Stacey White is owner of Stacey White Solutions Online Marketing and is a video marketing evangelist. While many large and national businesses are using video to engage customers and more than two-thirds of online marketers state that they plan to increase their use of online video marketing in 2014, small business owners tend to be hesitant about making the plunge.
“Local business owners simply don’t understand that the future of marketing is online video. Many think of flat, TV commercials when they hear the phrase video marketing. Video is much more than a commercial on television. Video attracts attention and increases engagement on websites, bestows expert status and authority, establishes connection and builds trust, educates and trains customers, and has a huge impact in influencing buying decisions,” says White.
Video has been shown to improve sales, and the statistics are worth noting. When presented with a product video, customers will watch the video 60% of the time. Three out of five customers will spend at least 2 minutes watching a product video. Of customers who view a video about a product or service, 85% choose to make a purchase.
White goes on to explain, “The big online stores like Zappos and Amazon discovered and embraced the power of video to grow their business. Today, almost all successful large businesses and brands have a YouTube channel. The great thing is that YouTube levels the playing field.
“YouTube makes online video marketing affordable for any business owner or entrepreneur who is serious about growing their business. You don’t even have to create a fancy or expensive video to connect with your clients. When done correctly, an online video marketing strategy that is based on YouTube can deliver a stream of clients who are ready and eager to spend money with you and your business.”
Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh knows well how video boost sales. He knew early on that a fun and customer-centric online shopping experience would create customer loyalty and motivate repeat purchase from their online store. So in 2009, Hsieh challenged Zappos employees to figure out innovative ways to use social media to connect with customers. In response to Hsieh’s challenge, a group of employees decided to experiment by creating 7,000 product videos that introduced products to customers. To their amazement, they found that product pages with videos out-performed product pages without videos: Product videos increased sales by as much as 30% while also significantly reducing the number of product returns.
Based on these results, Zappos committed to making 50,000 videos the following year, and the company continues to make videos for merchandize sold on their website. As Zappos Senior Manager of Photo and Video Laurie Williams remarked, “While we are definitely seeing an increase in conversion, more importantly we are seeing a decrease in returns.” Statistics support the Zappos experience: Customers who watch product videos are 175% more likely to make a purchase than customers who do not watch product videos; and 52% of customers state that they feel more confident about their purchase decisions after watching product videos.
But it is understandable that business owners and professionals may not be aware of the many ways to use online video to attract customers and increase profits: They tend to be busy doing what they do best – serving their customers – and would not be expected to stay abreast of state-of-the art online marketing practices.
Helping businesses owners and professionals use online video and YouTube marketing to attract more customers is something that White has been doing for years.
For more information on Stacey White Solutions Online Marketing go to SWSOnlineMarketing.com