Using Video To Enhance Your Retail Website’s Performance

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For retail brands, whatever you sell, using video on your website can make a significant difference to its performance and conversion rates. Whether it’s product videos, how-to videos or explainer videos, this type of content can be a great persuasion tool for potential customers, can increase the amount of time visitors stay on your website, and can help you stand out from your competition. We have compiled some tips to help you maximise the impact of video on your website’s performance.

Develop a video marketing strategy framework

You need to decide what types of video will help you to achieve your wider marketing goals, and this comes from knowing your customers and what their questions and challenges are, at every stage of their buying journey. If you haven’t already got them, developing personas is an incredibly valuable exercise.

Your video marketing strategy needs clear aims and KPIs, so you can tell if what you’re spending time and money on is actually working and if not, make changes to your plan.

Create video content that meets a need in a your audience

For example, if you want to use video primarily to increase conversion rate on product pages, using video here to provide an in-depth look at the product in a concise and creative way could make all the difference. If you’re a fashion retailer, you can create a video of different ways to wear a particular item, or mix and match it with other clothes to give a variety of looks. This could be a series of still photos made into a video; it doesn’t need to be a huge video production effort.

Or, if you sell electricals or other tech items, you could do a 360 degree video of the product and provide details of key features, or an unboxing video to show customers exactly what they will get when they buy from you and the basics of how it functions.

For retailers whose customers are deeply invested in where the things they buy come from and how they are made, video content explaining the manufacturing process and product development background can be really valuable. If you have any USPs anywhere in your process – highlight it in your video content.

Unless you have a small product range, it’s probably not going to be possible to create good quality video content for everything you sell, so choose your hero products, the ones which are already popular but you think could do better, are new or exclusive to you, or are simply the most profitable to your business.

Host your own videos when possible

Many retailers will naturally take the cheapest and easiest route when it comes to video hosting and stick everything up on their YouTube channel, then embed the content on their website. This approach definitely has pros and cons. In essence, you’re giving traffic to YouTube rather than your website, as anyone finding your video content via a search engine will generally click on the YouTube result first. However, it does expand the reach of your content somewhat. Your aims and objectives for video marketing will play a role in whether this is the best option for you. If brand awareness and reach is your primary goal, using YouTube is probably a good option. If your aim is making the most of people once they are on your website, hosting the videos yourself is likely to be a better choice. Using a service like Wistia is a popular way to host your videos exclusively. Hosting your videos on your own site means that anyone who links to the video will be linking to your site, giving you the SEO benefit of this, as well as any referral traffic.

If you do use YouTube to host your video content, you can ensure you’re doing everything possible to direct viewers to your site by including links in the description and, when possible (when your brand YouTube account is in the YouTube Partner Program, or YPP) using cards or end screens.

If you have the capacity to both host your own videos and use YouTube, you can always use a shorter, teaser version of the video on YouTube (and on other social media platforms), linking to the full version on your website only.

Add a video sitemap to your site

Generating a video sitemap will feed search engines richer information about your videos and give them more visibility in relevant search results. For this, videos must have a landing page and certain other required elements, such as titles, descriptions and various details depending on where the video is hosted. Full instructions of how to do this can be found here.

Add a transcript of every video 

Whilst search engines can crawl video files and associated metadata, they can’t crawl the content itself. For this reason, it’s a great idea to add a text transcript of your videos to the page underneath the video, so that search engines can understand the entire context of the vid and rank it accordingly in search results for relevant terms.

Regularly monitor performance against your KPIs

As with any marketing strategy, measuring results against your KPIs is a vital part of making sure you are focusing on the right areas when it comes to video. Whether your campaign goals are about improving conversion rates, customer engagement rates, reaching a new audience or driving increased traffic, as long as you benchmark before starting activity, you can easily measure results that correlate with your video content going live and being promoted.

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