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The Invodo Data Mine: Guidelines for your video program

Third time’s still a charm—wrapping up our three-part analysis of Invodo’s 2015 Product Video Benchmarks Report yields some final details about consumer video consumption that can help you shape your long-term video program.

We’ve already seen that viewers want short, quality videos that help them make decisions about their purchases. Yes, they’ll sometimes watch videos that fall outside these parameters, but they’re more likely to buy when the videos are in step with their needs.

In addition, viewing on mobile devices is a far greater influence on purchasing than desktop viewing, but more consumers still make the actual purchase from a desktop. As the mobile checkout process improves, purchasing will certainly shift to devices over desktops.

It’s not going to be a surprise to anyone that 2015 ended up being the biggest year yet for video. But what is surprising is that the numbers represent a rapid escalation that shows no sign of abating. Retailers and brands increased the number of videos on their sites by 41% last year over the prior year. And customers ate it up. All of it. And that’s a nearly 3x growth rate over 2014.

But even in that sea of video consumption, there are some standout statistics that should be considered by any marketing department when planning the next 12 months of video production.

Mobile growth exploded in 2015. Last year, mobile views increased nearly 150% year over year, accounting for 45% of annual video views. In contrast, desktop views increased 25%. More importantly, the fourth quarter brought a mobile milestone as device views exceeded desktop views in actual numbers for the first time.

What this means is smartphones and tablets have become the number one viewing platform for product video. Consumers are using commuting time and other opportunistic moments throughout the day to investigate new products and start their purchase process.

So what does this mean to marketing departments? Make sure your video inventory is friendly to small screens. Fewer words, larger text, faster pacing, stronger imagery, appropriate and memorable music. You’ve got 15-30 seconds and often no more than an index card’s worth of visual space. Use it wisely.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday were record-breaking days, especially for mobile. As usual, video views reached an annual high on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. No surprise there. But supporting the point above, mobile video views increased by a whopping 254% on Black Friday and 222% on Cyber Monday last year. And although
the number of desktop views also increased, its year-over-year 
growth was just 11% for each day. Eek.

According to Invodo, since Black Friday typically favors in-store sales, this explosive growth speaks directly to the fact that more and more shoppers are using their phones and tablets before, during and after they shop in-store.

Thanks to the Invodo benchmark report, marketing departments have a clear directive for the months ahead.

Add more product videos to your site! Increase engagement and conversion rates by using product videos to give customers the information they need to buy online.

Optimize video for mobile devices. Anticipate even more mobile growth in 2016, and make sure all of your videos are properly merchandised on mobile devices.

Increase video view rates by making video call-to-actions (CTAs) more prominent. A shopper can’t watch a video if he or she doesn’t know it exists. To optimize performance, place CTAs above the page fold and near the hero image.

Optimize video length to increase engagement. The best product videos are not too long, but also not too short. Completion rates were highest for videos between 16 and 30 seconds long.

Focus on the quality of your videos. Videos that provide useful information can influence buy rates by up to 2x. Use the opportunity to give shoppers the information they need to buy online, like providing a product demonstration or highlighting important features.

None of this is hard to do if you 1) embrace the trends and 2) focus your initiatives so they are in line with your ultimate objective of increased sales. It just takes planning and some smart decisions. And as always, we’re here to help.

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