How to Create Winning Videos for Your Ecommerce Brand

As the internet becomes more saturated and more competitive day after day, ecommerce brands continue to look for more ways to cut through the noise and penetrate into the hearts and minds of their ideal customers.

In recent years, video has become one of the more popular tactics that ecommerce brands are testing in order to boost brand awareness, capture the interest of more prospective customers, and drive more sales.

Here are a few reasons why more business owners are turning to video:

  • The attention span of consumers is shorter than ever. Consumers are inundated with content from brands everywhere they go online. They don’t have the time or the interest to consume it all, and as a result, they are forced to constantly pick and choose which pieces of content to give their attention to. Visual content always stands out more than text.
  • Video capturing and editing tools are more affordable, and much easier to use. These days, you don’t need to hire a professional videographer or an agency to film and produce amazing video. You can easily start experimenting with video by simply using the tools you already have at their disposal (like a smartphone), or investing a small amount of money to buy inexpensive accessories, like mics or tripods.
  • Social media sites continue to give more weight to visual content (especially video). Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram prioritize visual content more than other forms of content in newsfeeds, and continue to create and introduce new tools that encourage users to create more video (ex. Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, Canvas, etc.).
  • Not all brands are willing or able to invest fully in video. Despite how easy and affordable video has become, many businesses still aren’t taking the time to create and share video content with their target audiences. For those business owners who are willing to give it a try, video can be an incredibly impactful way to differentiate from competitors and raise brand and product awareness among prospective customers.
  • Videos can be incredibly effective at persuading consumers to stay engaged, take action, and even convert. According to Buffer, “product videos increase the likelihood of purchases by 85%,” and “consumers have 57% more confidence in their online purchase with video.”

Want to start creating more conversion-driven videos for your ecommerce brand? Here are 7 tips that can help ensure your success:

1. Know Your Why

The first and most important question you need to ask yourself after you’ve decided that you want to start investing more time and money into creating videos for your ecommerce business is this:

What are you trying to achieve with your videos?

In other words, why are you creating videos? What goals are you focusing on or hoping to achieve? In order to get any sort of ROI from your efforts, you need to start off with a firm understanding of what your purpose is for creating and sharing more videos.

Not sure why you want to create more videos? Try to think about how you think original videos can help your business. Most business video strategies focus on these purpose areas or goals:

  • Boosting Brand Awareness & Reputation – Businesses create videos to help their target audience better understand who they are, what products they sell, and who they’re trying to help.
  • Driving Social Engagement – Businesses create videos to drive more engagement on social media properties like Facebook and Twitter.
  • Educating People About Your Products – Businesses create videos to help people understand what their products look like, what makes them unique and special, and how to use them.
  • Establishing Authority & Trust – Businesses create videos to leverage themselves as influencers, thought leaders, or helpful resources in their specific industry or product category.
  • Increasing Website Traffic – Businesses create videos that can help directly drive more traffic to their website and product listing pages.
  • Capturing Leads – Businesses create videos that allow them to capture qualified leads.
  • Boosting Sales – Businesses create videos that can directly impact sales.

Before investing too much time, money, and other resources into video marketing, make sure you understand the why, and take the time to set specific, numerical goals that you can track against as you launch your video campaigns. How much traffic would you like to drive from your videos? How much engagement would you like to see? How many more sales do you think you could get?

To learn more about how to measure the ROI of video both during a campaign and after it has completed, explore these helpful resources:

2. Think About Who You’re Trying to Reach

Another important question to ask yourself when building your video marketing strategy is, “who am I trying to reach with my videos?”

In marketing, it’s easy and tempting to want to create content that YOU love, but it’s not the right way to approach things. Instead of creating content that entertains and serves you and your team, you should always focus on creating content that serves your existing audience and the type of person you’re ultimately trying to reach and sell to.

Asking the following questions can help you ensure that you’re creating the right videos and getting the most ROI possible from your efforts:

  • What are the basic demographics of your audience (age, sex, location, education, income, etc.)?
  • What do people know or not know about your business and products?
  • What are the most frequently asked questions you get from people?
  • What are the biggest pain points your target audience has, and how can you help?
  • What education can you offer to your audience in the form of video?
  • What compelling stories can you share to help build trust with your audience?
  • What other companies do your customers buy from, and what kinds of videos are those companies creating?
  • What is your brand personality like, and how could you portray it on video to your customer?
  • What makes your products unique or different, and how can you illustrate these differences in creative or entertaining ways?
  • What is the ONE thing you tell your prospective customers if you had the chance to talk with them in person?
  • What are the top ten most impactful videos you could create for your audience that would help achieve your goals (awareness, traffic, education, sales, etc.).

Answering these questions will help you determine which videos to test as part of your initial video marketing strategy. When you know your audience better, it can also help you better understand how to reach and target the right people through paid advertising methods once your video is done and ready to share.

