to make in a multimedia-dominated world, but it doesn’t take long to confirm. Just browse around a few e-commerce and SaaS websites and count how many have some form of video content versus how many don’t. The results will probably surprise you.
In this post, we’re going to, ironically, use text content to extoll the value of video content for e-commerce businesses. We’ll cover why video is essential and how you can use it on your site to boost your sales.
Before jumping over to statistics, take a moment to think about your own experience. How many people do you know who spend hours and hours reading? If you’re like many people these days, you may not remember the last time you read a book or even the last time someone mentioned to you that they read a book!
But now, consider the last time you watched a video. Chances are that you’ve watched video content within the past day, if not the past fifteen minutes!
The reality is that watching a video takes less effort than reading, and it’s more accessible. To get drawn into a blog post, you’ll likely need to read at least a few sentences. With a video, all you need is one catchy image or sound at the beginning and boom, you’ve hooked your viewer.
Writing is an important medium, but it’s not the best fit for every occasion. Even the best writing tends to help people visualize the subject in question — hence the famous “show, don’t tell” aphorism that everyone heard in grade school. So, when you really can show, you should do so.
Now, onto some numbers. YouTube is the second most trafficked site after Google, with 4 billion visitors in just February 2021 alone. Let’s not forget that a significant portion of that Google traffic is going to end up on YouTube anyway.
Plus, in 2019, YouTube replaced Facebook as the #1 platform for affecting consumer behavior, according to Animoto.
Need we say more?
How to Use Video for Ecommerce
There are lots of ways that you can use video in a business context. For example, you could start a weekly educational series on YouTube or start consistently making TikTok videos.
All viable options, but I want to focus on something simpler at first: a single introductory video. If you get this, you’re already way ahead of a lot of your competition.
As simple as this may sound, the number of businesses that don’t make any product videos at all is astounding. Instead, they leave website visitors to wander through pages of text explaining their product’s features, when a basic product video would make the whole process much easier.
Not only can a video help explain the benefits of your product, but it can build trust between you and your viewers. 90% of consumers say that authenticity is important to them, and video offers a way to make a more human connection with your prospects by showing them a real living, breathing person, not a wall of text.
The key to success, however, is ensuring that your video demonstrates a high level of production quality — or at least that it’s not hindered by low production quality.
This is likely where most e-commerce businesses lose interest in video. If you’re going to use video for e-commerce, you will likely need to hire a video specialist. If your video comes across as low quality, it will reflect poorly on your product.
Here’s an example of a great product video:
Once you’ve gotten your first intro video down, you can move onto filling out the rest of your site with relevant video content. Here are a few other types of videos you’ll want to look into:
People naturally connect with stories, and every business has one. Video is a great medium to use to bring your story to life, and that’s your next stop after your intro video.
Here’s an example of what that might look like:
Putting your brand’s story on display is a particularly effective way to get visitors to remember your brand out of all the competitors in your space.
This isn’t applicable for all products out there, but if you sell anything that requires some explaining, it’s a good idea to invest in a tutorial video.
Keep in mind that tutorial videos don’t necessarily need to explain something technical — they’re not reserved for SaaS and electronics businesses. If you sell makeup, you can make a tutorial on how to get a great effect from it, or if you sell fitness equipment, you can produce a video demonstrating how to use it properly.
Customer Testimonial Video
The importance of social proof cannot be understated. While having a few quotes from reviews on your site is great, including video testimonials takes things to a whole other level.
Actually seeing another person instills a greater sense of trust than lifeless text on a screen ever can. That’s not to say that you should forget about text reviews, but just that it’s great to have both available for visitors to your site.
A Message from the CEO Video
In a world that’s so focused on authenticity, few things can create a real connection better than someone talking directly to you.
A video that contains a personal message from your CEO can be a great addition to your site. Sometimes, this video may go hand in hand with your story video, but it can also be an entirely separate affair.
However, remember to keep production quality in mind. A video taken from a webcam can turn out to be a roll of the dice: it may come across as authentic, but it may also come across as simply low quality. Tread carefully.
In a world so bombarded with multimedia from every direction, it may seem surprising that the importance of video needs to be stated at all. Yet, many e-commerce businesses continue to overlook the benefits that can come from just a few well-produced videos.
Integrating video into your e-commerce sales pipeline doesn’t take much. Even a single video can have a massive effect.
Remember, everyone processes information differently, so if you only have the text available, you’re missing out on a large swath of people that respond better to video.