Guest post by Tom Volotta
Webcasting vs. Web Conferencing
“There is a common confusion between webcasting and web conferencing. So let’s try to clear that up a bit today. Web conferencing is a solution designed for smaller meetings. It’s normally used in conjunction with an audio conference, and it’s highly collaborative. Web conferencing is perfect for less formal day-to-day meetings, and normally has fewer attendees. A webcast, on the other hand, uses audio streaming or video streaming and allows participants to listen or see the presenter over the internet. Without the need to download or install, or even telephone, the attendee just clicks on the link and joins the virtual event. As a presenter, a webcast with streamed audio can be run using just a plain old telephone. The beauty of this is that multiple speakers in geographically dispersed regions can all be presenting at the same time in real time. Perfect.”
Today, when consumers shop online, they expect the personalized attention of an in-store experience. They want brands to provide engaging experiences during purchases, and at every stage of the customer journey. As a result, innovative marketers are turning to online video as an engagement tool.
Below are five considerations for ensuring your brand’s success with online video.
Search engines favor video, and now structure their results to reward sites that use it. Consequently, online marketers are investing more in order to promote their videos. One investment that goes a long way toward attracting higher quality visitors is making on-site videos accessibility at scale, e.g., for every product in your catalog. This ensures reach for long-tail keywords, which are known to drive the highest quality traffic and best conversion rates.
Pre-roll ads bring your prospects back. The average consumer will interact with your brand several times before conversion. An effective way to bring site abandoners back and recoup otherwise lost investment in traffic is with retargeted ads designed to re-engage abandoners based on their previous behavior on your website.
Online brands can now take retargeted advertising a step further by presenting abandoners with video pre-roll ads that are personalized based on shopping history, present relevant products and current deals most appropriate to visitors’ browsing behavior. Retargeted pre-roll ads (see Office Depot example below) outperform traditional retargeted banner ads with higher conversion rates and often with above-average order value, leading to a significant return on ad spend.
On-site video increases conversion rates. When videos are properly produced, they captivate users. The availability of video also enhances credibility and the overall impression of the website even among users who do not view them. What’s more, videos generated in real time enhance the potential of on-site videos even further. As content, such as price, seasonal deals and last-minute offers constantly change, product videos are created on the fly to overcome what was a major challenge for manual video production. The result is not only a richer and more engaging shopping experience, but also higher conversion rates.
Online video can be an effective customer service tool. A company’s ability to retain customers strongly depends on the way it services them from the point of first contact and throughout the customer’s lifetime with the brand. Online video is another tool brands can use to deliver the best possible service experience.
Use video to onboard new customers with in-depth product demonstrations, provide order and provisioning status (see Dell example below), or deliver complex bills, statements and invoices with an easily digestible explanation of usage and fees. Companies that have done this have customers who make more informed repeat purchases and less calls to the contact center, resulting in fewer product returns, decreased merchandising and support costs, greater trust and credibility, and generally higher customer satisfaction.
Online video makes for more impactful nurturing campaigns. The effectiveness of best customer nurturing practices, including email campaigns, newsletters, loyalty programs and customer portals, is often enhanced with personalization features to engage the customer with offerings that resonate based on his profile, shopping history and browsing trail.
Implementing personalized videos based on individual shopping history can significantly enhance efforts to nurture, upsell and retain existing customers. The open rate for video newsletters, for example, is two to three times higher than for text. Personalized video newsletters can include a greeting with the recipient’s name, as well as display promotional offerings based on browsing history, geography or preference segmentation.
At right is an example of an email nurturing campaign from Shopbop.com to a customer who recently purchased a pair of denim jeans.
These five applications of online video bridge the gap between live and virtual experiences for the consumer and offers the most streamlined way to present information in all of their touch points with your brand.
Do you have other considerations for successful engagement with online video? Please share your experiences below – I’d love to hear from you.
Guest post by David Murray, program chairman, Strategic Video Awards