3. Draw Inspiration From Others

If you’re relatively new to video marketing, you might be puzzled as you try to think about what kind of videos you could or should be creating for your audience. Thankfully, there is an almost infinite number of great examples available from other ecommerce brands that you can draw inspiration from as you think more about your own strategy. The videos you ultimately create will differ based on your unique business, product offering, and audience, but if you’re just looking for general examples to get the wheels turning, here are a few to watch first:

The Explainer Video

The Nine Trails Backpack Explainer Video from Patagonia

The Storytelling Video

The Malloy Brothers Storytelling Feature Video from YETI

The Educational Video

The Ring Sling Tutorial Educational Video from Wildbird

The New Product Promotional Video

The New Kids Product Line Promotional Video from Hydro Flask

The Behind-the-Scenes Video

The Packaging Behind-the-Scenes Video from Shinola

The Customer Testimonial Video

The Customer Testimonial Video from Char-Broil

The Origin Video

The Product/Brand Origin Video from L.L. Bean

As you watch these videos, think about which ones you could recreate for your own business and products. Remember: the goal with every video you create is to serve your customer above all else.

4. Decide on Your Format

With video marketing, the opportunities and ideas you can uncover are essentially limitless. In order to get the most ROI out of your video marketing efforts, you’re going to need to test a few different formats with your audience. When considering which video format to move forward with first, think about what resources you have at your disposal today (time, money, people, equipment). Some types of videos will require less investment, and some will require more.

Below you will find a list of the most popular formats you see with ecommerce videos, copied over from the previous section that had specific examples attached:

  • The Explainer or Unboxing Video – These are videos that help viewers get a closer look at your products and the features it has to offer. They might also help your customers understand the type of experience they’ll have when your products arrive at their doorstep.
  • The Storytelling Video – These are videos that tell rich stories about your customers, products, or industry. They aren’t intended to sell, instead the goal is to create content that your target audience can relate and attach onto.
  • The Educational Video – These are videos that educate your audience on how to use your products.
  • The New Product Promotion Video – These are videos that help you promote or introduce a new product, product line, or collaboration.
  • The Behind-the-Scenes Video – These are videos that help you show your audience how your business is run and how they’re products are created. The goal with these videos is to help prospective customers overcome any fears or objections they might have regarding the quality of your products or happiness/wellness of your team.
  • The Customer Testimonial Video – These are videos that feature kind words and praise from customers. They are created with video, audio, or photo visuals.
  • The Origin Video – These are videos that tell the story of how your business or products were created.
  • BONUS: The Live Video – These are live videos that allow you to engage with your audience in real-time on Facebook or YouTube.

Want to see more ecommerce video examples that fall into these video format categories? Explore these resources:

5. Narrow Your Ideas & Build Your Outlines

When you finally have a running list video ideas down that you’d like to consider creating for your audience, your next job is to narrow the list and start building outlines for 2-3 videos that you think will bring the biggest impact/ROI for your business.

To narrow your list, ask yourself these questions:

  • Which video idea would my audience be most excited about?
  • Which video idea is most realistic based on my budget?
  • Which video idea is most realistic based on the equipment I have?
  • Which video idea is the most unique?
  • Which video idea am I most excited about? Which idea is my team most excited about?

Your goal should be to pick 2-3 video ideas that you can move forward with first. Once you have 2-3 ideas that you love, start building your outlines.

Without clear outlines in place for your videos, it becomes incredibly difficult to see your idea come to life and help others understand what it is that you’re actually looking for.

Your outline should include these components:

  • A creative summary that helps people understand the concept of your video (3-4 sentences)
  • An estimate of how long you want your final product to be
  • A list of props you’ll need for your video
  • A list of people you want involved in your video
  • Your primary and secondary goals for the video
  • What the main takeaway that you want people to recognize when they watch your video
  • What the actual story looks like scene-by-scene (this should be the bulk of your outline). For this, try to include a written summary and rough sketch of what you want each scene to look like (stick figures are OK!).

Looking for more help in this area? Leverage this actionable resource from HubSpot on how to build a video script.

6. Assemble Your Team

With your script in hand, your next job is to assemble your video team. Depending on what your budget is, you’ll either approach this in two ways:

  • Option 1: Hiring a Professional Videography Team
  • Option 2: Assigning Tasks to Internal Employees

No matter which option you end up choosing, you will need people to help you with the following tasks:

  • Updating and formalizing the script
  • Gathering and prepping equipment
  • Acting in scenes
  • Gathering props
  • Recording
  • Directing
  • Editing video
  • Promoting the video
  • Managing the budget, timeline, schedule, and people

If you’re thinking that you’d like to hire an external video team, spend some time going through this helpful resource. If you’d like to build an internal team to manage video projects at your business, explore this resource.

7. Be Different

The final tip I have to offer when it comes to creating winning videos for your ecommerce brand is to just be willing to be different. Online consumers don’t like any form of cookie cutter content, whether it’s a blog post, a social media update, or a video. They want to feel like you put the time and energy into creating something truly unique and helpful, entertaining, or interesting for them. So don’t do what your competitors are doing. Do something different that will help you connect to your target audience, keep them engaged, and drive them to purchase products from you instead of the other guy.

Over to You

How do you create winning videos for your ecommerce brand? What advice can you give to other entrepreneurs looking to invest more in video? Share your ideas and thoughts in the comments below.

William Harris William Harris is leading content at Sellbrite and is also the Founder & Growth Marketer of Elumynt, LLC., VP of Marketing and Growth for a top 700 online retailer and former head of Marketing for When I Work, a VC backed SaaS company. William is also a contributor to leading publications like The Next Web, Search Engine Journal, Social Media Today, and Sellbrite and a speaker at industry events covering topics such as marketing strategy, search engine optimization, content marketing, digital marketing, social media and personal branding. Follow William on Twitter (@WmHarris101), LinkedIn, and Google+.