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Social Media and UGC
Ecommerce

An Ecommerce Brand’s Guide to Unboxing Videos

Unboxing videos, or videos that show customers taking a product out of it’s package and beginning to use it, are a goldmine for brands. Made popular by YouTube, unboxing videos can now be seen on almost all social media platforms. This high-quality user-generated content (UGC) performs well, as 55% of unboxing video viewers surveyed claim the video convinced them to buy the product. Influencers have also played an important role in popularizing this type of video as they promote brands that they collaborate with.

Many marketers don’t recognize the untapped potential of unboxing videos, and how they can be used beyond showing how a product looks in real life. In fact, if used right, this content can help create product awareness, promote seasonal deals and campaigns, and boost engagement.

Inspiring UGC: Use Outstanding Packaging to Wow Your Customers

One of the key reasons why users watch unboxing videos is to see what a product looks like in reality, as product pictures can feel misleading. When someone open a product, shoppers can see exactly what you will receive if you order the same product.

This is an opportunity for you to wow your customers with unique, branded packaging. Make unboxing a special experience for your customers and subsequently encourage them to share their unboxing experience online. Especially in lieu of an in-store experience, having a branded package delivered right to one’s doorstep can make a world of difference in brand recall and affinity.

Here are some expert packaging tips to revamp your current setup:

  • Add personalized notes to bring a smile to your customers’ faces. Pro tip: Include a note about sharing UGC with the company if the customer likes the product, and include your social handles!
  • Add free samples or gifts to tease new products or promote a sale.
  • Use eco-friendly packaging materials and promote it as a brand value.
  • Make the package a branding experience. Tailor the package to your brand’s look and feel.

Not only will these packaging tips result in a more exciting unboxing video from your brand’s influencers or customers, but it will also inspire more customers to share their unboxing experiences on social media. 40% of consumers say they’ll share a social media post of your product’s packaging if it was unique, providing your brand with more online exposure and user-generated content videos to promote in future marketing campaigns.

Palladio Beauty reshares a customer’s unboxing and subsequent makeup tutorial video on Instagram, featuring a trendy design on the product’s box.

More media produced by your customer community means a greater online reach for your brand, and specialized packaging will get viewers excited about buying your product.  

Add Value: The Initial Setup for the Product

Unboxing videos can be a very light touch for people just learning about a product, but they can also be highly informational. Some products, especially technology-related products, require some initial setup before you can start using these. For such products, you can upload videos in the form of a tutorial to teach your customers exactly how to set up your product and start using it. No matter what the product is or if the video is created by either your brand internally or your partner influencers, this is a good way to educate your customers.

Yakima Racks publishes Youtube videos unboxing its outdoor activity products like this vehicle onramp and taking viewers step-by-step through the installation process.

Getting More Videos: Use Influencer Marketing to Create a Buzz Around a New Product

If you are planning to launch a new product, you can send samples to popular influencers in your field and ask them to create unboxing videos. Given that the product is not available in the market, these videos will generate curiosity and buzz around your product launch.

Influencers are often more than happy to get early access to products and many would make a video simply in exchange for receiving a free product. So, you can send out samples to multiple influencers to run a whole buzz marketing campaign. The more influencers that create videos to talk about your product launch, the more publicity it will generate.

Use an influencer marketing platform to discover and manage relationships with the right influencers for your brand. After all, working with wrong influencers can do more harm than good.

Youtube influencer Alexa Raye unboxes Revel Nail’s dip powder product and offers an exclusive coupon code from the brand. Working with influencers also gives your brand the opportunity to take advantage of that influencer’s broad network of followers in the form of a livestream. You can stream your unboxing videos and answer any customer questions in real-time. Live videos, a capability offered by Instagram along with many other social media platforms, provide the advantage of being able to talk to your customers in real-time. If they have any questions or concerns, they can share them right away using comments. You can address each of these live, as you unbox your product.

Innovation: Get into Creative Uses For Your Product

One of the best ways unboxing videos can be used is to inspire new ways to use the product. This is where user-generated content can be a goldmine for ecommerce brands. Even if you’re reasonably certain your product is being used one way, chances are customers have shown it to be effective in other impactful ways. For example, Tile, which creates IoT based tracking devices for consumers, shows how customers can use Tile to locate their car. While Tile can be used in a variety of different ways, this specific use case solves a very unique problem for customers and indicates a way customers are clearly using the product.

