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The Benefits of Using Video Throughout Your Marketing

The Benefits of Including Video on Your Website

Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch on Including Video on Your Website

Video has become a foundational element in marketing. Why is video so important? It’s how people want to consume content. They want the ability to listen without reading, to be hands-free, and to just have the content coming at them.

There have been numerous studies demonstrating that the highest ROI for any marketing output is coming from short form video.

Types of Video You Need

There several kinds of video content you should be including on your website. Here are the categories of short form video you need.

1. What We Stand For

This video should go on the home page above the fold. It should be the first thing people see, and it should give them a sense of who you are, what you do, what you believe, and what your brand stands for.

Creating a video like this is one of the greatest trust-building activities today. So much of business happens online, but in the end, we don’t do business with a website or email address; we do business with people. An introductory video like this allows you to establish a human connection that makes your brand instantly relatable to people who land on your website.

2. Simplify Your Benefits

Video is also a great way to simplify the benefits to what you do. Sometimes reading through your products and services, particularly if you work in a complex or jargon-heavy industry, can make prospects glaze over. Video allows you to simplify difficult topics and introduce your products and services in an easily-consumable format.

3. Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ videos allow you to build trust and answer questions in a format that makes it easy for people to engage. Not only that, if you have any sites ranking for voice search, video FAQs are amazing for ranking. Videos answer the question in a simple form, and it’s something that Google really wants to see.

4. Personalized Team Bios

This also ties in with the idea of doing business with people, not some faceless business on the web. Sharing personal bio videos for salespeople, technicians, or customer service representatives allows visitors to put a face to a name (or email address) immediately. Particularly if you have a business where someone is coming out to the customer’s home to offer a service, it’s nice for customers to see a video first that gives them a sense of security and allows them to feel like the technician is a friendly face—even if they’ve never met before in real life.

How to Produce Your Videos

Producing video becomes easier each year. Access to high quality cameras and simple editing tools mean that you don’t need to be a Hollywood editor to create content that looks decent. Plus, the content and intent of the video is far more important than a high production value.

There are three basic ways to go about creating video content:

  • On your iPhone. When you use an external microphone and either a simple lighting setup or natural light, you can get great results on your phone’s camera.
  • In a studio. There are lots places that allow you to rent studio space, with access to professional lighting and video equipment, so that you can film all of your video over the course of one day for a low cost.
  • With a videographer. You can hire a videographer to come to your office and do a day of filming with you and your staff.

Video editing software is fairly easy to use, but if you don’t want to handle this on your own, it’s easy enough to find someone on a site like UpWork or Fiverr who can do basic, inexpensive editing.

You also want to transcribe your videos. Having the words close captioned on the screen is important. When someone is viewing the video on a mobile device or from their desk at work, they don’t want the sound on, disturbing those around them. That’s where captions come in; they can still get the full effect of the content without having to listen to the video.

Why Video Matters

Video keeps people on your website longer. This is not only important for the obvious fact that any visitor staying on your site longer is more likely to want to do business with you. It’s also a known SEO ranking factor. If people go to your site and stick around to watch a video that’s a few minutes long, Google notes that people are hanging around on your site, and that positively influences your ranking.

Google also owns YouTube, the largest video site in the world. They love to show video in their search results. When you optimize your videos by putting them on YouTube and embedding them in your site, you’re giving your video content a shot at ranking on Google for certain queries. If you’d prefer not to host your video content on YouTube, Wistia is another great site.

Beyond benefits with Google, video allows you to tell a story and create a connection in a way you simply can’t with the written word. Storytelling is at the crux of any good marketing effort, and video is certainly no exception.

Video Applications Beyond Your Website

Incorporating video into your website is only half of the game. There are other marketing channels that allow you to harness the power of video. Video ads can help you stand out and drive attention to your site. Video emails are a hot trend right now, and the technology here continues to improve.

Finally, you can create personalized video messages to send directly to clients and prospects. Let’s say you’re a web designer; you can share your screen and go through a prospect’s website, narrating issues you’ve identified and what changes you’d make to improve it. Not only does this give them highly personalized service, it’s quicker and easier for you to record a video than it is to type everything out in an email. We at Duct Tape Marketing like to use Loom for sending one-to-one videos.

Bonus Video Tip

Once you shoot and transcribe a video, you suddenly have a lot of content! You can use the audio from your video to include in a podcast. The written text from the transcription can be turned into one or more blog posts. Video is a great way to capture the initial content, which you can then spin out into a three-for-one deal: video, audio, and text.

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6 My Video Toolbox

I sat in on a session at the BlogWorld Expo led by Steve Garfield, author of Get Seen and long time advocate of video use.

Canon EOS 5DSteve mostly shared the low cost set of tools he employs to create his video and it got me thinking that I should do the same.

Video use in marketing is growing by leaps and bounds and while you do need to join the movement, you don’t have to drop thousands just to get good educational videos, customer case studies and trust building video overviews.

There are thousands of passable tools that you can use in the pursuit of video and here are a few that I use.

Camera

Canon EOS 5D – This DSLR is a professional grade video and has a 21 megapixel camera and digital processor that is far beyond most of my needs, but shoots such high quality that you can create laser sharp HD shots and output the video as large as you like. – $3000

Canon Vixia S30 – Camcorder that has some great features – external mic jack (a must) twin 32 gig memory card slots (these cards go right into my mac and make it very easy to shoot and edit away.) $799

iPhone 4 – the video ability on this device is pretty phenomenal and for me erased all need for the Flip camera – the only hitch had been an external mic. I have a great little mic that plugs into the power port, which is great for audio, but not so much for video. See below for the answer to this. – $399

Microphone

Sennheiser MKE 400 – this directional mic sits on top of my Canon Vixia in a mic shoe on the camera and is a great set-up for point and shoot interview settings at things like conferences. – $349

iRig – this is a stereo condenser mic that plugs into the iPhone headphone jack and makes the iPhone a great tool for doing video interviews. – $149

Audio-Technica ATR-35S Lavalier Microphone – this is the mic I use to do my own videos for training and product videos. It’s powered by a small battery and clips right on to make sure we get clear audio. It’s also pretty good at not picking up outside noise. $29

Editing

iMovie – this program ships on all Macs and does pretty much everything I need it to do so it’s hard to recommend any other software.

YouTube – believe it or not YouTube recently added some basic video editing functionality to its service. There are time when this is all you need.

Hosting

YouTube – YouTube is free and has a huge audience. There are many reasons to use this for your marketing videos. Simply upload and grab some code and run the video on your site. There are some downsides too though.

Amazon S3 – For all of my product videos, ones that are only available to my customers, I prefer to host and stream from Amazon S3. This gives me total control over size, privacy and steaming. There is a cost for this service, but it’s very low and with addition of something Amazon calls CloudFront my videos play every time no matter how large.

Player

EZS3 – One of the nice things about using a service like YouTube is that they create the player for your videos as part of the service. Of course you have little control over how the video displays and little ability to brand your player.

I use this service so I can create completely branded, iPad and mobile friendly videos that also have thumbnail control, forwarding functionality, form embedding and fully functional buy buttons right in the video. $20/mo

So, there you have it – that’s my toolbox – how about you?