The realisation that video content must be a central component of a marketing strategy is now firmly in the mainstream. No matter what your ultimate goal is – whether it be SEO, engagement, conversions, or brand awareness – you need videos to make it happen.
This is even truer for eCommerce businesses. According to Google, approximately half of all internet users look for a video about a product before making a purchasing decision. If you take off your business owner hat for a minute and put on your consumer hat, you’ll quickly see why this makes sense.
While online shopping requires less effort and provides more convenience than your average brick and mortar, many consumers still experience certain downsides. 56% of consumers want to see and touch the products before they make a purchase (mainly food and clothing). To make up for this lacking, eCommerce stores present detailed text and images – and even better, videos. If an image is worth a thousand words, then video content is unbeatable.
Now let’s take a look at the different types that you can use to drive sales.
1) eCommerce Product Video
This is your regular showcasing video. It comes instead of or in addition to an image or a description of the product that you’re selling. It’s important that this video will highlight your product’s best qualities and preferably show common use cases.
This video that the Solo Stove created to introduce the Solo Stove Liteshows illustrates the most common use case of the product. It also takes the time to demonstrate the benefits of the product without any redundant self-explanatory narration.
According to HubSpot, 90% of consumers say product videos help them make purchasing decisions. That’s why this type of video should be at the top of your list. It is simple, relatable and leaves no room for wondering. Once a viewer watches this video, they know what the product is, what it does, and how they could benefit from it.
Where should your product video live?
While it’s great to share your product video everywhere (your socials, YouTube, email marketing, etc.), it’s important to make sure that it’s embedded on your store’s product page. Most people would rather watch a video than read a description, so this allows you to decrease friction as your potential customers go through the funnel. We always recommend that you include both text and video for those who do prefer text.
According to SearchMetrics, users stay on pages that have video content for longer periods of time, and pages with video content have a lower “bounce rate”.
Your customers aren’t the only ones who prefer video over text. In 2011, Google launched its “Panda” update. The new update not only expanded the world’s most popular search engine’s capabilities beyond simple text but granted users the remarkable ability to search for video content.
Pro-tip for Shopify store-owners: You can now automatically create videos for your product pages, storefront, and socials with the Free Promo Video Making App.
2) Product Demos and How-to Videos
This type of video is a must if you are selling a product or service that is, in any way, complex. The goal of this video is to educate the viewer about your product and not only show them how they should be using but also why they should be using it.
Back in 2015, Think With Google found that searches on YouTube for how-to videos were growing 70% year-over-year, and more than 100 million hours of how-to content was watched in America.
Take Pinterest’s explainer video for instance:
In just 90-seconds it explains to even the most technologically savvy what is Pinterest, why you need it and how to use it. A quick and simple explanation can be just what your viewers need to understand how their product can solve their problem.
Where should your product demo live?
Product demos should also live on product pages, but they have the potential to make an impact in other placements as well. If it’s a good demo (like the one shared above) consider it to be pseudo-educational content for your target audience. Share them on your social accounts and YouTube channel to foster intrigue.
3) Product Reviews
Like we mentioned above, people like to touch, hold, see, feel, or even eat every product that they’re thinking about before spending their hard-earned money. But that’s not always possible in a physical store, let alone an online one. So what do consumers do? They turn to the next best thing: Product reviews.
We know what you’re thinking. Isn’t the whole point of product reviews that they are created by fellow customers and not by the brand themselves? Well, the dirty secret is that many times brands invest in seeking out and promoting positive reviews.
Here is an example of this by Sony:
By already framing it as the “Best Sony Cameras”, they’ve made sure they are only giving a positive review. But because it is composed by a well-known YouTube vlogger, there is a sense of authenticity. While clearly sponsored by Sony, it still seems like a real review by a real person.
We know that this video type can be challenging to do, especially if you’re only reviewing your own products. However, there is a workaround here. Instead of reviewing your own products, you can review products that complement your own.
For example, if your eCommerce website sells backpacks for the modern traveller, other products that might interest your audience could be camera gear, space-saving products for a backpack, and so on. This allows you to focus your reviews on something else while keeping your own product on display. This type of review is actually pretty valuable because it makes you an authority in your field and cultivates a sense of trust among potential customers.
Where should your product review live?
