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Are Shoppable Videos the Future of Social Media Marketing?

In this article, I’ll delve deep into shoppable videos, why they’re on the rise, and how your brand can keep up.

Are shoppable videos the future of social media marketing? 82% of Twitter users prefer video. YouTube has over a billion users, resulting in more than 500 hours per day of watch time. 

The consumption of video is much greater among younger consumers aged 18-34 years. This rising video consumption has encouraged brands to invest in shoppable video advertising. Here’s what you need to know.

What are shoppable videos?

A shoppable video is a type of video marketing content that encourages viewers to make a purchase. In addition to demonstrating the product through video, the content includes landing page links or “Buy Now” buttons to enable viewers to take action and make a purchase. 

Unlike traditional advertisements that were only for watching, shoppable videos allow customers to directly purchase from the video. So, customers don’t need to manually open the company website and buy the product. This shortens the buying journey and improves customer experience. 

Are shoppable videos the future?

Before delving into the nitty-gritty of shoppable video marketing, let’s understand why you should care about it in the first place. Video has become the most-consumed content type. The average video consumption worldwide is more than 84 minutes per day. 

People are ditching TV for OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. So, traditional TV advertisements don’t work anymore. These ads are one-sided and company-centric, with no engagement at all for the user. 

Shoppable advertisements are two-sided and customer-centric. The marketing world also calls this content type “shoppertainment,” as it engages the customers, entertains them, and encourages them to make a purchase. In some instances, it also allows potential customers to save money which can convince them to make a purchase. 

ECommerce companies initially adopted the concept of shoppable videos. But later, retail stores like Walmart also decided to hop on the bandwagon. Vudu, Walmart’s streaming service, is investing heavily in shoppable ads to enhance its eCommerce capabilities. 

The rise of mobiles is another reason why shoppable advertising has become so important. Close to 5 billion mobile phones are there in the world, and more than 50% of internet traffic comes from mobile devices. 

Moreover, mobile has become the go-to video streaming platform. Whether Netflix or YouTube, viewers are accessing all video streaming platforms from mobiles. 

Since most customers shop online from their mobile phones, shoppable videos have become a key mobile advertising trend. You must’ve noticed YouTube ads along with “Buy Now” buttons. 

How to enhance your marketing strategy using shoppable videos?

A winning shoppable video advertising strategy begins with creating an amazing shoppable video. Brands need to understand their customers and their requirements well to create videos that resonate with them. 

Here’s a step by step guide to creating shoppable videos to enhance your marketing strategy. 

1. Have a plan

Shoppable videos are the future of marketing, but they’re not for everyone. If you create shoppable videos without any strategy, you won’t achieve any results. Before starting to make the video, work with your marketing team, and determine how it fits into your current digital marketing strategy.

Let’s say your existing marketing plan is working well and producing the desired results. Unless you’re certain that shoppable videos will grow your business, you shouldn’t make that investment. 

2. Ensure a seamless experience

Many brands are exploiting shoppable video because it provides a fast and immediate way to shop. As discussed, the biggest drawback of traditional advertising is that it doesn’t engage the customer. Even if the customer wants to make a purchase, she’ll need to find her phone, open your website, and place an order. 

But when you use shoppable video, the entire process minimizes to one click. Your customer can click the “Buy Now” button and be directed to the product page. This ensures a seamless customer experience and increases the chance of a sale. 

So, when you create a shoppable video, always prioritize the customer experience. Take, for example, Fashion Relief, an annual event by the charity organization Oxfam. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the organization wasn’t able to organize the event. 

To resolve this hurdle, they turned their fashion show into a shoppable video event. Viewers could view and buy fashion products from any device. 

The result?

Oxfam’s 60% stock sold out in two hours, and the entire campaign registered a 25% conversion rate. 

3. Tell a story

Who doesn’t like a good story? Storytelling is an important marketing tactic every brand should use. However, it’s not possible to leverage storytelling with other advertising techniques. But video provides a great platform for brands to share stories their customers can relate to. 

Many brands have been utilizing storytelling to empower their shoppable video advertising efforts. Let’s take Ted Baker, a UK-based fashion brand, for example. The brand partnered with Guy Ritchie in 2016 and 2017 to create two shoppable videos in a storytelling format. The first video was a spy story, and the clothes of all characters were shoppable. The second one was the story of a Baker family that moved into a new house. 

The campaigns produced good results. The company reported $70,000 worth of clothes in seven days. 

