The second of our industry-specific seminars took place on Wednesday 10 June at The Hospital Club in Covent Garden. Joining us for our Digital Retail and Ecommerce Seminar were speakers from Brightcove, Liberty Marketing, Stream:20, Solocal Group UK and Branded3, talking about everything from shoppable videos and local search to defining what is actually meant by the term ‘engagement’
Advancing Digital Revenue with Video
Willem Challenger – Video Marketing Consultant, Brightcove
Getting your consumers’ attention is hard work. But video can allow you to create content that is “more appealing, authentic, engaging and shareable,” said Willem at Brightcove. Video content can increase your chances of building a brand-loyal customer base, as long as it’s integrated with an excellent customer experience: think about fast launch times, buffering and cross-device support. Make sure the content matches the look and feel of your brand, and adds value to every interaction. Every platform has its own idiosyncrasies, so make the content specific to the platform. For retailers, shoppable videos are a good way to use engaging content to drive users back to your products.
Willem’s takeaways: remember to put social sharing options at the end of every video. Make the content searchable and easy to find. Think about using video content to boost other channels: using the word ‘video’ in an email subject line, for example, can significantly increase open rate. Content may not be relevant to everyone, so use marketing automation to personalise individual customer journeys across platforms. In terms of measuring performance, look at play rates: where is your content performing well and where are people dropping off during the video? This insight will allow you to adapt and tailor your video content and increase its relevancy.
Ecommerce Best Practice & Quick Wins in Search
Gareth Morgan – Managing Director, Liberty Marketing
There are plenty of ‘quick wins’ to be gained from SEO, and just a few simple changes can make the world of difference to your ecommerce site’s search rankings. Here are Gareth’s top tips for succeeding in search: address your keyword use on a regular basis, and make sure you’re re-examining the keywords in your marketplace to optimise content. If you have duplicate or thin content, get rid of it. Conduct a link check to erase spammy links. Make sure you’re not using ‘doorway pages’—pages created purely to rank for keywords—as Google views these unfavourably. In terms of opportunities that retailers should take advantage of, Google Shopping increases visibility of your products for customers, and gets rid of a lot of waste traffic. It now has the functionality to competitively benchmark your brand against others. There’s also a high volume of valuable traffic to be gained from local search, as these are users with intent to convert, so you need to ensure that you own your local listings, and that they’re branded up and optimised. Use Google My Business to bring a relevant online experience to every store location. Gareth also notes remarketing lists, remarketing lists for search and ad extensions as profitable areas for retail marketers to look into.
Multichannel Marketing Opportunities in Ecommerce
Alex Lockett – Director, Stream:20
Whereas traditional push channels such as TV, outdoor and above-the-line marketing can be very expensive, there are a lot of advancing opportunities within digital marketing that present more affordable ways to build brand awareness and engage a larger audience. Paid social is something that a lot of brands are doing well but, said Alex at Stream:20, a content-led approach is the key one. A lot of content is driven through social and owned media, but marketers need to consider other paid opportunities such as native advertising on channels like BuzzFeed, which allow you to tap into a relevant audience with engaging content. Use conversion principles rather than the product itself to sell. While it’s essential to know your products, retail marketers need to know the customer, what they want and, ultimately, what will make them convert.
Sophisticating your Local Brand Engagement
Bruno Berthezene – Group UK Country Manager, Solocal Group UK
Eighty-five per cent of users go online before purchasing. And although the UK has the highest ecommerce penetration in the world, most purchases are still made in store. This means that emphasising your local presence online is greater than ever. The number of ‘near me’ searches has multiplied by 34 since 2011. Thirty-four million local searches are made in the UK every day. And the vast majority of these (80 per cent) come from mobile. You need to make sure you’re providing the right functionality for your users when they arrive on your website. This way, you can turn local search into in-store shoppers. The ability to book online, receive promotions and see product lists are all valuable services that can aid your customer’s journey before they finally convert in-store.
Why Online Retailers Need to Start Engaging
Laura Crimmons – Social and PR Manager, Branded3
Like plenty of buzzwords, ‘engagement’ is thrown around without much thought of its actual meaning. Dictionary.com defines it as “to occupy the attention or efforts of (a person or persons)” but, says Laura at Branded3, if this is the case, how can the one second users take to Like or Share your content be seen as engagement? The only way you’re going to really engage your customer is to listen to the conversations they’re having around your product or industry. Look at what’s working in your shop and bring this online. But remember that your online and offline audiences are different, so it’s up to you to figure out what distinguishes them, where they’re hanging out and what they’re already engaging with online. This will allow you to build up online personas and eventually create unique and well-informed experiences for individual users. When it comes to content, you need to be either informative or entertaining. And don’t just push it out for the sake of it. “People don’t want content, they want stories,” and they want to feel a connection with your brand. You need to know what emotion you’re trying to evoke in the user with your content.