In Nublue Blog How e-retailers use video to expand their business Posted by Stefan Making your brand stand out is always a challenge. There is constant competition from other e-retailers offering similar products, bigger brands or cheaper deals, and it can become very easy to slip into a battle of cost rather than perfecting your brand and allowing customers to come to you. Ecommerce is the fastest growing retail market in Europe, with statistics including 27 hours a week spent online by young adults with 2.5 of those hours whilst being “on the move”; so setting up a popular and engaging brand online is a fantastic opportunity – but how to do that? The truth is that there are numerous aspects that, when combined, can help you stand out above your competitors. This includes an easily navigated website, consistency with social media and high quality marketing for your products. This blog is looking at one specific area of that approach: video content. Video is one of the fastest growing marketing tools ever, and the growing success of sites such as YouTube (currently the second most visited website), Vimeo, Twitter and Facebook means that video can reach and impact audiences in a way that websites, blogs and text cannot. Using video is a fantastic opportunity to expand and offer consistency with your branding. Take Apple for example; Apple represent themselves as modern, high quality and at the forefront of new technological developments, and this is all represented through their television commercials as well as their online tutorials and social media content. But does video really make that much of an impact? John Lewis already had a strong brand. It was established 143 years before the release of their first Christmas advert, but now, John Lewis has truly made a mark on millions of people and has become part of the nation’s Christmas countdown. Its latest advert received 23,000 online mentions in just two hours as well as 64% of women taking to social media to discuss the advert the day after its release. Since 2011 John Lewis has dominated the UK market at Christmas time and truly made its brand known through film. Through powerful narratives and emotion, customers trust John Lewis’ brand, and feel more inclined to purchase from the store or online because of the incredible impact the Christmas adverts created. So what type of video is available? For many people, there are just two types of online video… 1) Commercials: cost millions, shown all over the world, only benefits medium to large businesses with a giant marketing budget, a good example would be the John Lewis advert costing £1million to produce and further £5million to distribute. 2) About us promo: A 5 minute (often cheesy) interview of the MD introducing their company and revising the ‘About Us’ page. Does not create any impact and often seen as a pointless product. This type of video is often considered poor, which could harm your business with 62% of consumers saying they are more likely to have a negative perception of a brand that published a poor quality video (Brightcove) THIS IS DEFINITELY NOT THE CASE. Just like any other form of marketing, video needs to be carefully thought about, and planned to create a product(s) that not only sells the company in a perfect way, but also engages the audience emotionally. Whether it be through humour, pride, tears or fear, human emotion is a powerful tool to tap into. We firmly believe that video should be bespoke. How can you expect your brand to stand out if your video marketing is exactly the same as everyone else’s? Here is a fictional company, ‘The Adventurer’s Store’. They specialise in high end mountaineering and outdoor equipment. They want to stand out as a professional company and to showcase their history and expertise. The infographic below shows some sample options of how they could do this. Social media videos allow The Adventurer’s Store to have a regular stream of videos so that audiences can just sit back, relax, and gather critical and interesting knowledge from in order to become an adventurer. ‘How To’ videos are the most watched style of video on YouTube, with almost anything being explained in video form, whether it be changing a tyre, working with Excel or even learning another language. The efficiency of the process allows an audience to figure out a problem right there and then through a one to two-minute video. This idea of social media video content can be stretched out to other industries. Below is another infographic tailored to four different e-commerce sectors: Jewellery, Decoration/DIY, Fashion and Home-goods. As you can see, every sector has a nice selection of tailored video content that they can use to educate and engross their audience. Top tips for video marketing: 1) Speaking with the right team is imperative. Make sure you take the time to get to know the production company, find out everything about them, their skills, their knowledge; test them with challenging ideas and see how they respond. The key aim here to ensure that your brand is sold correctly but not blatantly. You need to engage with the audience and entertain them whilst promoting products and services. 2) Understand time scales. This is something that the production company should speak about with you during the first meeting. Creating video content can be a long process and needs time to bring in the right cast, crew and locations, as well as ensuring the script is perfect and that editors are not rushed to get a finished product. Different concepts will have different time scales but this is something that should always be discussed at the start. 3) Budget. A budget is imperative for filmmaking, but the truth is, there is no set cost for video. The cost of the video completely depends on the storyline, the location, how many cast members, the complexity of the shoot, the equipment, and more. The truth is that if you have a budget for your video, inform the company you want to work with to see if it is possible. If you do not, then explain what you want and the company will get back to you with prices. 4) And finally, be open. Standing out with video starts by standing out at the idea stage. When Adam&EveDDB (London Agency) meet with John Lewis to tell the story of a young boy and his penguin or a companionship between a hare and a bear, they understand that the emotional connection behind these stories helps to foster sales. They understand that by being open minded and telling a story, that they capture hearts who feel more inclined to shop with John Lewis. The idea does need to be carefully thought out and executed perfectly to work, but the right concept, the right budget and the best team will achieve this. If you have any questions regarding video content, or if you are interested in that next step of marketing, here at Red Pencil Productions, we are always happy to help.