Using Videos to Increase Sales Online
There are countless stores operating online, but barely 3% of these businesses are said to make more than $1,000 a year. So, if you plan to build a multi-million dollar drop-shipping empire that would beat Amazon, it is high time to find a way and stand out from the pack. Sadly, most awesome marketing trends tend to flicker. However, statistics show that video has performed quite well in the past 3 years:
● 51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.
● Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.
● The average CVR for websites using video is 4.8%, compared to 2.9% for those that do not use video on their web pages.
Sounds enticing, doesn’t it? Nevertheless, most drop-shipping business practitioners underutilize video marketing mainly because of its apparent costliness and labor input.
In this article, I will try to show how promo videos can positively impact online conversions and provide actionable tips for those who want to try and launch their first clip right away.
Finding the Right Concept
One recent research tells that online shoppers who view demo videos are 1.81x more likely to purchase than non-viewers. Let’s figure out why it is so.
There are three major online shopping problems that videos can solve. They are:
● lack of understanding;
● lack of confidence;
● lack of emotional connection.
The first causes a high return rate for drop-ship businesses operating in tech niches. Buyers often do not have enough product knowledge to understand if the purchased item really meets their needs.
The second prevents quite a few people from buying clothes and similar goods online. They are just not sure that this or that thing looks like described and would suit them well.
The third is a general problem of all businesses running on shoestring budgets. You do not have enticing shop windows to lure people in from the street and chatty shop assistants to help hesitant customers make the final choice.
Luckily, a promotional video with the right concept can solve all the above issues to the mutual benefit of the stakeholders.
Main Video Types for Drop-shipping Websites
Choose among the following video types to come with your product listing. No doubt, they are different, though all the types are about the same thing: showing off your item in the best light possible.
- Video explanation
When you need to show how something works, provide detailed information about a tool or gadget, and make sure this information is thoroughly absorbed, the video explanation type is exactly what you need.
To cut costs, you can offer a video review (easily recorded with a good smartphone camera), or an animated presentation converted into video. Here is an example of such a video below.
2. Video demonstration
If we speak about the show of things that matter, your choice is a video demonstration. It works not only with clothes and accessories but with furniture, gadgets, equipment, and other goods that can’t be tried before purchase. Demonstrations also help to build trust and, if correctly done, add value to the product.
Video demonstrations are slightly more difficult to create than explanations, as you will have to convey light and color, but it is still not rocket science. For 3-dimensional objects, you can record what is known as a spherical video (requires a DSLR camera or a good mobile phone and some training), showing the product from all angles. Look at the example from BMW:
Clothes can be shot on a moving model against a white or green background.
If the latter sounds too complicated you can just compile a video from a set of detailed product photos. This is a good practice for small and mid-sized drop-shipping companies.
3. Video advertising
Advertising is the most complicated and most labor-intensive video concept as it requires professional acting, but it is indispensable when you are trying to translate emotions. Of course, you do not need it if you drop-ship motor saws, but if you sell cosmetics or perfume, it can really work wonders.
There are few free solutions in this case unless you are a fashion model yourself. However, some amateur recordings can occasionally do the same job well.
Paying Attention to Technical Details
Now I will speak about how exactly the onsite video should look like to get most engagement and sell your product to a customer in a short time.
It would be great if you could just record a video, put it on your website and wait for fast conversions. However, there are quite a few parameters to consider. Of course, you have to make sure that the video format you are using fits for streaming on the web, but fortunately most people use MP4 nowadays and the margin for error here is slim to none. Yet if you are a fan of, let’s say, versatile formats like Flash or Matroska, you can easily convert your MKV file into more conventional MP4 or AVI using free guides available online. So let’s focus on the little things that really matter.
Length of the clip
Remember: Videos up to 2 minutes long get the most interaction!
Do you know why people prefer watching to reading? The answer is easy: because it takes less time and effort.
