In my last post I threw a bunch of empirical nonsense at you regarding the state of video in today’s marketplace. To be honest, even though it was a lot for a blog post, it was nowhere NEAR the amount of information that’s out there on our industry. I could probably start listing hard facts and citing reputable studies from now until the day I die, and barely get to a fraction of what’s out there. But don’t worry, even though the amount of information out there, and the numbers and figures that are covered, are staggering, we really only need to look at a few to get a sense of the themes and trends going on right now. That’s where the good stuff is.
How does all this information work in our favor? Well, do you remember that 40% click through rate that I mentioned? In addition to simply enticing someone to visit your website, a video inherently keeps them there (and a good video keeps them there longer!). The standard attention span for an online video is approximately 2:30. This means theoretically if you have a video on your website your name will appear higher in searches, has a significantly higher chance of being visited, and then once there a visitor is likely to give you 150 seconds to sell them on something. Of course this is a hypothetical situation, and predicting this sort of behavior is still in its infancy, but the numbers we’re seeing right now mean that this stuff IS working.
To illustrate this, here’s a scenario that happened to me last year. As most of us know, shaving is a time consuming and expensive part of life (unless you’re entering a Robin Williams lookalike contest – in which case skip to the next paragraph). In addition to the standard daily facial shave, I spend a good part of the year shaving my legs for cycling. This adds up to A LOT of razors. I was browsing for a cheap alternative last year and came across the Dollar Shave Club. I clicked on their site (which you will notice is at the top of the list of search results), and was presented with a video that caught my attention within the first 20 seconds with it’s unique honesty, unapologetic delivery, and irreverent humor. I watched the rest of the 90+ second video and was compelled to click the very visible “Do It” link next to the video. I filled out some information and now I get a package of high quality razors every month for a fraction of the cost I used to pay. Simplicity, knowing their audience, and delivering a quality product sold me, and tens of thousands of others, on The Dollar Shave Club.
Imagine for a second though, that one of these variables was taken out of the equation. If their website wasn’t simple to navigate and didn’t provide you with important information up front, you might spend a couple minutes trying to find information on their product by browsing the website. Yes, in this instance they are technically keeping you there longer, but no amount of time will get you to buy something if it’s difficult, or even frustrating, to find the information you want. We’ve all been here – credit card in hand, trying to purchase something, and the website or information we’re seeking isn’t easily found. Frustrated and disenfranchised, we angrily click off and make a mental note to stay away from that site. Customer lost.
What if they didn’t know their audience as well as they do? Presumably their demographic is a typical male between 18 and 35 looking for razors. You log on, see a masculine background and theme, a video, and a button that says “Do It”. Nearly every American male between 18 and 35 has just a few things on our mind – and let’s just say that getting things done is one of them. We click on the site, and all the information we need is there – taking away any uncertainty we might have. Their website does the thinking for us.
So a company’s website is simple, they know their audience, and yet they still deliver a crappy product. How long do you think that would last? Not long. Would someone getting poor quality razors sing the company praises to their social network? Not likely. How many times after a bad review of something through your social network have you decided to go try that thing? In an era when reputation can make or break you in less than 140 characters, you better darn well have a good product.
So how do social media and video tie into this amalgam of quality, simplicity, and audience? We’ll examine this, and take a look at a success story, in part four of this series.