5 ways to get the most from videos on your website

You’ve made it through the process. You hired a production company, went through concept development and storyboarding, agreed on a budget, set a schedule, shot your videos, had them edited, and now they’ve been delivered into your hands.

What next? Yes, there is a next, and it largely depends on you. While this step comes pretty far down the road you’ve traveled to get your video, it should actually be the very first step you think about in depth. Precisely what do you intend to do  with your video? “Put them on my website” is a common answer, but it’s not precise enough. You just made a huge investment in time, energy, and money. Now you need to get the best return on that investment. Here are some tips to ensure you aren’t left hanging.

You won't get the most out of your video if you don't know how to use it properly on your website

You won’t get the most out of your video if you don’t know how to use it properly on your website

1) Make sure your website is optimized for proper video delivery. This step is critical. You can have the best video in the world, but if your website isn’t optimized that video will do you little good. Optimizing for video means that anyone can see it on any device, be it a cell phone, a tablet, or a desktop computer. Optimization is especially critical these days because a lot of people do research on their cell phones or tablets. If your video doesn’t play, you’re left with a website that isn’t giving you full bang for your buck. Having a website that’s not optimized for video is a little like hiring a slacker to be your housekeeper. It may be better than nothing, but you’ll find it frustratingly unfulfilling when you need peak performance.

2) Consider the placement of your videos. Do you want one on your landing page, and do you want it to play automatically? This is one of the most effective places to have a video. This isn’t the same thing as having a flash intro, which plays before resolving to your homepage, and which is now considered a big no-no by SEO experts. The video can play at the top of the page, or in a player window prominently placed on the page. You can choose to have a silent video, highlighting your company, products, and services, or you can have sound with it. The video doesn’t have to play automatically if you prefer to give visitors time to look at other content on the page; you can set it up so they can start the video when they want. But make sure it isn’t buried on another page. Video on your home page really provides value added content.

Supplementary videos, such as tips, advice, and tutorials on using your products, can all be placed on secondary pages, but make sure those pages are clearly identifiable and easily found through your home page menu. Nothing is more frustrating for return visitors than trying to hunt down a video they saw somewhere on your website the first time around. This brings us to the next tip:

3) Make sure your videos fit into clear categories. Obviously the introductory video for your homepage is a no-brainer, but supplemental videos can be tricky. Is it a how-to video, or is it a video giving the viewer a brief overview of how the product is used, with the aim of highlighting the benefits of your particular product versus competing products? This may seem to be splitting hairs, but remember, someone visiting your website for the first time will want to be able to find the information they need as efficiently as possible. If they miss a crucial video because they don’t have a clear understanding of how it’s categorized on your site, you’ve potentially lost a customer.

Developing clear categories for your video should be part of the concept development and storyboarding phases in pre-production. This will help ensure that the videos focus on the precise information you want to convey, and will make the scriptwriting process go much more smoothly. It will also give you a clearer idea of how many videos you may need. You may find that you need more videos to ensure the full range of your services or products is highlighted, but there’s also a chance you’ll decide you can pare down the number of videos so there’s no redundancy. That saves you time and money, which is always a win.

4) Keep the videos on your website current and relevant to your target audience. It’s important to determine from the outset how long you want your videos to stay on your website. You must never be afraid to delete material that is outdated or irrelevant. Remember, visitors to your website may very well have a good idea of what they’re looking for, and may have already checked out some of your competitors. If your videos have outdated information about your industry, you could easily lose that customer. Because different industries have different rates of change, there’s no hard and fast rule to follow for how long to keep informational videos on your website. You must be keenly attuned to the shifting winds of your industry and be ready to pivot immediately to stay relevant. Having an outdated video on your site can be just as damaging to your business as having no videos at all.

Content aside, you should also be conscious of how your videos actually look on your website.  We’ve all seen older videos shot years ago, and there is definitely a noticeable difference in quality compared to videos shot within the past year. As internet connection speeds and video playback options continue to improve and evolve, so do video cameras and editing systems. A blurry video that scares people into making an appointment with the ophthalmologist will make your website feel dated. If you don’t keep your website on the cutting edge, potential customers are less likely to have faith in your overall services.

5) Be consistent when adding new content. If you have produced a series of video tips relevant to your product or industry, don’t just stop at a few videos. Customers who enjoyed the first seven videos will be happy to see new content added on a regular basis. If the last time you uploaded a tip to your site was two years ago, it can give the impression that you don’t maintain steady pacing and consistent performance in other areas. Think about how you’d feel if you went to another company’s blog and found the last entry was from 2011. The company is still in business, but no one has added content to this page, or even considered deleting the page or revamping it to give content that’s still relevant an updated spin. What does this say about their operation? This is not the impression you want to make on potential customers. Remember, the more content you generate, the more content you can share through sites like YouTube and Vimeo as well as social media like Facebook and Twitter. This gives other people the impetus to share your videos through these sites as well, which generates greater exposure for you and your company. Don’t be afraid to make this investment.

A little preplanning will help you utilize videos on your website for maximum impact. Hencar is ready and willing to work with you and your website developer to create, and deploy, videos that will increase your exposure and your business base.