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It’s virtually impossible to be in the automotive space and not have to rely on online video for promotion. While Twitter and Facebook are important to the automotive industry to get the word out on new products, shows, trends and news, online video brings out the enthusiasts. The true enthusiasts - those who are so passionate they try and convert others to see their automotive views, rely on online video to prove their case and fuel their passion.
Twitter and Facebook are great. Don’t get me wrong. However, on Twitter you usually get people following you who are in your industry. They are following you because they want to keep up to date on your business and keep an edge on the competition. When you release a new product, service, or discuss a milestone, you’re mainly just informing your competition when you tweet about it.
Facebook is a different animal. There more customers and enthusiasts are actively engaged in your posts, and feel more connected with you. Your posts, pictures, and polls make the user feel more “in” with you, thus more likely to support your brand.
Both of these are great, but they are nowhere near as powerful as a strong viral video. Let’s say for example you want to sell a product. You get the highest ROI and conversions when people sell that product in action. When users can see performance car parts being used in racing, street or competition use, and when they like it - they share it. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a tweet is worth ten, and an online video is worth a million.
Take, for example, Underground Racing. They are a high end performance shop that releases dozens of videos of their Lamborghini and Ferrari shop cars tearing up the streets with special UR performance parts. Viewers are so amazed by the videos, they share them, get them millions of views, and instantly establish businesses as the go to place for performance. Nothing is more powerful.
Want to capture customer attention with online video ads? They’d better not be more than 15 seconds long, a new poll suggests.According to a survey by Poll Position, about 54% of Americans think 15 seconds is the acceptable time to view an online video ad before seeing free content, from YouTube clips to streaming TV episodes.
The poll — conducted among 1,179 registered voters via a telephone survey — found that patience is low when it comes to sitting through a lengthy commercial before gaining access to the content they want to watch. Only 12% of consumers believe 30 seconds is an appropriate length. Meanwhile, 4% of respondents said a 45-second ad is acceptable and 3% said the same thing about a minute-long ad. About 27% expressed no opinion on the matter.
The news comes on the heels of a study released last week by eMarkerter that revealed marketers are expected to spend more on online advertising than ads for print magazines and newspapers for the first time in U.S. history. In fact, online advertising is projected to generate $39.5 billion in sales this year — a 23.3% increase from 2011 — compared to $33.8 billion on print.
As online ad revenues continue to grow — and more marketers invest in ads that air before online videos — advertisers looking to hold the attention of viewers should keep the message short and simple.
Creating compelling online videos for your business doesn’t have to cost a fortune. That was the message of Jules Watkins, video producer and founder of Pocket Video Power, at the recent Online Video Strategies conference in London.
Presenting a one-hour crash course called “How to Make Online Videos that Don’t Suck — Without Breaking the Bank,” Watkins, a TV producer who’s worked at 15 different production companies, said that he sees a shift taking place, with companies creating their own online videos in-house, rather than hiring someone. Having basic video skills is now important for more than just video professionals.
For companies looking to create their own non-sucking videos on a budget, here are five tips from Watkins’s talk.
1. Keep an Eye on the Competition - As companies set out to create their own online videos, their competitors can be their greatest inspiration. See what videos the competition is creating. Copy their successes and learn from their mistakes.
2. Let Google Suggest Topics - For those not sure what to create videos about, Google has the answers. People regularly type questions into Google like “What brand of toothpaste works best?” Find questions that pertain to your field and create video answers. Use the original question as the video title, for extra search engine traffic.
3. Don’t Wait for a Budget - How many business proposals die on the vine because the funding doesn’t come through? Don’t let that happen with online videos; a pocket camera is good enough, and they don’t cost much. Neither do simple lights, mics, or backdrops.
4. Let Creative Staff Be Creative - For managers that have young underlings brimming with creativity and confidence — let them run with the online video project. Even if they don’t have a background in video, today’s cameras and basic editing programs are simple enough for anyone to pick up.
5. Work Big and Small - Get twice as much out of any video project by balancing big and small. Use most of the video budget to create a big glossy event — such as an awards show or a customer training event — and capture it with professional cameras. Then, use pocket cams and junior staff to create behind-the-scenes videos. These might even be more compelling than the main videos, since they’ll capture real reactions from participants at close distances.
