4 Steps to Take the Fear out of Using Video in Retail – Gifts & Decorative Accessories

//July 6, 2023
4 Steps to Take the Fear out of Using Video in Retail
Videos can help attract customers, drive sales and engage customers.
//July 6, 2023
Video. A word that can strike dread into the heart of the most intrepid retailer. It’s not viewed as the natural habitat for most merchants. But I think it is – or at least it can be.
Success in buying and selling is the art of carefully selecting products and then creating an emotional connection between your clients and those products. You fashion that slipstream that carries customers from “I need a thing,” (or sometimes: “Do I need a thing?”) to “I must have this thing.” Video is the media most capable of elevating that emotional pull, so it is, in my opinion, a natural environment for retailers to inhabit.
The versatility of video is also a compelling reason to consider it for your marketing mix. It’s hard to find another form of outreach that easily adapts to email marketing, websites, social media, native video sites, SMS marketing and even in-store.
Wyzowl Research publishes an annual survey looking at the state of video in marketing for businesses. The 2023 results showed that, “far from reaching a saturation point, video marketing is actually continuing to grow in popularity — and achieving better results for marketers than ever.” And global commerce platform Shopify noted that 87 percent of their survey’s respondents confirmed that using video tactics helped increase sales.
Enticing? Yes, but. I get it. Understanding what to do and why are the roadblocks that hamstring most retailers from moving forward and potentially improving their revenue.
Here are four quick steps to get you started:
Decide what your goals for using video are. They might be: (1) attracting more customers to your store; (2) driving sales for a particular product or category; and (3) increasing social media views and engagement. Yours can be different, but identifying your goals gives you the “why” from which you can apply the “how.” It also allows you to home in on the types of videos you will create.
Consider what you will use: cell phone video, small-scale in-house production or full-on filming. Hint: all of them work, and to a surprising degree, with equal success. Base your decision on your business personality and your customers.
Think about who will be the on-camera person: You, someone else, or even a mix of the two based on expertise and comfort level.
Decide where to share your videos. Start on social media and spread from there? Or is YouTube your online residence of choice?
Consider the length. Regardless of where they ultimately live, the most viewed videos are shorter than you probably think. No need to explain everything or prep a professorial lecture. Say what needs to be said, show what needs showing, provide a CTA and then stop.
Even the most capable and captivating presenter using the simplest video format will occasionally need some help. Figure out now who you can turn to when you need someone to hold the camera, help you with lighting or wonky audio, and who can help you edit what might feel like some crazy amount of footage.
Don’t wait to perfect it. Don’t fritter over it. As long as it doesn’t reflect poorly on you and your company, post it. Studies show that viewers award psychological brownie points to companies that upload imperfect but genuine videos over those that do not share video content. Remember, the next one can be better, and you can always remove or hide less-than-fabulous posts once you feel like you’re more of a video pro.
All those other questions like how often, what about animation, how many views should I have, can be addressed shortly. For now, find a bright shiny day when you feel good, turn the camera to face you and share. Connect your viewers to the emotion. It’s what good merchants do every day.
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