How to Add Videos to Your Website
According to online research organization Social Fresh, having short, informational videos aimed at customers on the homepage of your website can increase sales conversions— the amount of customers who take action (either by submitting an appointment form or calling) after visiting your website—by 86 percent. And not only do they help inspire trust in your business and capture potential customers’ attention, they also help increase your SEO rankings organically. In fact, while Google is the number one most-used search engine, the second is YouTube, according to Google data.
“Many companies overlook the importance of having videos on their websites, blogs and social media,” says Rich Pannazzo, chief operating officer at AutoBody-Review. com. “We have become a visually stimulated and responsive society. We don’t like to read long messages, articles and documents. Most of today’s generation wants everything served up in a picture type info graphic or video. Top this off with the average attention span of today’s consumer and you are facing a completely different challenge.”
And although creating a video that is professional, high quality and inspires trust sounds difficult, Pannazzo says it doesn’t have to be. There are simple steps that every shop can take to create videos that both capture customer attention and lead to high sales conversions.
1) Decide if you’re the best person to film the videos. First and foremost, truly consider whether you’re the best person to film the video. The biggest key to creating a video that inspires trust is making sure it’s professional, so Carrie Goodrum, project manager at TruStar Marketing, says that if you don’t think you can get good video and sound quality with any potential camera equipment you have, don’t be afraid to go out and hire a professional videographer.
“Every time I have created a video, I have used a professional to do it,” she says. “If it’s poor quality, I wouldn’t even post it. The whole point of this is to inspire trust and you’re not going to do that if you don’t have a quality video.”
In fact, hiring a professional doesn’t even have to cost a lot. Goodrum says she generally finds freelance videographers on Craigslist and has also used AV departments from local colleges, which only cost a couple hundred dollars. Simply ask for past examples of their work and call a couple references to see what others thought of their work experience.
“Really, I don’t think it should cost a lot of money to create a couple quick videos,” she says. “You could really create a new audience and customer that you didn’t realize you had the potential to get.”
However, if you do feel confident in your ability to create a video in-house, Goodrum says that most DSLR cameras now have excellent video capabilities and could be used. She also recommends using external microphones for the best sound quality, a tripod and a simple video editing software.
2) When filming videos, think about your audience. More than anything, Goodrum says you want to create videos that speak to your target audience.
“There are easy ways to create loyalty and create a customer base if you can create content that’s meaningful to the customer and that drives them to your site,” she says. “People are more likely to see you in person if they’ve gone to your website and you’ve already built a relationship with them.”
Your videos should be both educational and entertaining, says Goodrum. To get an initial idea, start by going on YouTube and watching similar videos that other shops or other industries have created.
“There’s probably 10,000 of those on YouTube. What’s going to set yours apart?” says Goodrum. “You could go on YouTube and you can look at five videos who have done this. What do or don’t you like about these videos? You don’t have to have a lot of experience to learn what you do or don’t like about this.”
Next, create videos that your customers would want to see or that contain valuable information. That could include a facility tour, a video explaining the claims process or videos that answer common customer questions, such as “top four questions to ask your customer service rep.”
“You can do that and that creates and inspires trust because you’re thinking about the customer and what they want,” Goodrum says.
Besides the subject, make sure the information is presented clearly and concisely. Try to stick to videos that are under 2 minutes. When it comes to the visuals, make sure all employees in the videos are dressed professionally, and make sure the facility looks clean and does not show anything that could be considered unprofessional.
3) Upload the video to YouTube correctly. To get your video out there, start by uploading it to YouTube or Vimeo. Pannazzo recommends using YouTube because it’s owned by Google and the search engine will favor sites featuring YouTube content when assigning SEO rankings. However, just uploading it isn’t enough. Google can’t watch your videos, so you need to make sure you’ve uploaded it in a way that has the best chance for getting views.
“You have to get views to get more views,” Goodrum says. “It’s like that old saying, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it really make a noise? If you create a video but no one’s watching it, did you really create a video?”
The first step to getting views is entering effective titles, tags, keywords and descriptions.
When it comes to the title, create something concise that truly describes the content of the video. You want people to stop and look at the video, says Pannazzo, so don’t over describe it. A short, catchy title that is relevant to the video is best. When it comes to tags, you will be limited by a maximum number set by YouTube. Effective title tags should include unique, relevant keywords limited to approximately 55 characters. Make sure the keywords use phrases when appropriate.
“If people are searching on Google, they’re searching phrases. They’re not just searching one word,” says Goodrum.
You won’t be limited by a wordcount in the description, so Goodrum says to describe the video as much as possible and include a link back to your website.
4) Embed the video to your website. After uploading the video to YouTube, you can easily grab the embed code directly from YouTube (simply go to the video and hit “Embed” under the “Share” button) and embed it into the website. This is also where you need to decide the best place for the video to be housed on your website. Consider the subject matter of the video: Is it a welcome video that would be best for the homepage? Or is it a video about the shop that would best for the “about us” section?
“If you have those sliders where you are showing four or five different images on your homepage, that would be really seamless,” says Goodrum of a popular place to put videos. “Although people couldn’t see it right away, that’s an easy way to visually fit it in your site.”
5) Monitor the response and refresh videos. Goodrum says that while it is a good idea to refresh your videos every once in a while, if the video is driving traffic, it may not be necessary. That’s why it’s important to know if your video is driving that traffic.
“If it’s dead in the water, maybe you can take it off your website,” she says. “If your video is driving a lot of traffic still, then I wouldn’t take it off your site if you think that it’s still creating value for you. I would look at it and see what type of value and response you’re getting from it.”
YouTube provides analytics, and Pannazzo says you should focus on a few key areas. Number of views is an obvious metric, he says, but seeing where you lose your customers on a video is just as important.
“What percentage drop off in the first minute, fifth minute or 10th minute?” he says. “Based on these types of analytics over millions of videos, experts recommend that your video be about 1 minute long but not more than 3 minutes. Most viewers will drop off by the third minute. So get to the point, but give enough information to help consumers make a choice.”
If the response isn’t what you’d like but it’s still the video you’d like to keep up, you could reintroduce it to customers, as well.