If you have been considering making product video a part of your brand’s ecommerce conversion strategy, let us give you that final push:
84% of online buyers have been convinced to buy a product or service having watched a brand’s video.
There you have it. This changes the conversation from if you should be including video on your product detail page to where, when and how to use them so that they are as effective and potent as possible.
In addition to giving your customers the confidence to buy, there are a few other important little perks to consider:
- Videos improve your SEO ranking – adding a video to your website can increase the chances of featuring on the first page of a Google search by 53 times!
- Videos increase engagement – by growing brand affinity and loyalty.
- Videos are proven to increase ad conversion – Ads with motion outperform ads with still images alone 75% of the time.
Let’s go beyond the question of whether brands should be using product videos – yes, they should! – to provide insights into the best way to employ them as part of your ecommerce strategy.
At The Line Studios we have strategized and produced product videos for multiple clients, many of whom were new to the space. Here are a few questions we are often asked:
- What are the different ways to approach product video?
- Where and how are product videos best used for optimum conversion?
- What can be done to keep product video production costs down?
What are the different ways to approach Product Video?
Straight-forward Product Video
As the name suggests, this tends to be fairly simple: a model walking towards the camera or a 360 rotation of an accessory. The singular objective is to quickly and effectively show off the item and its details, clearing up any lingering questions the prospective buyer might have so they can confidently add the item to their cart.
It is possible to add a more branded look and tone here – for example, we love Jason Wu’s on-figure 360º rotation – even though it’s straight-forward, the styling and attitude still feel on-brand.
Editorial Product Video
Most recently, we’ve seen brands taking an increasingly editorialized approach with product videos, using the opportunity to push the brand’s creative vision even further. As the value of a video becomes more apparent, spending more time storyboarding, shooting, styling and editing makes sense. Especially given the fact that brands can use these types of product videos on multiple channels, including digital advertising. So not only do they convert sales, but they also work to further the overall brand narrative.
Functional Product Video
There is usually a very specific purpose to Functional Product Videos – for example, the video might show the versatility of a reversible coat, how a single eyeliner can produce multiple looks, or all the city gear that can fit into a backpack. These are incredibly useful for showcasing certain product features that cannot be fully expressed through still imagery alone, or alternatively, these can help inspire a customer on how this product might fit into their daily lives.
Where can brands use their Product Videos?
First and foremost, the videos should live on a brand’s product detail page on their owned ecommerce site. Their primary purpose is bottom-of-the-funnel e-commerce activation, converting “I’m thinking about it” to “I’m buying it!”.
This said, some product videos can live outside the four corners of the product detail page. A well-shot product video doesn’t look out of place in an Instagram feed – either as a story or an individual feed post. In fact, they are often some of the most popular pieces of content with 78% of people watching an online video every week, and 55% of those watching every day. It is important to consider the brand narrative before just throwing them up, which is why most brands only use the more editorialized product videos on their social platforms.
Another consideration is using the video as part of a brand’s retargeting campaign, serving up a product video as an ad to someone who has previously shown interest, but not yet pulled the trigger. At this point you might consider adding music or spritzing the edit a little bit, given its changed role in the purchase funnel.
What can be done to keep Product Video costs down?
Let’s be honest, video can be expensive if approached without careful planning; however, we have identified a number of steps a brand can take to keep the production costs of their product videos from ballooning out of control, without compromising quality (and risking the subsequent negative brand equity that would come with a poorly executed video).
1. Reduce the Editing time
Editing is probably the single most controllable cost. A brand that articulates (and adheres to) a clear vision and single purpose can expect a painless and relatively inexpensive post-production. Generally, editing is billed at an hourly rate, so in order to remain budget friendly:
- Keep it simple
Don’t get too carried away with the narrative of the video, just remember its purpose on the product detail page and stick to it. Just focusing on a couple of product-defining details with a few close-ups could be all that’s needed to make the sale. If you avoid elaborate angles and complex cuts, you’ll cut down on the time needed both on-set and after the shoot, which will save dollars in the end.
- Storyboard the Video
Using a storyboard not only ensures that the videographer will get every shot needed; but it will also give the editor a clear roadmap of what story she needs to build from the captured footage. It serves to make sure the entire team is on the same page, which always allows for more focused and efficient sets.
- One Voice, Consolidated Feedback
In theory, using a storyboard will help limit the rounds of revisions – since the narrative will be clear to all parties from the outset. However, some brands fall into the trap of sending feedback over piecemeal as different stakeholders weigh in (everyone loves throwing in their two cents when it comes to a marketing video!). Aside from it being incredibly inefficient, often the directions are in conflict with one another, resulting in a confused editor burning hours as she tries to consolidate and act upon the feedback.
2. Choose your models and looks wisely
You may like a model’s skin color and movement; but if you’re not sure about the neck tattoo or nose ring, then choose someone else. You will rack up huge editing costs if you want an editor to cover up blemishes, tattoos, etc on video. Our recommendation is to always select a model whose natural appearance is well suited to your brand.
Similarly, you want the models to have easy-to-maintain hair-styles during the shoot. Waves that need zhuzhing, or pinned styles that come apart with every outfit change, will slow up the process considerably as hair stylists are called on-set over and over to work their magic. And fixing unwanted fly-aways in post-production is not a quick (or cheap) fix.
Finally, make sure you have a wardrobe fitting ahead of the shoot date to ensure the clothes or accessories not only fit, but look good on the model. You cannot afford to have adjustments made on the fly on the day of the shoot, nor should there be any pinning or complicated prepping — especially with 360 video where you can’t have visible pinning or taping.
3. Definitely Double-Dip
We usually recommend capturing both your still shots and your video on the same set. While this may lower the product shot count from the still set, it allows the brand to save time and money by dressing, styling, and prepping the models once per look – meaning you don’t need to recreate each look for video on an entirely separate day.
4. Don’t do Product Video!
This may seem counterintuitive, but some products simply don’t need product video to accompany their still product imagery. Be honest about what narrative the video would be telling, and if this story cannot just as effectively be told with the product shots and supporting copy. A dress might benefit from a little extra screen time-twirling in ways that a simple tank top may never need.
5. When in Doubt, Test it out
When it comes to investing more in your creative assets, we always recommend testing your decisions whenever possible. While it’s great to gauge the likelihood of success through industry data and common knowledge, nothing will quite compare to knowing how your own customers react and what your brand’s ROI is. Having this data to hand will help inform your strategy and budgets for years to come, leading to success all around.
Our take? There is no doubt that a well-shot product video can help a brand increase their ecommerce sales. It can draw viewers into the brand narrative right at point-of-sale, answering any lingering questions in an engaging and exciting way. With this increased understanding, product video increases conversion and reduces returns as well as providing additional content for social media. Definitely a worthy investment.
If you have questions on the best way to test and implement, don’t hesitate to reach out directly to email@example.com.