There are lots of reasons why businesses need video. I’ll admit we’re probably a little biased, but just stay with me for a moment.
Search Engine Optimisation (in a roundabout way)
In a nutshell, video increases your search engine optimisation – meaning a website containing a video will rank higher in the search results when somebody searches keywords related to your website. This is mainly because Google likes to see websites with mixed-media content, so if your website contains a combination of text, images and video Google sees that it contains rich media and will be more useful to those who search terms related to your content than sites that contain only text.
However, purely embedding a video into your website may not necessarily do the trick – or at least not in the way you were expecting. In order to directly affect your SEO a video should be hosted by your website and not embedded on your website (meaning it should be uploaded directly to your website rather than being outsourced to somewhere like Youtube or Vimeo).
This sounds easy, but there are actually a huge amount of things to consider when it comes to hosting a video from your website. Not only do some “build it yourself” websites such as Squarespace point-blank not offer this as an element when building your website, but even if you were a website building genius and have built your site from scratch you will find hosting a video from your website can come with some issues. Too many simultaneous views of a video that is hosted by your website can exceed your bandwidth server, meaning your website will go down. Hosting videos also takes up a lot of storage on your website meaning you may reach your capacity quite quickly. This means you may be unable to upload several videos or videos that are too long. You may also find that the visitors to your page give up before even watching the video as, depending on their own internet speed, the video may never even load or may pause annoyingly every few seconds as their computer attempts to stream it. Slow load times negatively affect your SEO, so in this sense it could potentially be counterproductive to self host. Self hosting also means your video is only viewable to people already on your website, and it does not have the added benefit of views from people searching keywords on places like Youtube.
Outsourcing your video link to somewhere like Vimeo or YouTube can go a long way to generating more traffic to your website.
If you do manage to solve all of the problems related to hosting your own videos then go for it, because hosting videos yourself is a way to boost your SEO if done correctly. However you may find embedding videos to be the best option for you.
Having an embedded video on your website (meaning you have outsourced the link to somewhere like Youtube or Vimeo) is great because it means somebody may stay on your website for longer than they would have done ordinarily which still makes Google think your website is probably interesting and worth boosting. Hosting your video somewhere like Youtube (which is owned by Google) or Vimeo, where there are already a vast number of people waiting to stumble upon your video, means you can add links in the description to your website. This creates a link from one platform to another, which not only does Google like but it also means you could benefit from potential sales beyond the scope of those people already visiting your website. You can also include a description of the content alongside the embedded file, which adds to the likelihood of the video being found on your website via google searches of terms included in your video description rather than on the host site. All of this helps your SEO in a roundabout way. Depending on your intended outcome, hosting somewhere beyond your own website could actually be of more of a benefit to your business than self hosting as it can encourage things like social sharing and conversion of sales from those who find your content elsewhere.
Create An Emotional Response/Entertain The Viewer
Okay, we’ve done the nitty gritty jargon thing.
Another, less technical, reason for video is that it creates an emotional response within the viewer or entertains them. A video can ignite a sense of trust within a viewer, particularly if a business puts a face to its products or services or makes them laugh (or cry!). Now, the important thing to take away from that is that video only really works if you stop selling and start engaging. Essentially, a video needs to connect with the viewer on a level deeper than “buy my stuff please”. You need to entertain people, it is no longer enough to show them what you sell and hope for the best. We live in a world where people skip adverts. They fast forward through them. They don’t want to watch adverts, they want a story. For more information on how to do this, you can check out our blog post on How To Engage People With Video Marketing (coming soon!).
Encourage Social Sharing
Your customer is likely at home, right now, scrolling through Facebook and being bombarded by videos. Occasionally, they stop to watch one. They may tag a friend in it or even share it. You want your video to be the one they stop for. A video that performs well through social sharing can lead to click throughs to your website or page and may even lead to sales. However, even if it doesn’t lead to sales straight away, a well-recieved video that isn’t a spammy sales post not only makes you memorable but places you in people’s minds as a business they could trust – and they may well suggest you the next time a friend needs what you are selling. Also,
sometimes what you do or what you sell is hard to explain. Showing is a much easier and more engaging way to get your point across and people respond to that – even the laziest of consumers will watch a video, whereas they may not sit and read a blog post (lol).
Basically, you need video. We’re not saying you have to come to us for one (although if you do then we won’t argue!). You may be wondering how you can do this without expensive equipment, but even videos made on your phone can be made to look better with a few simple tricks. Keep your eyes peeled for a blog post on how to do that soon!