LinkedinGoogle Plus

Why and How Video Marketing Is Critical to Retailers

Why and How Video Marketing Is Critical to Retailers

Video marketing is becoming increasingly important, and not just because a third of all the time people spend with online channels is used watching video. It provides a critical touchpoint for influencing shoppers along their path to purchase, as they look for videos to help them understand brands and products as well as to make a purchase decision. Companies should be making it a point to leverage video as a part of their digital efforts. This post will touch on why video matters and provide seven ways that businesses can use it.

Why Is Video Important?

Just under half of consumers watch more than an hour of video content on Facebook or YouTube, and YouTube alone represents more than 500 hours of video watched daily. It’s no surprise that 87% of online advertisers use video and retail marketing, and video ads represent more than a third of all online ad spending, yet these numbers alone aren’t enough to truly indicate the importance of video and its role in marketing. Instead, consider the fact that a business is 53 times more likely to appear on the first search engine results page (SERP) of a Google search, or the fact that video enjoyment increased purchase intent and brand association by 97% and 139% respectively among Millennials. Here are a few of the reasons why:

  • Multipurpose and cross-device: Video was and still is a traditional marketing channel — TV, which continues to provide influence and reach. But it’s also viewed on social media — in addition to Facebook viewers, 82% of Twitter users view video on the platform — and it lifts KPIs across channels — adding video to emails can increase CTR by 200% to 300%. Digital video isn’t just being watched on computers either: YouTube says mobile video consumption grows 100% year-over-year. Most importantly, video can either be advertising (e.g., pre-roll on YouTube or a Facebook Video Ad) or actual video content you provide.
  • Thought leadership: Video is a perfect medium for sharing your brand message, and it’s capable of breaking down even complex ideas into something that’s easy for viewers to assimilate and understand. Today’s shopper doesn’t want to be sold to; 49% of consumers respond negatively to online ads. Instead, video can be leveraged to prove brand expertise, and the educational value is what spurs 90% of them to use video to help make purchase decisions.
  • Emotional connection: People often rely on emotions rather than logic and factual data to make their purchase decision. Videos provide far more emotional cues than static images or text while also diminishing the cognitive load to process them, in part because it generates an empathetic connection that very closely mirrors real life.
  • Shareable: Amazingly, video is shared 1200% more than links and text combined, and 92% of people consuming mobile video will share it with others. Video platforms help to drive this by providing sharing buttons or other options, so viewers don’t have to take extra steps like manually finding the URL.
  • Trusted and authentic: A little more than a third of online consumers (36%) trust video, and four times as many customers would prefer watching a video about a product or service than prefer reading about them. It provides a literal show-don’t-tell way to express brand authenticity, especially in conjunction with brand ambassadors or other influencers.

7 Ways to Utilize Video Marketing

Video is so dynamic, and it can be difficult to decide which tactics to use and what will connect with and influence shoppers in the best way for your brand. Below are seven ways that video can provide an impact for your business.


Tutorials are all about providing an experience of your brand’s expertise. It accomplishes much more than humanizing your company; when leveraged correctly, it proves that your brand is concerned with the issues that shoppers may have with utilizing your product or service. And rather than forcing them to come to you to ask how to make something work, tutorial videos are ready and waiting for them when they need it. This is also a great place to leverage influencers. For example, Ipsy, a cosmetics subscription box service, regularly deploys its network of influencers to provide how-to videos and tips via YouTube for using the products featured in each month’s box.

Customer Service

Sometimes shoppers require more assistance than just a simple how-to. Like tutorials, video can be leveraged to provide the information needed in a way that’s easy to consume across different channels. In fact, video communication, such as live video chats or calls, can be used to directly address issues in a transparent format.

Answering Questions

Similar to tutorials and customer service, video content can take the place of flat text when answering common questions. In essence, it’s the pre-recorded version of customer service. You can address FAQs in an authentic context, like Warby Parker does on its YouTube channel, allowing shoppers to easily see if the problem matches their experience and have an answer that’s exemplified by action instead of just words.

Engage and Educate

We touched on just how well video engages the human mind, and companies can capitalize on that feature to engage with their brand. On an educational level, you can use it to let shoppers experience a product or service before they’ve purchased it; that is, they can see the way it’s handled or used in real situations. They don’t have to wonder how a tablet of a particular size will fit into a bag; the video can show them, and they’ll see how easy it is to put away or retrieve the device. North Face does this exceptionally well by using videos that share information about an outdoor lifestyle or feature storytelling centered around its sponsored athletes. Video can also be used in conjunction with other channels for engagement. For instance, if you run a social media giveaway, more entries can be earned by sharing a compelling video. Alternately, the entries themselves could be user-generated videos talking about your brand. Winners of the contest can be announced by video, and that can be shared across social media, email, etc.


Reviews and testimonials are already incredibly powerful as simple text. Combining that with the emotional impact of video can amplify this. Shoppers will see actual people talking about their experiences. This should be done correctly, balancing authenticity and honesty with appropriate language. Select a customer that does an excellent job representing your audience while presenting a professional face to your business. Although text testimonials are best suited on your website, video testimonials can be shared across channels without being disruptive. YouTube itself provides a great example with one of its own case studies, which features a testimonial from the brand using them to advertise.

Live Streaming

Despite its influence on customer service, live streaming has much more to offer. It provides transparency and authenticity — because everything is happening in real time to shoppers. You can give them a peek behind the curtain at how your company operates, or you can provide an exclusive way to experience events like concerts, conventions, or fashion shows, all without them having to be present. Marvel, the comics and entertainment company, leveraged YouTube’s live streaming capabilities during the major geek event, San Diego Comic Con, which gave fans who couldn’t attend access to some of the festivities, special guests, and announcements in real time.

Shoppable Content

Shoppable video has actually been around since roughly 2010, but recent advances in technology have brought it to the forefront. YouTube currently provides click-to-buy video ads which direct shoppers to a product page on the advertiser’s website. The biggest adopters are fashion designers, including Kate Spade and Ted Baker, primarily due to the visual appeal of apparel, accessories, and jewelry. The convenience is a major influencer, especially on mobile devices.

Video and retail marketing go hand in hand, and retailers are reaping the benefits. Video marketing is a powerful tool that brands should take advantage of since shoppers are watching it on every device, trust it, and share it. Companies can use it to build up their brand as a thought leader while establishing and nurturing an emotional connection with shoppers. Our list of seven video tactics touches on some of the approaches your company could implement, since these are major touch points across the shopper journey.