By Rachel Lamb
Luxury brands must incorporate video into their online marketing, using it on their Web sites, blogs and social media pages to entice consumers with visually appealing rich-media content.
Videos entice consumers to look around a Web site, leading them to spend more time there and bringing them closer to purchase. They also add value and aesthetics to a Web site and help a brand to convey its rich glamor, which could help to compete against other brands attempting to lure the same audience to their sites.
“When a person is about to buy a product, we’re finding that text on a page is not enough to finish the sale or communicate the message,” said John Cecil, president of Innovate Media, Costa Mesa, CA. “Brands who want to keep up with the norm have to implement them.
“It’s an extension of the brand and especially big brands have to use more videos of their products,” he said. “Brands need to think about creating video products specifically for the Web because it gives a great opportunity to close the sale or provide more information.”
Brands need to realize the main difference between television spots and Web videos is that the audiences on both channels are looking for different things on each medium.
The consumer watching TV is looking to be entertained. The consumer on the Web is looking for information.
“Brands that have an informational video are more likely to get customers to buy because consumers will now know more about products,” Mr. Cecil said.
“If Louis Vuitton had a woman standing on the site talking about how much she liked the purse and showed the features and let the camera look inside of it, then it’s more likely that the brand’s customers would buy it,” he said.
Audi has a section on its Web site, Experience, which invites consumers to view some features about its hybrid cars.
Customers can browse through the different vehicles and look at a video of the car while learning about its different features.
Audi’s video for the RS3 Sportback
Rather than just showing a car racing down a road, Audi takes the time to inform customers about its products’ unique features.
Audi customers do not have the option to buy a car from the Web site, but they will likely be more inclined to go buy a vehicle once they do their research online.
Promotion of videos
Since Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have become a huge part of how consumers interact with their favorite luxury brands, advertising videos via social networks is a great way to gain notice and measure consumer response.
“Promotion via owned outlets such as email lists, Facebook and Twitter and paid outlets such as targeted video distribution and syndication media should also be explored if the goal is to maximize the number of views,” said Michael J. Miraflor, associate director of integrated media at Zenith Media NY, New York.
Ralph Lauren pushed its Big Pony fragrance collection through social media, especially Facebook.
Consumers can view the campaign video, which is available on the site, and then use different clips from the video to make their own version.
Most importantly, there are links under the videos where consumers can opt to learn more about each fragrance and buy it, or shop more on the Ralph Lauren Web site.
This way, consumers are more connected with the brand and can use this interaction as easy access to Ralph Lauren’s ecommerce site, where the same videos are available for viewing.
YouTube’s mass appeal is a huge draw for many companies wishing to integrate video into their marketing strategy.
As of February 2011, consumers are watching 2 billion videos a day on YouTube and uploading hundreds of thousands of videos daily.
In fact, every minute, 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube, according to YouTube.
Luxury brands that post videos of fashion shows, special footage from campaign commercials and interviews with creative directors or executives can entice consumers to a YouTube page.
Louis Vuitton actively updates its YouTube site and incorporates campaign videos, updates on new brand initiatives, store openings and special interviews with brand executives or celebrities.
By showing special videos of events like store openings or parties, fans can feel more like a part of the brand by seeing what went on, even if they could not attend.
Location, location, location
Another crucial best practice of video advertising is the location of the video.
If marketers put a video in a place that does not make sense, or in a place where there is not a lot of traffic, then it is a wasted opportunity.
“Videos should be easy to find on a brand’s site,” Zenith’s Mr. Miraflor said. “If video content is buried within site navigation, three of four clicks deep into the Web site, they may never realize their potential.
“It’s important, therefore, to find a way to feature video content either on the homepage or other high-traffic sections,” he said.
For example, Hugo Boss’ spring and summer 2011 Orange collection video is right on its homepage.
Users can click to see the video instantly, and it is available in an area where they can see it. Brands should make it as easy as possible for their customers to see content.
Additionally, brands can use search engine optimization to their advantage when trying to show off videos.
SEO is often overlooked, and it should be inclusive of video content to give it the best chance of showing up organically against brand-related queries, Mr. Miraflor said.
Video is a great way, for luxury brands especially, to show off sleek cars, glistening diamonds and beautifully crafted leather goods while also informing customers about a brand’s history and legacy.
Afterall, a prestige brand’s heritage and reputation is one of the reasons that consumers are willing to pay for them, and online video is a good outlet to show that.
“Videos are the DNA of the business for online marketing,” Innovate’s Mr. Cecil said. “The bottom line is that every Web site is going to have a video on it, whether brands choose to do it now or later.
“The Web is moving from a text-based medium to a video-based one,” he said.