How Marketers Can Blend Video & Shopping This Holiday Season

How Marketers Can Blend Video & Shopping This Holiday Season

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According to Google’s recent holiday shopping trends report, consumers are turning heavily towards micro-moments and video to find shopping advice, inspiration, and product reviews. In fact, one in every four shoppers says online videos are their go-to source for gift ideas, and 32% of shoppers say they plan to use online video more this year for holiday purchases.

The innovative video trends we’re seeing this holiday season are helping product-savvy shoppers discover holiday deals and promotions more quickly and conveniently than ever. Here’s how your brand can elevate your holiday sales this season.

YouTube Video Shopping Ads

YouTube continues to innovate ways to make it easier for brands to generate sales through its videos by making it a one-click process from video to purchase. One popular video format is YouTube shopping ads which feature a YouTube personality host who discloses that the video is shoppable and then clickable links for consumers to buy the products are featured in the video. Google recently discovered 68% of its users would rather have product ads come from “people like me” than a brand and this theory is now being tested through shoppable video.

As products appear in the video, consumers can tap a small icon in the upper-right corner of the video player to view a list of the items in that video. Clicking on those items takes viewers outside of YouTube where they can learn more or purchase the products. Long before YouTube developed the standardized ad unit, Levi’s created this shoppable holiday video which shows us how it works:

So how can brands benefit from YouTube’s shoppable video ads? According to Google, YouTube shoppable video ads are similar to Shopping ads on Google; brands only pay when a viewer clicks on the video ad. Shopping ads on YouTube also provide another way to monetize product-focused videos and new revenue streams for brands working with YouTube influencers.

For example, a YouTube star who does beauty tutorials can use a shoppable video to credit the brand of lipstick featured in the video. As a result, both parties will financially benefit from anyone who purchase the product through the video.

Promoting Holiday Season via Instagram

Since we still can’t embed links on Instagram, a few smart Instagram sales app have emerged making it easy for brands of all sizes to sell their products directly on the platform. Apps such as,  Soldsie, and Like2Buy are helping brands make their Instagram pages shoppable. Nordstrom is one brand using Like2Buy to generate impressive CTRs to their Like2Buy products page.

Instagram videos create twice the engagement of Instagram photos, and retailers like Macy’s are taking advantage of Instagram video this year by splitting up a three-minute holiday promo video into 15- and 30-second videos. According to Adweek, Macy’s three-minute video is longer than most videos the company creates, so the shorter Instagram video ads can be used to tell a snippet of that story and generate interest to watch the full video on other platforms such as Facebook. Here’s one of the 15-second clips designed for Instagram.

There are many creative ways brands can broadcast their holiday product videos on Instagram by focusing on short clips with smart, direct messaging and choosing the captions and URLs wisely. You only have a few seconds, so make it memorable and set a thumbnail that will not only intrigue viewers but convey your message clearly.

Personalized Video Campaigns

Offering personalized product recommendations is one of the greatest trends this holiday season. A recent research study by MarketLive found that 55% of shoppers are now comfortable with sharing their preferences with retailers in exchange for convenience and personalized product recommendations. The survey found that tracking shoppers’ preferences and serving recommendations on related products is being welcomed by consumers as it is both efficient and convenient. Here are a few other trends the study revealed about shopper’s personalized preferences this holiday season:

  • 55% of shoppers are likely to take advantage of personalized product recommendations sent to them by a retailer via e-mail
  • 52% of shoppers are likely to take advantage of personalized product recommendations they get when visiting a retailer’s website
  • 42% of shoppers are likely to take advantage of personalized advertising they receive on their mobile phone

Brands are discovering innovative ways to produce personalized video content on a smaller scale and specifically for social media sharing. A great example is Travelocity, who created custom videos in which its ‘Roaming Gnome’ mascot addressed a traveler’s name and linked to his or her dream destination. The Twitter-based campaign invited consumers to share their dream destination using #IWannaGo for a chance to win a trip. Travelocity then responded to 60 of the tweets with personalized Vines. According to Twitter, the brand was able to gain 34,000+ followers from the personalized video campaign.

Brands can implement simpler, personalized campaigns like this as a way to integrate data and turn consumers’ behaviors into actions. Whether it’s using email behaviors or mobile behaviors to inform personalized ad campaigns, data integration tools are making it easier than ever for brands to deliver and benefit from offering personalized video experiences.

With the endless sea of online videos put out by brands during the holiday season, shoppers need help making decisions more than ever — and they are turning to video to help them. Take note and create a video marketing strategy that incorporates a good mix of these trends and your brand can make a big impact this holiday season.



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