5 Clear Cut Reasons to Budget for Video This Year

If you’re wondering if video is important for your site, if it would enhance your content and help build an audience, the answer is YES.

“But hold on,” you say. “You don’t even know me or my business.”

And you’re right but my answer remains a firm, enthusiastic YES! I can’t conceive of a business or other organization that would not benefit from video.

So let’s make the case right here and now:

1. It’s popular, plain and simple

188.7 million Americans watched 46 billion online content videos in September [2013], while the number of video ad views totaled 22.9 billion. (Comscore)

2. E-commerce – video sells

If you’re selling any kind of product online, videos lift conversion rates. According to Comscore 96% of online shoppers watch videos, they stay on the site longer and are 64% more likely to make a purchase.

3. Social Media – Video gets shared

Video is easy to share and because it’s more interesting and compelling, viewers are more likely to want to share the link with others.

4. SEO – Google values video

“The importance of video content is becoming increasingly clearer to SEOs. Websites with video content are 53% more likely to gain Page 1 status,” according to Search Laboratory.

5. Video drives traffic

The promise of video in an email or a homepage slider drives click-throughs. “The CTR (click-through rate) on a video is 41% higher than on simple text content.” (Search Laboratory)

You don’t have to be an ecommerce business to reap the rewards of video content. After all, we’re all selling something whether it’s ourselves, an idea, your brand or services and there’s no better way to connect with your audience than video.

Video brings your stories to life

Content marketing is they way of the marketing world today. When you freely share your knowledge and contribute content that relates to your business and that others find useful, you are far more likely to convert those visitors into customers – heck, they may even become fans.

And while writing great blog posts is so vital to your website, videos certainly add a whole new dimension to the idea of telling a good story.  Video allows your viewers a chance to get to know you or to experience something about your service or product. Viewers are able to feel your enthusiasm and your belief in whatever it is you seek to convey – integrity, humour, intellect, you name it. And let’s face it, a lot of people would rather watch than read.

Here’s a great case in point.

When we set out to re-design and develop the website for Port 32, a housing community for retirees, part of the project was a video series that would mirror the major competitive advantages outlined in the web content. For each video, we featured Georgina Phillips, Manager of Sales and Decor along with all sorts of shots of interiors, gorgeous forested properties and gardens, and boats cruising through the canal in the village. Instead of just talking about it, we demonstrated it. Georgina’s warmth and passion for her product and love of her customers shone through.

We interviewed customers who were only too happy to share their positive experiences and the wonderful lifestyle they’re enjoying. It’s hard to match that with a text testimonial. Their enthusiasm is persuasive.

Now, when new clients arrive at the sales office, often there first words are, “You’re the woman in the videos! We’re so happy to meet you!” Instant rapport. They’re primed for a great experience.

There’s never been a better time to incorporate and benefit from video from the accessibility of equipment to our ability to stream gigabytes of data to mobile devices, there’s no excuse not to dive in.

And yet … there’s often still apprehension. That’s okay, we’ll help you come up with a strategy in concert with your goals and your budget.

In-house vs. Professional

There are certainly some great ways to jump into video without going to the expense of hiring professionals. Video blog posts that feature how-to’s using video screen captures, such as Camtasia and a good quality web camera will do just fine. Tutorials or talking head videos with the resident expert in your firm can be done with a decent, HD-quality camera, a quality mic and some lighting.

If you’re producing product videos, you’ll definitely want to kick it up a notch. You may want to come up with a theme or template for all your product videos that helps to brand and differentiate your videos from your competitors, especially if the products are commodities.

That may mean having a firm like ours produce a quick intro and outro to brand the videos and end with your information in case it’s seen somewhere other than your site. With some basic shooting and editing skills you can produce branded product videos that convert visitors to purchasers.

Time to call the professionals

For most other types of video content – the marketing type, it’s wise to invest in professional production because it shows. According to Comscore, professionally produced video outperforms user-generated video by 30%.

The video work we do for our clients is part and parcel with their over all web strategy. Just like planning your website, your videos require story boarding, and scripting to effectively tell your story. Shooting skill alone can turn something you consider mundane into something utterly romantic. Effective editing ensures pace, intent and marries a soundtrack that projects the proper mood.

How to promote your new video, where to host it and SEO considerations, all depend on what kind of video it is and is part of an overall strategy for your site – that now includes your video.

So if your new site is up and running and you don’t have a video strategy, let’s talk about bringing your story to life.

Kelly Patchet

Kelly is a co-founder of GK Media and has been a web content expert and website strategist since 1997.