Pre-Facebook feeds, I was known as the go-to curator of funny YouTube videos. I was the first to introduce my friends to now-classics such as, Charlie Bit My Finger and Dramatic Chipmunk.

Video was a great way to connect and engage with my friends on a personal level. They would seek me out for some quality content and a brief escape from exams.

In the professional world, my interest in video has shifted from Numa Numa to nanotech, but I am still using the medium to engage audiences because video is not just fun—it’s great for business.

In 2017, video accounts for 74 percent of all internet traffic. Among B2B marketers, 73 percent believe that video has a positive impact on ROI, and 60 percent say they plan to increase their investment in video marketing.

Here’s why…

Reasons to Use Video

Impact on SEO

Using video on your website is a great way to improve your search ranking because Google likes showing rich content (such as video) in search results.

But just posting your video isn’t enough. Use keywords to optimize your video’s title and description, and even consider transcribing your video in the description or on the web page. This lets Google’s robots know what your video is about and will give it a better chance of showing up higher both on YouTube and Google search results.

Search engine giant Moz provides an excellent example of using video alongside written content. In their Whiteboard Friday series, Moz posts a whiteboard video with a detailed written description of the subject covered.

Engagement

It’s not just enough to get people to come to your website—you need to engage your audience. Video is an excellent method of generating engagement because of the appeal of visual information. For many visitors, watching a video is a faster and easier way to receive information compared to reading an article or brochure.

This engagement is easily seen in web analytics. ComScore data shows that sites that utilize video content keep users engaged for two minutes longer than sites that don’t. That extra site time can easily result in clicks to additional pages, additional leads generated, or simply increased exposure to your message. One study showed that email click-through rates increased 96 percent with the addition of video.

Research from Forbes indicates that this is especially relevant when targeting executives.

“59% of senior executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic on the same page, they prefer to watch the video. So whether developing advertising or providing training materials, Web developers should consider offering both text and video.”

Conversions

Let’s cut straight to the chase: videos increase conversions.

Research reported by Unbounce found that using videos on landing pages increases conversions by 80 percent. With increased engagement leading to more time to warm-up to your message, including high-quality video on key landing pages is almost a no-brainer.

Outside of the context of your website, video can still be valuable. The Forbes study referenced above found that video can be an effective driver of action.

“Work-related video can drive senior executives to take action. Overall, 65% have visited a vendor’s website after watching a video and 53% have conducted a search to locate more information. Younger executives, however, may be more fully engaged with this type of media, and appear more likely to make a purchase, call a vendor, or respond to an ad.”

How to Use Video Effectively

Video Hosting: YouTube or Your Website

When it comes to hosting your video, generally, it’s best to host through YouTube.

Why? Well, for one, Google owns YouTube (and gets the advertising dollars from YouTube) so it will naturally want to show YouTube videos in search results over other options.

YouTube is also free and has many capabilities as far as uploading and quality—not to mention access to excellent analytics. Since, again, it’s owned by Google, hosting on YouTube lets you have your Google Analytics account, your Google Search Console, and your YouTube stats all tied together.

Once you’ve hosted a YouTube video, it’s also possible to embed it onto your website. Creating a dedicated page on your site can benefit search and user experience. Moz’s previously mentioned Whiteboard Friday series is an excellent example of embedded video content.

Length

Time is money—the timing of your video can either gain or lose a customer.

Conventional wisdom states that you have about 10 seconds of a video to grab attention and keep viewers engaged. It’s true that engaging users with a hook is beneficial, but is the number really 10 seconds?

Research from the Wistia archives shows that the amount of time you have to engage depends on the total length of your video. Viewers leave less quickly for a two-minute video than a 20-minute video, and understanding how long viewers are likely to stick around can help you place extra tantalizing hooks at key moments.

Forbes research generally agrees with this assessment, stating that work-related videos should be only about three minutes long after the initial hook.

Still, let your specific audience and analytics be your guide. If your 57-minute video can only retain 12 viewers but converts 11 of them, you may have found an effective method of engaging potential customers.

There you have it. Video is an effective form of marketing. But the most important reason video is awesome for business can only be explained through a video, don’t you agree?

Contact us if you would like help developing an effective video to tie into your marketing.