Lee Parkhurst, senior marketing manager at Educational Insights | Source: Lee Parkhurst

by AMY OPHEIM, freelance marketing consultant

Video has proven to be a powerful sales tool across all industries — and the toy industry is no exception. With the biggest benefit being the ability to demonstrate a product’s functionality and features, video also provides an opportunity to share a variety of messaging, hitting on key selling points that appeal to a variety of consumers.

Video also enables manufacturers to dive deeper into the “hows” and “whys” of a product, share backstories to make an emotional connection with the consumer, list awards and endorsements, and make any claims possible about the results of the product. Done right, video is so powerful that a recent Forbes article highlighting advertising trends for 2021 claimed that viewers report retaining 95% of a message watched through video.

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The marketing team members at Educational Insights (EI) are among the expert content creators in the toy industry tapping into the power of video. “Video has become our favorite way to share our latest play innovations with shoppers,” says Senior Marketing Manager Lee Parkhurst. “From stop-motion animation product videos to live, on-air TV, we continue to test and invest in all aspects of video, as [this type of content] continues to be a major driver for growth at EI.”

EI has expanded on its prerecorded video success with live product demos. The company began appearing on QVC in 2007 and has participated in 16 on-air segments with the network to date. “Going on-air is the best way to play show-and-tell, especially with toys,” Parkhurst says. “The casual, improv-style conversations that come from on-air demonstrations can be a wonderful introduction to both your products and your company.” In addition to sales on QVC, brands can see a surge in search data, website visits, and sales across multiple retailers after a QVC segment.

Parkhurst with Zoomigos Toys | Source: Lee Parkhurst

While not every brand can appear on QVC, anyone can go live on social media, thanks to several new livestreaming tools on key social media platforms. Livestreamed videos on Facebook Live, IGTV, and TikTok are effective, low-cost ways to build product awareness and excitement, launch new products, announce specials and sales, and drive consumers to specific retailers and programs. In essence, if you have a social media audience, then you already have a studio audience for livestreaming.

According to socialmediaweek.org, videos are driving more views, engagement, and positive response than other types of posts, with 72% of survey respondents saying they prefer to learn about a product or service through a video. Best of all, since most social media platforms prioritize content, brands participating in their livestreaming services create a bump that multiplies organic reach significantly.

“Both Facebook Live and Instagram’s IGTV will allow your audience to see and hear from your brand directly,” Parkhurst says. “Because social streaming networks like these prioritize their new innovations, accounts that use the live features and interact with their audiences can expect an organic boost to their content.”

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Socialmediaweek.org’s research indicates that users spend 88% more time browsing on websites that have videos, and emails have a 7% higher open rate when the subject line includes the word “video.” With endless ways to use video content, including new video platforms like Amazon Live — which consumers can use to view videos while shopping — brands that invest in quality video content or on-air segments are bound to see a bump in sales.

What are you waiting for? Grab your camera and go live today!


This article was originally published in the May 2021 edition of the Toy Book. Click here to read the full issue!