3 Ways to Bolster Your Online Video Strategy
There's no doubt that video is a powerful way to showcase products on an e-commerce site. A well-thought-out and orchestrated video strategy can improve search engine optimization and boost conversion rates by providing site visitors with new ways to engage and learn about a brand or product in a more immersive manner than text or static images would provide.
Using video in concert with other technologies and approaches on an e-commerce site can provide visitors with the ultimate shopping experience. Video can tell the story behind the products and offer more information. Adding more information and insight on products and services to the mix can help give shoppers even more peace of mind when making a purchase decision.
Here are a few ways online retailers can think about the benefits of adding additional technology approaches to bolster their video strategies:
1. Think "and" not "or." When considering the ways a consumer interacts with a product or set of products on an e-commerce site, video is ideal for providing more information and insight into whether a product is right for them. Some online businesses use video as a mechanism for providing a rich visual snapshot of a product. Others develop video content with a "how to" approach, showing visitors ways they might use the product in real life. Looking at these two approaches in unison — including rich visual imagery "and" how-to information — can offer a much more compelling consumer engagement that ultimately leads to a purchase.
2. Build interactive experiences. Industry research suggests adding optimized product video content and 360-degree product photography to an e-commerce site can increase conversion rates by 30 percent or more. As with video, the promise of adding images to a site that visitors can virtually "pick up" and turn around, as if in a physical store, offers a unique way to mimic the in-store experience. Furthermore, with the majority of tablets and smartphones now running on higher speed networks, there are increasing opportunities to add these rich-media experiences across the mobile web. Spending the time to build compelling, interactive experiences across shopping channels, including mobile, will net in significant returns.
3. Promote a unique interactive e-commerce approach. Promoting videos and spin imagery to clients and prospects is an effective way to showcase a retailer's hard work and innovative thinking. For example, if there's a new product rollout using associated interactive media, make sure everyone on your company's email list knows about it. Send an e-newsletter mentioning the video(s) and 360° photography, with links and examples. Or, for extra exposure, have employees include a link to videos and 360° product images in their email signatures.
Promoting efforts across social channels can also be useful. Start with the main social networks — Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Think of creative ways to get specific people to notice. For example, if someone previously asked for more information on a product, tweet to let them know a fully immersive experience is now available on your website.
As technologies continue to evolve, so too must e-commerce marketing strategies. The freedom to produce branded video content that gives consumers a compelling online experience is a great selling advantage. Companies that are taking their video strategies to the next level by incorporating other important interactive approaches are already reaping the benefits.
Jeff Hunt is the principal and founder of Snap36, a 360-degree product photography company.