Hot Topics:

Going Viral with Video, Part 1

How to use video to boost your sales and marketing efforts

You may have never thought about it, but your items and your brand could be movie stars waiting to be discovered. Some sellers have begun realizing this, and are adding videos to their eBay listings to show how well their products work. However, video marketing offers far more benefit to your business than just a live product demonstration.

Video is not only a great way to show your products in all of their glory, it’s a great way to get your name, your brand and the items you offer out to the world. It can set you and your business apart, and help increase your sales. If you’ve ever been curious about just how you could use video to improve your business, read on to see what we found.

The appeal of video

Online shoppers are visual, and video is the ultimate visual. Since buyers can’t touch and hold the items they find online, consumers want plenty of clear images when they consider buying a product. A mixture of text and photos can give a good overview of the item, but video can give products more dimension.

“You know they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, using that as the measuring stick, a video is worth a million words,” says Stephanie Inge, the founder of The Dallas eBaybes & eMales meet-up group and a certified eBay instructor. She uses video marketing in her eBay listings, in her online eBay course and for marketing purposes.

Nowadays, smart advertisers use videos to not only show their products, but to hold people’s attention

Ana Breton, a documentary filmmaker from Salt Lake City, says video just attracts more people.

“There’s something about a moving image that tends to hold the human eye longer,” Breton notes. “Nowadays, smart advertisers use videos to not only show their products, but to hold people’s attention. Videos can be funny, fast, have unlimited amounts of movement and effects, whereas with a photo, there’s only so much you can do.”

Videos also add a certain wow factor, says Auctiva Interactive Media Coordinator Steve Swim. “Depending on the type of listing, a video can be a powerful tool in displaying features and the components of a product for sale,” he says. “They can also give a good overview of the seller’s business, and add a professional aspect that might not be achieved without the inclusion of video.”

Another plus of video is that search engines love them. According to research firm Forrester, videos are 50 times more likely to get organic first-page ranking than text Web pages. Imagine the boost your listings, Web site, or blog could get if they included a marketing video here or there.

One last benefit to note about videos: People love sharing them with family and friends. Just think back to how many times your friend has forwarded you a short clip about a random subject or product because they found it entertaining or impressive. Your video could be among the shared flicks, allowing you to pop onto potential customers’ Facebook walls, in their e-mail inboxes, etc.

Overcoming the intimidation factor

Now, you may be thinking, “Yes, video sounds appealing, but I’m not ready for it.” Don’t be so quick to count yourself out. A lot of sellers are intimidated by the idea of video. But what you need to remember is that video is a great marketing, educational and selling tool—and it doesn’t have to be hard!

“It just sounds very hard to do,” Inge acknowledges. However, it’s not as difficult as some may think. Remember, you don’t need to create a full-length feature film—in a product listing, clips should run no longer than three minutes. That should give you plenty of time to mention the features and benefits of the item, and make your pitch.

Inge compares learning how to use video marketing to other challenges sellers sometimes have to deal with, like HTML. Many sellers are afraid of it at first, but it just requires a little reading and practice. She admits that she used to shy away from both of these, but after taking a few Web classes and doing some research online, Inge found that there was nothing to be afraid of.

“Jump in there with both feet!” she says. “Don’t just get your feet wet. Have a passion for , because if you have a passion, it will show through.”

Inge suggests starting by doing a Google search to get tips on how to make videos, viewing current YouTube clips to see what others have done, then deciding how you want to use video. Do you want to use it for educational purposes? To market your item? To show off your item? To get a message across?

Online, you can’t touch or smell the items, but video makes you feel like you did touch it

If the purpose of your video is to show off your item, make sure the product is something that lends itself to footage.

Inge says these items will have some sort of movement, or sound—for instance, they can be something mechanical. She says people like to see items that are supposed to move do just that, and they like to hear the sounds items are supposed to produce to ensure they work properly.

“Video brings [a product] to life,” she notes. “When you shop online, you can’t reach out and touch or smell the items, but video makes [customers] feel like they did touch it.”

If the item you want to film has no moving parts, or doesn’t make noise, try to find other ways to show the product in use. For example, how a piece of jewelry glistens in the light, different ways to wear a scarf, or the various compartments of a travel bag. You get the idea.

Or you could create a short clip about something related to the product, or a welcome video to introduce buyers to your brand and include the video in your listing.

“Anything you can do to engage your customers or get them more familiar with you or your products is a good thing,” Inge adds.

Don’t forget to include a call to action to get customers to bid or click the “buy” button. And remember to keep it brief.

In Going Viral with Video, Part 2, we’ll cover what you’ll need to consider when planning your marketing videos, and what kind of equipment you’ll need to shoot and edit your video marketing masterpiece.

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

Newsletter Signup