Posts categorized ‘Video’

How to Enable Online Consumers to Immerse Themselves in Your Brand

The most memorable and engaging online shopping experiences deliver more than just a simple listing of products. They provide a complete a complete, cross-platform system of content and context to create a compelling story about how those products look or how they can be used in the real world.

Let’s take a look at what you can do to get consumers to immerse themselves in your brand.

Getting Social

Brands go to great lengths to give the same experience to consumers whether in store or browsing through a lookbook online. They give consumers options to share product information through various social media channels and make certain offers available (both in store or online), which enables consumers to feel as though they are a part of your brand.

PartyLite - social

Zmags makes it easy to add social share buttons to your online publications, and even to your product windows so you can give your users the ability to share specific products with their friends and followers.

Bonus Tip: Offer a discount if a purchase is made through your online publication for those consumers who share your publication. 

Getting Visual

The more senses you engage, the greater the chances are that your consumers will purchase a product or products. For example, captivating videos can add a level of engagement and excitement to the shopping experience. Allowing users to see the products in use can really give them the ability to visualize themselves using your brand.

mobile video

Adding video to an online lookbook is quite simple and can add a unique element of engagement within your brand. Longer engagement times in store, on your website and in your online publications increase the chance for purchase or the chance for more purchases.

Bonus Tip: Keep your videos to 30-45 seconds in length, at most. ‘Vine’ style videos (6 seconds on average) are also effective in an online publication setting as well. 

Getting Out

This might sound as if I am contradicting myself given what I have been speaking about so far in this post, but give your users a chance to get out…and by get out, I mean checkout. A seamless check-out process in which consumers don’t have to leave the platform or device they are shopping from to complete their order will delight the customer, as well as increase your rate of completed transactions.

PartyLite - checkout

If you’re users are on a tablet or mobile phone, chances are the publication is taking up the entire screen which means checking out requires an additional step in the process. By adding a checkout button to your publication, you can eliminate that extra step that could be the difference between completing the process and leaving the items in the cart believe it or not. Give your users the chance to get out, and they will most likely look to get back in sooner rather than later.

Bonus Tip: Having the option to continue shopping or check out while your users are in your publication is another great way to give them the options they are looking for. 

Collectively, these features will enable you to deliver a rich, immersive brand experience that is consistent across all digital touchpoints, and give that experience more of a ‘scene’ as opposed to a ‘screen’ feel. How are you enabling your consumers to immerse themselves in your brand?

Different Ways to Deploy Video in a Digital Publication

Zmags’ stance on video and rich media has been that videos should not only be part of the marketing plan, but should be fully integrated into the shopper’s purchase path, as they can add value and engage in a way that other types of media cannot. A Google Insights study done on videos related to TV purchases found that after viewing videos, a majority of shoppers researched more information, look up store locations, and took action.

The hard part is creating original, engaging video content. That’s the nut we’re all continually trying to crack. The easy part is that there are a number of different ways to implement video into publications, so that video content can be seen by different types of users in a variety of different formats.

Adding Video to a Zmag Digital Publication

Deploying a video in a Zmags publication is as easy as Drag and Drop. Most file types are accepted, and the Publicator has an automatic conversion process upon upload, so that the video file becomes useable for the publication, with no additional work required from the user.

 

 

Embedding a Video using a Widget

What’s meant by “embedding” is inserting a piece of code or series of letters into your publication so that a video appears on the “front end”, as opposed to uploading a video into the media library. Zmags’ HTML5 IFrame Widget allows for easy embedding of YouTube videos by combining the video’s unique YouTube ID with a url format for embedding.

Streaming from an external source

Instead of uploading a video or embedding one, the user can stream a video from an external source. In order for this to work, however, the external server (i.e. video source and owner) must allow the publication access to the media by installing a small .xml file to the root of the website. So while the owner of the publication does not necessarily need to own the video and source, he/she would at least need to have pre-arranged permission in order to create that connection.

This is sometimes the preferred route if a publisher has pre-existing videos and wishes to implement them in a publication, but the videos are too large to upload directly.

