Video is a crucial part of selling online. What once was a secondary, supporting element is now a primary educator about what a product is and what it does. It’s easy, though, to miss the key components of ecommerce videos. And that can cost you dearly.
Video content should never be an afterthought or a filler. Posting a manufacturer’s product video may do nothing to increase sales.
There are two types of videos for product pages. Marketing videos tell the consumer exactly why he needs the product, while explainer videos go into details about how the product works. The former is designed to pique interest, and the latter is less apt to be viewed unless the shopper wants to learn more.
When creating a marketing video, be sure it includes the following core elements.
Concise and clear message. Videos should engage the shopper, telling her why she needs the product. Every product has a purpose, and the video should explain it factually. Avoid fluff. The ideal product video has a running time of one minute or less.
Attention-grabbing opening. Because shoppers are impatient, first show the problems the product fixes. The first few seconds need to be relatable to consumers. Otherwise, you’ll lose them. For example, Unroll.me’s one-minute video (below) about its email decluttering app addresses nearly everyone.
Discuss the pain point. Every product presumably solves at least one pain point. Good product videos discuss the problem and the solution. For example, a marketing video for no-tie shoelaces could start with a montage of people frustrated over loose laces, or even someone tripping over the lace of an untied shoe.
Be careful, however, about introducing too many issues. Stick to the most common pain points that can be addressed quickly.
Minimize dead air. “Dead air” can describe the lack of audio in videos. Many users will not watch a video with little or no sound. This is why so many professionally produced videos contain background music. To minimize dead air, use appropriate background noise and sound effects.
However, as much as 85 percent of video views on Facebook occur with the sound off, and a good number of shopping sessions happen when people are at work, where sound isn’t an option. For these viewers, include captions of dialogue to prompt them to click the buy button.
Clear call to action. Because video will typically fill the screen of a smartphone, include a clear call to action on the video. This can be done by embedding specific instructions or tappable icons.
Compelling content. Depending on the target audience, all product videos should evoke emotion. Emotions are a driving force behind many purchases, so be sure to focus on what matters most to your customer base.
Videos that make people laugh tend to sell more. Vat19, a site that sells unique novelty items, relies on fun, homemade videos to sell everything from jelly beans to a 26-pound gummy bear. Vat19 also posts its product videos on social media and YouTube. Both require more ordering instructions and branding.
A video that addresses a serious problem that consumers may not realize can catapult a product. PhoneSoap does this well in a simple, animated video. We all know our cell phones are dirty. We rarely clean them because of the hassle of using liquids and wipes. After watching the video, however, it’s difficult to turn away without reading more about the product and how it works.
Product videos can help shoppers who desire to touch or experience a product. Videos that show someone using an item can help. Other options are close-up shots, 360-degree views, and compelling sound effects. SodaStream created several 14- to 30-second product videos that cover the most important bases. Here’s one for the Fizzi model.
Most products can benefit from marketing videos that are playable directly on the product page. If you’re just starting with video, pick a group of popular products first, and then focus on lesser-known, quality items. Avoid time-sensitive messages, such as coupons with expiration dates, so the video can circulate longterm, giving the most bang for your time and production costs.