Posted January 26, 2009 2:16 pm by with 5 comments

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By Danny Brown

Despite the doom and gloom of the last quarter in 2008, online sales still totaled over $25 billion last year. Leading online analysts comScore noted that while these figures represented a drop from 2007, unique visitors to retailer websites actually increased by 5%. So, less spending but more visits—which means you need to be ready for these visitors.

What Do You See?

Visual attraction is still one of the best marketing and advertising tools available, and what could be better than video advertising? It’s instant, it’s attention-grabbing and it shows your product better than any still image ever could. So why are so few retailers using video advertising?

According to a recent survey, less than a quarter of retailers are using video advertising on their site. While this number is growing (it’s viewed as more important than social media use and search engine marketing), there still seems to be a wait-and-see approach. Reasons? Cost and time. Yet are these reasons valid?

  1. Cost. You don’t need to have a high-end video production to market your products or services. You can buy something like the Flip Mino HD video camera for less than $200. Quality is excellent and puts many higher-spec competitors to shame.
  2. Time. You’re too busy to increase your profit? Okay, why not get film students from your local college to make something as a project? Or an employee whose hobbies include YouTube videos? There are ways around time if you look for them.

The beauty with video advertising is that it’s not just limited to your site. Upload your advert to Facebook, to YouTube, to your blog, to affiliate sites—the outreach is up to you.

And with video watching by website visitors increasing by 40% last year, can you or your clients afford to miss out?

Danny Brown is the owner of Press Release PR, a boutique agency specializing in social media and PR convergence. He is a blog partner of the iEntry and WebProNews business network and the founder of the 12for12k Challenge.

  • There is another factor preventing use of video by online retailers – creativity. Bad video is worse than no video. Producing good, creative, watchable video takes skill, knowledge, creativity and an understanding of high production values. Besides which, video for video sake doesn’t sell on its own. You still need good copy that goes with it, in terms of voice-over or scripting. The result is that it can all be too costly and complex for many online ventures. Furthermore, TV advertising appears only to work as a reminder or as a brand creator – it doesn’t appear to “sell” as such. Online video is unlikely to have much more of a different impact on viewers.

    Far better, if people want to invest in selling more from their web site, is to get the copy right. Few people invest in good copywriting, yet study after study show us it is the words that matter most to consumers. Get them right and you probably won’t need video to do anything other than what it is good add – brand awareness.

  • YouTube makes up the majority of web-related searches, video blogging, and marketing is going no where in the near future. @Graham Jones makes a great point that “good, creative, and watchable video takes skill”. Yes, TV or internet video advertising might not be the only source of marketing which “sells” the brand to the consumer, but what if you combine it with product sampling?

    Marketers can use the philosophy of using video (such as in-flight entertainment) and combine it with product sampling for the consumer (such as at a hotel after the flight or on a cruise ship) to reach the consumer with multiple sensory modes – visual and touch.

    Brian Martin’s last blog post..AdverTRYING: A Marketer’s Golden Touch

  • Has anyone computed the difference of online sales between individual and corporate purchases? I’ll hazard a guess most online purchasing is from individuals on their own accounts, if only because corporations have company codes and the like that many online storefronts lack the ability to discount. Still, it would be interesting to see this quantified in a report.

    Ari Herzog’s last blog post..Guest Interview with Chris Rasmussen: Looking at Government 2.0 Social Tools

  • And viral video, is still a big factor, although it can be overdone sometimes. Have enjoyed reading your very informative posts, will be back for more next time I get my coffee. Thanks George

    George Snyder’s last blog post..Well, this is the new look

  • I think a video is the best form of communication online. It really is catching up. The best thing about video is that you dont need to market it all that much. Just host it on youtube and see for yourself.

    fasblog’s last blog post..How To Get Top Ranking In Google