The best route for implementing a video into a digital publication will vary based on source and size, but it should always be straightforward using one of the methods shown above. Video cannot be overlooked or under-stated in today’s digital landscape, and Zmags wants to make it as easy as possible for retailers and marketers to show engaging videos to their audiences.

How are you integrating video into your marketing mix?

The Future of the PC as a Content Source

The August 2012 Abode Digital Index study “How Tablets are Catalyzing Brand Website Engagement” reveals that consumers are showing an increased preference to tablets. The study also highlights the fact that tablets are all set to displace the smart phone as the most popular mobile digital touch point by 2013. Smart phones, however, will continue to increase its share in the total web traffic.

So where does this leave the traditional desktop or laptop?

Browsing online on a PCAs of now, the PC generates the lion’s share of web traffic. As on December 2011, there are six PCs for every tablet, but web traffic through PCs is 19 times greater than web traffic through tablets. For each brand website visit made using a tablet device, there are 3.2 visits made through the desktop or laptop.

Consumers still prefer the PC owing to the larger real estate, convenient access to desktops at work or home, the nascent stage of the tablet app industry as opposed to the all-pervasive nature of web browser and websites, and the limitations of the tablets in accomplishing many tasks that are easier on the desktop.

These inherent advantages of the PC will continue in the near future, and while the tablet and smart phone would nibble away at the PC’s market share, the desktop or laptop would still retain its dominance in the near future.

However, the ability of the tablet (or any other mobile digital touch point) to upstage the traditional PC would depend on:

* Tablets leveraging the cloud to access services that now requires the memory, storage and software of a PC

* Developers adopting HTML5 and other technologies that deliver platform independent solutions. This will provide consistency when accessing content across devices.

* Brands competing to leverage the enhanced functionality and benefits of the tablets to engage with customers better

* Enterprises adopting the tablets in a big way for their routine day to day operations

Regardless of device, you need to have a seamless experience across all touch points.

Why Marketers are Scurrying to Provide Video Based Content

Comscore reports that as of April 2012, almost 85 percent of US audience viewed online video. An adult viewer watches 21.8 hours a month on an average and this is double the corresponding figure in 2010.

How to use video in your digital catalogThe emergence of multiple digital touch points with enhanced multimedia capabilities has further facilitated the popularity of videos as a content medium. A 2012 study by the etailing group sponsored by Invodo revels that one in two smart phone users and more than six out of ten tablet users watch one or more product videos in a three month period.

Such a steep increase in the popularity of the video is forcing marketers sit up and take notice. The Social media examiner reports that 76 percent of all marketers plan to increase the space of video in their marketing plans in 2012. This is likely to yield good results, with the Internet Retailer reporting that 85 percent of the prospects who view product videos would most likely make the purchase. Those who view video are 17.4 percent more likely to make a purchase versus those who do not watch videos.

There are many reasons for such a high conversion rates:

  • Videos provide the most appropriate engagement medium for those who prefer visual or audible communications over written or verbal communications. Such people constitute about 60 to 70 percent of all shoppers.
  • Videos help consumers progress to a “ready to buy” state by educating them with product information and specifications. Evidence suggests that people who watch videos spend more time on the website and engage better. When they purchase, they purchase with confidence, with lesser cart abandonment compared to those who do not watch videos. After making a purchase they are less likely to return the product.
  • For the marketer, incorporating video provides an added benefit of improved SEO optimization, resulting in improved search engine ranking and thereby better visibility.

How are you using this medium to increase conversion rates?

Videos Drive Sales, But is All Video Content Created Equal?

Retail commerce grew by 15.4 percent in 2012 to reach a total sales volume of $73 million.

Comprehensive video contentA significant driver of the growth in online sales in general has been videos. Research by eMarketer.com sponsored by Invodo, conducted in March 2012, estimates that one out of every two online shoppers have more confidence in the product when watching the product video, prompting them to buy and making them less likely to return the product. 31 percent of the shoppers actually buy after being influenced by the videos in the first place. 37 percent of online shoppers would purchase more products when the website offers product-informative videos and 41 percent of online shoppers would most probably return to a website that integrates video.

