The latest research from PewInternet.org shows what many marketers already know: More Americans are watching and sharing online videos – dramatically so. According to Pew’s State of Online Video 2010, 69 percent of adult Internet users have used the Internet to watch or download video. These numbers are but part of the story. While Web videos are popular with users, they can also drive traffic to business websites and boost sales conversions.
Typical business websites act as online brochures, showing customers and prospects what the business has to offer. Early designs were relatively static with brochure-like text and contact information. Today, most business websites provide far more than a sales pitch and contact information. Now, informative articles, blogs, and interactive content are website standbys. With more Internet users willing to watch videos online, adding 60 to 90 minute Web videos makes sense. After all, video is an effective medium to convey messages.
In addition to being a terrific way to communicate, Web videos can actually drive traffic to your website, build trust and credibility, and boost sales conversion. First, all of the major search engines include video results in their search results pages. Not only do video results now appear in general search results, separate video categories exist where users can specifically search for sites with videos.
For example, if you have a well optimized Web page discussing “how to attract butterflies to your garden,” your page could conceivably appear on the first page of Google’s search results. If that same site had a video discussing the topic, not only might your page be listed in general, the video would appear as a separate search result. That’s two links attracting traffic. Now, what if the user was specifically looking for videos about attracting butterflies? If you don’t have a Web video on your site, your site won’t appear in the search results no matter how well you optimized the text. By including Web videos on your pages, your site should get more exposure than without.
Attracting more visitors can lead to increased conversions based on numbers alone. However, adding Web video is more than a simple numbers game. By producing informative 60 to 90 minute videos, you are adding value to your site and building trust with your site’s visitors. No matter how a visitor arrives to your site, a sale won’t take place unless the visitor sees value and trusts you to deliver.
Because value and trust are crucial to winning sales, it’s vital that these short Web videos project these characteristics. Consider a business website, one with a professionally produced Web video and one with an amateur Web video. Which one would you be more likely to buy from? Which one is more likely to be around several years from now to honor any warranties? Web visitors make subconscious judgments like these based on what they experience. Strong production values can sway these judgments in your favor.
There’s more to Web video than a pretty picture; your content needs to build trust as well. Is the video informative? Does it add value? Does it give site visitors are reason to select your company over others? If your Web video promises to show how to attract butterflies but is merely a picture of butterflies flitting around, it has failed no matter how beautiful it may be. On the other hand, if it presents a useful technique or product, then it has lived up to its promise and added value.
A solid Web video strategy can drive traffic and boost sales. As you begin forming your online video strategy, keep value and trust in mind and you’re sure to start seeing results!