Video is a necessary power tool for digital marketers.
Inclusion of videos on business sites is huge and expected to grow. A good video can give users helpful information, how-to demonstrations, and other content that is proven to drive conversions.
- Video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more.
- The average CVR (Conversion Ratio, a measurement of the effectiveness) for websites using video is 4.8%, compared to 2.9% for those that don’t use video.
- Blog posts incorporating video attract 3x as many inbound links as blog posts without video.
- The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video.
- Video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from SERPs. (Search Engine Results Pages)
- A landing page with a video is 53% more likely to show up on page 1 of the SERP.
IF YOU HAVE A VIDEO ON YOUR SITE, IT HAS TO BE INSTANTLY ACCESSIBLE.
There are basically two ways to manage your video content—the easy, effective way and the hard, painful way. Let’s look at the hard, painful way first—uploading your video directly to your website. Content management systems such as WordPress include a tool for doing this. Sounds good, right? Except—a lot has to happen before a visitor can actually view the video.
THE PROBLEM IS, WEBSITE HOSTING RESOURCES ARE NOT EQUIPPED TO HANDLE THE REQUIREMENTS OF VIDEO STREAMING.
If you have ever clicked on a video and waited…and waited…and waited to view it, only to have it stop every few seconds, you know what a bad video experience is like. Videos are large files, and even though content management systems like WordPress have tools that let you upload videos directly to your site, your hosting provider likely does not allocate enough bandwidth for it to play quickly and smoothly.
To make things worse, different browsers require different file types. IE and Safari play one type, Firefox another. Chrome plays all the major formats—but do you want to eliminate prospects that aren’t using Chrome? You need not one, but two or three versions of your video to meet all file type requirements. Unless you have a dedicated server, you are almost certain to run into bandwidth problems. And even a dedicated server will not ensure a good viewing experience if there is a lot of viewing traffic.
DIFFERENT DEVICES REQUIRE DIFFERENT VIDEO FILES.
Each viewing request has to be converted to the appropriate viewing experience. For a laptop with high speed internet and HD-quality viewing, you need a file of HD quality (yep, huge), versus a smaller, lower resolution version for mobile devices and users with slower connections. If you have lost count, we’re talking about needing anywhere from 4 to 6 versions of your video.
Even with all of that work, it’s common to run into quality issues where one browser plays the video file perfectly, while another one makes it look like a home movie from the pre-smartphone days. Not entertaining. I could go on, but if you’ve made it this far, you deserve a break.
VIDEO HOSTING COMPANIES HELP DELIVER A PERFECT VIDEO EXPERIENCE.
Enter the easy way. To solve these cumbersome technical challenges, video hosting services are there to save our sanity and ensure our customers can view quality videos with minimal delay. They take care of the large files and they automatically determine the best version for each viewer, based on their device, internet speed and browser. They deploy networks of servers especially designed to serve the gargantuan demands for video viewing from users around the world. With this approach, bandwidth – and waiting – are not an issue.
There are a number of good video hosting companies. We have found Wistia to be the best option for our clients; the service is excellent and the price is reasonable. Other fine options include Vimeo, Vimeo Pro, Brightcove—and oh yeah, that little host called YouTube.
Free hosting vs. paid hosting.
If your budget is tight, YouTube is a good way to go. It’s free and it provides some basic analytics. However, marketers quickly discover the advantages of paid services—including richer analytics and features, no ads, and integration into automation platforms like Marketo and Pardot. It’s best to take a look at the features of each and determine what will work best for you. Here’s a good overview to help you decide.
BOTTOM LINE: USE VIDEO HOSTING FOR SUCCESSFUL VIDEO MARKETING.
Video is an important medium to connect with your customers. Using a video hosting resource will help you deliver a user experience that builds your brand and accelerates conversions. Plus, you’ll have access to features such as valuable analytics, customer support, no ads, and interactive elements that can be added in, like a call to action or email signup.
If you’d like more advice on using video as part of your digital marketing, let’s talk.