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Taking cues from recipe videos helps The Grommet create a breakout video

February 28, 2017 08:57 AM
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A few months ago Tori Tait realized she was watching a lot of recipe videos in her Facebook news feed. The videos all followed a basic formula: quick edits, text laid over the video and short run times.

That observation was a revelation for Tait, The Grommet’s director of community, who oversees the retailer’s social media posts. Tait, who posts product videos to Facebook most days for her job, figured she could replicate the approach. While most of the videos she posted were longer—one to two minutes—she worked with The Grommet’s video team to shorten the content and overlay text to describe a rather nondescript product: adjustable collar stays, which are inserted into shirt collars to help them lie flat. Videos are important for The Grommet because it sells unique items that often need an explanation.

The recipe approach worked. The Grommet’s typical product video reaches 12,000-15,000 consumers on Facebook within a week, but this one reached 1.9 million. And it had more than 61,000 views compared with a more typical 2,000-5,000.

The reaction surprised Tait: “Don’t ask me why. We’re still trying to understand what it was about this video that sparked that reaction.” While she isn’t clear on the specifics of the collar-stay  video, she has found that short videos—20-30 seconds in length—typically attract about double the views and double the engagement of longer videos.

“We’re creating the long-form videos for our site anyway, so we’ve realized that it’s worth the time to do a second edit,” she says.

That type of experimentation has served The Grommet, No. 447 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, well. Roughly 18% of The Grommet’s traffic last year stemmed from shoppers clicking from social networks, according to SimilarWeb Ltd. And its organic social traffic, which is clicks from posts the retailer didn’t pay to promote, jumped 67% year over year, which in turn helped social media-related revenue rise 49%, Tait says.

“I pay a lot of attention to what works and focus on execution,” Tait says. “When the platforms change their algorithms [the formulas that determine what consumers see in their social feeds], it’s a challenge for us to try new things to figure out what works.”

For instance, Facebook’s algorithm in the past year has increasingly favored video (including its live video feature called Facebook Live). That’s helped The Grommet increase its Facebook engagements 101% year over year and its clicks 34%.

Pinterest also plays a key role in The Grommet’s social media efforts as the platform last year surpassed Facebook as its leading driver of traffic and revenue. On Pinterest, Tait focuses on producing pins that “speak to the pinner,” she says. “My No. 1 goal when I create a pin is to show her how our product fits in her life. Our products are wildly different than those you can find elsewhere, so I have to ensure she can immediately understand what the product is and how she might use it. If she won’t use it, she won’t click.”

The result is pins that feature a collage of images. For example, a recent pin showcasing Hickies, which are elastic shoe ties, features three images that demonstrate how they work and copy that reads, “Never tie or untie your shoes again. An elastic lacing system to replace your shoelaces.” The approach has helped the retailer’s Pinterest clicks rise 116% year over year.

While The Grommet is aggressive on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, Tait doesn’t devote much time to other platforms, such as Twitter or Snapchat. “We don’t try to be everywhere and be everything,” she says. “We have a strategy and we execute it.” 

 

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