Video on Websites by Rich

Once upon a time – in the ancient early days of the Internet, say, about 2005, video on a website was a pretty exotic thing.

No more.

Having video on your website is not only easy – it is highly recommended! It can add functionality, increase visitor interest, get you more leads or sales.

Here’s a short summary of the different ways you can use video – with some cautions and remarks.

  1. BACKGROUND VIDEO. You can really spice up a website with a background video on a page (usually the home page. You can see a really nice example on this website: at the bottom of any interior page in this case. One of the cautions has to do with bandwidth: Every time your website loads a page with video on it that auto-plays (starts automatically) it has to load the video. If you have a lot of page views that can really slow down your website. That was solved in this case just by not having the video on the home page.
  2. HEADER VIDEO. You can use a video for the large “hero” image on the home page. Again, it really spices things up, and again, the same caution about bandwidth applies. There is one other concern: The Internet is going away from auto-playing videos by default, especially if they have sound. That’s because people find them annoying. That’s not a big issue with a background video. They are never going to have sound, and its not that big a deal if they don’t play. If your main header image doesn’t work, that’s a problem. So if you really want to use a header video, absolutely don’t use sound, and recognize sometimes people just aren’t going to see it.
  3. TESTIMONIAL VIDEOS. You really don’t want to auto-play any of the remaining types of videos, most of which really need sound for effect. Testimonial videos are one of the absolutely best things you can do on a website. Surveys show third party endorsements are by FAR the best conveyors of trust online – and believe me, trust is the biggest issue there is online. The problem with testimonials is they themselves can be faked.
    Review sites like Google MyBusiness and Yelp help a lot but nothing beats a great VIDEO TESTIMONIAL. With this type of video, as with most of the remaining types, there’s a question of where to store them – on your website or on a third party service such as YouTube or Vimeo. Putting them on YouTube and making them publicly available, can actually improve search rankings and drive traffic all by themselves. They also reduce the load on your website.

You can have LOTS of video testimonials and are easy to do – a handheld cellphone video adds to authenticity and is great for consumer products and services. One caution here – which applies to almost all types of videos: Keep them short. No more than two minutes, and if there is too much to fit in that length, break it up into pieces. Otherwise you’ll lose people.

  1. INTRO VIDEOS. Intro videos can take several forms – a talk by the company founder, a video introducing and describing the product, and more. It’s a visual world and this gives you a fast way to connect with potential customers and increase their reality on your company, products and services.
  2. HOW TO VIDEOS. You need to explain to a customer how to install your product? Do a video. Personally I love that you can find online videos explaining and demonstrating ANYTHING about cars and car repairs – right down to how to rebuilt the transmission on you’re your 2003 Acura RSX.
  3. SUBSCRIPTION CONTENT. Videos content that’s needed and wanted by people can be the basis of a profitable business, selling online subscriptions to view your videos.

I’m sure this isn’t even close to a complete list of all the ways you can use a video online – so get creative! If you need a video professionally done, competent videographers and commonplace.

One type of video I haven’t mentioned is commercials.

Don’t put a commercial on your website. Commercials exist to get people interested in your product and wanting to know more. They are already on your website, which should be far more educational than salesy.

I don’t care how professional or funny your commercial is. Your website visitors don’t want to see it.

So there you go. If you’ve been reluctant to venture into the world of videos, don’t be. They are easy and there’s lots to gain.

Go to it.

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