It seems that online shoppers resort to the video as a substitute to the “touch and feel” experience of physical shopping. But do all videos increase click throughs?

A May 2012 Google and Compete apparel study reveals that shoppers prefer consumer-generated video content more than editorial driven, marketer produced, video content. When shopping for apparels, 36 percent of online shoppers in the US viewed a customer testimonial or review video and 26 percent watched consumer-generated non-testimonial videos while only 29 percent of the online shoppers watched email marketing video content and 21 percent of the shoppers viewed video reviews made by professionals. Ads still hold their ground, with 25 percent of online shoppers viewing ads that appear on television, another 25 percent watching ads that appear elsewhere online and 16 percent watching ads that appear on an on-demand streaming video website.

The research also clarifies that online shoppers who viewed videos when researching for a product were more likely to spend more than those who did not view videos. 25 percent of the online shoppers who used video for research, purchased more than six times in the six-month period of the study when compared to the six months period before the study, whereas only 16 percent of those who did not use videos in their research purchased more during the same period. 28 percent of online shoppers who used videos when researching the product shopped for more than $500 in the six-month period of the research whereas only 2 percent of shoppers who did not watch video spend the same amount.

How can you use video in your online strategy to reap the rewards?

Video-Enabled Zmags, Gangham Style

This blog post comes to you from Invodo‘s VP of Marketing, Russ Somers.

If you’re on the Web these days, you’ve probably heard of Gangnam Style by South Korean pop star PSY. The video now holds the record for the most “liked” video in history. Another big piece of news on the Web these days is that Invodo and Zmags have joined forces to bring you video-enabled interactive catalogs that represent a cutting-edge browsing and buying experience. What does that have in common with Gangnam Style? When I think about it, they have four things in common:

  1. Video-enabled digital catalog by Zmags and InvodoIt’s an experience. The first time you saw Gangnam Style you may have felt the way I did…a bit puzzled. But the energy and humor quickly brought a smile to my face. The first time a consumer encounters video while browsing a catalog, it may be a bit of a surprise as well. But it will be a pleasant surprise, as abundant research indicates that shoppers find video helpful in the shopping experience. So I expect it will bring a smile to their face as well.
  1. There’s more than meets the eye. On the surface, the song is an energetic pop trifle. However, the video is filled with sly humor. The locations and situations (sunbathing at a playground as though it were the beach, rapping on a toilet – yes, a toilet) are far from what you’d expect in a video paying tribute to Seoul’s trendiest district.

And there’s more than meets the eye to the Invodo/Zmags partnership as well. Invodo’s analytics platform delivers deep insight not just on who watches your videos, but on how they interact with the video and when they buy. Combined with Zmags’ robust analytics, joint clients will find themselves with a great deal of rich data to help them market more effectively.

  1. It will inspire imitation.  Gangnam Style has spawned its share of parodies, including some pretty funny ones (and one from MIT featuring a cameo from Noam Chomsky). In the same way, expect to see ecommerce sites striving to capture the browsing experience an interactive catalog with video delivers. But just as none of the parodies approach the original’s 500 million views, the deep integration between Invodo and Zmags will deliver a superior shopping experience.
  1. It’s everywhere. Yes, I said 500 million views, and it’s on track to become the first video to reach over one billion views by December, according to Forbes. (For perspective, that will displace Justin Bieber and other lesser talents). That’s a lot of laptops, tablets and phones all playing the same video. The combination of Zmags and Invodo is everywhere too, as the same rich browsing experience is delivered to your iPad or phone just as surely as it’s delivered to your desktop or laptop computer.

In the world of pop culture, it’s hard to know what will make a video go viral or spawn an Internet meme. However, in the world of shopping, a focus on customer experience is what it takes to make a hit. Invodo is proud to team of with Zmags to offer a cutting-edge shopping experience.

Creating Effective Video Content for Your Digital Publication

Videos have grown in popularity to the point that they now rival the written and spoken word. Consumers are willing to watch videos 60% of the time, and once they do, 85% of them convert.

