Marketers are encouraged to fill websites with exotic videos made with the most expensive production value. But too often those videos aren’t useful to consumers. And most manufacturers can’t afford them if they have extensive lines of products.
So how can you create online videos for your product line with today’s tight margins? Let’s focus on one critical situation: when online retail or online catalog sites display video to someone looking at your product. (This video is often perfect for in-store use as well.)
Learn What a Consumer Needs by Considering How They Find Your Video.
In the vast majority of cases consumers follow the same path. First, they browse the site to find your product or arrive at your product on the website with search (local or global). In other words, they’re focused on finding a product much like yours.
On that catalog page for your product they find a small list of important things about the product, photo’s, a range of specifications, and the price. Somewhere on the page they finally see your video after clicking an embedded link.
So think about it. Before the consumer gets to your video they already know a lot about your product and have made quite a few shopping choices. That means they need a very specific type of video. But fortunately, one that can be made on a smaller production budget.
How Do You Make Effective Online Catalog Videos?
A few simple rules should guide the content you create. But most importantly, choose what you show and say to respect the things your consumer already knows about your product. Other thoughts:
Focus on the things that need moving picture – not the things that are better said on the printed page. For example, specifications are better on your web page – not in the video. Instead, deliver visual demonstration that shows consumers what they’d never understand any other way. With tools and hardware, for example, the simple act of a hand picking up a product answers important questions for consumers because it puts key features in context.
Don’t ignore the simple demonstrations. Consumers often need to confirm what’s written with simple visual demonstrations. And don’t let your product teams cut them short just because the producers (who aren’t your customer) think they might be dull.
Use animated graphics to show how your product works and reveal what’s hidden. These animations are much more important than animated logo’s. (Yawn!) And don’t cut the animations short. Nothing bugs me more than an animation that only runs for 1 or 2 seconds.
How Do You Make Online Catalog Videos That are High Quality AND Cost Effective?
This is your the more difficult challenge. Trying to do too much on a budget that’s too small wastes your money. At the same time, many production options will break your budget on just one video. Here are some thoughts.
Avoid the “default” choices of production companies. Most video producers approach every project seeking to create the same thing: an expensive stand-alone video with lots of bells and whistles your consumer doesn’t need.
Hire professionals who understand how to create this specific type of video. The web is filled with video footage where we can’t see what’s going on or where the video doesn’t enlighten us. YouTube seems to have engendered a wealth of bad angles and bad lighting shot from too far away (or too close) with too much clutter in the frame. Remember, just because someone CAN shoot video doesn’t mean they should.
Focused on the visual demonstrations that drive sales. And make sure you know what sales points you need to make and what objections you need to overcome in the video. Then work with your agency or production team to find the best ways make that happen.
Make a baker’s dozen. One web video usually can’t cover the product lines offered by most manufacturers or retailers. So shoot many at the same time. With related products, my team has become quite skilled at combining shoot days, props for demonstrations and edit resources to create these retail videos at high quality but for much lower prices per video.
Having said all this, effective video isn’t cheap. If anyone claims they can shoot a group of effective, high quality sales video’s for much less than $4,000 per video, you’re not likely to be pleased with the result.
The Online Video Age Offers Tremendous Opportunity
With wise choices, manufacturers can get the effective and high quality video they need for very reasonable prices. Even better, these videos can make the different between failure and success. But you must stay focused on knowing the mind of your consumer and making the smart choices that delivers the video that leads them to buy your product.
Copyright 2010 – Doug Garnett
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