By Kelly Ford
November 5th, 2012
Smart applications of online video foster the highest levels of brand engagement and deliver on key performance marketing objectives, so the holidays are the perfect time for retailers to invest in video and leverage it across all channels, from website, to email communications, to advertising campaigns.
This upcoming holiday season eMarketer predicts online retail sales will account for nearly 25 percent of 2012 revenue, and we predict that online video will be a factor in driving that revenue. So whether you’ve been preparing your site since July or are getting ready now, these five video tips are sure to enhance holiday marketing initiatives to effectively engage customers for maximum financial impact during the most competitive shopping season.
- Ensure on-site videos are mobile/tablet compatible
Not only should all of your videos be mobile and tablet-compatible year round, it is especially crucial this holiday season as tablet-based shopping is expected to boom. Consumers will shop both on the go and from their sofas via smartphones and tablets in the coming months. And not just online – many in-store experiences are including kiosks and sales associates with tablets for consumer browsing and purchasing if items are unavailable on the floor.
- Refresh video creativity to reflect holiday seasonality
This is an opportunity to refresh your brand personality by infusing videos with new, seasonal messages that are light and deliver cheer to your customers. A great example of this is last year’s Overstock.com holiday video ad, which brings the holiday spirit to the viewer while showcasing the brand’s values, namely superior customer service.
This year, West Elm’s on-site product videos will have a seasonal theme for the holiday shopping period. Likewise, a top US family vacation destination applies seasonal creativity, too, in order to refresh their year-round video program that welcomes visitors to their vacation. Treatment includes seasonal themes such as snowfall, Santa hats, Christmas festivities, holiday CTAs “add this gift to your cart,” and the inclusion of key dates such as the last order date for timely delivery, last date for gift returns and exchanges.
- Keep video ads updated to reflect promotions and price changes
Ever-changing promotions, door-busters and time-sensitive sales are great tactics for incentivizing customers, yet can pose a challenge for brands to ensure such communications are always up-to-date. Utilizing smart, real-time video technology ensures communications reflect these changing offers. Timely videos also deliver a better user experience that ultimately increases customer loyalty and retention.
- Create personalized video recommendations for customer’s shopping list
Understand your audience and anticipate their needs this season. Videos that are personally relevant to your shoppers not only support them throughout the ecommerce experience, but also develop loyal customers who will keep coming back long after the New Year. Create your video holiday gift guides with infused personalized content to engage holiday shoppers and make your message more relevant. Smart, real-time videos can include the customer’s recent browsing behavior and products viewed, and recommend related items to recently purchased gifts.
- Create video content that supports your customers through the holidays
Video content that educates consumers during the holiday mayhem is another engaging way to drive brand loyalty. For instance, a few years ago Target partnered with YouTube and created a “Holiday Solutions” video channel that shared recipes, party tips and gift ideas. This type of video content conveys the ability to understand and cater to customer needs and interests. Take this a step further with personalization, presenting tips and ideas that are relevant to purchase history and demographics.
Luxury brands, specialty retailers and mass merchants are all embracing online video as not only a marketing tactic, but also a customer engagement tool, proven to boost sales, brand impact and loyalty. The holiday season is an ideal time to maximize the power of video, and it’s not too late to enhance your marketing initiatives with video today.
A product of both established and emerging organizations, guest author Kelly Ford is a technology marketer and optimist who has built a 18-year career on a passion for breaking new ground. She comes to SundaySky from Operative Media, where, as Senior Vice President of Marketing, she led initiatives to establish and scale the company as the leader in advertising business management, including the acquisition and integration of its primary competitor. Prior to Operative, Kelly headed marketing for LivePerson, leading go-to-market and demand generation initiatives that resulted in 85 percent revenue growth during her tenure. Kelly also previously held senior management roles at Oriel, Groove Networks (now Microsoft) and IBM.
As Vice President of Marketing at SundaySky, Kelly sets and executes strategies that build presence and pipeline, and ensure SmartVideo category leadership. Kelly received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Michigan State University.