Authenticity: Keeping it Real While Still Promoting Effectively

Unboxing videos work so well because they’re authentic, real and give consumers the feeling that they’re being educated instead of being marketed to. This is exactly why it’s important to preserve these elements that make unboxing videos so effective instead of trying to oversell — something that comes off as unauthentic. 

Once you’ve settled on the right content creator, start by creating a detailed brief so that if you have any specific requirements that absolutely must to be a part of the video production process, they’re included. However give the influencer a chance to be themselves. The aim of the brief is to highlight essential requirements for the brand, not to micromanage your selected influencer.

If your products are particularly detailed, try to avoid long introductions and use your product brief to specify this. You want viewers to learn as much about the product as quickly as possible without unnecessary promoting through a long, winding introduction. Try to have the videos get straight to the unboxing experience and talk about the features during the process instead of before or after. This way you don’t risk boring the viewer and letting them lose interest before they’re even halfway through.

Remember that the influencers you select have the audience they do because they’re doing something right. Keep things authentic by giving them a chance to do what they do best. This includes allowing them to give authentic, unbiased feedback even if it’s about improvements or features they feel unsatisfied with while allowing them the creative freedom they're best at. That’s why the audience is watching after all. 

Attention to Detail: Keep an Eye on the Things That Count

Once most of the major aspects of an unboxing video are taken care of, the smaller details need to be ironed out. Although these aren’t things that most people notice immediately they certainly count and make a huge effect on the overall production quality of the video.

Lighting and presentation are extremely important and your product needs to be unboxed in lighting that makes it look favorable and complements the colors of the product and packaging. Watch out for shadows and try to avoid harsh unpleasant lighting that interferes with the filming of the video.

This could also be challenging depending on the backdrop selected for the video. The backdrop is another factor which plays a crucial part with regard to the impression the video creates. You want to select your background and video backdrop carefully before you begin filming. Perhaps a nice wooden table if you’re unboxing a health or wellness product or maybe a sleek work table for electronics. Decide what background looks best for close up shots and what location suits shots where you’re talking about the product while standing away from the camera.

Being creative about the location you pick is a great way to keep your audience engaged. If the product is used outdoors maybe find a nice scenic spot where you can demonstrate how to use the product right after unboxing it. Remember that the point is to keep your audience engaged while you talk about the product so they don’t lose interest.

Finally, it’s important to understand that an unboxing video is not a tutorial. You’re not trying to drill the specifications and details into the heads of your viewers. What a good unboxing video accomplishes is giving your viewers the feeling of opening presents on Christmas morning or on their birthdays. It makes them feel like they’re opening something they’ve waited a long time to buy and so your video needs to contain and capture those elements that people associate with gift unwrapping. 

Whether that includes describing the texture of the packaging - which should be different from the standard packaging used during order fulfillment, or recording the sound of paper tearing and plastic unwrapping, every tiny detail counts as part of the experience. The closer you can come to making your audience feel like they're in the room with you, the better the results. Aim to create the experience of good storytelling. Try writing out what you have to say and then reading it out loud to make sure it sounds great. Plan out the video before you start and try to proofread content you plan on saying to make sure it sounds great out loud and not just in your head.

Going Beyond: Use Unboxing Videos as Core Marketing Material

As powerful pieces of UGC, unboxing videos are repurposable; they can live on multiple different social channels, product pages, category pages, email communications, and even social media ads. One video might gain better traction revealing a new product in a social announcement, while others might benefit a product page by showing the different options a customer can choose from.  For example, running a social media contest encouraging customers to share their videos on social media is a great way to garner engagement and brand buzz while collecting valuable UGC for your various marketing channels. This can come in the form of a contest with the chance to win a discount or special prize, but sometimes even the opportunity to be featured on your brand’s accounts or website is enough incentive.

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in influencer marketing, content marketing, and SEO. He is the co-founder of Attrock, a digital marketing agency. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.Social connects: Twitter, LinkedIn & Instagram

Pixlee TurnTo Contributor

Pixlee TurnTo welcomes contributed content from leading marketers, influencers and ecommerce experts.

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