The folks at Arthur’s Jewelers take a lot of digital product shots—10,000 last year to be exact, according to Amy Nogai, the Roseville, Minn., store’s creative director. What to do with these and more than 2,000 event photos? Make videos.
Over the last year Nogai has created 41 videos, combining digital images and video footage she and other staff members have taken, using Web-based and video production software. The in-house–produced videos are providing rich content for the store’s main website and social media websites while increasing the store’s SEO (search engine optimization) on YouTube and Google, with a surprising number of unique views.
Of the 41 YouTube videos, the two uploads with the most unique views on YouTube are a December 2009 Red Carpet Tacori party when Paul Tacorian, Tacori’s president of sales and marketing, came to Arthur’s to launch the company’s 18k925 line (2,600 unique views).
Surprisingly, a close second is a 52-second video on the store’s warranty; it has received 2,046 views, but when combined with the unique views of the same video uploaded on the same day last June—1,738—the actual number of unique views for the store warranty video is more than 3,800).
While many store owners struggle to get a few hundred unique views for their TV commercials or in-store “YouTube quality” meet-and-greet videos, Nogai has managed to average more than 1,000 unique views on most of her YouTube videos. YouTube links are on every Web page in the company’s website.
“A lot of the videos I’ve produced have YouTube links embedded in various information and product pages and sections in our website,” says Nogai. “To provide more information on our products, designers, store services, community and store events, videos help tell our stories in ways that are popular with today’s visual customers.”
The videos are also being published on Facebook with video links being sent out to customers via Twitter, increasing the store’s social media presence while racking up unique views and SEO on YouTube.
In late 2009, Nogai’s computer hard drive was becoming a vast storage place for the tens of thousands of digital product shots and video files shot from the store’s high definition Flip. In the months leading up to the first batch of video uploads in June 2010, Nogai immersed herself in online resources and basic video software packages that would allow basic video production skills to be self-taught.
Her first stop, Animoto: a Web-based video production service that allows users to use basic video-production techniques. After getting comfortable with Animoto, Nogai moved on to Adobe Premiere Elements and Adobe Flash to produce her videos. Today, Adobe Premiere Elements is her production program of choice.
After uploading her first few videos last year, Nogai created her store’s own YouTube channel after learning from jewelry designers on how they’ve set up their YouTube accounts. “This [YouTube channel] is a big help to better organize the videos, guide user viewing traffic, and improve SEO,” says Nogai. “The channel also allows us to share detailed company information in the user profile plus add key search words.”
YouTube channels also allow users to establish many social media friendly features including adding subscribers and friends. And there are familiar on-demand–like features. Once a number of videos were uploaded to YouTube, Nogai created favorites and playlists to guide viewers to the more popular videos she’s produced.
A screen grab of Arthur’s Jewelers’ YouTube Channel.
Of the 41 Arthur’s videos on YouTube, many are product-themed. Arthur’s has an e-commerce–enabled website and the videos are a good online component to driving this portion of the store’s business model.
There are also a number of vendor product and store event videos—namely, trunk shows. Arthur’s vendor videos are Tacori heavy (the store’s No. 1 bridal brand), with a sprinkling of Mark Silverstein and Verragio. Nogai is currently working on producing other vendor videos including Simon G, Konstantino, Belle Étoile, and Anzie.
The next phase for Arthur’s is to better track how the videos are driving online searches, traffic, and, ultimately, converting sales. Nogai admits for now there are only anecdotal customer mentions in the store that are giving her and store owners Carver and Tyler Nogai, along with their sister and business partner Natalie, any indication that the video production work has been worth the investment.
Still, the unique views numbers speak for themselves. This fall Nogai family will begin investing in professionally produced videos exclusively for YouTube. “The cost to produce and upload videos just for YouTube is cheaper than producing videos for TV commercials,” says Nogai. “We have a good number of videos, subscribers, friends, and followers of our videos, now we want to build on that with better quality video productions. The ultimate goal would be to have any jewelry video go viral.”