Using Video on Your Website

Is Video a Necessary Tool?

As I’ve mentioned before, there are a lot of useful tools that are available to Internet marketers today that either weren’t available just a few years ago or are a lot more affordable today then they were previously.  Many of these tools make it easier to create Websites that offer good content, graphics and other things that keep your visitors engaged.

video on websiteAnd keeping them engaged is the name of the game.  Many Websites have problems keeping their visitors interested, and they quickly leave.  In fact, there’s a statistic used among Webmasters called the “bounce rate” that refers to the percentage of visitors who go to a site and leave without looking at more than one page or post.

Keeping the bounce rate down and visitor engagement up is important if you want to keep those visitors around long enough to have them buy something, sign up for a mailing list, or perform some other action that might be useful to you.  That’s why a lot of marketers use video on their site.  While words are a great way to convey information and graphics work well, too, a lot of visitors prefer video, and by watching video, your visitors will stay on your site longer.

Some people also learn better by watching instead of reading.  That varies by individual preferences, of course.  I would rather read a 15 page PDF than watch a 45 minute video that conveys the same information, but not everyone agrees with that.  For me, it’s a matter of being able to skim the contents of a PDF file while many videos on marketing Websites force me to watch the entire video without being able to fast forward or rewind.

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Still, there’s a reason why so many marketers use video and particularly why they use them on sales pages.  Video makes it easy to show someone what a video does, and you can effectively offer a demo of a piece of software by showing your visitors how it works in a short video.  Of course, most marketers don’t do that; they instead prefer to go on and on for a half hour or more, talking about the features or benefits of a product without ever seeming to get around to telling you how much it costs or what it actually does.

That said, there’s a reason why so many marketers use long videos and long sales pages – people like them.  A good, informative page on any kind of Website is going to consist of more than just text and will offer a good mix of text and graphics, text and video, or text, graphics, and video.  A great way to use these things in harmony with one another is to mix them up on the page, such as putting graphics and video in different parts of the page to “break up” the text.  This is a subtle way of keeping the visitor engaged because it forces the visitor’s eyes to move about the page, rather than simply moving down it in linear fashion.

youtube videoHow can you get video for your Website?  There are several ways to do this, depending on your interest and budget.   For some topics, it’s easy to simply embed a video on your Website that’s related to the topic at hand, and if you’re promoting a product as an affiliate, it’s possible that the product creator or vendor will have some sort of video that you can embed on your site to help persuade your visitors to act in whatever way you need them to act, be it to sign up for a mailing list, fill out a CPA form, or buy a product.

You can always make a video yourself.  You don’t necessarily need a camera, unless you want to make a video that actually shows you doing something.  The way that most marketers create video for their Websites is to use screen capture software such as Camtasia Studio.  This program, and similar competitors, don’t use a camera but instead use software to create a video of whatever is happening on your computer screen.  If you’ve ever seen a video that showed you how to use a piece of desktop software, you likely saw a video created using Camtasia Studio.  That software also allows you to add a voiceover to the video so that you can describe what’s happening on screen to whomever is watching.

camtasia studioCamtasia Studio offers a ton of features and is fairly easy to use, but it’s also somewhat expensive at $299.  There are other alternatives, however, including some free ones.  You can do a search for “free alternatives to Camtasia” to find those.  They won’t necessarily have as many features as the paid program, but they’re a good place to start until you can afford the more professional product.

For a microphone, you can buy a USB headset with a built-in microphone for about $10 that will work just fine.  As a bonus, it will come in handy should you ever need to use Skype to converse with anyone online.

There is no right or wrong answer as to whether you must have video on your Website.  I’ve gone back and forth on it, and while I have a copy of Camtasia and a microphone, I can’t seem to find the time to make any videos for this site.  Plus, as I mentioned earlier, I’m not personally a fan of instructional video, which probably has a lot to do with why I’ve never gotten around to making any videos for this site.

Still, a lot of people do like video, and if you’re one of them, you might be interested in putting some of your Website content in video form for the benefit of your visitors who like that.  The main thing is to keep your site visually interesting and distinctive, and to keep your visitors from getting bored and leaving in a hurry.  How you do that is up to you.

If you’re not sure how to get started with creating meaningful content for your site, you might want to consider an affiliate marketing training program such as Wealthy Affiliate.  It’s a great course for newbies, and will show you all of the things you need to know to create an interesting and informative Website.  You’ll get tools, helpful advice from other members, and even free Web hosting.

While it’s not essential, using video on your Website can help keep your visitors interested and that’s always a good thing.

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