A guide to using video to boost website engagement
There are plenty of things you can do to increase your website engagement. As I point out in my ebook 7 reasons why you are not ranking, on-page engagement factors such as bounce rate and time on page are important factors in ranking for 2014.
Videos are a great way of engaging with your visitors and can help with user interaction. In today’s post we’ll go through some of the options available to you when thinking about creating a video and weigh up the pro’s and con’s of each.
Why create a video?
While I enjoy writing articles I don’t necessarily enjoy reading all that many. I have learnt that I am much more of a visual learner, I would much prefer to watch a video or scan an infographic as opposed to reading a 2000 word article. By only have one form of communication on your website you are seriously effecting how accessible your content is to all types of learners.
For most general bloggers this may be a bit over-whelming with the thought of not only having to write an article but also start creating, editing and publishing your own videos. Try not to worry too much, nobody is asking for an Oscar nominated production. There are a few different style of videos you can create, each increasing in complexity and skill required, but learning how to create these videos will give your content another dimension and attract more visitors and hopefully retain their time spent on page and lower your bounce rate.
Presentation style video
Imagine a powerpoint presentation with a voice over the top. This is essentially what a presentation video consists of. It is the easiest style of video to create and probably the most popular style you will see do to its simplicity. This video can be created in Windows Movie Maker which means pretty much anyone can do it.
- Easy to produce.
- Not too many elements to work with just a few images and your audio.
- Can be made with free tools.
- Long presentations can become boring.
- Harder to retain users attention because the videos are not super engaging.
Talking head style video
Requires you to not be camera shy this one, it’s essentially you talking into the camera about your topic. Now I sympathize with those who are too shy to show their face on videos or don’t feel they command their language of choice well enough to stand up and talk about a subject, there not much advise I can give except just try it and see the response you get. You may find people would still rather watch your video than read some text. Darren Rowse provides an excellent example of a talking head video and why you should us them on your blogs.
- More engaging than presentation style video.
- If you are physically attractive it can work in your favour.
- Most personal style of video as people can see your face, expressions and hopefully trust and passion.
- Can’t be camera shy.
- May not be suited to every type of niche.
- Need to have video recording equipment, a phone will suffice but dSLR is prefered.
Whiteboard/Explainer style video
A slightly more complicated video to create but fortunately there are plenty of websites that offer whiteboard video creation services and tools. They are a very popular way of getting an idea across in a video because the users attention is always captivated by the continuous illustration of points.
- Good amount of services available to create for you on the cheap.
- Numerous tools to help you create your own.
- You need to preferably have illustration skills or hire one.
- Can be time consuming to create vector files and get it working with software .
Animated style video
These are probably the most complicated videos you will create and most likely will require and team consisting of illustrators, animators and editors to create something like below. You can still create simpler animations using something like after effects, but even then, things become complicated quickly when you want to add effects and fancy animations. One of my favourite examples of an animated video is the one below created by Giant Ant.
- Very engaging for the viewer (when executed properly).
- Comes across very professional and stylish (good if you want to sell an expensive service or product).
- Very expensive, Visual.ly start at $5000, but something simpler in design and detail can probably be created for $500+.
- Not something you can create yourself unless you have extensive knowledge of animation software (will take you months to learn).
- No free software available to create something like this. Usually you would need Adobe After Effects, Cinema 4D or something similar.
There you have it, 3 common style of videos used throughout the online world. Have you had experience with creating videos and seeing an increase in engagement or conversion? Let me know in the messages below. I will be publishing some simple tutorials to help you create some of these styles so stay tuned for that.