In the digital age, if you don’t have a product video, does your product really exist?
Shoppers want to do their research, see a product or service in action and be able to get a sense of what the product could do for them. Without being able to window shop, the online video is an important surrogate for the in-store experience.
“They bridge the gap between a physical shopping experience and a digital one by giving consumers as much information about the product as possible,” says Hope Horner, CEO for Lemonlight, a video production firm. “Text and images are great for describing your product, but the video goes a step further by offering the dynamic experience that aligns most closely with what you’d expect in-store.”
What the video should cover
What belongs in your product video?
“A great product video is the one that answers all of the questions your prospective customer might want to answer before they decide to buy,” Horner says. “This will vary depending on the types of products you sell, but think about what your customers use your product for and which details may factor into their purchase decision.”
That means putting your product through its paces, and potentially getting a little creative. For example, if you want to show the strength and production quality of your blender, you could blend random items like a Nokia phone.
“Whatever your audience wants to know, your product video should cover,” Horner says. But don’t forget to make it entertaining.
Measuring your performance
“Depending on your goals, there are several metrics you may want to track,” Horner says. “One of the most common is the click-through rate, which tells you what percentage of the video’s viewers are clicking through to another page (your website, an FAQ, a “schedule meeting” button, etc.) after they engage with your content.”
In fact, this metric is one of Horner’s favorites because it shows whether your video is driving visitors to complete your call to action. However, you can also measure to see if a viewer watched your entire video.
“If watching the entirety of the video is important, you could also track metrics like view-through rate or watch time,” Horner says. “This will tell you what percentage of people are watching your content fully, which you can interpret as an indication of how engaging or informative your video is.”
Social media shares are also important pieces of feedback. “If a consumer watches your video and then shares it on a social platform, you can assume that they found value in what you had to say,” says Horner.
However, for product videos, there’s no substitution for monitoring sales data. “While you may not be able to specifically map each sale back to a video viewer,” Horner says, “if you launch a video and have a spike in sales, you may be able to attribute some of that success to your new content.”
Video during COVID-19
Even if you’re stuck at home, innovative videographers can produce compelling pieces of art.
“At Lemonlight, we’ve prioritized distance-friendly productions using techniques like animation or integrating stock footage with existing footage to help our clients continue with their production plans without any additional risk,” says Horner. “Every production is unique, so we’re able to work with customers to figure out how to safely produce the content that they need.”
The pandemic has also increased the need for authenticity, Horner says.
“Consumers want to feel like they’re having a real, trustworthy interaction with a brand when they watch video content. That call for authenticity is why many brands have leaned into concepts like behind-the-scenes videos or even just getting personal in video interviews.”
There’s also a silver lining for brands looking to start creating video during quarantine, as many consumers are more forgiving for low production quality during the lockdown.
“Many brands and content creators are using this time as an opportunity to test-run production, knowing that audiences aren’t expecting high production value or perfect content right now,” Horner says. “When current conditions force elite production crews like the ones that work on late-night TV shows to lower their standards for content, the average digital consumer feels more comfortable engaging with video, too. Long-term, this might mean that video accelerates in use more quickly because so many people are trying it right now who didn’t previously feel qualified to film something themselves.”
That means now might be the best time for you to try adding new video content to your offerings.