By Hope Horner
Consumers sure do love their videos — particularly on social media. No fewer than eight in 10 people told Pew researchers they regularly spent time on YouTube. And among younger millennials and Generation Z, who make up about 40 percent of global buyers, according to McKinsey, more than half hang out on TikTok. Perhaps that's why video ads are the top way consumers discover a brand they later purchase from, according to Animoto.
These numbers should perk up the ears of entrepreneurs at B2C-oriented startups. After all, they reveal an opportunity to meet shoppers where they live, which is online. They also show just how powerful video can be in opening new revenue pipelines.
There's little doubt that a properly executed video can sway prospective customers. Inside Retail reporting suggests that 41 percent of people have admitted to dropping an item into a digital cart after watching a shoppable video. In response to those numbers, big-name retail brands such as Albertsons are diving headfirst into the shoppable video pool.
Part of what makes video so compelling is the impression it leaves on viewers. Chances are strong that consumers can recall scenes from a video they watched a long time ago. However, they might not remember more than five items on the shopping lists they wrote this morning. That's because 95 percent of what they watch gets cataloged in their minds (as opposed to just 10 percent of what they read), according to data sourced by Slice. They're drawn to the moving, exciting videos as they scroll through their feeds.
Shoppable video on social platforms allows people to better understand products and how they can use them. People can simply click on a link located inside the video they're watching that
takes them to a purchase page. They can then immediately buy the product or service. This seamless experience balances video's dynamism and digestibility with social media's emotional engagement and impulsive overtones.
According to Wyzowl, nearly half of marketing professionals have said they're easily able to convince others at their organization of video's value, which is why they added it to their strategy in the first place. Of course, they can't just slap together some videos and hope that they'll stand out on social. Pushing out video content that produces positive results requires some planning to make that effort count. Try these methods to jump-start your shoppable video sales:
1. Start with a purpose
Company leaders have many excuses for not creating video, such as not having the time or the skills, or thinking a platform is too saturated or that their audience won't care. None of those excuses has many merits. The fastest way to overcome them is to just film something.
However, before throwing a video out on the company's social platforms, figure out the why. When doubts arise about whether a scene, subject, or line belongs in the video, the why will be the test of whether it should stay or go. The reason behind the content created will also be a foundation for a hook that will keep consumers watching after the pivotal three- to four-second first impression mark. However, you don't have to use a script or a storyboard — it's more about becoming comfortable on camera and sharing authentic moments with audiences.
2. Stay audience-centric
Everyone wants their videos to have universal appeal and go viral, but don't let that get in the way of making videos that are geared toward a specific audience. Spend time investigating target shopper personalities by seeing who else they follow and what audience engagement is like with various brands and influencers. Learn when the top times of the day and week are for higher engagement. Examine their common demographics and psychographics. Concentrating perceptive skills on social media performance will help you create original content that vibes with the target audience.
Regardless, the best part of catering to a specific audience is that a video could still go viral. Consider the case of Spikeball: The wacky athletic game and company drove its rampant and rapid success by creating TikTok videos. These videos have amassed more than 20 million likes, all because Spikeball stayed true to its purpose and remained audience-centric.
3. Jump on the trend train
Don't be afraid of social media trends, and don't overthink them or assume they're irrelevant for business either. Take Magdas Hotel in Vienna, which made a huge splash with its trend-heavy TikTok content. Though it's a blip in a land of tourist rest stops, the boutique hotel has a much bigger TikTok following than, say, Hilton or Marriott.
Social trends have short shelf lives as well, so don't wait to publish this kind of content. Capitalizing on a trend's peak can help an entrepreneur or small business get out there fast. Creators rarely need to think of the basic point of the video because the trend drives the setup. Of course, feel free to even put a spin on it — but don't try to reinvent the wheel.
There's little doubt that social media is a noisy, crowded space where all varieties of content compete for eyeball time. Give your business the edge it needs by creating videos that turn browsers into buyers. Not only can video add personality to the brand, but it can also help hit those quarterly profit goals.