4. Ensure mobile-friendliness

We talked about how crucial mobile devices are for shoppable advertising. More people than ever are streaming videos from mobile devices. If you want to invest in shoppable video advertising, mobiles should be your target platform. So, ensure that your videos are mobile-friendly. 

How can you make your shoppable videos mobile friendly? Make sure the message of the video is consumable on a mobile device. The story and characters should be visible so that the customer can make a purchase decision. Also, the purchase buttons should be large enough to be clicked. But at the same time, they should not obstruct the content. 

5. Shoppable ads for TV

TV companies are coming up with shoppable TVs. These TVs can play shoppable ads and allow customers to make a purchase directly from their TV. And a few years down the line, the majority of advertisements shown on TV will be shoppable. 

But what if your target customers don’t have a shoppable TV? The concept of shoppable TVs is still new, and not a lot of people know about it. Then how can you target your customers who don’t have a shoppable TV?

Here’s where QR codes can help. You can include a custom QR code in your advertisements and link it with the product page. Customers who want to make a purchase will be able to scan the code and reach the desired destination. 

6. Bridge the gap with QR codes

Out-of-home advertising still has its place. If you want to engage your customers on a large scale, utilizing OTH advertising strategies like putting up videos on digital banner spaces can help. 

You can make your videos shoppable by including a QR code. Viewers watching the banner ad would be able to scan the code and make a purchase. However, ensure that the code is large enough to be scanned easily. 

A QR code plan is inexpensive, so you can easily incorporate QR codes in your shoppable video marketing strategy without running up your operational costs.  

Some shoppable marketing mistakes to avoid

Sure, shoppable video advertising is different from traditional video marketing. But at its core, it’s still video marketing. Hence, all the video marketing rules apply. 

Here are a few mistakes you should avoid if you’re planning to include shoppable videos in your next advertising campaign. 

1. Not having a script

Shoppable videos are nothing but a way to tell engaging stories to your customers. And in order to have an amazing story, you need a killer script. So, before getting your tripods and video editor tools ready, spend some time with pen and paper to write down an interesting story. And, in case storytelling is not your best skill, don’t shy away from professional help – you can easily hire good copywriters and get a good script for maximum impact.

A shoppable video ad without a story or script won’t lead the viewers anywhere. Your consumers will engage with it only if it tells a story that they can relate to. 

2. Missing out on the tone

Several brands make this blunder. They overlook the tone in their marketing videos. And it’s understandable. Maintaining brand consistency in videos is challenging compared with text or images. 

But it is what it is. If your videos don’t reflect your brand, they won’t serve the purpose. So, invest some time and resources in ensuring that your videos align with your brand so that the viewers can instantly recognize you. 

3. Feeling entitled

This isn’t a psychology class, but you should avoid feeling entitled like the youngest kid of the family. Companies do this all the time. Just because they have a good product, they think they deserve attention. 

This isn’t how marketing works, and this is definitely not how customers think. They won’t care until you give them a reason to do so. 

So, when you create a shoppable video, make sure it does more than selling. It should solve the viewer’s problem, engage them emotionally, and bring a smile to their face. If your video doesn’t do that, you’ll have a hard time driving sales and conversions. 

4. Not thinking outside of the box

Let’s say you have a product landing page that’s been working well for a while. It’s helping you generate the desired conversions and revenue you wanted it to. So, you use the exact landing page copy to create a shoppable video ad. 

The ad talks about the features and benefits of the products, along with a clear call to action. But it has no story, and it fails to engage your customers. Will it produce the results? Most certainly not. 

A shoppable video ad should be more than just a sales script you use on a landing page. With a video, you can take your consumers on a journey of your choice. You can engage them the way you want to. But to do so, you’ll need to get creative and think outside the box. 

So, work with your marketing team and brainstorm video ideas. Come up with innovative video scripts that your viewers can’t ignore. 

5. Lack of quality

You can have the best script and idea, but people won’t bother watching your video if it doesn’t look good. It’s important to have a talented video production team that helps you develop high-quality video content. Aspects such as lighting, sound, and stabilization should be on point to ensure a superior video. 

Wrapping up

Shoppable videos are gradually becoming the go-to advertising choice for brands. And as video consumption continues to grow, it’s certain that shoppable video advertising is here to stay. 

But shoppable videos aren’t for every business. If you want to leverage them, ensure that you have a plan that aligns with your overall branding and marketing strategy. 

Luke Fitzpatrick

Written by Luke Fitzpatrick

Luke Fitzpatrick is an academic speaker at Sydney University. He enjoys writing about tech, productivity, lifestyle, and is a contributor to Forbes.

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