Best Practices for Creating Product Videos

Jan 16, 2012 12:00 AM  By

The viewing of videos on ecommerce product pages is growing at an extremely rapid pace, according to reports that surfacedthis past holiday season. Case in point: Lone Star Western Decor, a cross-channel seller of Western-themed home decor, added video to about 40% of its product pages, and saw as much as a 300% increase in conversion.

But despite the rise in popularity and conversions, merchants are still struggling to determine how to best use video on their product pages. Do you use vendor-supplied video, or do you do it yourself? And if you’re going to create your own videos, what should they include?

Craig Wax, CEO of video platform provider Invodo, says a good product video starts with basic blocking and tackling: good lighting, good sound, and a credible presenter on camera.

Beyond that, Wax says there are a few key variables that affect everything from script to video length to production style. Wax says he uses a “Three P” framework to understand the variables: persona, product, and proof points.

“It’s always wise to start with Persona because it guides decisions around content and tone,” Wax says. “Who’s the target customer? What are their concerns and questions? Where are they in the purchase process, and what kind of tone will they relate to?”

Wax says product is next, since demonstrating the product is key to most product videos. Before they buy, online shoppers want to close the experience gap by coming as close as possible to having the product in their hands.

“Letting them see the product demonstrated does that,” Wax says. “Without the key product features being shown, a video can’t close the experience gap.”

Proof points fall out of the intersection of persona and product. Based on the buyer’s key questions and information needs, what product features do they need to see demonstrated? What are the key benefits they need to see addressed before they feel comfortable buying?

“Maybe they need to see how the product folds up for storage, or maybe they need to see the product in relation to another object to understand how large it is,” Wax says.

But there’s more than just the video itself: It also has to be presented properly on the product page, says Dr. Melody King, vice president-marketing at video platform provider Treepodia.

Including a “play” icon on the video can do wonders for viewing rates. King says one of its clients, ToolKing.com, did an A/B test over the summer with the icon, and that the play icon boosted video views by 100% ( from 2.7% to 5.4% of all page views).

Wrapping the video with customer reviews has shown a 17% conversion increase for its clients, and inclusion of visual text helps increase conversions by 11.6%, King says.

And you need to make sure your videos are properly indexed for Google. That can help merchants re-gain search traffic it may have lost last year when Google released its Panda updates, King says.

Click here to check out our gallery for a sampling of product videos.