by Lisa Wirthman. Lisa is a freelance journalist covering women, business, policy and social good.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, consider this: one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words, according to a report by Forrester Research.
Videos are great for concentrating large amounts of information into an easy-to-understand message. It's such a popular medium that YouTube now has 4 billion daily video views, with about 60 hours of video uploaded to the site every minute.
Video marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach online viewers. In fact, consumers who view a video are 174% more likely to purchase a product, reports Retail Touchpoints. With statistics like these, why wait? Here are four video marketing tips to help you incorporate video into your website.
Keep it Short
You have just eight seconds to capture viewers' attention –- less than the attention span of a goldfish -- so make those seconds count. Get to the point quickly with a specific message that will help you reach your target viewers before they tune out.
As a general rule, it's helpful to keep all videos under three minutes to ensure that you don't lose viewers before you have a chance to complete your pitch, advises Vidyard CEO Michael Litt.
Online metrics such as social media shares can help you understand which messages your target market likes best. YouTube and other video hosting sites offer many great analytics tools that enable you to see the demographics of your viewers, whether they're watching to the end of the video, and what day and time they're most likely to watch.
Before you post, you may want to send out a secure version of your video to trusted contacts to see if your message is both engaging and clear, advises ReelSEO.
Be a Storyteller
Successful video marketing campaigns use storytelling techniques to create videos that are both timely and memorable. Creativity is the key to engaging viewers with videos, whether you use a popular song, a clever parody, or spoof a famous ad.
Blendtec, for example, mixes plenty of humor into its popular Will it Blend? storytelling videos. Founder Tom Dickson dons safety goggles and a white lab coat before using the company's appliances to blend everything from iPhones to glow sticks. The video series boosted Blendtec's sales of consumer blenders by over 700 percent.
Tell a Bigger Story
Instead of using video marketing to talk about your brand, talk about what your business does for others. Describe your product's impact on the planet, for example, or the way it improves people's lives.
Building emotional connections by promoting a theme that goes beyond your brand can make a big difference in how viewers react to your site. “Emotions drive decisions, prompt actions, and change mindsets, leading to strong loyalty and a deep personal connection with a given brand that can extend beyond its rational attributes," writes Debbie Williams, author of “Brands in Glass Houses."
To make those emotional connections through your site, try these tips from Williams:
With only a few short seconds to grab viewers' attention, video marketing is an effective way for sites to tell big stories in a small amount of time. Add in the potential for increased social sharing, customer loyalty, and online purchasing and you have a scenario that any entrepreneur or small business owner can enjoy.
When thinking about your new or current website for your small business, take into consideration the following basic four standards for a successful website:
1. Get to know your target audience
Ask yourself – Who do I want to reach through my website and what reasons or functions will it serve? Realizing and really considering what your target audience will desire and require – not just what you desire – is an essential first standard to success.
2. Simple, yet Functional
Your website should be very user-friendly and be extremely functional as well as attractive. No cluttered up pages that causes your potential customers a headache just trying to maneuver through your website. Use the designer’s motto of, “Less is More.”
3. Plan out Design, Structure and Purpose
Planning ahead before you even start building your website, will save you valuable time. Think about the design. How many pages will you have? What do you want the pages to do? Will you want hidden pages to serve additional functions or added details? Planning through all of this before creating your website is a sure way for success.
4. Know Basic Audience Flow
Now, you need to ask yourself what you want your visitors to find and do on your pages. What call of actions – like shopping or hiring you for a service – might need to appear noticeable by being placed at the top right-hand corner of your website? Is there anything that may be less important that could be placed on a sub-page from a drop down menu? Will you need a search box? Social media connections? Images? Plan ahead about how your target audience will use your site and accomplish your desired actions.