By Marc Schillaci, CEO and Founder of Actinic (Part of the Oxatis Group)

73% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video, according to a survey by ReelSEO. Video marketing has almost become synonymous with YouTube, but not all businesses have caught on to the popularity of video yet. Here are a few stats from YouTube that will, no doubt, pique some interest: 6 billion hours watched each month, 100 hours of video uploaded every minute and 1 billion unique visits each month. Video marketing for ecommerce is a means of showcasing products and your business, whilst gaining visibility and using new marketing channels.

Why use videos marketing for your business?

However detailed your description, and no matter the number of images you provide, stepping outside the restraints of 2D, and giving potential clients a product video will definitely give them a better understanding of the product they’re buying. 96%, of those surveyed by ReelSEO, found it easier to make an online buying decision if they’d watched a video. Video brings a product to life, providing buyers with more information than photos can, taking them less time and effort to research a product, keeping the buying funnel fast and fluid. Video not only gives eshopppers a better insight into a product, but also reduces the number of returns, half of those surveyed by ReelSeo said they would be less likely to return products if they could watch demonstration videos.

Video marketing also acts as a trust element, instilling faith in your company with 58% of respondents considering brands that produce video content to be more trustworthy and 77% seeing companies that create online videos as more engaged with customers (ReelSEO).

Whilst improving user experience, video marketing will also help you climb the Google rankings, giving you greater visibility, as Google prioritises video content. According to Econsultancy, there are several elements to consider when preparing videos for SEO, optimising metadata (video title and description tags) for example. Make sure viewers can comment on videos and share them, as the more videos are shared on social media, the more Google will prioritise them and your site will receive more traffic. The more views a video has the higher it will be positioned in search engines, so don’t hesitate to share it across marketing channels.

In short, videos promote a better user experience and encourage buys. They assist in reducing the number of returns and give your company a more professional and trustworthy image, therefore creating stronger customer relations. Retails sites that use videos to present their products, enjoy multiple benefits; an increase in the time visitors spend on site, bigger average basket sizes and higher conversion rates.

What should you consider when launching a video marketing campaign?

The obvious aim for video marketing is to show off your business and its products in the best light possible. The most popular videos are full of information, descriptive and demonstrative, 360 degree views of the products, close ups and action shots! Bear in mind that making videos can be expensive so ask yourself the following questions: which of my products are particularly technical? Are there new-to-market products that merit extra explication? Which products have a long life cycle and will give you the chance to recoup the cost of making a video? Product videos should be short, 2 or 3 minutes is a surprisingly long time when it comes to keeping consumers attention! You’ll also be saving yourself money as video creation can be costly. 83% of internet users confirmed that the ideal video length for them would be under 5 minutes (Animoto). To cut down on time, you can use bullet points or captions in your video rather than a constant voiceover, this will also give you the opportunity to add clickable links to provide more info or take viewers to a landing page.

Ecommerce provides a multitude of video marketing options, and a number of video genres that suit ecommerce needs. Product videos can categorised into three main types of video: product presentation, product demonstration and ‘behind-the-scenes’ videos. Product presentation videos give the opportunity to provide an array of information on a product, demo videos can be created in the form of product use tutorials or step-by-step guides and behind-the-scene videos delve more into the origin or manufacture of products. There are also the more ‘unorthodox’ genres such as, unboxing videos (lets the user see what they will be receiving, in 2014 unboxing videos received 57% more views than in 2013, according to Google), torture tests (videos which test the durability of a product), video comparisons (the pros and cons of two competing products), and so on. Video marketing can also be used to showcase testimonials for your products or business, considering that 85% of consumers look for online reviews to gain insight into a company before buying (BrightLocal), a collection of video testimonials can be a great way of reassuring consumers.

Once the videos have been made the next step is deciding where to publish them, which brings us back to YouTube. By creating your own channel you can showcase all your videos whatever type; tutorial, testimonial, etc. You can also use ‘YouTubers’ (YouTube personalities) that already have a following in your target market, to spread the word about your products and videos. Providing YouTubers with a free sample can get the ball rolling and you can benefit from reviews or video sharing (some may want financial compensation so make sure you agree on terms).

The Benefits of YouTube for SMBs

YouTube is the second most visited platform in the world. You can opt for YouTube to launch your business and also to render your business more profitable. Take advantage of its 500 million active users! Here are the pros of YouTube in a few short phrases:

• A great way to popularise your product.
• A product feedback tool: receive comments and opinions from viewers.
• An easy-to-use platform for sharing content.
• A great tool for increasing visibility without investing large sums: if you don’t have a big budget for creating videos you can still use your YouTube channel to share other videos related to your sector.
• Access to accurate statistics through YouTube Insight.
• The possibility of creating a YouTube Ads campaign. You can then target the most appropriate internet users for your business, with a pre-agreed budget. Another great way of bringing traffic to your site.

Outside of YouTube, videos fit nicely onto product pages, adding to the descriptions and photos already provided. They can be sent out in newsletters and of course, shared on every social platform your business uses. Finally, don’t forget to make your videos mobile friendly as 94% of desktop users and 76% of smartphone users watch a video at least once a week (Animoto).