Is it worth the money?

So everyone has told you that great product photos make all the difference on your website. Then they come back and tell you that what REALLY makes all the difference is an excellent product video. Oh, and reviews… and tech specs… and discounts… and pictures of grumpy cats… Ok, maybe not the last one, but don’t tell me you haven’t considered it to get people’s attention.

The question is, how do you measure what makes a difference when you share your product photos and videos online? Moreover, especially if you’re spending money to capture beautiful images, is the investment worth it? Can you tell anyone your financial return on investment from your last photo shoot? 

The problem is that most photo and video shoots start with the creative direction in mind. “What do WE want our customers to see?” You go out, and you capture these amazing images, then what? Obviously, they go up on your product page, you create a social media schedule and have your copy-writing team take their best stab at it, and you may even take out some ads.

However, it feels like you’re trying to make your campaigns match the content you already captured. All the sudden, you’re locked in, not on the problems you can solve for your customers, but the creative direction that your photographer took in the field. How can an entire marketing and content distribution plan come down to a loosely planned weekend shotlist?

When we work with outdoor clients at Chatham Road Studio, we’re committed to understanding what takes your customers from discovery to loyalty. Though we love photo and video production, what we really enjoy is the fruit of a successful, well-developed campaign that solves the problems that hinder your online sales.

So how do you measure your return on investment into photo and video? Let’s look at a real-world example.

My wife and I are active outdoors enthusiasts. We go hiking every week, and when we get the chance, we pack up for a long-distance backpacking trip. About a year ago, we were replacing our backpacking pillows. As you’re probably aware, choosing gear like this is an involved process. We scrolled through Amazon and REI to get a feel for the options out there, but inevitably, we ended up on specific manufacturers’ websites to learn more about their products.

We cared about weight and materials, but most importantly, we cared how they integrated with our current gear. I went with one that was rounded so that it would fit snugly into my mummy bag and she chose the one that felt least like a balloon since she loves her pillow at home and hates to sleep on anything that feels fake. Along the way, we found new brands that we weren’t aware of, and we had to go and figure out whether these brands were quality additions to our gear or just offshore knockoffs of the real thing.

Personally, the defining moment came when I stumbled across a video of a top-brand pillow maker demonstrating the differences between their product, priced at twice as much as the “Amazon’s Choice” featured item that I discovered in my initial search, and the most popular knockoffs. As soon as I could see how much intentional design went into the product that I was paying twice as much for, it became clear that my investment was well worth the money.

A year later, we’re still happy with our choices. 

There’s no denying, of course, that with a product like a pillow, the “do not touch” dilemma with E-commerce comes in to play. It helped tremendously to feel the product and determine whether I liked it, but I was completely willing to take the chance on an online purchase after watching the video.

It’s at this point where most brands get lost. And where most production companies, photographers, or independent videographers get their money. The natural response is to say, “Ok, great! We’ll make a video just like that one, put it on our product page, and when customers do their research, they’ll see that we’re the brand to choose.”

Yes, some percentage of your customers will do precisely that, just like I did, and you’ll get those sales. But what percentage? Does the investment ever pay off? 

The interesting part of the story above is that my wife and I left a goldmine of customer information behind us as we were shopping for products. 

  1. We searched REI and Amazon for backpacking pillows. From that moment forward, Facebook knows that we’re interested in that exact product, and even has two major retailers giving Facebook that information. Information that we can use to re-target an engaged customer.
  2. We visited each manufacturer’s website, including yours, to learn more during that search. Now I have a super-engaged lead that I can target directly. Also, assuming we know who your direct competitors are, we can likely target that customer based on their traffic on your competitors’ site and social profiles as well.
  3. We know that at least one of our purchase decisions was directly affected by specific video content, but we also know that I had to find that content.

Imagine taking the wealth of information we have about my apparent purchase intent and using that to put the decision-making video in front of me automatically? Instead of having to hope that your customers will discover your video on the product page, we’ll put your video on their Facebook timeline. Suddenly, the process of your brand becoming the authoritative voice in their product search becomes organic and seamless. 

Additionally, we can measure the effectiveness of each component of the video campaign. Want to know how many people viewed the video? Want to know how engaging it was compared to your competitors content? Want to know how many purchases on your website came as a direct result of your investment into your video and its promotional campaign? It’s all right there in black and white.

As you’re well aware, there’s nothing new here at all. No smoke in mirrors. In fact, I’ve given you everything you need to take your current videos and put them in front of your customers. If they meet those needs, go do exactly that! What sets Chatham Road Studio apart is that we add an accountability component to the work we do. We won’t just send you your final video files and wish you the best of luck. Our campaigns are designed to see your customers through the buyer’s journey from discovery to loyalty. And we’re qualified to do just that because we are your loyal customers.

Want to learn more? Book a strategy call with us. Over the course of an hour, we’ll learn about your story, define your customers, and identify your needs.

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