For any small business owner who wants to increase sales and revenue, making your mark in the online world should be a high priority. Given the average Australian business owner isn’t typically a marketing guru however, there can be a lot of confusion about how best to do this.
One question we’re often asked at Sites n Stores is whether or not video content should be added to a business website.
Well, the answer can vary from case to case, depending on the business in question, the quality of your video and your target audience.
We’ve put together a list of the pros and cons of video content, to help you determine if it will be a beneficial marketing tool for your business.
Let’s start with the good stuff…
Pros of Video Content
An Introductory Video Helps You Stand Out
While video content is becoming an increasingly utilised digital marketing tool, there are still many small businesses and industries ignoring its potential benefits.
An introductory video placed near the top of your website can be a great way to give your business a point of difference and help you stand out from the masses.
When visiting websites, customers are often bombarded with excess information, so providing them with a simple, well-crafted video can significantly work to your advantage. Not only does it introduce your business, but it helps you provide fresh information that will make your business stick in the mind of your viewers.
Gives You Personality and Increases Engagement
More and more people are buying, consuming and communicating online, which is convenient, but also means customers are becoming increasingly disengaged from online businesses.
By adding a video to your website, you can instantly add personality to your brand and humanise your business. Video content instantly gives your viewers that face-to-face connection that is so often lacking when it comes to online interactions.
Video can help convey who you are, what you do, what your purpose is and how you can help solve your customers’ problems. You can include humour, a sense of fun, sympathy and emotion. All of which help develop your brand, familiarise yourself with customers, gain their trust and establish a relationship with them.
It Can Help You Demonstrate or Highlight a Product
If you have a slightly complicated product, or one that benefits from some kind of physical demonstration, a video can be the perfect way to convey its uses to your viewers.
Some things just can’t be described through words, and if you try and explain a complicated set of instructions to customers, chances are they’ll become completely disengaged and frustrated.
A good product demonstration can significantly enhance your customer satisfaction. If they’ve already purchased the product, you’ve given them a quick, efficient way in which to understand how to use it. If they’re yet to make the purchase, you can show off how simple and effective your product is and the extent of its use.
Use Video Testimonials
Positive customer testimonials are always a good thing to add to your website, as they lend credibility to your business. More often than not however, unless the testimonial is a few lines long, people will become disinterested and won’t read far past the first line.
A video simplifies the process for viewers and makes it more digestible. Rather than being forced to read through slabs of text, you’re providing them with quick, easy-to-consume content that can help you get your message across quickly; which is that you have a satisfied customer!
A video can also make testimonials more poignant. People are usually more persuaded when they’re engaging with another person, rather than words on a web page. So, by adding a video of a real live human being, you’re increasing your viewer’s engagement with your content and potentially strengthening their trust in your product.
Video Can Improve Your Ranking in Google
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, SEO matters when it comes to increasing website traffic and sales. And the same is true when it comes to video content on your website.
Search engines love video content, and with well-crafted video SEO, you can effectively drive more traffic to your site. One of the factors of Google’s algorithm for search rankings is “dwell time”, or how long visitors stay on your website. The idea is that if people are spending a lot of time on your website, it must have quality content and one way to keep people on your site for an extended period of time is to provide them with video content.
Cons of Video Content
Beware Poor Quality
Just in the same way quality video content can increase your reputation and credibility, poor or low-quality videos can seriously damage your brand.
If one of the first things your website visitor sees when they land on your website is a badly shot video that’s too dark, overexposed or feels disingenuous, you run the risk of seriously alienating yourself from potential customers.
Don’t shoot yourself in the foot. If you’re going to utilise video content as a marketing tool, do it well, or don’t do it at all. No video at all is better than a poor-quality video.
Risks Being Boring
Video content that is long-winded or boring doesn’t stand a chance when it comes to gaining and maintaining customers’ attention.
Now, while we’re not suggesting you hire Steven Spielberg to direct your website video, it does pay to have a good grasp of what great, consumable online video content is and how you can create it.
Online video content should be short, sharp and to the point if you want to utilise its full marketing potential. Typically, a website visitor’s attention span is between 8-12 seconds, giving you a minimal amount of time to make an impact. If your video is tedious, confusing or mundane, you can bet your viewer won’t hesitate to leave your site.
Risks Being Annoying
Using auto-play videos can be a sure-fire way to scare off potential customers. Remember, your visitor didn’t come to your site to be told what to do, so by forcing them to watch your video you’ll instantly put yourself in their bad books.
It’s a much wiser decision to let your customer decide for themselves whether they want to view your video or not. After all, they could be on a packed train and not have headphones handy or they could have a sleeping baby on their lap. Don’t ever inconvenience a potential customer, this will almost guarantee they quickly leave your site and never, ever return.
As you can see, there are many benefits when it comes to utilising video content on your business’s website. But there can be risks associated with it too. Before you decide to commit to a video, think about whether you have the means and tools to make an effective, high-quality video that will add value to your website, rather than detract from it.