Effective call-to-action with e-commerce video



Recently there’s been a lot of talk online about how video can help e-commerce and adding interactivity to video is a natural progression to keep the viewer engaged. There was a great blog post written on effective trigger design for interactive video commerce which answers the question – how should video interactivity be applied to e-commerce video? It’s always been part of my approach on each project, what is the end goal? Are you a non-profit looking for donations, a company selling products looking for a purchase or maybe you are looking for viewers to contact you for more information and become more engaged with your brand? There are three steps (according to the Video Commerce Consortium blog post) to creating an effective trigger or call-to-action, I’m going to elaborate on each:

1. The trigger must be noticeable. This sounds self explanatory, but you’d be surprised to realize that most consumers are passive viewers of online video content, they aren’t used to interacting with it. It also needs to be blatantly obvious to the viewer that interaction is possible.

2. The trigger must be associated with the targeted behavior. When you are creating a call-to-action, think carefully about the wording and design because they can have a huge impact on the viewers expectations. Don’t have a button that says “Product information” really be a link directly to add an item to a shopping cart. As an example, we have a customer who sells generally to engineers who will want to see product specifications before they consider purchasing so we incorporated a “Download Specifications PDF” right into the video. Carefully design the call-to-actions within your video experience to meet your viewers expectations.

3. The trigger must occur when the user is both motivated and able to perform the target behavior. The great thing about online video is we can be more subtle with a call-to-action. As the Video Commerce Consortium blog post points out “clicking a mouse is still easier than picking up the phone”. But scripting the video so the ask is part of the story is key, when are your customers most motivated to buy? Is it after a particular product or feature where a button can pop up so they can click that for more information about that feature?

Not sure where your video is peaking curiousity or if there is a falloff in viewership before they get to your call-to-action? Using a video measurement service like Visible Measures can precisely calculate video engagement by capturing every event that occurs within an Internet video player – each play, pause, rewind, fast-forward, share, embed, and more.

Not sure how to build those call-to-actions within your video? I recommend Flimp which has a great WYSIWYG interface to create landing pages and e-mail integration with Constant Contact as well as a few other major email service providers. I also suggest Permission TV which offers an outstanding video platform allowing you to build those call-to-action links right into the video player creating more interactive experiences to everyone who visits your site. Both offer outstanding analytics so you can track and analyze your video’s performance.

Ultimately a call-to-action is useless unless the video itself is engaging and can easily be found. If your video is buried on your website, who’s going to see it? What if the content is so boring no one ever gets to the call-to-action?

What you need to do is to think of the call-to-action within your video and the trigger button or action as one seamless process, not separate parts. That is the future of online video, it’s all part of the viewer experience.

That’s what I think anyway, what about you?



PermissionTV LIVE Episode 15 about Email Marketing with Video


This past Thursday I got the opportunity to guest host a video podcast with Matthew Mamet of PermissionTV. Every Thursday they run a live show called PTVLIVE focusing on news, product releases and events with online video.

This was all new to me. I’m usually behind the camera or if in front of it, have a few takes to get the content right. Going live was definitely a little more stressful as evidenced by my “ums” and “errs” at the beginning of the show. But after a while I fell into a groove and was able to relax and enjoy the experience.

We covered some pretty interesting topics including integrating videos in your email marketing campaign, test driving the GoodMail Email Marketing Platform’s integrated video feature, discussing how much of a typical online video is actually watched and some big news for Visible Measures which now tracks videos at MySpace.

All in all this was a really great experience for me and the folks over at PermissionTV were fantastic. You can subscribe to their podcast through iTunes or watch weekly live at PTVLIVE. As promised I have given my 5 star rating on iTunes for this great podcast. Check out the full podcast below:


You need to upgrade your Flash Player





Buzzworthy Wednesday Video: Burger King SpongeBob SquarePants


The biggest viral video winner by far last week was Susan Boyle from Britain’s Got Talent with over 39 million views in a week but as far as marketing videos the crown had to go to Burger King.

The King likes square butts — and online viewers responded. The ad tweaks the song “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot to promote Burger King’s SpongeBob SquarePants kids meals. The song is definitely an odd mix to sell kids meals with but obviously given their past history…Burger King isn’t afraid of a little controversy and given the big response it’s had online to date. It’s had over half a million views since being uploaded two weeks ago according to data from video-measurement firm Visible Measures.