Videos are becoming a common feature on corporate websites across all industries. The reasons for this are more multifarious than you might imagine. In this piece we explain why having videos on your website is about a lot more than simply making it look good.
To speak of the importance of online content as part of a broader marketing strategy is to insult the intelligence of most business people. Websites have replaced, or at least stand equal to, our physical stores, offices, and shops. And if you want people in there and looking around, you need to have plenty of resources in there for them to browse.
Staple resources include the likes of blogs, whitepapers, case studies, and infographics. All in their own way are powerful, achieving different results in different ways. In recent years another resource has gained popularity; the video, and when we begin to look at the reasons why, you may well find yourself wondering why you’ve not been using them yourself.
Consumers are watching videos
That’s not to say that they’re giving up other forms of content. A lively, engaging blog or colourful, informative infographic still goes down a treat with web surfers of all types. Video though, is on another level. IT and networking powerhouse, Cisco, who are constantly researching trends in technology usage, looked specifically at the direction video was headed. Based on extensive data collation and trend analysis, they predicted that by 2021 a million minutes, or almost 17,000 hours of video content, will cross the network every second. The video content that crosses the network in that one, solitary second would take a person two years to watch. Three if we allowed them to sleep.
It’s reasonable to say then that people are watching videos, and videos are being made for them to watch. This, rightly or wrongly, is the way consumers are acquiring the bulk of their information now. What’s interesting from a business perspective though, isn’t the volume of videos being watched, but the effects those videos have.
The effect on the website
Websites these days are like racing cars. Every racing car wants pole position, and in website terms pole position is page one on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). To get into pole position, your website can’t just be slick and stylish, it needs to be fine-tuned to deliver maximum performance. Where the racing car might need its engine re-mapping and a little squirt of nitrous oxide, your website needs SEO.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) refers to the multitude of methods and techniques that help your website rank highly on SERPs. Without it, forget about first gear, you’ve not even got the engine running. All forms of content additional to the static web copy help boost SEO. That’s your blogs, whitepapers, infographics etc. Videos though, have a particularly potent effect. Indeed, New York based marketing firm, MarTech, discovered that having videos on your website increases its chance of appearing the first Google SERP by a whopping 53 times. This translates to stark differences in web traffic. Companies using video see 41% more web traffic than non-video users, as discovered by Aberdeen Group.
The effect on the viewer
So, the use of videos has a demonstrable impact in getting your website to the summit of first page SERPs. Even if they served no other function, they’re worth forking out for for this reason alone. Videos though, do have other functions, and the effects they have on their viewers are profound.
The key difference between videos and other forms of content, is that users pay attention much more to messages communicated in a video. Research company, HubSpot, found that 55% of people who watched videos paid ‘close attention’ to what they were watching – more than any other type of content. This is where their power lies. Quite simply, people like watching videos more than they do consuming other formats of content. If you have a product that needs a sales push, keep in mind that web company, Animoto, found that four times as many people will watch a video than will read about it.
The fact that users are watching videos and paying attention to them is all well and good. Attention, however, does not pay the bills. What’s needed are conversions, and videos on that front come through yet again.
A staple means of marketing a product or service is by inviting customers to visit a landing page. Video marketers, Eyeview, found that having a video on a landing page instead of simply text and images, can increase conversion rates by a wallet-swelling 80%. The effects of using video are long-term as well. Aberdeen Group, in a piece of research conducted over several years, found that brands that use video marketing grew their year-on-year revenue 49% faster than brands that choose not to.
As we can see then; there are lots of videos out there, businesses are using them, consumers are watching them, and they are able to rack up conversions at an alarming rate. The only other factors to really consider are how you should make them, and where and when they should be deployed.
Video manufacture and deployment
When it comes to producing online content, a DIY approach is rarely, if ever, advisable. With videos though, it’s not just inadvisable, it’s potentially disastrous. For starters, although there is plenty of good, user-friendly video-editing software out there, producing a video still takes a heck of a long time. Your first question must be whether it’s time you can afford.
Secondly, good videos can go viral, but so can bad ones. A poorly-edited video with wooden on-camera performances, horrible music, and cheesy dialogue can still end up appearing on mobile devices everywhere, but instead of people learning through your video, they’ll be laughing at it. Overnight, your credibility is in tatters. Shop around as you would do for any other service provider, but let the professionals make your video for you.
As far as deployment goes, you have several options:
- Having one on a landing page, as illustrated earlier, can increase conversion rates by up to 80%.
- Having one on your homepage, according to data procured by Reel SEO, can increase conversion rates by up to 20%.
- Sticking one in marketing emails is definitely worth the effort, given Digital Sherpa found that not only do they reduce subscriber dropout by an impressive 75%, but according to Mist Media, can increase click-through rates by more than 90%.
- Whatever else you do, ensure your videos are uploaded to social media. It takes two minutes to do and hosting platform, Brightcove, found that on average, videos generate 1200% more shares than text and images combined.
Although the cost of having videos professionally made has come down significantly in recent years, they’re still more expensive to have produced than a blog or infographic. The knowledge of this often leads some companies to decide against having videos made altogether. Those companies though, haven’t had access to the research and data that you good readers have as to the potent effect of video marketing.
Having videos professionally made requires a budget that maybe difficult to part with. Parting with it however, could quite easily lead to other company budgets increasing exponentially.