Framing Engagement: Video at Retail — Part Two

December 12, 2017

By Chris Shindelbower, Senior Vice President, Creative and Content, Triad

Hands typing on a keyboard

One Size Does NOT Fit All

In part one of this series, we discussed the impact of video at retail in terms of both digital engagement and the ultimate goal of driving sales. But there are several inspirational pathways that can lead to that final conversion — and for savvy brand marketers, a need to tailor their video content accordingly.

If a purchase is the end goal, then that renders consumer awareness a prerequisite. And video is a great way to tell a story that generates that awareness and subsequent interest in your products. At retail, the goal is to create an emotional experience that aligns with both the brand and retailer’s mission and values; something memorable, that the shopper will carry with them as they consider a product against a competitor’s.

Informational videos can be useful in varying levels of detail. High-level content is excellent for introducing new or unfamiliar products, services and concepts. This type of content should be useful to engage and guide the customer through initial product consideration as they narrow down the available options.

Then there’s the deep dive. This is essentially a fact-finding mission, where shoppers immerse themselves in the resources available to them before making a purchase, whether that’s an up-close look at key features or a recommendation on how to use a product. Done right, content like this, especially when it’s available on the product page, makes the online shopping experience easier. Here, delivering compelling information in a digestible manner that focuses on the features and benefits of a product should help set it apart from the rest along the path to purchase.

Finally, there’s brand loyalty. Many marketers consider this separately from conversion because brand loyalty is typically generated after the consumer has had some initial experience with the brand or product. But content that has value after a purchase, such as live or pre-recorded cooking demonstrations and how-to guides, offers a great opportunity to bolster loyalty since customers come to view brands as the expert in a given category.  

(Touch)Points of Differentiation

As we’ve seen, how we communicate with video — specifically, the balance between emotional and rational — depends in large part on how and where along the shopper’s journey we are reaching them. Weaving together fact-based product information with emotional resonance influences the shopper to connect with the content in a deeper way.

Technology can help deliver the message at key touchpoints, but once those key audiences have been identified, it’s important to show them something that is engaging and useful. And that takes planning.

So, before you click the play button:

  • Start by defining the brand and/or retailer objectives for this content
  • Define your target audience
  • Map out all possible touchpoints and consider where in their journey a shopper will interact with content
  • Define the story and how it will be told
  • Utilize brand and retailer insights when appropriate
  • Remember that on-screen talent and production quality matters
  • Determine how to optimize the resulting assets across all available digital media channels

That last point, especially, is critical if ROI matters — and when doesn’t it?

Cameraman setting up a video camera

Pause Here: Common Pitfalls to Watch

You may have a brilliant idea, but if it’s not followed by strong execution, it’s a missed opportunity. Try to avoid these common planning and execution traps if possible:

  • Creating video for the sake of video — Define a clear purpose and create video that supports it, or don’t create it at all
  • A single-deliverable mindset — Don’t compromise additional opportunities to reach the shopper (remember, the objective is to maximize mileage across multiple touchpoints and channels)
  • Sub-par production — Recognize when the required production value cannot be met and don’t bite off more than your available production team can chew

Spoiler Alert!

So far, there’s been a lot of emphasis on scalability in here — and that’s a good thing. But in this series’ final installment I’ll dig a little deeper into scalable distribution and creating flexible content strategies that will help illustrate how to make video work harder at retail.


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