Although this article isn’t new (it first appeared in March 2011), the success stories of how online video transformed the businesses featured are extremely compelling.
The New York Times identified six key areas in online video that can help your business grow :
- Show Your Products
- Create a Destination
- Use Analytics and Tools
- Build a Brand Channel
- Advertise with Video
- Offer Instruction
According to the article, when you can’t send a salesperson on the road or get a potential customer into your showroom or store, than online video may just be the best way to demonstrate your product. It states the example of Ceilume, a manufacturer of ceiling tiles. As the market changed, Ceilume needed to sell directly to their end customers, but were faced with a perception problem that ceiling tiles were ugly, dusty and dated. The CEO, Ed Davis, decided to give online video a try and began uploading Sales Videos for their range of ceiling tiles to YouTube. You can view their channel here - http://www.youtube.com/user/Ceilume. What is really interesting about these videos is their simplicity – Mr. Davis is the narrator (it helps he has a great voice) and the videos are made up solely of some simple videos clips and photo slideshows. However, the results are excellent and the sales spin is really effective. Ceilume believes that online video is directly responsible for a 15% sales increase a year. If you could increase your sales by 15% by spending a few hours creating a video, wouldn’t you?
The second area the article focuses on is “Create a destination”. BBQGuys.com went from a tradional bricks and mortar shop to a fully online store. However, they had been well known for their personalized service and great sales people. They started posting online videos in 2006 on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/bbqguys) and now video is a key component is their marketing strategy. As well as giving demos of their high-end BBQs, they have positioned themselves as the BBQ experts, with video tutorials on topics such as how to fry a turkey, grill a pizza or smoke a beef brisket. According to Troy Olson, digital advertising manager for ShoppersChoice.com, the parent company of BBQguys.com, a person who comes to the site and watches a video is twice as likely to make a purchase as a visitor who does not watch a video. That’s pretty compelling!
The article also stresses the importance of using the analytics and tools that come with YouTube – what videos are people watching, at what stage do they stop the video, is your video too long etc. – and using this data to make more compelling videos.
There is tons of interesting stuff in this article, but the last part I’ll mention is the area “Offer Instruction”. Directfix.com sells replacement parts and accessories for smartphones and other electronics. The business faces a constant customer service challenge: showing lay people how to take apart electronic gadgets and install fragile components. After years of using customer manuals, in 2007 they started posting YouTube videos - http://www.youtube.com/user/pdaparts?feature=watch. Again, these videos are extremely simple – a voiceover recorded with a mic and the videos are recorded against a nice white background. It would not seem as if there is a huge budget for these videos, but as Robert Stanley, the founder and chief executive says “You can tell somebody over the phone to turn the screw in the top right corner,” he said, “and they might understand what you mean and they might not. If you show them on a video, they get the point.” What is really remarkable is the affect on the bottom line of the business – the company has compiled a library of instructional videos that have reduced customer questions by half, allowed the company to eliminate phone support and cut its customer service budget about 40 percent. Wow!
You can read the full article from the link below – you may need to create an account with the New York Times (which is free) to view the article.