Video Adds Value to Ecommerce Marketing

Jul 01, 2013 12:48 PM  By

I talk a lot about the value of video on ecommerce websites and in social networking. But there’s so much more you can do with video to increase its potential ROI.

Video is a highly valuable marketing tool – it both drives greater engagement with customers and generates more purchasing activity – so you can put it to use for many different marketing campaigns.

For example, you can use video to promote products after people have visited your site and/or placed an order, with an incentive to make another purchase. It can also be used to attract visitors to your site as they’re surfing the web or conducting web searches for specific items.

Here are five suggestions for other marketing initiatives that can benefit from the power of video.

Email Marketing
Promotional emails are a great way to expand usage of your product videos beyond your website. According to a recent study from the Relevancy Group, 55% of marketers surveyed reported higher clickthrough rates for emails that included videos, and 41% saw an increase in the sharing or forwarding of emails. So not only do videos offer more compelling content, but they are more likely to generate referrals from your customers to their friends and family. One approach you can take is adding video to follow-up emails you send after someone makes a purchase, highlighting a similar product they might be interested in.

Of course you can add video to your ongoing marketing emails about sales or special promotions as well. And one area where video in emails may provide extra value is when you want to reach out to a customer who abandoned a shopping cart – an email with a relevant video and special incentive can lure them to a return visit.

If your marketing strategy includes retargeting ads, consider adding video here as well. Video is more powerful than a static image, and has a greater chance of catching the shopper’s attention. Some studies show that video retargeting can generate a 5% to 10% lift in conversions, site visits and revenue. There are new services that have emerged to help marketers put their videos to use in retargeting, such as DoubleClicks’s Bid Manager, which integrates search-to-display retargeting and can also integrate with YouTube to retarget a video ad elsewhere. Another service called Videology places retargeted video ads across the web. Retargeting with video is another strong way to get messages in front of abandoned cart visitors.

Paid Search
You likely already know the SEO value video offers. But have you considered that video can strengthen your paid search campaigns as well? Last year Google introduced paid search ads on YouTube, giving retailers the ability to bid on keywords on YouTube and providing more visibility for their video ads to the millions of YouTube users. While this capability hasn’t yet reached the Google Search Network, I’m sure it’s not too far off – and the click-through and conversion increases these videos can generate should be in line with what I’ve discussed above.

Display Advertising
If you want a potential customer to watch a video, display ads may be a very effective venue, according to Blue State Digital, which conducted a test on just this subject. In comparing engagement between ads on the Google Search Network and on the Google Display Network, Blue State found that display ads outperformed the search ads in terms of video views. Their theory: when people browse display ads, they’re in the mood to view rich content like video – whereas when they are searching, they want to explore a website and perhaps not view a video at that moment.

Finally, while you’re likely adding videos to your Facebook page, don’t forget about sprinkling them around your Pinterest pinboards. Pinterest’s user community is growing by leaps and bounds, and while the site started out as a way to just share images, brands and individuals are starting to see its value for sharing videos as well. You can take advantage of this growing trend and add your videos to your company pinboards, encouraging viewing and sharing among your Pinterest followers.

Toward that end, the appeal of video and the impact it’s having on the online world has not gone unnoticed by another giant in the social space. Instagram is now allowing users to post short videos (similar to Vine), so you’ll need to begin adding videos to your Instagram feed as well.

It’s not easy to get attention in a crowded marketplace where consumers are showered with emails and marketing messages. Video can set apart your communications and raise them above the clutter, and get those hesitant shoppers back on your website where they belong.

Dr. Melody King is vice president of marketing at Treepodia.