Video is growing in popularity as a means for retailers to engage consumers and reignite the shopping experience. Through YouTube, more companies are using video to increase brand awareness, site click-through rates and most importantly, revenue.
Zappos has been named a leader in the use of this new marketing technique by SundaySky, a provider of automated product video production for retailers, in its State of Video In e-Commerce Quarterly Research Report Q1 2011. Zappos is not a SundaySky customer.
By mass-scaling online videos and focusing on efficient key word usage, the Internet shoe retailer achieved superior exposure among its target audience. With a test of more than 21,000 shoe-related keywords, SundaySky found that more than 8% of these combinations brought searchers to Zappos product videos that highlighted the merchant’s offerings. In turn, this exposure has increased the company’s total revenue and click-through rate within the last two years.
According to comScore and RankAbove reports, Zappos experienced an increase of more than 77,000 site visits per month after adopting video SEO, versus a previous average click-through rate for text pages. This spike in interest also boosted Zappos’ overall income. The value of visits based on the tested keywords and search engine marketing (SEM) traffic totaled more than $500,000 in revenue. Zappos was cited as an example of video SEO success in SundaySky’s survey, which also highlighted the growing market of retail video.
Video Usage On The Rise
Although only a handful of retailers are leveraging video to drive traffic to their primary web sites, video usage has experienced an exponential growth between the end of 2010 and Q1 2011, according to SundaySky. Within the first months of 2011, 32% of retailers have uploaded more than 1,000 videos on their sites — a 10% growth from the previous quarter, according to the study.
The study also found that 50% more retailers, like Zappos, are now mass-scaling their videos to highlight their inventory. As a result, more companies are turning to YouTube to increase brand awareness. By the end of Q1, nearly 96,000 retail videos were uploaded on to the media site, totaling 420 million views. Numbers of subscribers also increased, with 571,000 YouTube users subscribing to retail channels — a quarterly increase of more than 20%.
This increase, according to the study, is primarily accredited to Bing, which acted as a key resource for retail videos through SEO. More than 36% of sites provided by the search engine had more than 10 indexed videos, while Google experienced a dip in results.
Along with Zappos, the study cited HSN, Nike, Apple, Systemax, and QVC as some of the most successful companies utilizing video SEO. These retailers effectively engaged their audience through video marketing tactics, including the use of key words.
Utilizing a study based on 34,000 top key words in 17 categories, SundaySky found that 18% of these keywords gave searchers video results. However, the study also determined that retailers with the most views produced thousands of videos and had more efficient, targeted key words.
“Video SEO is incremental to standard SEO activities,” said Yaniv Axen, Co-Founder and CTO, SundaySky. “Common SEO practices, such as including keywords in the title and back links, and using a sitemap, should be applied to every page on the web site. Adding a video to as many web pages as possible and implementing common video SEO practices — including embedding video in pages, creating video sitemaps and including transcripts on page — will amplify the effect and result in better ranking and more attractive search results.”
Although the study found that 68% of retailers still have not utilized video on their sites, the success of Zappos and the growing audience for retail videos show promise for a new marketing strategy that will improve brand loyalty and worth. As a result, SundaySky reported that more companies are implementing a video marketing strategy at a faster pace, and will continue to do so in the future.
“We definitely anticipate a more drastic increase in activity by the end of this year,” Axen said. “We expect an increase on several axes — more retailers will deploy video, more marketing channels will become video-enabled, and more videos will be created per retailer. With the introduction of automated video technologies, we expect videos to be used not only to showcase products, but also as a way to personally interact with the consumer. In every touch point with the customer, video engages the user more effectively. Personalized videos can be created to each individual to recommend products based on a user’s shopping history, to remind a user about an abandoned shopping cart, to welcome new customers, and more.”