Creating Effective Video Content for Your Digital PublicationBut not all videos drive sales. The question for marketers is how to maximize video view rate, and by extension, sales. Invodo’s study “The Online Retailer’s Guide to Video Merchandising Success” lists out some ways to achieve high view sales:

* Design large call to action (CTA) that attracts the customer’s eye. This may include colorful image, text and rich details. Such large CTAs generate 8.14% view rate, which is more than double the 4.07% view rates generated by small CTAs.

* Place the video strategically, at the very top. Videos “above the fold” or visible without scrolling at a place have an average 5.24% view rate, compared to videos “below the fold” or that require scrolling the webpage to view that have only a view rate of 3.43%. The exact “fold” position depends on the browser, monitor size and resolution.

* Incorporate a text call to action. Words such as “click to play” or “click to view” increases view rate. Videos with such text content have a view rate of 6.16% compared to the view rate of 4.75% of videos with only images.

* Limit the number of elements competing for clicks on the page. The more elements on a page that compete for a click, the less often any one element actually gets clicked. Pages with fewer than ten elements have the highest overall view rates.

How can you use video to drive conversions for your business? Video can be easily embedded into any Zmag – so what are you waiting for?

Why Marketers are Providing Video-Based Content

Video consumption has soared over the past couple years. Comscore reports that as on April 2012, almost 85% of the US audience has viewed an online video. A standard adult viewer watches 21.8 hours of video a month on an average, and this is double the corresponding figure in 2010.

Video-based content in digital magazineThe emergence of multiple digital touch points with enhanced multimedia capabilities has further facilitated the popularity of videos as a content medium. A 2012 study by the etailing group sponsored by Invodo reveals that one in two smart phone users and more than six out of ten tablet users watch one or more product videos in a three month period.

Such a steep increase in the popularity of the video has made marketers sit up and take notice. The Social Media Examiner reports that 76% of all marketers plan to increase the pace of video in their marketing plans in 2012. This is likely to yield good results, while the Internet Retailer reports that 85% of the prospects who view product videos would most likely make the purchase. Those who view video are 174% more likely to make a purchase versus those who do not watch videos.

Videos provide the most appropriate engagement medium for those who prefer visual or audible communications over written or verbal communications. These people constitute about 60 to 70% of all shoppers.

Videos help consumers progress to a “ready to buy” state by educating them with product information and specifications. Evidence suggests that people who watch videos spend more time on the website and engage better. When they purchase, they purchase with confidence, with lesser cart abandonment compared to those who do not watch videos. After making a purchase, they are less likely to return the product.

For the marketer, incorporating video provides an added benefit of improved SEO optimization, resulting in improved search engine ranking and thereby better visibility.

The Case for High Quality and Comprehensive Video Content

Video is now an established content medium. Cisco estimates that by 2013, video adoption will touch 90% of total internet traffic. eMarketer estimates that by 2015, US online video viewers will represent 60% of the general population and 76% of Internet users.

Comprehensive video contentMarketers and companies have woken up to this fact – 73% of US websites already feature video. However, when delivering video content, it is important to understand what the customers expect out of videos, or why they prefer videos compared to other content types.

Consumers take interest in videos that educate them. Videos that describe product features and benefits score over other videos. One out of three consumers spends more than three minutes when watching videos that explain or demonstrate the product. 66% of all consumers watch such videos two or more times.

Brands have already leveraged this trend in a big way. Luxury brands, for instance, offer behind-the-scenes footage of photo shoots and runway shows to connect with the customers better.

Customers prefer good quality and detailed videos that offer comprehensive and in depth information. 60% of the consumers value video quality over anything else in the video. 53% of consumers prefer detailed presentations, and 47% of consumers say that the quality of the video matters when making a purchase decision. Many marketers however remain oblivious to this fact, clouded by the conventional wisdom that time-starved and busy consumers may prefer short and succinct videos.

What kinds of videos can you create to engage your customers?

Reference: E-tailing Group “Delivering Superior Shopping Experiences Via Video”