A Beginner’s Guide to Making Ecommerce Videos

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You are probably wondering exactly what components will make those videos as successful as they can be. While the exact form of your ecommerce videos will depend on their purpose—a product video will be very different from a video newsletter, for example—there are a few elements that will take them from good to great. Here is a basic format for a winning ecommerce website video.

  • Introduce yourself. Your viewers don’t know you (or the person on the video, if you have selected another ‘star’) so give them a brief introduction. Tell them your name, your position, and the name of your ecommerce website. 
  • Give a context, if applicable. If you produce a new video every week, you can state the name of your series and give a short synopsis of what you discussed last time. If this is a one-time deal, then skip this step and get immediately to the point.
  • Introduce your topic. “Today, I would like to tell you about…” is always a good way to do this. Be brief so you can move immediately into the important stuff.
  • Be brief. This is not a major motion picture; you need to present the information as quickly as possible. People do look at the length before they open a video! Two minutes or less is a good length of time.
  • Be interesting. Do not read from a script, unless your script has been produced by a professional and you are an expert in acting. Instead, face the camera and talk. Be friendly and casual; act as though you are having a conversation at a party. Inject humor where appropriate. The more engaging this video is, the more likely your customers will be to watch the whole thing. If you manage to be truly funny, they might even share it.
  • Show, don’t tell. The whole point of using video is that it gives your customers a more lifelike experience. If you are demonstrating a new product, then show it in use. 
  • Use good sales techniques. One of the disadvantages of running an ecommerce website is that your in-person sales techniques may be a little rusty. Make sure you get them up to speed before filming! Show the product in the best possible light, explain how it will solve a problem, and then cue the call to action.
  • Be customer oriented. Customers don’t want to know why you think your products are nifty; they want to know why they will feel the same way. Be visual and put the product into perspective. If this is a FAQ video, then show the issue you are dealing with.
  • Provide close-ups. Do not leave the camera stationery on the table while you film. Close in on the product and show details. If you are discussing something other than a product, make sure there is a real human moving the camera around so it feels more natural. 
  • Optimize. Wherever you post your video, make sure it has a keyword-rich title and tags. 

Using Youtube Videos On Product Pages

YouTube videos are becoming increasingly common on the ecommerce website product pages that we visit. It seems like almost every page I open has some YouTube link, some more relevant to others. This may lead some website administrators to wonder if this is a trend they should follow. Here are a few considerations to think about when making this decision.

Why Add YouTube?

YouTube is an outside website that most modern people are familiar with, and even use on a regular basis. It has serious street credit and is generally the leader in the video hosting industry. In addition, many ecommerce website owners are already incorporating video into their product pages, usually videos that give insight into the product being sold. People like video (consider the success of television) because it is just easier and more entertaining. YouTube is the cheapest and easiest way of giving consumers what they want.

Visual Competition?

You have probably optimized your product pages to smoothly lead customers to the end of a sale. Adding a YouTube video changes the entire dynamic of your product page. It adds a distraction from the ‘Add to Cart’ button. In addition, YouTube videos usually come with ads, which may be marketing items from your competition. At the end of each video, there is a display of related videos, which also may come from your competitors. In addition, there is a tendency for people to get lost in YouTube. Some of your customers may abort the shopping trip and settle in for a long afternoon of video viewing instead.

Is YouTube Annoying?

To many people, YouTube is annoying. It is overly commercial, especially now that each video is inundated with ads. This can contaminate your brand. You want for your customers to feel soothed and comfortable, not harried and harassed. The annoyance factor will go through the roof if your videos feel unprofessional; you will need to invest in having quality videos made before you can even consider adding this to your product pages.

On the Other Hand…

Sometimes video can communicate where text and photos fall short. Customers who have a video option can interact with the object they are considering, similar to an in-store experience. Video can make a difference for customers who are unsure of their purchase and give other consumers more confidence in their decision to buy. Video reviews can be especially powerful.

Like all resources for your ecommerce website, YouTube comes with a potential benefit as well as some amount of risk. You may want to experiment with a few pages before you completely make the switch. YouTube can be a huge sales tool for some websites, but a sales killer for others. Only you can make the decision about where your own ecommerce website falls on this spectrum.

Youtube carries risks – namely making your site look cheap, annoying or distracting customers. You can mitigate those risks by using your original videos on your site, or asking for the Youtube user’s permission to embed their original video on your site.