As bandwidth stretches towards infinity and mobile devices become smarter, people are spending more and more of their time watching web video.
In fact, a 2010 report from Cisco stated that 30% of Internet traffic is video – and that number is only getting bigger and bigger. They project that video will account for a ridiculous 90% of Internet traffic by 2013.
So how can your blog get a slice of that big video pie?
How to Use Video to Increase Blog Traffic
Blogs thrive on quality content – and since video is so dynamic and engaging, adding it to your posts can help make your content more exciting and shareable.
Since video search ranking is less competitive than traditional search, posting a how-to video can bring in more visitors from search engines as well.
But if you’re posting videos that are too long, too dull, or that don’t offer anything more than a written post, you’re actually doing your blog and your readers a disservice.
Three Types of Effective Video Blog Posts
When you’re explaining something that visual or auditory, words alone can be clumsy and confusing. Anyone who has tried to follow an instruction manual knows this all too well.
But with a video tutorial, you can show people exactly how something is done – whether that means recording video of you building a table or capturing video of your computer screen to demonstrate how to create a website.
Not only are video tutorials more valuable to your readers, they can also be easier to make than a lengthy written tutorial.
Interviewing people who’ve found success in your blog’s niche is a tried and true tactic. Not only do interviews offer fresh perspective and valuable advice, they give you an excuse to meet interesting people.
While posting text or audio from the interview is great, recording and posting video (whether in person or over Skype) is almost as good as being right there in the same room as the interviewee.
If you’ve got a creative streak in you, video is a great way to let it show.
You don’t have to be an expert video editor. Some simple ways to make a fun video are using stop-motion or time-elapse footage.
Strike the right chord and your video could go viral.
All the views in the world don’t mean much if nobody’s actually visiting your site. If you’re planning on people watching your video on YouTube or Facebook, it’s essential that your video ends with a call to action and incentive for the viewer to visit your blog.
Don’t make the video content the end of the story. If people find your video elsewhere like on YouTube or embedded on another site, you must provide them with a means and incentive to reach your blog.
Write some related content that you can dangle before viewers at the end of the video, so that they’ll have an incentive to go visit your site. In the above example, the video directs to a post called, 21 Life Lessons from Steve Jobs.
Video posts are more socially viral than their written counterparts.
When you share a standard blog post on Facebook, what you’re really sharing is a picture, a title, and a link.
When you share a video post on Facebook, you’re sharing much more: with one click, people can begin watching and benefitting from your content. This makes a video post a very potent tool on the world’s most popular social network, because people who otherwise wouldn’t bother to follow the link may well click play.
How to Use Video to Increase Product Sales
If you’ve been to many sales pages lately, you know that the best ones feature a video front and center.
Video simply increases conversion: an April 2010 report from Internet Retailer stated that consumers who watch a product video are 85% more likely to buy.
A video is a 24-hour salesperson: all a shopper has to do is press play and they’re immediately hearing and seeing about everything that makes your product great.
Selling Your Product through Video
While the videos on your posts can be a bit amateur, a sales page video must reflect the professionalism and quality that you want people to associate with your product.
That doesn’t mean that the video has to be flashy. Many videos on sales pages are nothing more than a human voice and some simple background text – a little dull even by the standards of a PowerPoint presentation.
The point isn’t to entertain the viewer or to wow them with special effects. Instead, the goal of your video should simply be to enumerate the features, advantages, and benefits of your product in a straightforward and honest way.
Video Advantage #2 – Easy
To read a web page, one must be active – reading paragraph after paragraph while scrolling downward.
But once they’re watching a video they must actually be active to stop watching.
This is a huge advantage on your sales page because half of the battle is just communicating your full message before the potential customer decides to bail.
Video Advantage #3 – Persuasive
When somebody is watching a video, they’re using a different part of their brain than when they’re reading – and while that part of the brain is very spatially intelligent, it’s not quite as good at coming up with rational arguments.
This is why television commercials feature so many supermodels. Though our rational minds would never think, “If I drink more Coca-Cola, I’m going to be more attractive, like those people,” our visual minds make an association between healthy, beautiful people and the bottle of Coke.
People are easier to persuade when they’re watching a video than they are when they’re reading text.
Example: Pop Up Domination
How to Use Video to Build a Stronger Brand
The world’s biggest brands have been promoting themselves with video since the first television commercial aired in 1941.
Ever since, video has been the primary platform for the development of major brands. Just think of all of the striking logos, talking animals, memorable taglines, and catchy jingles you’ve seen.
Video and Your About Page
The about page is every blogger’s best opportunity to establish their all-important personal brand.
People read your blog posts because they want to be instructed, engaged, or entertained – but they visit your about page because they want to know more about you.
So even if you don’t want to post video regularly, you should consider creating or commissioning a video for your about page. It will give visitors the impression that your website is a professional place, dedicated to providing quality content – and it can help forge a personal connection with your audience.
Advice for Branding through Video
Instead of reciting goals and data, try telling people your company’s story.
It’s a good idea to put your logo at the beginning and end of each of your video, to keep your brand at the forefront of the viewer’s mind.
Ideally, you’ll create an audio signature to go with your logo. It can be simple as a short melody or sound effect – anything that can get stuck in your head.
Video Advantage #4 – Personal
When we meet a person for the first time, the actual words that they say take a backseat to everything that they’re “saying” with their tone of voice, facial expression, and body language.
It’s all of these hard-to-describe visual and auditory cues that make up our first impression and allow us to begin connecting with somebody at a personal level.
So when you put a video on your about page, you’re inviting your readership to understand a little bit more about what it would be like to know you in real life. When people start seeing you as an actual person, they’re more likely to start seeing you as a friend – and that’s when loyalty and community can really blossom.
Ready to Feature Video on Your Blog?
I hope that this article has you motivated to utilize video to help your website reach its full potential.
If you have any questions about web video, don’t hesitate to ask below and I’ll do my best to respond.