As mentioned above, a review is always more effective if it doesn’t come from the product manufacturer. So we recommend that it doesn’t live on your site or YouTube channel (unless you have a designated section for users), however, you should share it from the original source wherever you can in order to get it in front of your target audience.
4) Unboxing Videos
Unboxing videos are blowing up. Surprising, perhaps but true nonetheless. People just love watching other people unwrapping a new purchase. In fact, over 90,000 people type ‘unboxing’ into YouTube every month.
There are even some YouTubers that are able to make their entire revenue from simply unboxing products for their viewers and reviewing it as they go along. But just like the review videos we mentioned above, while you can technically create your own, it is always more powerful if it’s done by an outside party.
The best way to go about this is to contact industry influencers and see if they would be willing to do an unboxing video of your product. You can approach them by offering to send them a free product in exchange.
The key to creating a good unboxing video is authenticity. Potential customers want to see real people just like them opening real products. No need for special effects and background music. On the flipside, there is a need for the crunchy sound of wrapping paper, scissors, a scattered paper. They want to truly get a feel for the unboxing experience.
Take this crazy example of the Lego City 60200:
This is, of course, a pretty exaggerated example because there are very few products with as many little parts as Lego. However, exaggerated as it is, it does a good job of showing exactly what the viewers want to see before making a purchase.
For products or businesses that are already well known, these videos might even already exist. You can try using social tools like Mention to help you find these types of videos as they’re being published so that you can capitalize on that social proof.
Where should your unboxing video live?
Like your product review videos, it is important that these videos come from a vlogger/influencer that did the unboxing. The key is authenticity and there is nothing less authentic than a brand conducting and posting an unboxing video for their own product.
If you were able to get an influencer to do an unboxing video, stipulate that they include a link to your product pages. While you can share a good unboxing video on your socials, if you overdo it, it will hurt its authenticity and thus, any impact it could have on potential customers.
5) Promotional Videos
Or more commonly known as… ads. Since we’re looking at videos that help us sell, we can’t ignore video ads and the significant impact they have on our marketing strategy.
Yes, this might seem pretty obvious and unhelpful because the usual platforms are over saturated but if done right, it has the potential to bring in a ton of relevant traffic and ultimately, sales.
From Instagram and Facebook to Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, every big social platform lets you buy video ads and companies that are utilizing this are seeing a big impact. For instance, Twitter found that promoted video ads can be 20% more effective at driving sales versus other ad formats.
But this probably isn’t news to you or anybody else.here are so many ads out there that just paying for an ad isn’t enough – it has to be good.
If you’re already spending your hard-earned money, you need to carefully consider your platform choice, ad format, content and target audience.
For example, Clocks and Colours, an accessory line for men targeted their audience (men aged 18–55) on Instagram with a combination of a brand video along with multiple images, showing off both the lifestyle they’re selling as well as the actual physical products.
While this entailed a lot – multi-layered creatives, an array of ad formats, and different placements – it was totally worth it. They said it themselves “Our results couldn’t have been better—we doubled our year-over-year Q4 revenue and had our most successful holiday season ever.”
Where should your promotional video live?
Well, this is an entire article (or book) unto itself. There are many things to take into account when considering where you want to put your promotional dollars. It depends on your target audience, product, budget and more. While the default is usually Facebook ads, be sure to look into all your options to see what is best for you.
What we can say is, make sure you create a video that works for the placement you’ve chosen. For instance, Instagram Story Ads should be vertical while you YouTube Ads should be landscape. It’s acceptable for Linkedin ads to be relatively long while Facebook ads best practices suggest that your video is under a minute.
To sum up…
Well, there you have it folks – 5 eCommerce video types that have been proven to increase conversions. Video has become an extremely powerful tool in eCommerce marketing and it’s important that we all take note.
Realistically, we’re not saying that in order to succeed you need to do them all at once. These are ideas to start implementing over time. Most businesses start with product videos and video ads and later move on to different types of videos to bring in more sales.
If there is one thing that we leave you with – test, optimise and test some more. Video creation is a craft like any other and it’s important that you understand what works for your audience and what doesn’t. Make sure you have a measuring plan in place for every video so you can double down on the elements that resonate with your audience and avoid the ones that don’t.
Video marketing is much easier than it used to be and there is no reason that you too can’t take your business to the next level with the power of video!