6/11/14

Content trumps production quality when it comes to online video

An IRCE speaker says a video he shot at home on a Saturday afternoon seven years ago continues to drive traffic and sales for 3rdPowerOutlet.com.

Madeline C. Andre , Associate editor

One video with poor production values but solid content changed John Lawson’s view of what online video can produce. Lawson, CEO of 3rd Power Outlet and Colder Ice Media, told attendees at the 2014 Internet Retailer Convention & Exhibition yesterday he attributes $20,000 in sales directly to the video and it continues to drive traffic to 3rdPowerOutlet.com.

The video, called "How to fold a bandana," was shot and edited by Lawson himself, in his home on a Saturday afternoon in 2007, he said. "I made the choice to cut off my head (in the shot), but then you can see my feet. And I'm not wearing any shoes," he says. The video was posted on YouTube with a link to 3rdPowerOutlet.com in the description.

Lawson said he got the idea for the bandana video after numerous customers who had bought bandanas from 3rd Power Outlet contacted customer service and asked how to fold theirs in a specific style. He said retailers can find video topics that’ll interest customers if they pay attention to the questions customers frequently ask customer service, or produce videos on subjects that help customers understand topics like shipping and returns.

"Video increases your site conversion," Lawson says. Videos are frequently on the first page of search results, if not at the very top, and even seven years later, Lawson’s video appears on the first page of results on YouTube when someone searches “how to fold a bandana.” And if someone adds “like Tupac,” when searching on Google, referring to the late rap artist, Lawson’s video appears first.

The video has been watched almost 290,000 times and continues to drive traffic to 3rd Power Outlet's web site, even though the retailer no longer sells the bandanas featured in the video, he says. Lawson says he uses Google Analytics to track the amount of traffic the video continues to drive to the site. Traffic from the bandana video spikes around Halloween each year, as consumers watch the video to learn how to fold a bandana to look like a biker, or a rap star as they put together their Halloween costumes, he says.

Lawson stressed that great content is more important than production quality, noting that professionally produced videos may look good, but they are of little use to customers if they don’t serve customers’ needs. 

Topics:

3rdPowerOutlet.com, e-commerce, IRCE 2014, John Lawson, video, web-only merchant, YouTube

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