Updated: Oct 24
In 1953, Nippon Television in Tokyo aired the first telemarketing ad. Since then, the impact of the TV ads has lessened as more than 40% of consumers prefer consuming content on their mobile phones instead.
Hence, marketers have now repackaged TV ads into shorter product videos and sponsored ads which can be shipped via social media channels. This has certainly proved to be effective. Video marketing strategies, and particularly video ads, have a conversion rate of 16.85% compared to the 2.14% of standard ad banners.
Moreover, 58% of the consumers have stated that they trust brands with more video content. The reason behind such strong sentiments for videos is that a video engages multiple senses and occupies more of the mental real-estate, thus resulting in better engagement with the brand.
We’ve seen this happen through the more recent example of CRED, where good scripts combined with pop-culture references have resulted in greater brand recall- while not everyone may know what CRED does precisely, they have no trouble recalling the Rahul Dravid ad, or the Neeraj Chopra commercial.
Good video content is a mix of powerful storytelling, consistent messaging and ample distribution, all of which we will discuss from the perspective of an eCommerce business in this article.
How can eCommerce businesses adopt a video marketing strategy?
Video marketing strategies are indeed very effective, but they can be comparatively expensive for small businesses and start-ups. There may not be enough free cash available to create professional videos for social media platforms. However, that’s not the end of the game for smaller players because we still have creativity and organic engagement to count on.
Here are four ways to leverage video marketing for your eCommerce brand.
1. Make the most of Instagram Reels
In the past couple of years, Instagram has been rising in popularity. As per 2020 stats, the platform has more than a billion active users per month. Instagram has also become a personal favourite of marketers as it provides a level playing field for all eCommerce brands to advertise their products. With the advent of the Reels features, it has become even easier to create videos at scale and share them with your audience without going through the traditional production process.
The Reels feature, an extension of the now-banned TikTok app, comes with its own video recording and editing capabilities. When starting, marketers can leverage this feature to create simple product snippet videos. With Reels, marketers also get access to the video layouts of the more viral videos. This helps them easily recreate viral videos by using the product as a prop.
In general, Instagram is the place to be for eCommerce brands today, and good video content coupled with the Instagram Shop feature can help your brand gain tons of organic traction.
2. Use the extensive reach of influencers the right way
If feasible, eCommerce start-ups or small businesses can also consider approaching some of the many relevant influencers or video creators on Instagram and YouTube. Collaborating with Instagram or YouTube video creators give brands an edge as these creators are experts in creating relevant and relatable content for their followers. Moreover, since influencers have a dedicated audience base that looks up to them, it becomes easier to sell a product that has been endorsed by an influencer.
Leveraging user-generated content is yet another excellent campaign idea. For example, an apparel eCommerce brand looking to promote its new collection can reach out to a few micro-influencers and ask them to style the collection in several different ways.
The discussion can center around the creation of short video content which is easy for people to replicate. These influencers can then start a trend by challenging their audience to try and style these outfits in their own way, and post it on their feeds.
For a brand, the costs of such a campaign are relatively low when compared with the return on investment that they provide. The trick is to find and engage with influencers who have good reach and engagement with their audience, as opposed to working with very large influencers who do not come cheap.
For more ideas on influencer engagement, please take a look at this guide to influencer marketing.
3. Use Canva to create videos
To create explainer videos or promotional videos, small eCommerce brands can use the Canva application. Canva is a graphic designing app that recently introduced a wonderful video editing platform. The platform offers tools that make it incredibly straightforward to create videos.
All you need to do is pick a template that most closely resonates with your brand, and add pictures, elements, audio and video files to make it a complete video. Using Canva to create videos is extremely simple, and ensures that you always have some video content at hand even in a pinch.
4. Rope in Freelancers for cost-effective video production
Small eCommerce brands can always hire freelancers—sites like Fiverr and Upwork house multiple freelancers who can create professional-quality videos at economical prices. You can browse these sites and hire a professional that fulfils all your requirements. Currently, video creators charge an average of $20 for a minute or two, based on the concept you provide them with.
For product videos, you can consider hiring a freelance creator on a retainer so you have some flexibility in how many product videos are created in a given month. Before choosing who to work with, do ask for a portfolio, as a product video video will be one of the most-viewed videos on your website and may even be the deciding factor for most consumers to make a purchase. Most jewelry eCommerce brands use product videos to showcase the size and placement of the product, as well as how it appears under various kinds of lighting.
Types of eCommerce videos that boost sales
Looking for ideas on what kinds of videos can be produced for your eCommerce brands? Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Product snippets
Product snippets are short videos that show the product from various angles. These videos highlight specific features of the products which otherwise would have been missed. The customer can also interact with the product to see how it would appear in real life. It allows the viewers to visualize themselves with the products, which translates to a higher conversion rate.
2. Video testimonials
Video testimonials are all about getting live reviews from the actual users and compiling them into a single video. The testimonials of regular users shower the product with social validation and proof. Public commendations encourage customers to buy and try the product for themselves. An interesting approach to take for high-value products is placing a video testimonial on the product page to encourage better conversions.
3. Product elaboration video
A select group of viewers might be skeptical about buying your products due to its complicated setup process. eCommerce websites can eradicate such sentiments by uploading a product explainer/ elaboration video. Essentially, these videos guide customers and potential buyers on how to set up the product with ease.
4. Message from the founder/Expert interviews
Small eCommerce brands spearheaded by influential founders can leverage this video marketing approach. For example, if the founder is already a social media personality as we see in the case of clothing brand Vajor, just the simple act of appearing at an interview in the brand’s clothing can send a clear message to their thousands of followers that the brand can be trusted.
5. Story-based videos
Storytelling is an art, and if you can translate that into a video, you will be able to create highly effective video marketing strategies. Such videos usually tell stories about the customer’s problem and how the product was able to create a solution for them. These videos do not elaborate on all the features of the product but show its essential functions
Apart from CRED, examples of good storytelling around products include the video content produced by Mama Earth and Shaya.
We hope this article has set you on the path to making video a large part of your marketing strategy. While it is true that producing good video content consistently takes time and effort, this is precisely why video can be a huge differentiator, and brands that do it well can make it harder for other brands to compete with them on the same playing field. Moreover, with their ever-growing reach, videos are here to stay, making them a strategy worth investing in.