Online shopping lacks the physical experience that accompanies browsing and purchasing in a brick-and-mortar store. As a result, e-commerce retailers must constantly be on the lookout for new methods to showcase their products in effective and compelling ways.
One popular way that online retail brands set themselves apart from the competition and engage consumers more effectively during the shopping process is through the use of videos that tell a visual story about how products can be used.
Online merchants can incorporate video into their visitors’ e-commerce experiences in a number of different ways. Let’s examine six considerations for testing the effectiveness of how video performs on websites:
1. Video vs. No Video.
Perhaps the simplest way for you to test the performance of video on your website is by segmenting traffic so a percentage of site visitors receives a video demonstrating the product on the product page while the rest receive the same page without the video. In a test like this, one version of the page would contain only a product photo accompanied by its description, while another version would contain a video of the product accompanying the details.
A major retailer that Monetate works with recently learned that seeing was believing with product videos. While management initially thought that the play button would obscure the product and confuse visitors, this assumption did not bear out when tested. In fact, the video version of the product page was more successful, and lifted the conversion rate by 1.26 percent while generating a significant projected annual revenue impact.
2. Video A vs. Video B.
Another way to test the impact of video on your website is by delivering two different product videos to different groups of website traffic. A test of this nature is important when you have a number of merchandising videos to choose from (perhaps showcasing different product attributes or styles) and are interested in identifying which video is more likely to resonate with consumers, and ultimately influence sales.
3. Which Play Button Is the Best?
You have countless options for enticing consumers to play a product video, but how can you be sure which one will have the biggest impact on whether the consumer decides to actually click Play? In order to make an educated decision, marketers should test different options of what the play command looks like and optimize all website videos towards the version that is shown to generate the most clicks, boost the add-to-cart rate, increase conversion, etc.
A few options for the play button include a semi-transparent overlay on top of the video itself that’s intended to make it stand out on the page, a play arrow that points to the right, or a version of the word play that appears somewhere on the image thumbnail, as shown in the example to the right from Altrec.com.
4. Auto-Play vs. Click-to-Play.
You will want to decide whether to serve consumers video that plays on its own as soon as a page loads or video that has to be triggered by a user action before it plays. This can be tested by segmenting different groups of traffic to receive auto-play and click-to-play video options, and then determining what is more efficient for the particular goal you are trying to accomplish with each video.
5. Thumbnails, Titles, and Descriptions.
The video thumbnail is the first thing a consumer sees when visiting a page with a video. This important first impression can make or break a video’s success. Working under the assumption that more compelling thumbnails will drive more views, you should not neglect this essential aspect of merchandising the video on your website. Constantly test new thumbnail options to ensure you’re displaying the most successful image at all times.
While video titles and descriptions can seem like an afterthought compared to the production of the video, they are essential to the video’s ultimate performance — titles, descriptions, and thumbnails are the foremost attributes that consumers use to determine whether they watch videos online.
6. Video Badging.
Product badging, a simple way to do smart merchandising, is the modern version of what shopkeepers have been doing in-person with customers for decades: calling attention to product features and benefits to get shoppers to interact with the merchandise.
Badging represents a powerful psychological tool that taps into consumers’ inherent need to be directed toward particular products, and the same rule applies with video. Just like badging a product thumbnail with messages like “staff pick” or “free shipping,” you should consider implementing the same method with videos, as shown in the example below from FreePeople. The most important thing to remember when badging videos, of course, is to test different variations and iterations to identify the ones that perform best.
Lastly, and most importantly, the guiding principle behind testing whether video will make an impact on your business is to have a clear vision of your goals before you test video content. You have to understand what you want to achieve from video — whether it is driving traffic, increasing conversion rates, boosting the average order value, or something else — before integrating it into visitors’ website experience.
When testing to get the most out of your video efforts, ask yourself the following baseline questions:
• Who is the test for?
• What does the test show?
• When will the test run?
• Why are we running the test in the first place?
The answers will help establish clear goals for your video campaigns and serve as a guide when you work towards meeting or exceeding them.