Trust. The ultimate deal maker or breaker. Research tells us that the presence of trust improves both a customer’s risk perception and his attitude, which in turn enhances the customer's willingness to buy online, and increases the actual intention to buy online. But how do you build this trust, all within the space of a single visit to your e-commerce site, because one visit is often all you will get from a potential lead?
It turns out that trust in an e-merchant is built on two levels: in the brand itself, and in the actual website structure. In this post, we'll be focussing on what your brand has to convey on your site to earn customer trust. When building trust in your brand, customers will rate your brand on three things: ability, benevolence and integrity. Here's what that looks like in practical terms:
Research suggests that these are the three key markers of benevolence:
Is yours the kind of brand that does what it says it will, when it says it will and how it says it will? Brands are like people, and those with flimsy characters soon wither away. These four markers will showcase your integrity to new and existing visitors:
This list is quite lengthy, but if you think about, all it asks is for brands to portray the qualities we like best in people. It's emulating the relationship your grandfather had with John, the greengrocer. Where yes meant yes, and honesty was par for the course.
According to Visible Measures, your video only has 10 seconds to grab the attention of the viewer, because 20% will click away within ten seconds or less. In Mission Impossible terms, your video self-destructed right about then.
The statistics don't get much better, as one third will have left by 30 seconds, 45% will have bailed at 1 minute, and by 2 minutes, nearly 60% are done and out.
Which is why writing and producing a video that delivers the pay dirt takes a lot of skill. Anyone can write. And ramble. Only those who hone their scriptwriting skills every day will make each word carry the weight of a sentence, and condense a paragraph into a one-liner. Mark Twain famously said, "I didn't have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one instead."
So do your brand and your audience a favour: have your videos produced by those who won't write you a long letter.
Regardless of the elements you choose to include in your online marketing mix, considering the three consumer preferences listed below, will help you to produce sticky content.
#1 DEVICE PREFERENCE
Be clear on which device your target market is primarily viewing your marketing material. As SAP CMO Alicia Tillman so aptly stated "It's only a matter of time until everything is enabled on your handheld device. Creating a more seamless way in which we consume information on these devices absolutely must happen." The graph below is from a survey by Hubspot and suggests that mobile is leading the way, and even more so amongst consumers up to age 44.
That means we must think ‘mobile first', as opposed to ‘desktop first' and then trying to make it work on mobile as an implied courtesy to consumers. What we should be, is obsessive about optimising for mobile, reconsidering everything: including better content placement and intuitive navigation; even the best video format for mobile viewing. Research suggests that 94% of websites that are accessed via smartphone are done so in portrait orientation. Not surprising really, because portrait is the natural orientation of a mobile phone.
As a result, it is expected that marketers and agencies will increasingly favour portrait orientated video, giving your brand as much viewing real estate as the smartphone has screen space. So, while landscape videos use to be the default setting of the pro's and vertical videos the stuff of amateurs, it would seem that nowadays vertical video is the stuff of those ahead of the trend.
#2 VIDEO CONTENT PREFERENCE
Only a few years ago, marketers continuously sought to determine the most preferred content format preference of their audiences, weighing the popularity of content formats such as video, emails, blogs, social photo etc. Fast forward to today, and the verdict is in: video has won in almost all age groups. In the graph below, video shows up as the most consistent content-type preference.
In a whitepaper titled The Zettabyte Era, Cisco predicts that by 2021 a million minutes of video will cross the network – every second. The paper also predicts that by then, IP video traffic will constitute 82% of all IP traffic. Social media platforms are considered the biggest drivers of this increased consumption rate: Facebook has prioritised video in feeds for quite some time, while 2018 saw them introducing Facebook Watch, a video on demand service. LinkedIn significantly upped their relevance by introducing native video and video ads, and Twitter gave us Conversational Video.
These predictions are great for business: according to a 2017 report by Animoto, a positive experience with a brand's video on social media leads to a lot of decisive action: 48% said they would share it with family and friends, 42% will buy a product from the brand, 39% will follow the brand on social, and a staggering 30% will become a repeat buyer. In the race for brand loyalty, anything that drives repeat business successfully is gold.
But therein lies the rub, because the stats reveal that 87% of marketers are already posting video on Facebook. So what will matter is not that you post video or even that it is your primary content format. What matters most is figuring out what type of video content appeals most to your target audience. Which is why the second preference is Video Content Preference.
There are so many content options: vlogs, interviews, tutorials, live streaming, testimonials, real-life review etc. So figure out what your customer wants to know most about your brand or product (not what you most want to tell them, because that's often two different things) and use the types of video available to serve that need.
#3 TIME PREFERENCE
This may seem an obvious consideration, but let's be honest: Googling the best time to post on a social platform will only give you a snapshot of average behaviour. What you need to know is when and how your market consumes content. For example: a while ago I worked with a brand that launched a new service specifically for financially burdened women. To everyone's surprise, the Click Through Rate (CTR) on their display adverts rose significantly above the standard CTR for display - in particular from 22:00 to 23:30.
When our Google partner asked if I could offer a thought on why this was happening, the answer to me, as a mom and woman, was crystal clear: it's the only time of day when a woman has no more demands on her time. Her world is asleep and in those few hours she can actually slap on a face mask, catch up with her social media world, order paint for her son's upcoming art project etc. It wasn't rocket science. Not even science. It was just a marketer being human.
We can all do with relevant information when we need it most. And that planning should not be based solely on data analysed by complicated formulas, but also assessed by a real person: after all, a customer is very much a real person too. If you want to market to millennials, then figure out how they roll. Ask moms when they relax, ask husbands when they want to impress most, ask students when they worry most.
So to summarise, a powerful and robust online marketing strategy will execute on mobile, provide content primarily via the types of videos that the target audience appreciates most, and will do so when they are ready to hear the message.