ADOTAS – Online video has been perhaps the hottest growth category in the advertising industry over the past two years. eMarketer estimates that spending on online video advertising will grow to $4.6 billion by 2013, representing a more than sevenfold increase from the $587 million spent in 2008.
Many web retailers know that using video to showcase a product results in fewer abandoned shopping carts, reduced return rates and higher sales. However, many of those retailers don’t realize they can use video to showcase their entire product inventory without breaking the bank.
Moreover, they can then “turn-key” their product video investments into other media outlets to increase sales and exposure. If you’re a company with hundreds or thousands of products, there are now ways to execute high-quality videos for every item you sell at pennies per video.
Best of all, the videos can work for you beyond your website — for that matter, beyond the Web. Here are five tips to affordably scale a video marketing program for all of your products.
You don’t need to shoot video to make video. If you have more than one photo for each of your products, you can make video! How? Well, everyone’s familiar with “slide shows,” however, many are not familiar with how far these have evolved.
Today’s automated video products not only pull together video segments and photo assets and provide nice camera transitions and music beds, but can now provide customized messaging and supers based on the product data as well as “text-to-speech” or “concatenated human voiceovers” to provide custom narration on a product-by-product basis.
Importantly, these videos can be produced automatically through data-feeds or APIs, stitching together photos and product data into finished videos in a fraction of a second.
Tip: Ask your video supplier if they produce large volumes of custom video and how they do it.
You don’t need to edit video to update video. Through the use of APIs, many video suppliers provide real-time video updates. That means the second a price or image changes within your database, that information will change within your video.
That’s because this type of video is rendered “on the fly” rather than pre-produced (but this doesn’t mean they’re slower to pull up and view!). This solves many problems for retailers with multiple price points, changing product features and inventory, etc. These videos are always accurate and current without investing in new production.
A slightly slower method of creating and updating video is through data feeds. With this method, video can be updated whenever a new feed is sent to the video supplier. With this method, Flash videos can be updated quickly, but flat-file videos (.flv’s, .wmv’s) need to be re-produced and replaced entirely. Flat-file format is cumbersome and takes more time and hosting costs, but is sometimes necessary if you’re distributing video to sites like YouTube which requires flat files.
Tip: Ask your supplier if they produce “Real Time” video updates, and if not, how quickly they can turn around updates at volume?
Web pages are not the only online destination for video. While it’s known that video can be pushed through rich media banners, it’s not as well known that you can push an entire inventory of product videos through these banners.
Turn a banner into a video website, allowing consumers to scroll over products within the banner and click on them to propagate video without leaving the site they’re on. Consumers can even search for more products within the banner to sort or pull up more video inventory.
Tip: Ask your video supplier if they have Rich Media applications for their video products.
Syndicating video increases SEO results. The more places you post your video, the better the SEO and sales you get out of them. The top flat-file destination is YouTube because once posted, Google will begin displaying the video in search results within 10 hours.
There are other services (such as TubeMogul) that can automate flat-file syndication to YouTube and other video destination sites. But many other syndication methods exist depending on what you want to do.
Tip: Ask your video supplier if they provide syndication, and if not, which services they recommend for your needs.
You can use these videos to sell beyond online. The next syndication step is to make your videos available on mobile devices. This requires hosting your videos in flat file format (like 3GP).
Display text codes in other advertising media to let consumers know how to access your mobile videos. Because mobile content is cumbersome to navigate, video is perfect for mobile because an entire product presentation can be delivered without requiring consumers to “thumb around” for various pieces of information.
Cable’s video on demand is another great destination for your video because your entire product inventory can be available to consumers through their TV sets 24/7. The cost is cheap compared to what most advertisers expect to spend on TV. With the advent of interactive TV apps now (where consumers can purchase products through their TVs) this is an area you want to get started in.
Tip: Ask your video supplier how they can help you push your video assets to other media.