“I told you so” isn’t a good look on anyone, but, as we predicted, video content is taking over our feeds as well as Stories tap through — and fast. Instagram is leading the charge, declaring that by 2020, 75% of all data we consume will be in motion. Considering their vantage point, it should come as no surprise that we’ve been seeing huge investment in both video content and in converting that content from our friends at Insta.
Instagram shopping in story content gives brands the power to convert their consumers from daydreaming to spending, simply with the click of a story sticker. Just add a shoppable sticker to your story card, link to the product catalog you’ve uploaded to your business account, and let the magic happen. Instagram is even testing out in-feed video shopping to further optimize the consumer experience and capitalize on the engagement that’s flooding in. Creators and Influencers haven’t been left behind — Instagram is reportedly exploring monetizing IGTV, the company’s long-form video product, by (potentially) offering ad space for publishers and creators.
Video interest has been on the rise here at Dash Hudson both within our DH Fam and with key industry players. It’s no wonder, with YouTube making a resurgence with their beauty and lifestyle vlogger video sales and cult followings, and Pinterest expanding their Pinterest video ads offering over several more countries. Our crystal ball is currently out of order, but Pinterest also recently shipped shoppable pins with select beta brands, so we can only assume video is in the works and will eventually come down the pike. One thing is certain — social channels are all experimenting with how to activate shopping through video on their platforms.
You know it, we know it, the rulers of the visual social universe know it (that’s basically everyone, right?). Time to get down to business.
Thoughtful + Curated Story Cards
Context, context, context. We can’t say it enough: story videos are a beautiful way for successful brands to speak to their consumer from pre-launch of products all the way to purchase. Videos are inherently engaging, effective, and shareable, which comes with a multitude of benefits — like increasing potential audience with reach, and consumers coming back for more. This all adds up to multiple touchpoints during the ideation phase. Impulse buys notwithstanding, your guidance through product education is invaluable. In a world of distracting, fast-paced content, slow and steady (with consistency and trust) wins the race.
We spoke with one of the most sophisticated e-tailers on the planet, REVOLVE, about how they used Dash Hudson Story Studio to refresh their story cards and increase consumer engagement. Turns out, it gives them the ability to increase reach, website revenue, and website traffic (to name a few). Now that’s compelling.
Swipe Up Shops
By now, users have become familiar with the “swipe up to shop” CTA in Instagram Stories. And what better way to remove friction (and offer decision-making comfort) than a shopping environment we’re all familiar with? Whether consumers are still researching or ready to pull the trigger, swipe up links provide the flexibility to guide your audience where you want them to go. Of course, not all brands have the same hopes and dreams. Some want to drive website traffic, in which case driving that link to a product page or homepage can encourage your buyer to continue researching their purchase, or to create an account for your site. Or perhaps you have a product launch and you want your swipe up to link to drive to a specific gallery of creative promoting it. The flexibility to meet your consumers where they are is why swipe up links are so beneficial.
Plus, if you didn’t measure it, did it even happen? Our DH Fam loves to check in on all metrics in one place, so they use Dash Hudson to keep track of their swipe up metrics and website traffic.
The OG … UGC
A tale as old as time: working with influencers to sell your truth. Tools have enabled and supported photo and video shopping through social sharing for what feels like forever — particularly in the powerful form of user-generated content (UGC). Why? It’s powerful to have your favorite blogger or influencer walk you through their skincare routine, and as a community, experience products and reviews in real time, over an extended period of time. Unlike seeing a product in a store and relying upon just imagination to place it in your life, influencers magnify aspiration by showing consumers how it will work and look in their most coveted environments. Instagram personalities have a way of captivating their audience through real-time storytelling, and the long-standing relationships they’ve cultivated with their people have created a deep level of trust.
In theory, influencer marketing is still thriving, but how do you know for sure what relationships and posts are driving results? Sometimes, it’s an expensive risk to take. But with DH, you’ve got the cold hard stats. Think of it as your influencer report card. We’ll compile their posts and data, you dig into followers they’ve gained you per post, how their content lines up with your brand fit, even Earned Media Value (EMV) of photos or videos. And for shopping? Create a custom shoppable gallery of your influencers’ content linked directly to your products. They can share the shoppable link in their bio or story swipe ups to drive traffic and increase ROI, while you can sit back and measure views and clicks. Check and mate.
Shop the Feed
Last, but not least, let’s explore shopping video content in your brand’s feed. There’s no denying the success of link-in-bio solutions for increasing website traffic, sales, and conversions for brands on Instagram. Consumers have come to know and love brands’ LikeShop atmospheres. With the recognition and comfort of a feed, they get lost for hours, allowing brands to build a stronger organic story and connection with their audience — sort of like a Pinterest board for their curated feed. Another bonus? There’s no need to limit their destination to a product page. Link out to a vlogger doing an unboxing on YouTube, a third-party vendor, even reviews or press. Another example of meeting your consumers where they are, and allowing them to research and purchase.
Bonus, you can track all those click-throughs and conversions with Dash Hudson. With those metrics in hand, you can hone in on what kind of video content is driving sales and use it to increase revenue over time — like our friends at Carbon38 have craftily done.
And With that, the Credits are Rolling
Savvy marketing strategists recognize that they build trust with shoppers the more that shoppers browse their site, see videos and photos of their products, share the content with friends, and browse through LikeShop feeds for inspo. Screenplay is yet another touchpoint to bring products and their process to life. Especially for beauty products, it can be a powerful influencer activation. Even with direct-to-consumer purchasing power in Instagram’s shoppable video, the way to level up with thoughtful, strategic, and trust-building purchase navigation for your community.
Simply — use your video strategy to drive website traffic, assist in guiding your consumers through the buyer journey, increase website revenue, and give consumers more of what they know and love.
Header image: @revolve
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