At the 2011 Video Commerce Summit, Melissa Salas, Marketing Director of Buy.com and Co-host of BuyTV, presented the session: Blending Commerce with Entertainment: 5 Lessons from BuyTV. In in her presentation she gave our attendees an interesting take on video commerce from the talent/marketing perspective of one of the leading retail marketplaces, Buy.com. Below is the interview she gave with the 2011 Video Commerce Conversations host, Larry Kless of Onlinevideopublishing.com, over-viewing of the lessons she has learned about video commerce since she started hosting BuyTV in 2006.
Here is an outline if the lessons she went over in her interview:
Invest in the video process from production to distribution
When Buy.com started BuyTV in 2006, its mission was to enhance the shopping experience so that customers could make more informed buying decisions while making the experience entertaining. To do so, the company had to invest and create a distribution and content strategy. To support the decision to do this, Melissa listed off a couple key statistics addressing the opportunity in the marketplace, the overall growth of online video, and the growth of consumer interest in it.
- As of Q4 2010, half of the world’s top 50 online merchants had no significant video presence. This statistic is critical in that if you invest in online video, you could clearly gain an edge on the competition.
- In April 2011 alone, the US internet audience had over 5.1 billion video viewing sessions.
- YouTube has over 3 billion views a day.
Seeing this opportunity to create an online presence, Buy.com created BuyTV with the main goal being to bring an instore shopping experience online. Their content strategy consisted of using video to:
- Launch and introduce brands to their audience.
- Give “How to” type information about their products.
- Showcase internal employee expertise in products (“Tech-perts.”)
Don’t be afraid to look internally for your video talent
In her presentation, Melissa asserted that personality is everything when it comes to talent sourcing for your video content. A lot of times, you can find the right personality right under your nose within your own company. This can also be a great starting point for retailers looking to get into online video but do not want to spend budget on outsourcing talent. In addition to finding a great on-air personality, you will probably also find someone with more knowledge of the products as well. One tip she gave was to first hold open auditions internally during a video talent search.
Find the right blend of entertainment and commerce for your brand
Depending on the audience and the type of product, finding the right blend of commerce and entertainment can show itself in different ways. For example, if you are a outdoor gear merchant, your videos might be more lifestyle oriented showing how enthusiasts are using the products outside doing different activities like this Patagonia example.
For BuyTV, its audience came to their site with the sole purpose to shop, so for them, shopping was entertainment. To help better facilitate this shopping, Buy.com made sure informational product videos were on the product pages and that each one clearly stated a strong call to action. If shoppers were viewing videos outside of the product page, a link to buy or add to the shopping cart was always readily presented to facilitate more conversions.
Decide up front which metrics are important
Make sure to decide what your video program goals are from the start and how you want measure them. For Buy.com, the following metrics/goals were important:
- Increasing video views
- Increasing conversions
- Providing quality content that enhances product information
- Growing subscriptions to its page/channel
- Increasing the amount of time spent on the site
- Increasing brand presence
Video SEO 101: Syndicate your videos to YouTube
Although Melissa does not consider herself an SEO expert, she did offer the advice to always syndicate videos to YouTube. Google algorithms are changing all the time, but the one thing that is a known fact is that Google increases the amount of real estate on their first page of results to video hosted by YouTube (since YouTube is a Google owned company.) For more on video SEO best practices check out this article: 12 Video SEO Tips for E-Commerce Website Product Pages.
You can also check out how Liveclicker helps to automate the video SEO process.
Ultimately by implementing video, Buy.com has
- Successfully created an in-store shopping experience online
- Increased product conversions
- Decreased shopping cart abandonment
- Decreased product returns