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7 things to do to ensure a successful retail video strategy

Online retail isn’t the novelty it was a decade ago — it’s a core part of our retail shopping habits.

But online retail still faces the same challenges it always has — it can be difficult to convert customers online without providing the ability to see and test a product up close, and it’s hard to communicate all of a product’s features through text alone. To add to that, the addition of mobile devices and social networking makes a successful online retail strategy more complicated.

Video content has long been used as one way of drawing in, and converting prospective visitors. The right video content can increase site dwell rates by 88 percent and conversion rates by 80 percent, according to Insivia.

But a successful video strategy is more than just a shaky cam version of a product photo. Having the engaging video content, presented in the right way, is vital.

There are a few tips to keep in mind when developing your retail video strategy.

1. Think about the entire user journey

Complement your videos with relevant calls to action at each stage of the journey, allowing consumers to buy your product, find out more, or read related content. This requires you to think deeply about each step of the customer journey — how will they think, and what will they click on — when you design the experience to ensure it is seamless and convincing.

Video tools like HapYak allow marketers to annotate their videos, incorporating interactive calls-to-action within the video itself, not simply at the end, where it might be missed by those users who don’t complete the video.

2. Integrate your video platform with other tools

Analysing your videos to determine engagement and completion rates is great, but it is less useful when not read in context. Integrate your marketing tools — from CRM tools like Salesforce to marketing automation suites like Marketo and Eloqua — to build a clearer picture of who your customer is, where they are in the buying cycle, and what they want, allowing you to target follow up messaging and maximise return on investment.

3. Create engaging content

Videos need to be engaging, exciting and ultimately fun to watch in order to be effective — it’s why companies such as Red Bull have adopted video-heavy content marketing strategies. Closer to home, jeweller Michael Hill found its videos led to an 85 percent increase in website traffic and increased conversion rates to 29 percent, a massive uptick due to a well-thought video-led strategy.

Our research found consumers were three times as likely to do more with brands, like downloading a step-by-step guide or viewing detailed product information, after viewing engaging videos with relevant calls to action.

4. Put your videos where your customers are

Don’t rely on your website alone to drive sales. With many organisations now using social media networks as part of their buying journey, it’s vital to ensure that you are reaching customers where they are. Determine a strategy that allows you to leverage the same content widely across your website, social media and other advertising channels to ensure you develop better engagement.

Deploy a strategy that drives traffic from these channels to your site in order to capture analytics and ultimately convert the viewer into a customer. Insivia research found that the vast majority of (92 percent) of those who watch videos on mobile share videos with others, so ensuring your videos are identifiable and shareable will make for a more successful strategy.

5. Optimise them across all devices

Your customers could be watching your videos on any combination of tablets, smartphones, PCs, televisions and maybe even virtual reality. You need to ensure your content is compatible and engaging on as many devices as possible to ensure you’re not losing out simply because your content doesn’t work well.

6. Make them easy to find

Your content will be useless if it can’t be found. Ensure they’re easily viewed on your online store but, more importantly, ensure they have the right metadata and information so that your customers can search for and find content, whether it’s a description video or a set of assembly instructions. If your customers can’t find what they’re looking for, they may not stick around for long.

Research conducted by Brightcove last year found that 67 percent of people found the relevant video when it was integrated into a brand’s website and most importantly its search functionality. This compares to 13 percent when on a video platform that didn’t have searchable video content, ultimately leading customers to navigate away from the site to search on Google.

7. Analyse and track user engagement

A good content strategy is never set in stone. Track and analyse the performance of your content strategy to ensure that content is effective. Though website visits and click-through rates are useful, video is a particularly powerful tool to track audience attention and engagement.

Kochie's Business Builders first published this article - visit kochiesbusinessbuilders.com.au for all the latest on small business and to sign up to their inspirational newsletter here.

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