Video on Your Website: Why Use It, or Why Not?

“Are you doing any video?”

That’s a question I asked a potential client this morning, and one I ask just about every time I do a free consultation.  

I don’t think every organization or business needs video on its site, but there are some great reasons to do it. I won’t list them all here. (Go search “why should I use video on my website?” and you’ll find plenty of answers.) But I’ll note two video opportunities I noticed recently -- one seized, one squandered.

Opportunity Seized: British Airways’ “Perfect Day Live - Rome” video. If you don’t want to book a flight to the Eternal City after these 2 minutes 31 seconds, I’m not sure you ever will.

You probably don’t have British Airways’ marketing budget, but you don’t need that to create a video that engages the viewer and ties in to a business goal. That’s the foundation “Perfect Day” is built on.

Opportunity Squandered: Apple’s App Store. When you’re considering watching a new movie or TV show on your iPhone or iPad, you can watch a short preview in iTunes. However, if you’re thinking about downloading a new game or productivity tool, all the App Store gives you is static screen shots.

Many developers create promotional videos for their apps and post them to on their websites and/or YouTube. If you want to know what it’s like to use an app, obviously videos do a better job than screenshots.

If app preview videos appeared in the App Store, right under that gray rectangle that lists the app’s price, you have to figure more users would download apps (the good ones, at least). Not that Apple needs my marketing advice …

Note I: For a deep dive into the pros and cons of setting up your own YouTube channel, check out Phil Nottingham’s SEOMoz post, The Marketing Value of YouTube. Among the highlights: how he differentiates between video you should host on your site and video you should post on YouTube:

  • "Content that you want your site to rank for (conversion focused) is self hosted/hosted with a paid online video platform."
  • "Content that you want to share with those who aren’t yet part of the conversion funnel (branding focused) is be placed on YouTube."

Note II: I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to recommend Synthesis Multimedia Productions, a Washington D.C.-area company that has been a friend of Squarely Digital from the start. If you’re considering hiring a video production team, check out Synthesis.

- Jon