The first page of the search results page (SERP) is not what it used to be. Most of us have gotten used to seeing ads on the top of any results page, and organic results right below them. But that’s not always the case these days.
Google (and other search engines) are changing the rules of the game dramatically. Organic results that marketers were struggling for are getting lost among ads, featured snippets, and media. Big G is taking away the chance to get traffic from websites and trying to show the answers to the searcher’s questions on Google itself, preventing them from visiting these websites. It looks like a robbery to any content marketing team, but so far works well for the searchers.
So what do we do in the face of SERP defeat? Well, there’s still a way to get to the top of page 1 without the risk of being edged out by more enticing (to Google) results — creating video content.
But first things first:
What are Zero-click Searches?
Zero-click searches in Google are those in which a searcher gets a satisfactory result or answer right from Google’s home page and doesn’t actually click on any of the links in the Google search results.
Zero-click searches are good for the consumer because they get a search answer much faster than they would by clicking around on Google. This is also good for Google, as it keeps the user on their site longer and shows them more ads. Unfortunately, it’s not good for website owners because they miss out on search engine directed traffic.
How Zero-Click Searches are Changing the Game
The thing is, fewer people will click your links. According to recent research, 34.4% of all desktop searches result in no click. On mobile, 62.5% of users never click on search results.
This zero-click interface negatively impacts written marketing like blog content. Each year, marketing studies point to the decline of text-based marketing (that’s marketing that you read, like a blog post!).
So, what’s the solution here?
A few recent developments have accelerated the trend toward video-based marketing. This isn’t just a marketing trend. It’s also a trend in the overall type of products people consume. For example, it’s not surprising that the popularity of online, video-based courses and YouTube tutorials are outpacing the number of books that the average person reads.
Video marketing might be your e-commerce brand’s new best friend.
YouTube Videos: Wading Through Search Clutter
Luckily, there is another search engine in town: YouTube. YouTube is the second biggest search engine on the English-speaking web.
On YouTube, your videos can avoid zero-click searches and find and attract new audiences by having YouTube promote and recommend them. Videos are also easier to share. And they can be embedded onto your website to boost the sales conversion of your pages. Consider it a home remedy to the zero-click search problem.
Videos to Boost Conversion
A good video with a well-written script can boost sales conversion. But what makes a good video?
According to Udemy’s research, there are five elements to a highly effective sales or promotional video. Here’s a primer:
- It expresses the benefits of your business or product
- It establishes your credibility as a brand
- It explains how your product or service works
- It qualifies your audience by explaining and elaborating on its target audience
- It effectively uses a call to action
Do your best to keep your videos under the 3-minute mark (the sweet spot is around 2 minutes).
Hey, but what should those videos feature? What can you show to increase sales? Here are some ideas:
Your product! The simplest but the most effective way to use videos for e-commerce is to demonstrate the products in real life: how they look, how they feel, the materials they’re made of, and some light stress-testing. Instead of telling customers about the product in the article, show it in action. A picture’s worth a thousand words, right? That’s even more true for a moving picture!
Promotions. Well-directed promotional videos create a positive impression on viewers. They appeal to a potential customer’s emotional attachments to build a connection that will influence their purchasing decisions. These videos also show off your products, but in a whole different light (literally!) making them look more appealing and desirable. Dreamy!
Education. This may sound obvious, but people use things. And sometimes they use them the wrong way, regardless of what the instructions might say. Some dry clothes in a microwave, some hammer nails with a cutting board — history knows many wrong-use cases. Showing your customers the right way to use your products and care for them is an additional way to engage with them and build relationships. If they continue using your products in the wrong way, well, help them! Start a fun tutorial contest and generate some buzz — and lots of content along the way.
The Types of Videos we Trust
Videos that feature brand-owner
To make a sale, you have to earn your potential customer’s trust. One of the best ways to do that is to have you, the brand owner, appear in the video to convey your expertise and make a good impression. In this case, you should strive to come across as trustworthy, credible, and likable.
Your video’s picture and audio quality should feel professional. Polish does wonders to establish your brand as one that goes the extra mile, whether that’s through upgrading your equipment or just being creative with your backgrounds and camera angles. If every part of your video represents you well, your video will make a good impression on your viewers. If the video comes across as sloppy or impersonal, it might be more of a turn off than a turn on for those interested in your brand.
