Websites serve unique functions for their hosts, each dialed-in to send particular messages. While objectives vary, engaging content is at the core of personal and business websites, offered to keep visitors interested.
While the genesis of the Web leaned towards text and static images, today’s Web designers use an increasingly diverse bag of tricks for building sites and promoting search rankings. Of particular note is the proliferation of video online.
Amateur videographers are partially responsible for the trend, reinforcing video familiarity and pushing the medium forward, into the mainstream. Related clips are everywhere these days, shared through YouTube and other channels. Video content has made its way to e-commerce sites, blogs, and informational pages, begging the question: “How much video is right for my approach?”
Too often, we throw ideas into our branding and marketing strategies without clear, results-oriented objectives. Success rates are spotty without good mission statements, so the first step toward incorporating effective video content is to define what you expect to achieve by putting it on your site.
Inform Visitors – Video distills complex subject matter into viewable bits, easily digested by visitors. More passive than reading, watching well-produced clips exposes viewers to your message, without challenging them to work through dense text. Video information about your company or products supports customer service, answering frequently asked questions for site visitors.
Boost SEO – Google rankings are increasingly influenced by the company’s “blended results” approach. As a result, video stands out in a new way, creating advantages for those including videos in their plans. Videos uploaded directly to YouTube, for example, are recognized among top websites in search results. Rounding-out your online presence with video clips keeps you relevant in rankings.
Demonstrate – Seeing products in practice prompts purchases. Effective online marketing efforts include video demonstrations, furnishing visual confirmation of how well your products work, and clearing up ambiguity for customers.
Once on-board with the idea video can further your online goals, it’s important to define your target market. Your market niche, the general age demographic visiting your site and the message you send each influence how you should proceed using video online.
Young visitors, for example, embrace video as the prevailing standard, because their Internet lifespans have seen it widely used. As a result, targeting younger surfers tolerates more video than older age groups. Short clips also land better with younger viewers, because they are accustomed to gleaning information quickly, before moving on to the next thing.
For older viewers, video is still somewhat of a novelty online, so their curiosity supports a different approach. Not pressed to move-on, older surfers appreciate greater depth in videos, supported by additional text.
Specific applications also color the way video appears online. Doctors, for example, use the technology to establish expertise and credibility, using personal messages to connect with potential patients.
Regardless of your message, video provides an effective medium for sharing information online. Using a balanced approach to online video supports customer service, sales and brand-building.