The widespread availability of broadband and the purchase of YouTube by Google in October 2006 have made online video one of the fastest growing trends on the web in the past three years. Not surprisingly – it’s fun, entertaining and accessible – from both a viewer’s and a producer’s perspective. Anyone can roll out web worthy video and, since video is proving to be a huge purchasing motivator, increasing numbers of businesses are giving video production a try.

The Secrets of Effective Sales Videos

So, how do you do it? How do you ensure the videos you add to your site will indeed be effective and help drive sales?

The truth is, as with all marketing tools, there’s no one sure fire method that is guaranteed to always work, but there are quite a few techniques that seem to work fairly well:

1.  Here’s a quick way to decide where to begin – Apply the Pareto Principle

The Pareto principle, also known as the “80-20 Rule”, applies to most businesses. Simply put it means that you’re probably making much of your revenue with a well defined group of top selling items. You’ll probably get the most from your video endeavor by boosting these items’ product pages with videos first. Most online retailers have over five hundred items in their catalog. Choosing to follow the Pareto Principle serves as an excellent guideline for where to begin with video enhancements.

2.  You don’t need long videos to increase sales – Keep them sweet and short

The truth is that online your audience has a very shot attention span to start of with. This issue is compacted by the less-than-ideal objective qualities of most online video: download times, small player windows, poor sound quality, etc. The good news is that this is actually in your favor because it allows you to save on production time and costs. Ideally you should keep your product videos to less than one minute long. If your product is especially complex or pricey you might want to extend that by up to 50% however there’s little point in going above 90 seconds. The simple fact is the vast majority of your viewers will simply ignore anything longer…

3.  If you don’t conduct A/B tests from the start you’ll regret it later

Quite obviously different types of videos perform better for different types of products and different types of clients. The catch is we can’t know which type of video preforms best for our products and client base until we’ve tested a few versions – failing to test for effect early on can mean leaving substantial conversion potentials untapped. The simplest way to do this is by creating and uploading a few versions of product videos for a limited group in your catalog and monitoring their performance, in terms of conversion rates and purchasing behaviors, in order to determine which gave the best results. Once you feel you’ve accumulated the data you need, pick the best formats and them for the rest of your site’s products.

4.  What everybody should know about captions

Captions within your videos have a surprising effect on click through rates and conversions.  Check out these two product videos. Although the only difference between both versions is the red captions in the version on the right, there is a 8.3% difference in their conversion rates. That’s right – merely adding captions to the original video improved its conversions by over 8 percent.

5.  Add user reviews to increase trust

User reviews and testimonials are popular in e-commerce because people tend to trust ratings and recommendations from their peers. You can increase the ROI from any existing user’s reviews you have by adding them to your videos, as shown in this example from England’s leading online Golf’s retail site (click the “View Video Showreel” beneath the product images).

6.  Include video in your on-site search results to increase sales

Research shows people searching your site are twice to three times more likely to make a purchase than those merely browsing. The reason this is so is because searching visitors usually have a clear intent, while browsers are more likely to be casual traffic. A good way to use video to capitalize on the quality traffic using your site’s search engine is by indicating the availability of video within every item’s search results. Indicating an item has video increases the likelihood a user will click to view it, and then buy it.

7.  Are you getting the most out of your videos?

Once you’ve invested in creating a few videos you can maximize the ROI on them by including them in all your online marketing activities. Link to them from your email marketing campaigns, upload them to your social media profiles and use them to push your SEO campaigns via proper tagging and deep backlinks.

Make video your holiday resolution and beat the competition

Adding video to your site can not only help improve your sales, it can also be a fun experience for both you and your customers. With the holidays right around the corner, now is the perfect time to add a few select videos to help drive your holiday-season’s promotions. Online video can steer traffic away from your competitors, improve your site’s stickiness AND give you a powerful way to capture more sales during these holidays.

About our Guest Author – Tal Rubenczyk:

tal-headshotTal is the CEO of Treepodia. Prior to establishing Treepodia, Tal was the co-founder of Celebros, where he headed the marketing division for more than seven years. Tal brings his e-commerce knowledge, international marketing experience and networking connections to Treepodia.

Treepodia logo low resTreepodia is a leading video platform provider for online retailers, enabling them to cover their entire product catalog with effective and engaging video content in just 24 hours.  They also have a “risk-free” model where you only pay for views that generate new revenue.