As an e-commerce business owner, one of the greatest challenges you will face is finding unique and creative ways to drive customer traffic to your website. Sponsored advertising plays an important part in generating that traffic flow, but for new business owners and entrepreneurs who are willing to invest time and creativity, video editing and marketing can be very effective at driving a number of marketing goals for your business.
In 2018, video marketing became (hands-down) the most effective way to drive traffic and new customers to your e-commerce store. Think about when you see a video on a social media post; you are likely to click the ‘play’ button right? That’s because video is interesting, easy to watch (or consume as content) and in most cases it’s also fun, informative and entertaining.
In this article our marketing team provides some tips and facts about using video marketing to impact your sales and customer recruitment, and a quick review of low-cost methods and software that you can use to create stunning, professional videos at home. We will also discuss how you can use and reuse evergreen video content for a variety of different business growth objectives.
With a little patience and creativity, you can DIY your own video marketing campaigns, with amazing results. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to take advantage of the benefits of video advertising and promotion, and it’s one of the biggest marketing assets you can invest your time in to grow your e-commerce business.
Using Videos as Customer Engaging Content on Social Media
Some social media platforms lend themselves to high performance results when retailers use creative video advertising tactics. Instagram is one of the best social media platforms for retail and promotional videos, and the social network has more than 800 million active monthly users.
Simply tap into the lifestyle niche of your product (or the culture and needs of the group that your product fulfills) and with an Instagram Business account, you can add stickers and other call-to-action items onto your video, to reach a variety of objectives including:
- Driving increased traffic to your e-commerce store
- Persuasive selling of top trending products
- Encourage viewers and followers to subscribe to your direct email marketing list
- Inform shoppers about special offers, promotions and sales
A recent report by eMarketer estimates that 71% of businesses are currently using Instagram for sales promotions and brand growth. In 2018, Instagram advertisers made a distinct shift and increased video advertising, which now represents 25% of all sponsored ads placed on the social network.
Pinterest is a powerhouse when it comes to e-commerce product promotion, but many people aren’t sure how to repurpose their marketing videos on the social network to take advantage of the millions of consumers who are browsing to shop every day.
While you cannot film your own videos within the Pinterest application, you can ‘pin’ any video from any other location to a board you select on your business Pinterest account. Once you ‘pin’ a video that is hosted for example on YouTube or Vimeo, or your own business website, the video will upload with a play button to use the native video feature to display to viewers of your pin.
Even though creating video pins on Pinterest is a ‘piece of cake’ many businesses are still not leveraging this type of content on the social network. That’s good news for an e-commerce business owner who is building a big library of interesting and engaging product videos; it will help your business stand out and get noticed on the world’s largest consumer shopping network.
Remember to install the Pinterest browser tool, so that you can quickly pin any video from your collection (hosted on your business domain or video channels). And for really effective marketing consider adding a cover image to your video pins with a call to action “press play!” to help identify your video pins from other static image content posts.
Don’t forget the opportunity to tell your brand story via ‘stories’ on social media networks such as Instagram and Facebook. Updating your profile weekly with a new video story piece is a great way to keep customers interested, and coming back for more information about the products you are selling.
Creating an Outline for Your Video Production
Staring at your computer screen, trying to figure out what to create as a product or promotional video? It all starts with organizing a brief outline for each video piece. Once you have a concept of the number of videos you need to produce, the topics or core message that you want to present to your audience, and the products you would like to feature, producing videos becomes more fun (and less work).
Start by creating a checklist of your top business objectives. For most e-commerce retailers the top three priorities are:
1. Recruit new customers and direct them to the store
2. Influence customers to sign up or subscribe for special promotional offers
3. Increase sales revenue during a promotion or discount incentive event
Next, create a list of the products or pages that you would like to promote in your video. We recommend that business owners who have never created their own video content, start by developing one video for each of the three objectives above.
What attributes or core messages should be in each type of video?
1. Customer Recruitment
- What makes your store unique?
- What lifestyle needs does your store (and the products you sell) fulfill?
2. Subscriber Enrollment
- Why do consumers want to belong to your ‘club’ or community?
- What ongoing benefits will be provided to consumers to stay subscribed to your email marketing?
3. Product Purchase
- Why is this product trending?
- How hard is it to find this product offline? Create scarcity.
- How competitively priced are your products compared to ‘Big Box’ stores or other online retailers? What savings can the consumer expect by purchasing from your store?
Now that you have defined the core messages or intent for each one of your first three videos and an outline, it’s time to look at the hardware and software you will need to pull off a professional quality video at home. We’ll provide some advice and some affordable essential tools that will help you get started.
Essential DIY Video Production Tools for E-Commerce Marketers
There are a few low-cost tools that make the production of quality marketing videos easier for small business owners. It’s important to know that your smartphone is capable of producing great videos, so scratch the high-tech video camera off the list (you really won’t need it).
The Rig and Tri-Pod
As we mentioned, the majority of small business video marketing is done using a smartphone and some equipment that is designed to fit your mobile device. You will need to find two different types of rigs for your video productions; a mobile rig (one that is easy to use while moving) and a stationary rig or tripod. These are sold in kits starting from as little as $30 on Amazon.
If you plan on doing a lot of video marketing and want to have the ‘latest and greatest’ hardware to help you produce some amazing videos, check out different models of professional gimbals and stabilizers. One of the benefits of some of these types of rigs, is that they use facial tracking to move the camera when you move, keeping the speaker in focus at all times (even during action shots).
Lighting and Sound
Lighting kits or lamps can snap on to virtually any budget rig that you purchase. Some rigs even come with supplementary lighting kits, and a microphone with a scrubber or filter, to enhance the quality of your sound recording.
Product Photography Backdrop or Portable Booth
While most drop shipping business owners download pictures of the products provided by vendors on AliExpress, some opt to do their own photography, particularly of higher priced products. When you are doing advanced photo editing, you need to start with a blank background and a well-lit shot of the product, which is where the portable product photo booth becomes a valuable tool.
Video Editing Software
One of the big changes in the past five years, is how accessible and easy to use video editing software has become for the average consumer. When you are marketing your ecommerce store and drop shipping products, you need to have video software that allows you to start creating right away, without having to take an online course to use advanced video editing tools.
The HitFilm Express 9 has an easy to use dashboard that allows first time video producers to get up and running fast, and includes 2D and 3D effects, speed controls (slow mo) and audio editing tools. This software is free for the basic version and they have a starter pack with more editing templates that sells for $9.99.
Sometimes you may want to augment your own video production with stock video, to make your marketing pieces more interesting and relatable. The problem is that video stock is pretty expensive, starting at about $50 per 15-25 second clip. One of the software options that we love is Magisto, which provides an easy to use dashboard for video editing, and royalty free licensed audio and music and a 2 million + clip library of video stock.
The monthly cost for Magisto (in our opinion) is definitely worth the $69.00 charge, when you consider all the free photo stock, video stock and audio music available. There are also some really great filters and theme templates included that are suitable for product promotions.
Do some pre-planning, get creative and start building an evergreen library of videos that you can use to grow your drop shipping business. And remember, when planning your sponsored or pay-per-click advertising, videos make the best kind of ads with the highest engagement rates. Syndicate your videos and put them to work to help you build new customers and sales.