I had the chance to attend the Affiliate Summit West conference this week, and joined the “How Video Marketing Drives Sales” session with Steve Winterhalter. Steve has been involved with video advertising for a number of years, giving him a unique perspective to share with affiliate marketers at this conference.
Affiliate marketers often use push marketing methods to get their promotions and offers in front of potential buyers via common methods such as online banner ads, email campaigns, and print ads. The problem is, these methods aren’t grabbing potential buyers’ attention like they used to. Did you know that you are more likely to survive a plane crash than click on a banner ad? (source: Solve Media). Furthermore, according to GoldSpot Media, 50% of all clicks on mobile banners are accidental.
This is where video comes in. It’s a bit different than push marketing because of the raw power—video marketing is more of a pull. Once the videos are put out there, people choose to interact with it or take up the offer. There is an enormous appetite for video content because of the unique way videos engage audiences with messages that simultaneously stimulate auditory and visual senses. It’s entertaining, consumable advertising in an age where people aren’t as motivated to read promotional messages anymore. The evidence is in the number of videos that are shared on YouTube alone.
Some compelling data and reports help to illustrate how videos can impact engagement and conversion rates:
- 174% shoppers who view video more likely to purchase than those who did not. (Source: Invoda 2013)
- Emails that have video in them receive 2-3X more click throughs compared to emails that have no video in the, according to a Forrester report.
- 76% of respondents who used video increased email click through rates, according to a Video marketing Survey and Video Email Trends report in 2012 published by The Web Video Marketing Council and Flimp Media.
- Including the word ‘video’ in the subject line saw an increase of 7%-13% in overall email click-through rates (CTRs) in 2011, according to Experian’s 2012 Digital Marketer Benchmark and Trend Report. By embedding a video in an email, the average conversion rate was 21% higher than emails containing a static image.
Videos have the potential to make a BIG mark on your affiliate marketing programs — so without further adieu here are the top reasons why you should consider using videos to help drive more sales:
This is the biggest takeaway, as the numbers have shown. From engagement, click through and open rates to conversions and fewer returns or cancellations, you’ll find that people are more willing to purchase a product or service with the power of videos more so than other marketing mediums you may be using. For example, product video demos that showcase “how it works” can be powerful sales tools to help people understand and see the value in what you are offering – and move them along the sales funnel at a faster rate than if you didn’t offer that show and tell option.
Works Through All Stages of Sales Funnel
Video addresses a larger spectrum of purchase journey you can make the most impact to drive sales conversions — from awareness and consideration to persuasion and sales (affiliate marketing). You can build a whole series of videos from start to finish. For example, a video series may include overview (prospects), getting started (new customer), troubleshooting tips (established customer), and best practices (retention).
More so than the tight space you’re limited to with a banner ad, email copy, and print literature, you can really maximize your message in video in a matter of minutes. Another thing to note is that video can be measured. Have you ever wanted to see what resonated most with viewers? With video you can uncover that information by looking at the analytics, and spot where your spikes are and where views dropped off. With other methods of advertisement, it’s not as easy to see where your audience is truly engaged.
Works with Different Multi-Media Types
Whether you’re looking at paid, earned, or owned media, videos can be leveraged across all of these different channels. Don’t forget that YouTube is the 2nd biggest search engine out there, so think about using video as your ad unit. Also consider different ways that you can use videos in different campaign mediums to maximize your conversion opportunities.
Research on recall shows that when people combine the ability to both see and hear things, there is an added emotional quality to the message being delivered. The result is that a consumer’s ability to recall goes through the roof —in other words, it’s more memorable. This is why affiliate marketers and advertisers in general love video as a method of delivering offers because of that deepened engagement level that propels improved conversion rates.
It’s not uncommon for videos to become “viral”, especially ones that have an entertaining or powerful message. An entertaining video that made its rounds last year was Kmart’s ship my pants video. The main purpose of the video was to help Kmart generate web sales —the main arena where they could compete with the likes of Target and Walmart. This ad ranks as the 37th most shared ad of all-time, according to Unruly Media, a firm that tracks viral ads.
Formats Well to All Devices
Videos fit into our lives seamlessly, whether you an iPad, mobile device, laptop, or other device. It’s one less thing you have to worry about as you’re testing and building your campaigns!
Content can be Advertising
A great example of this is the Dove Real Beauty campaign where the goal was to widen the definition of beauty. A key video helped propel the campaign with over 61 million viral video hits later. Although no Dove products were mentioned in the video, the content was incredibly powerful and very engaging. Viewers wanted to listen to how women were describing themselves, see how that feedback was translated to the artist, and ultimately, capture the moment when the ladies saw the sketch of their self-defined beauty.
If you’re convinced that you want to start incorporating videos into your affiliate marketing program, your first step is to understand how the medium works (timing, device type, etc.), and then hash out your video marketing plan. Talk to advertisers about stimulating purchases with videos. Consider asking them about being paid on a view-thru basis where sales can be tracked back to your videos. It can also be worth your while to ask for a greater cut for those higher conversion rates if they are driven by strong videos.
What’s your experience with video marketing? What tactics have worked well for you? I’d like to hear your thoughts in the comments section.
Monica is TUNE's Senior Marketing Manager. Over the years, she has developed cohesive marketing programs for Seattle-based technology companies (and even dabbled a bit in product, working closely with product managers and developers). Offline, you will likely find her enjoying the great outdoors, traveling the world, or riding her Vespa. You can also find her on LinkedIn.