Animated videos can do well too. However, it highly depends on the product. For serious or professional products like construction equipment or heavy machinery, it can feel a little strange to have a cartoon selling the product. But if you can’t create a great video in which you appear and don’t want to hire a spokesperson, animated videos are an excellent option to consider.
Video as the Product — Video Beyond Marketing
While videos can bring your marketing game to the next level, they aren’t just for marketing. Videos can be products too.
Video-based online courses are growing in popularity and, in some cases, even replacing traditional higher education. In 2016, the global e-learning market was worth 165.36 billion U.S. dollars and was projected to surpass 243 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. Elearning is one of the fastest-growing segments of online business today.
If you have a product that lends itself to education, think about how your video strategy might include a deeper-dive into your niche, with a more direct focus on education.
For example, if your product is sportswear, you can attract new customers with fitness or yoga courses. If your classes play well and get lots of followers, you can sell them too! Or they can become a nice gift for large purchases. Either way, high-quality video educational courses can win you additional revenue.
The Сhallenge with Video
The biggest challenge with video is the simplest one: creating them.
While anyone can point a camera and press the record button, it’s significantly more challenging to make a video you are actually proud of. To succeed, you might need costly video, audio, and lighting equipment and/or expertise in using them. You’ll also need a good place to shoot your film. Plus, many people don’t like being on camera. And while you can outsource written content, it’s much harder to outsource on-camera talent.
All these challenges might act as barriers for many would-be video marketers and creators. Luckily, there is a solution.
Purchasing Videos or Online Courses
Most people are familiar with white-labeling common physical products, but many people are unaware that you can license or white-label videos or entire online courses.
If you decide to educate your audience and build long-lasting relations with customers but you don’t have enough skills or time to create videos on your own, you can license or purchase existing videos that have already been made via PLR (Private Label Rights) licensing for use on your site.
This path will require time and monetary investment. However, it will take your online business to the cutting-edge of the video as a product trend, allowing you to attract a larger audience, diversify income sources, and generate more profit.
Suppose you just need a couple of simple promotional videos to boost your home page’s sales conversion rate or specific product pages. In that case, you can outsource your video creation to a crowd-based talent platform like Fiverr.
How to Find Balance Between Branding and Sales Videos
When asked whether they want branding or sales as the goal for their video marketing, most people enthusiastically say they want both. But branding and increased brand awareness doesn’t always immediately lead to increased sales. Is it possible to marry these different pieces of the marketing pie?
Yes. But it will require strategic thinking and wise distribution. This means you will have to create different types of videos and divide them between traffic channels.
The best practice of that strategy is to educate where people are and convert near the product. For example, upload your branded educational courses to YouTube and add promotional videos to your product detail pages on the website.
On YouTube, many of your videos will be seen by people coming across your brand for the first time. These are cold leads. Cold leads often don’t buy right away. They need some warming up (hence the name!). If you have an aggressive call to action, it might be too much too fast and turn people away from your product before they even really know what it is.
On the other hand, a great educational series on YouTube might get people to spend a significant amount of time with your brand. In this time, they gain valuable information from your videos and build trust and affinity toward your brand, without feeling like they are just being sold a product.
Once people trust your brand, they may visit your website to learn more about what you have to offer. That’s when a more sales and conversion-focused video on your website may convince them to take the next step and either buy and take the next step further in your sales funnel.
This is a common practice for many brands, but it’s up to you to decide whether it’s for you at the moment or you need some more time to get ready.
The new Google way — to show answers on the home page, has created a phenomenon of zero-click searches, which negatively affects text-based (written) content. However, there’s a way to wade through the ads, widgets, and snippets to successfully grab a searcher’s attention. Video-based content is on the rise and ranks high on Google and on YouTube. It is an excellent opportunity to find new customers.
But the concept of video itself is not enough to win the game. Your brand’s videos have to be short and engaging — and look professional. Filming good videos can be complicated, especially if you don’t have the necessary equipment or skills.
Fortunately, if you choose to add videos to your marketing armory, you have an option to hire professionals to help you. But get ready for another tough decision — the purpose of the videos. You can boost sales by demonstrating your products from all possible angles or build strong relationships between your brand and potential customers by answering their questions and educating them.
Both ways are worth trying, and there’s no wrong answer. But one thing is for sure — the time to make a move to video marketing has come.