Your online video as a direct marketing asset

An online video is a marketing asset you can leverage time and time again. This post that I authored for Target Marketing Magazine discusses the product categories where consumers are most engaged in online video, the types of video they watch to learn about products, and finally where those videos are watched most by internet shoppers. This analysis is especially important if you’re a direct marketer who depends on strong sales during the fourth quarter of the calendar year. Armed with these insights, it’s not too late to get going and test online video yet this year.

First, let’s review the product categories where consumers watch product videos. These statistics come from a report called Delivering Superior Shopping Experiences Via Video: Consumer Insights and Retail Execution sponsored by Invodo.

Most likely, if you’re a consumer marketer, your category – or a related category – is on this list. The automotive category tops the list with 31% of internet users reporting that they’ve watched an online video. And why not? Bright shiny cars with product features that can be fully showcased, ultimately can seduce the viewer to want to buy now. Consumer electronics, another product category that can be compellingly romanced with a video, comes in at 30%. Online video is also hot for music, DVDs, toys and video games. Computer hardware and software, which is both a consumer and business-to-business category, can be humanized with online video. And then there is food and wine, apparel, health and beauty, furniture, sporting goods, crafts, and much more (be sure to watch the video for the detailed numbers).

It’s clear that when your customers have access to an online video, they are watching it, and when done properly, they’re taking action and buying. In that regard, video becomes an asset for marketing your product. Viewed as a marketing asset, a video has the ability to be posted online for as long as you wish to generate future sales.

The second study comes from Google and, and it was released in July, 2012. This research concerned online shoppers for apparel, but I think you’ll quickly see how the findings can apply across many consumer marketing categories.

What’s so important is the variety of types of video that can be created to attract qualified viewers and drive customers to you.

The number one type of video that shoppers watched was customer testimonials and reviews. Over one-third of shoppers watched what others said about products. Clearly it’s vital that you include customer testimonials and reviews at every opportunity.

Next was email marketing videos at 29 percent, establishing once again that email is a vital component to drive traffic to videos that feature your product. Other video categories included consumer-generated video, ads that appear elsewhere online, ads that appear while watching content on a TV network website, and professional reviews.

So while you might think that video is limited to demonstrating a product, think again. Prospective buyers want to hear from others who’ve purchased or experienced your product. They click on links in emails or on ads. They want to hear reviews from professionals, and they’ll search online for more other videos to become better educated and compare.

The Invodo study reveals another important insight about the websites where internet users watch product videos.

Not surprisingly, just over half of users watch videos on a website’s home page, which clearly confirms the importance of including a video in this hot spot. Product pages closely follow, followed by brand pages, category pages, customer service, and frequently asked questions. What consumers didn’t report, because they may not have known the term, is how often they say they view videos on landing pages. These are the specific pages that an email links to where the video is embedded. More about the importance of video landing pages in a future post.

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.