Video is a critical part of the internet. Not only is it great for entertainment, but it’s also effective and efficient for communicating information. As an online retailer, your business is largely dependent on letting people know that you exist and convincing them that your products are worth purchasing (and not just for the prices, either; you need to offer other value, such as exceptional customer service and fast shipping).

Video is one way you can do this, and it’s not as challenging to create as you imagine. There are numerous outlets for it, too, such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Wyzowl conducted a study regarding how effective video is in marketing, and out of 311 respondents (including consumers and marketing professionals), 79 percent of consumers said that they prefer watching videos to learn about products instead of reading text. 84 percent of consumers also noted that videos have convinced them to purchase something after watching, and 91 percent have watched an explainer video about a product or service.

There is much you can do with video marketing. While it may seem like more work than images, blogs, and infographics, it does not have to cause you a headache with the best professional video editing software online for free. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Establish yourself as a thought leader

One of the things you are probably doing with your blog and social media channels is attempting to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field. Products should not be the only thing you are capable of providing people; many consumers seek advice before they decide to buy—as they should. If you can preemptively answer their questions, though, they’ll know where to turn once they have reached a decision.

So, create videos that talk about your industry, current trends, history, and your products themselves. Answer frequently asked questions and questions your audience doesn’t even know it has. When you prove your expertise, you boost your brand’s credibility.

Educate your audience

What are some ways you can go about educating your audience? In the world of ecommerce and dropshipping where it’s easier than ever to sell goods without knowing anything about them, consumers take comfort in knowing when they are doing business with someone knowledgeable. Some things you can provide them include:

Industry information: How old is your field, and what is it’s honest history like? This is an opportunity to talk about how you are similar or different from previous sellers in your field, and how you compare to your current competitors. Interviews with other established individuals can be insightful. What can you tell people about your industry that may influence their decisions to do business with you instead of someone else?

How-to guides: People shop at brick-and-mortar stores because they can go inside and touch the products they are considering and imagine the role they would play in their lives. People cannot do this with ecommerce, so how-to videos can inform viewers how to use products as well as help them envision said products in practice.

Behind-the-scenes looks: This is a favorite format because people often love getting sneak peeks behind the curtain and exclusive access to things that others do not know. How are your products made? What does a product’s journey look like from manufacturer to their doorsteps? Tell people things that will make them appreciate your products more.

Make people laugh

Yes, your videos are informational—but they should not be dull. Neil Carroll from Nickel City Graphics advises parodying something popular:

“Can you think up a clever spin-off of a popular movie clip, music video, or something funny that has been making its rounds across the internet recently People love seeing creative twists on relevant and fresh topics and, if you think about something creative, you can use this fact to the advantage of your business.”

Be quick about it, though, or else your video will be obsolete if the trend fades by the time you release it.

Make an announcement

Videos can also serve as press releases (which would be more fun to watch than to read, right?). People check social media regularly, so if you would like to announce an upcoming product release, partnership, event, or promotion, create a video and share it on platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube. This way, you can get the word out to people without making them search for it.

Video has many uses, so it’s a practical medium for marketing your online store. How will you use video marketing in 2019?