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Instagram has added video capability to its iPhone and Android apps to let its users create 15-second videos and share them on Instagram or other social networks, while Twitter recently introduced Vine, its app for helping people create and share six-second videos.

For merchants, the heightened popularity of videos, and online users’ excitement about making and sharing them, means that the time is right for shareable product videos.

The users of social networks have spoken: they love video and want to share it with their friends as often as they share photos. Social networks have responded by adding video-sharing capabilities to their toolsets, encouraging users to create and share even more videos.

It’s also significant that the trend is towards shorter videos of six to 15 seconds, since this may indicate that users don’t like longer videos as much as they used to.

For your own product and other videos, you may want to experiment with length and see if you can highlight your brand and product messages in just a few seconds, instead of extending the video to 30 seconds or more.

However, it’s important to keep an eye on trends regarding preferred length of videos, as they may change. Use of Twitter’s Vine app declined after the Instagram video application was launched – I suspect people may decide they like the 15-second Instagram format better than the 6-second Vine videos.

As shareable, 'homemade' video becomes more popular, online marketers need to take these trends into consideration for their own sites.

It’s about enabling your customers to create their own videos, and then adding their videos to your website and social media pages. People are more apt to trust videos that their friends and fellow shoppers have created, and they love the chance to show off their own video-making skills to others.

Greater exposure for ecommerce videos

To begin encouraging video creation and sharing, make it simple for customers to find videos, share them, and submit them.

To make videos easy to find, don’t just place them on your product pages: Make sure they’re in blog posts, on your home page, and even on checkout pages. For instance, you can promote videos that are related to something that customers are viewing.

Give your videos wide exposure by getting them indexed in search engines. It’s relatively easy to do this with Google: Click here for instructions on submitting your video site map.

For the Bing search engine, you’ll need to email your site map to bingfeed@microsoft.com. Bing accepts the Google protocol site map, so you can simply submit the video sitemap you’ve already created for Google.

Examples of Vine for ecommerce

GetElastic has some excellent examples from retailers in this post.

This one, from eBay, shows how its eBay Now transactions work: 

This, from Urban Outfitters, injects some fun into product videos: 

When you simply place videos on several pages on your website, the videos should automatically help your pages rank higher in search results. Right now, video dominates Google’s Universal Search results, which combine listings from its vertical search engines for news, video, images, local and book search engines, among others.

Adding sharing options helps your customers tell other people about your videos. Put sharing tools next to every video, everywhere on your website where videos appear. (Automated video solutions can make this process easier, reducing the time and work involved in posting videos and adding social network sharing features.)

As you create and post videos, find out if your customers are actually watching them, and if the videos help drive conversions. Conduct A/B testing on videos to see if content, length, and placement affect viewing rates.

Automated video products can make the testing process less time-consuming, letting you test more often. You might find out that your customers love the short video formats now being promoted by Instagram and Twitter – or that they really like longer videos.

Don’t forget to create ways for customers to submit their own videos to your site. You’ll need to have the capability to accept uploads, and then you need to incent consumers to make submissions.

Think about offering exclusive discounts or content to customers who send videos – you’ll be more likely see an increase in visitors and conversions.

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Published 24 September, 2013 by Melody King

Melody King is VP at Treepodia and a contributor to Econsultancy. 

9 more posts from this author

Comments (1)

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Ralph Cochrane

We've been experimenting with Vine & Instagram for client videos. The reason for the popularity of Instagram is that it already has a huge following and offers more than Vine. Check out our blog post on Vine Special Effect Videos http://www.thecreativegrid.com/vine-special-effects-video/

about 3 years ago

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