Columnists

Creative Connecting: Video in a Virtual World

ColumnistsOct 20, 2020

Creative Connecting: Video in a Virtual World

Duvall O’Steen and Jen Cullen Williams share tips for getting creative with video on Instagram, Zoom, email and more.

Duvall O’Steen, left, and Jen Cullen Williams are independent communications strategists and senior consultants for the Luxury Brand Group. They can be reached at DuvallOsteenNYC@gmail.com and Jen@JenCullenWilliams.com.
In the new normal of virtual connecting, video content is becoming more important for engaging consumers and converting browsers into buyers.

Luckily, technology has advanced in ways that make it easier than ever to produce your own video content.

Here are some creative ways to use video to get more of your customers’ attention and drive more sales.

Social Media—Especially Instagram
The primary reason for jewelers to use video on social media is that video can create a 360-degree view of a piece of jewelry, allowing the viewer to see more of the design, its clasp and its craftsmanship.

It serves as the next best thing to handling the piece of jewelry and trying it on during an in-person shopping experience. 

Also, it is critical to show the product being worn whenever possible, making it easier for your customer to gauge the size and scale of the piece, like, for example, how 
long a pair of earrings are.

If you use a product-only video on social media, be sure to offer an additional image of the piece being worn.

Video also gives you the opportunity to tell stories.

In the jewelry industry, we are not selling product as much as we are selling an emotional experience—the feel-good factor of fine jewelry. That emotional quality is easier to convey with video, partly because a video engages both sight and sound.

According to the latest “Instagram Engagement Report for 2020” by Hubspot and Mention, across all industries, videos achieve slightly lower engagement than still photos.

However, jewelers can and should continue to feature video; just be sure to also include still product photos.

For example, use Instagram’s carousel feature, which allows you to post multiple pieces of media. You can start with a gorgeous product photo in the first slide, then include a video showing the piece worn in the second.

Or, simply post a variety of content, mixing posts of product shots and videos.

Another way to make your video more engaging is to use text in the first few seconds. 

Instagram Reels and TikTok offer easy editing tools to help you add headline style text. This gives the viewer an instant idea of what the video is about and stops the scroll long enough to grab their interest.

Have your most charming team member experiment with making short videos on a smartphone showing the best ways to wear a 
piece of jewelry, talking about the design inspiration or the designer, and/or explaining why the piece makes a good gift, self-splurge or “revenge spend” purchase.

Short little snippets work well for Reels or TikTok. Maybe a team member wears both a citrine and a topaz ring, showing them off while saying, “November has two birthstones, citrine and topaz. Which do you like best?”

Retailers that carry designer brands can also request short video clips from the designers themselves, giving the customer a chance to meet the designer behind the brand without waiting for a trunk show.

Many retailers are also using Instagram Live to have chats with designers about their pieces in the store or showing behind-the-scenes content, like the arrival of new jewelry. 

Be sure to record and save all the video content you produce because you can also post it on your YouTube channel, Facebook business page and Instagram Story Highlights.

YouTube content improves your SEO, so use keywords and tags in describing the videos when posting to your YouTube channel.

For higher quality videos on a budget, consider affordable tools like the Gem Lightbox by Picup Media, which helps you create jewelry images and videos that sell.
This all-encompassing lightbox creates high-res photos and beautiful 360-degree videos that can be used on any of your social media channels.

Zoom and Virtual Events
As we all head to Zoom for our online meetings, team calls and virtual events, remember that you can record them.  

First, be sure to alert people they are being recorded and always ask permission, especially when giving virtual product presentations. You can also change your Zoom settings to automatically alert attendees when the event is being recorded. 

If customers wish to remain anonymous, they can turn off their video during the product presentation.

Save such videos for potential future use, like when another customer requests a similar style.

If you are holding a virtual event with a designer doing a personal appearance on Zoom, if you record it, you can share that video to a customer who missed the event.

You can also show limited edition trunk show pieces or “sold” items to customers who may be looking for something similar, and then place a special order with your vendor. 

Also, virtual presentations can be great sales training tools for new employees.

Remember to abide by the video best practices (lights, sets, eyeline of camera, etc.), as outlined in our previous article, “Selling in a Virtual World.”

Websites
Video content can also make your website more engaging, potentially holding customers on your site longer and decreasing your bounce time (the amount of time before a customer leaves your website).

Chris Mazurk, owner of digital marketing agency Mazloy, advises: “We work with our clients to make sure they’re using their video content in as many different places as possible.

“For example, with a single video we help our clients appear on social media, in podcasts, and we’ll even turn the video transcript into a blog post to make sure the content appears in Google searches. Without that last step, your video is much less likely to be found in search engines.”

Special attention must be paid to load times, though.

The longer it takes a video to load on your homepage, the higher the bounce rate. Be sure to keep your website videos short, engaging and in moderate resolution like 720p (as opposed to hi-res of 1080p).

Mazloy suggests embedding YouTube and Vimeo video links on your website. Both automatically optimize your video content for the viewer’s bandwidth.

“Also, the viewer can manually override the optimization settings so it’s the best of both worlds,” says Mazurk. “On top of that, you get the added benefit of appearing on the third most popular search engine in the world (YouTube).”

Email Marketing
According to research by CampaignMonitor.com, adding video to your email marketing can improve your open rate by 6 percent and click-through rate by 65 percent, but just be sure that you also include the word “video” in the subject line.

E-blasts are a very effective way to keep in touch with your best customers. Adding video messaging to your email marketing content improves the performance and helps you build better relationships by putting a face behind the brand, making you and your staff more human and, therefore, more interesting to your customers.

Experts in video messaging, like those at BombBomb.com, suggest that videos in your email marketing are a good way to showcase your expertise, announce special 
events, create buzz around new collections or special offers. 

Jewelers can send short video messages to VIP customers or personalized invitations to holiday shopping events, trunk shows and/or virtual events. It adds a personal touch and allows the customer to see the owner’s face or the designer’s atelier.

Personal shoppers and sales associates can also use video messaging to create buzz with their best customers when new brands or new products launch in the store.

If you have a known collector of a certain brand or product category, like pearls for example, you can reach out to those customers when that brand updates its assortment in your store or when new styles are available. 

“I really love sending sales emails with video,” says Mazurk. “The statistics show that the message you send sticks better when it is sent with video. For example, I use Soapbox to record myself walking through a client’s proposal and then I embed that video in the email I send to my client.

“I’ve seen a dramatic increase in my close rate since I started doing that. There are other great tools, like Vidyard, that are perfect for this as well.”

Always remember to include a call to action. 

CTAs help you convert video watchers into active engagers on your social media or to website traffic if coming from an e-blast. 

Also remember SEO. Be sure to incorporate keywords when posting your videos to YouTube. 

Sprout Social has some terrific tips for getting more use out of the videos you create by splitting, shortening and transforming the video content.

“Whether that’s a graphic quote, still photos, teaser clips, or GIFs, spinning your video into additional creative assets extends the life of your video and squeezes as much value from that one video as possible,” says Sprout Social’s Lauren Cover.

With all the free or cost-effective tools and technology available these days, jewelers can now use video more effectively to boost sales in this virtual world.

Video allows sharing so much more about the special stones, precious metals and beautiful craftsmanship that make jewelry a treasured part of our lives.

Remember to focus on emotion and storytelling, and to show the pieces being worn.


 Related stories will be right here … 
Jen Cullen Williamsis an independent communications strategist and senior consultant for the Luxury Brand Group.
Duvall O'Steenis an independent communications strategist and senior consultant for the Luxury Brand Group.

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