Written by Mark Williams
We all like online video these days – don’t we? It can capture our attention. It can be entertaining or informative, funny or thought provoking. It can make us laugh or cry, feel happy, sad or even angry. And crucially, in our busy daily lives, it saves us time when we’re searching for information online. Thankfully, we can quickly find out what we need to know.
Tech heavyweight Cisco predicts that video traffic will make up 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2021, up from 68% in 2015. YouTube provides irrefutable proof of our ever-growing preference for online video. According to CEO Susan Wojcicki, YouTube now has more than 1.8bn monthly logged-in users. More than 30 million visitors watch almost 5bn videos on YouTube every single day.
If you want to get ahead, you better get a video, it seems. According to Doug Ridley, director of consulting at digital agency, Vital: “The move from text and visual content to video content has been FAST and businesses who don’t make the transition will be left behind with an underperforming website”.
He continues: “People browsing the internet have a short attention span, and videos allow visitors to consume more content, faster. Visitors are much more apt to engage with videos than with static text, so creating more interactive and visual content is essential.”
In his piece for Digital Marketing Magazine, Top 5 Benefits of Adding Video to Your Website, Jonathan Davies agrees. “Gone are the days of reading long, drawn-out 500 word paragraphs which neglect the short attention span of today’s customer,” he writes.
He says an effective video offers a quicker, easier and more convenient way for visitors to your website to digest information you want to communicate to them. He describes it as “a sure-fire way of getting a message out to your customers”.
The stats are hard to ignore. Animoto is a New York City-headquartered cloud-based video creation service. It describes customers as “hungry for video”, which is “proven to boost brand reputation, customer engagement and revenue opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses”.
Its research found that four times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it online, while a quarter of consumers actually lose interest in a company website if it doesn’t feature video.
Whether on your home or “about us” page, you could use video to communicate key facts about your business, with subtle messages explaining why a visitor should buy from you. You could include video explaining your products or services or perhaps a new launch. You may even include video case studies showing how you’ve delighted other customers (mere satisfaction ain’t enough).
Including video could give your business a higher search engine ranking, while videos also shared via social media platforms might help to raise your profile and attract more customers. Videos are also significantly more likely to be shared on social media than posts that contain just text and links.According to Animoto CEO and founder, Brad Jefferson: “Historically, to create and distribute high-quality video to your customers, it was cost-prohibitive for all but the largest brands. However, today’s tools and platforms ensure that small and medium businesses can reach their audiences where they hang out online. This represents one of the biggest marketing opportunities for small businesses in a long time.”
Mark Williams is a freelance editorial consultant, writer and SME content specialist with over 25 years' experience. He contributes to The Guardian Small Business Network and planned and wrote the Start Up Donut website. As well as award-winning magazines and websites, his writing has featured in national newspapers and Sunday supplements.
You can find out more about Mark's work on his website: www.markiwilliams.com