By ANDERSON CHOW
Photo by Chase Clark on Unsplash

Empirical studies on the power of e-commerce with video are undeniable. Eighty percent of internet users prefer to buy online today. Brightcove, a leading online video platform based in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S, also reported an 80% global internet traffic would be on video by 2020. Smart Insights, a publisher and learning platform for digital marketing that has 150,000 active members across 100 countries and a monthly readership of ½ million reported that “72% online users prefer video over text when learning about a product or service.” YouTube reported a 70% growth year-on-year in “How-To” videos related searches. 
 
These are just a tip of the iceberg in video consumption. As we are moving into an internet penetration at lightning speed, countries like US, China, Japan, South Korea, and even Malaysia are taking the lead in 5G technology. It is important to know what’s the latest trends and directions on how video is changing in 2019 so marketers could build better strategies. This article will uncover some basics strategies to make you understand what e-commerce video content strategy is all about.
 
As a guest speaker at SITEC (Selangor Information Technology & E-Commerce Council), a state government initiative aims to develop Selangor (Malaysia) as the regional trading hub for e-Commerce and to uplift the startup ecosystem within the state—my topic of interest is on visual content strategy in which I will talk particularly on video content. This article is the first of a two-part from the presentation which I will give at the training.
 
Identify Your Marketing Goals
As with any marketing activities, you must identify your e-commerce objectives. Nothing gets done if you do not know where you want to go or what are your goals. Decide what do you want to achieve within your marketing funnel. Do you want to attract new customers, increase conversion or increase average order value? Your strategy should correspond with how deep your customers are within your marketing funnel. Should your video be about creating brand awareness to attract new customers or upselling more through bundling?
 
To get started set your SMART goal, a framework that helps marketers lay out their marketing objectives. Each letter is a representation of a step to identify your KPIs. Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Realistic. Timely. Read to learn more of the SMART framework here.
 
Research Your Target Audience
Be specific. The better you know your target audience, the better you can create content that addresses their needs, and the more relevant your videos will be. Start building personas of your buyers or customers if you don’t already have. To learn more about building personas check out HubSpot’s guide to creating buyer personas.
 
Understand at what level of engagement your audience will be. It’s a given that your target audience won’t commit to buying anything from you if they only see your video for the first time. Planning out the journey to purchase carefully with them in mind is very important. 
 
What Video Strategy to Engage?
Next, decide if you want to inspire, educate or entertain with your video. Each would either lift or sink your audience experience when they engaged with your brand. Pick correctly and in line with your audience segment and stage of engagement (funneling) and you already halfway to good view count and even getting more shares. Be authentic with your message as it should resonates from within your brand essence. Here are 3 broad strategies you could employ.
 
INSPIRE the audience with emotional and relatable stories. What are they searching for in your brand or industry? Can your video give them ideas to solve their problems, inspire them with better solutions or tell relatable stories that make them feel inspired? Share helpful information, and you’ll start bringing in more viewers to your funnel. ‘How-to’ use, install or maximise the performance of your products type of videos best describe this strategy. 
 
EDUCATE the audience with useful information. Content that you develop regularly and teaches something that your audience is hungry and wanted—from business insights, technical, cheat sheets to cooking videos.  This is where consistency and reinforcement is part of the strategy. You could do this daily, weekly, monthly or at any regular basis that suits your plan. Think of this as the hub platform where the audience keeps coming back to you for fresh and consistent content. 
 
ENTERTAIN by surprising your audience, making them laugh, cry or emotional with well thought out spectacular content. Stories about triumphant journeys or overcoming challenges. The Davids versus the Goliaths of the world. Stories that would keep viewers expecting for more. It is the magical stuff that takes a fair amount of production time, planning and then backed by being heavily promoting it. It is also where you deliver a message so powerful that they’ll never forget how you made them feel. Branding video is a great example.
 
Now that we have laid out what video content strategy is about, it is imperative to know that despite your best efforts, there is no guarantee that your video will capture more attention than your competitors. Even if your audience chose to watch your video, would they even would bother to complete it? It is somewhat disheartening that consumer attention span is fleeting (official figure) at 8 seconds before they hit that skip button (I have a feeling it is even shorter). 
 
But knowing this limitation sets about whole new challenges for video marketing and marketers. The second part of this article will touch on the best practices for 2019 in creating videos for e-commerce and marketing in general. I will share the proven dos and don’ts so your next video journey will be better produced for higher engagement and in turn possibly converting to more significant sales.
 

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