In 2012, Wistia studied thousands of records to establish the optimal length for a business video. Ezra Fisherman, the company’s business intelligence representative, says, “Two minutes is where the exponential decay kicks in. This is not to say that you should cut a 10-minute video down to 2 minutes – some content warrants longer videos – but it does suggest that you’d be better off cutting 30 seconds from a 2-minute 30-second video to keep viewers’ attention”.
Taking into account the specifics of drop-shipping we can reduce this time to around 30 seconds for a video demonstration or advertising. For the explanation, it is reasonable to create a quick one-minute promo guide and save the rest for the “full review” available by a separate link.
Size on a web page
If your video loads too slowly or looks bad because of the wrong compression, you will definitely lose a part of engagement. What is worse, it may stain your reputation as people will translate their impression from the video to their perception of the product.
Casey Henry from Wistia’s Marketing department claims, “A video with a width between 401 pixels and 600 pixels does not overwhelm a page, but it’s still large enough to entice users to engage. The slight bump you see on larger videos (greater than 1200 pixels wide) is from fullscreen videos, which leave the visitor with little choice but to press play”.
In drop-shipping, you do not have to own stock; the same goes for video marketing. Most people embed videos using different HTML5 players, YouTube, Vimeo, Flash Player or a WordPress proprietary video player. Unless you belong to the last category, YouTube is a natural choice as it provides great promotion and advertising opportunities and is very easy to use (you just share the video on your product channel and press “Embed” to get the code for your website). If you’d prefer to use a different host or player, just follow the guidelines available online.
Besides the above, there are more things that can indirectly encourage conversions:
- The embedded video placed closer to the top of the page gives a 56% guarantee that the video will be played.
- An original high-quality thumbnail image is a great way to show the product from an unexpected angle.
- A calming or dynamic music track (depending on the aim of your video) will add a professional polish to your clip.
- A good call-to-action, especially if it is clickable, can send the prospective customer to the checkout right from the video clip.
Please do not abuse such thing as video autoplay. Customers frightened with a sudden sound are likely to quit the website for good and all.
Some Words about Using YouTube
YouTube has over one billion users, almost one-third of total internet users. It is just unreasonable to ignore its possibilities.
This chapter is for you only if you decided to follow my advice in the previous chapter and plan to use YouTube to attract relevant traffic to your website.
To achieve this you need to make your video rank high on YouTube. Sounds easy to say but hard to do? Here are some pieces of really actionable practice that you need to follow in order to break the deadlock of your YouTube video marketing.
The steps are as described below:
1. Generate a comprehensive keyword list using:
● YouTube’s search suggest (start typing your keyword in the search bar and see what hints the platform suggests);
● the tags of your competitors’ most popular videos
● the “Traffic Source: YouTube search” report in your Google Analytics.
2. Sort your keywords by difficulty (here you’d better stick to this rule: the fewer results YouTube shows when you type the keyword in the search bar the less competition you will have to rank for it).
3. Optimize your video title and description for the keywords you found, but try to keep them compelling to increase CTR (click-through rate).
4. Ask your watchers to subscribe/up vote/comment at the end of the video.
5. Add tags (based on your keyword research of course).
6. Improve your service channel page to make it look trustworthy and serious.
7. Post new videos regularly (YouTube likes active channels).
With these steps, you will make the videos work both ways: motivate your existing website visitors to make informed purchases and bring new people to your online store from YouTube platform.
To sum it up…
I hope you will agree with me that video marketing is a great tool that can help you increase your online sales via:
● better connection with the customer
● higher engagement with the product
● extra traffic from YouTube.
However, to reap all these benefits it is important to choose the right concept and follow our simple guidelines related to the video’s characteristics and its promotion and distribution. Take small steps to the big video marketing each day and bit by bit you will make your drop-shipping business earn more than it can.
Terry Smith is a tech blogger & the developer of Freemediasoft.com. He spent countless hours looking for the best practices of video usage on his clients’ websites. Now he is proud to share his expertise with the world.