"TikTok made me buy it" is a thing for a reason.
Consumers have been seeing products being used/worn/torn apart/put back together on video and it's having them realize that they need them (or just really, really want them.)
Photography is a necessary part of Ecommerce, however, it only shows products in a 2-dimensional way. Customers can't touch, feel, or try products on, and are relying on these photos to educate them on whether or not this product fills their needs in the way that they expect.
Video, on the other hand, while not (yet!) providing a 3D experience, does give another dimension to Ecommerce. Video shows customers:
- What the product might feel like (by seeing someone holding it, touching it, rubbing it, etc.)
- How it looks on a body from all angles (seeing how the fabric sits, sways, moves on the person who's wearing it)
- How it can be used (through demonstration)
- ...and if it works as expected!
While there are a ton of reasons to use video on your Ecommerce site, video is also hard to create. It requires lighting, sound, faces, and sometimes scripts or storyboards! It's also a lot easier to edit a single or small series of photos than to edit hours of video content.
HOW TO CREATE VIDEO CONTENT
If you're looking to add video to your site, here are some easy ways to enter into this new realm, without getting overwhelmed:
- Invest in some (cheap) video equipment. Amazon is great for lighting kits, tripods to hold your iPhone, and even microphones to help capture the sound you want, and not your partner singing in the shower.
- Plan your video content out ahead of time in bullet form: shot 1 is me holding the product, shot 2 is me putting on the product, etc. Kind of like a storyboard, but without being as hardcore.
- Decide if you're filming landscape or portrait – or do both! Landscape for YouTube and website banners, and portrait for Instagram Reels and TikTok.
- Film each shot more than once just in case. Nothing is worse than filming and setting up and filming again for each shot, and then watching all the clips back and realizing your cat licking his own butt made a cameo in the background of your favorite cut (and that you can't crop it out).
- Make sure your background is free from clutter, as it can distract from the scene happening on camera.
- Don’t wear distracting clothing if you’re going to be on camera. Stick to solid colors and avoid patterns.
- Practice using iMovie or other simple editing software – it's easier to use than you think, and trimming down clips and cutting them together will make your video content much more appealing.
If, after reading above, you realize that filming your own content is too much work (it definitely is time consuming!) consider investing in some influencer content. By offering free product and paying their fees, you can find content creators whose job is to film content just for brands. It's also content you can direct, guide, and approve, and it takes much less time than filming it yourself. Or, you can work with an agency who specializes in content creation or influencer management that can take all of this off your plate.
USING VIDEO CONTENT
Alright, so now you’ve filmed, edited, finished, or just collected a ton of great video content. What do you do with it? There are tons of options, depending on what type of content you created or collected.
If you’ve created video content longer than a minute and filmed in landscape mode, YouTube is the first place you’ll want to put it. Make sure you’re properly titling your videos and using the tagging function, as YouTube has its own set of SEO rules.
If the video content is also very visual (and doesn't include speaking or sound), you may also be able to use it for hero web banners across your site. You’ll need to ensure it’s properly exported so that the file size doesn’t blow up your site’s load time, but that’s where your development team can assist.
If you acquired a lot of portrait videos that are less than 1 minute, this is where you can use it across TikTok and Instagram Reels. TikTok videos tend to be a lot more authentic and don’t require high production value, while Instagram can go both ways. Don’t forget to hashtag your content accordingly, so that it can show up on the “Explore” page on Instagram or get shown in the “For You” feeds on TikTok.
Video content is key to creating and running profitable digital ads. Both highly produced and authentic videos can perform equally well across ad platforms depending on what the messaging is, who you’re targeting, and the relevance of the content you’re putting out there.
Try testing out different video ads both on Facebook and Instagram feed placements, Reel and story placements on Instagram, and TikTok ads to see which performs best. YouTube can also be used for advertising, but typically, “commercial” quality video ads do the best. The more authentic and influencer-style content does best on TikTok and Instagram, while Facebook can see both types performing equally well.
And of course, your website is where your video content can live! This is where customers will make the decision as to whether or not they want to buy your product, and where they need all of their questions answered.
Embedding YouTube, commercial style videos can help explain your products in greater detail than a product description. Be careful though – there is such a thing as "too much video content." Not only can too much of a good thing confuse and distract customers, but the more video files you have on your site, the slower the pages take to load.
One of our favorite new apps has been specifically built to help with this exact problem – VideoWise. The app allows you to import and embed your brand’s video content directly onto your website or on individual product pages. It allows you to even scrape some videos directly off the internet from users who may have posted videos about your brand all on their own, simply because they love the product! By pulling in this content, you can share their love for your brand with potential new customers to help close the sale.
Travis Cross, Head of Partnerships at VideoWise, knows how important video is to the customer buying experience.
“46% of consumers watch videos before they buy - yet it’s one of the most under-utilized eCommerce strategies. From product unboxings, reviews or tutorials, videos give shoppers more confidence in their purchase because it doesn’t hide behind good angles and lighting. When they understand the products you’re selling, there’s a greater sense of trust and it’ll increase the chances of purchase.”
There’s a reason QVC and the Shopping Channel have been so successful - people want to see the products being touched, used, and worn in order to feel confident that it’s the product for them. It’s time to bring the “As seen on TV” experience to your brand’s shopping experience.
Have you been using video to successfully drive sales? Is it as daunting as it might seem? Share some of your thoughts and experiences on the DTCX Facebook page and join in on the conversation.
This article was written by Jess Grossman, contributing writer to DTCX and Founder & CEO of In Social.