It’s no secret that to compete effectively in the crowded online marketplace, you need to stand out in as many different ways as possible. There are more avenues to finding customers online than with just the text on your website. Videos have demonstrated their popularity with audiences and effectiveness as marketing tools for years!
- They’re featured in search results. Besides the regular website listings in search results, search engines like Google also feature related images and videos. Your website could be listed twice on the same page of search results if you have a video, therefore attracting more people to you.
- People spend mere seconds reading information on a new website, but they’ll spend minutes watching a new video. You can keep potential customers’ attention longer. Most people would rather watch a video than read.
- If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine how many words a video is worth! Sometimes, people need to see to believe, and you can build trust with video.
Videos about what?
After I discuss why video is something to consider for a website, the follow-up question is usually, “What should I make videos about?” There are no answers here that apply to everyone, but I have a few general suggestions to get you thinking.
- Introduce yourself, your product, or your service. If it’s engaging and entertaining, that’s all the better. Dollar Shave Club has an excellent example of this kind of video.
- Provide customer testimonials. It helps to build trust to see real people talking about their satisfaction in working with you.
- Tutorials, explanations, or other “how-tos” in dealing with your product or service keep people coming back. You can show how to use garden equipment to start an herb garden, how to keep pipes from freezing in the winter, creative reuses for old bottles, or how to keep your identity safe. Genuinely helpful videos get viewed and shared…and don’t have to give away your trade secrets.
Ultimately, the possibilities are endless. Speaking with a professional marketer may help you develop a good plan for video ideas that would appeal to your target market.
How do I make videos?
Of course, there are several options for making videos. Professional videographers have the expertise and know-how to produce quality videos that are appealing and engaging. Some videos work well at the computer if you’re showing something used online. You can always film them yourself with a smartphone (or have a friend do it).
Before you’re tempted to save a few bucks by filming the video yourself, you should consider the final effect. Perhaps in a few instances the lower quality of a homemade video is right for the job, but in most cases, without the right equipment and expertise, a video will look amateur or even cheap. Think about your image and your reputation, and make the right decision for the video you need.
What do I do with my videos?
In almost every instance, I recommend that businesses and organizations create a professional (not personal) channel on YouTube. Why YouTube? Well, there are over one billion people who use YouTube any given month; that’s a large audience! Plus, after Google, people use YouTube for their online searches more than any other search engine (Bing, Yahoo, etc.). Without putting your videos on YouTube, you miss those individuals who are searching for answers on YouTube alone.
Additionally, loading a video on YouTube versus your own website means that it will be formatted correctly to work in most of the different browsers and mobile devices. (You’d have to pay for many different video formats or leave people unable to view your video otherwise.) Plus, your video is stored on YouTube’s servers and delivered using their bandwidth, meaning you don’t pay for that either.
But you still get to have the video on your own website. It’s easy to embed a YouTube video on most any website—in fact, it’s usually easier than if you loaded the video on your own website alone. If you’re using a WordPress website, all you need to do is type the video’s URL on a separate line, and WordPress takes care of the rest. It’s that easy!
Lights! Camera! Action!
This is just the tip of the iceberg to get your started using video online. There are many details to work out specifically for you to help maximize your exposure and get results. A marketer, videographer, and web developer can help you get the right message to the right people.