This article is written by Eoin Dowdall, Creative Director of Kartoffel Films.
Eoin is a the award-winning Film Maker and Creative Director of Kartoffel Films, a video
production Agency based in London. With over 22 years’ experience in the sector, Eoin
oversees all of Kartoffels’ films from concept through to production. Over the past eight
years Kartoffel have produced over 1000 films and animations for the UK and international
In the 90s, when the commercial internet was sporting its romper suit, websites were merely digital versions of the pamphlets that marketing departments would create to drop through letterboxes.
Then came email, and the pamphlet became a newsletter, and spam jumped out of the tin and into our inboxes. And email marketing was born.
But with faster internet speeds came video streaming, and YouTube changed the way we consume video. And then came Netflix and Amazon Video, and the moving image streamed at a higher quality than broadcast television.
In January 2019, five hundred hours of video were uploaded to YouTube EVERY single minute – and nearly five billion videos are consumed on YouTube every day.
Video is everywhere: super-high-definition in your pocket, no less; and it has become more persuasive than flat copy.
So, if you’re looking to supercharge the user experience on your website, through your email marketing, or your social channels, video should be at the forefront of your strategy. Whether you plan to create videos yourself or work with a video production company, utilising the power of video will enhance your user experience.
In this article, we’re going to explore how – and why – video can optimise your visitor’s digital experience.
Reasons why video is more powerful than text alone
Our eyes are attracted to movement
The eye is naturally drawn towards movement – especially unexpected changes in direction – making the moving image a powerful tool for engaging your website visitors.
Websites and landing pages that are purely text-based can be engaging and attractive, certainly, but if you’re looking to optimise your visitor’s digital experience, video is more likely to maintain attention.
Website visitors are 27 times more likely to interact with a site containing video than with a static banner ad; acting as a crucial trigger for interaction, providing an increased Click Through Rate (CTR).
Check out the video banner for Sizmek.com. The eye is drawn towards the movement and the innovative use of video, encouraging interaction and engagement.
We process video content more quickly
The human brain processes visual information faster than text. In fact, it’s 60,000 times faster than text.
So, if you want to keep your website visitors onside – providing them with an excellent user experience – video is more likely to feed your visitor’s interest.
The internet has naturally evolved as a place of transience.
It’s about instant gratification: you want to know something, you check out the answer on a search engine.
We flick through our social media feeds in the queue at the supermarket just to pass the time: it’s the video that’s more likely to catch your attention.
Video is more shareable
Video is shared across the internet a staggering 1200% more than text and image content combined.
We have – literally – no attention span.
The National Center for Biotechnological Information claims that the average human attention span (on the internet) is just nine seconds – that’s just one second less than the average goldfish.
That’s pretty shocking, isn’t it?
And it certainly reinforces the assertion that you have just fifteen seconds to grab the attention of the average internet user.
So, if you’re trying to avoid a high bounce rate, add video and podcast content to your website, blog or landing page.
Websites that include video
Business websites that incorporated video marketing content back in 2015 received 41% more traffic than sites that didn’t use video at all.
The Aberdeen Group, who conducted the study, also ascertained that:
- Companies that use video on their website grow their revenue 49% faster year-on-year
- Business websites that incorporated video content experienced a 27% higher Click-Through Rate and a 34% higher conversion rate.
Tips on supercharging your video content
If you’re creating a landing page to accompany a video marketing campaign, prioritise video content over wordy copy.
Bear in mind that you have just 15 seconds to grab your user’s attention.
The following types of video content could serve you well:
If you have a complex product or a hard-sell, lots of text can be off-putting. Bearing in mind the perceived transience of internet interaction, your visitor is likely to give up before they get to the end of your explanation.
A how-to video is a way to grab attention more quickly and communicate complex ideas in simple language.
Show how your product or service is used in real-life.
A compelling how-to video focuses on:
- How, not why
- Short explanations.
- Very little jargon
- General rather than specific – don’t assume prior knowledge
- An intro confirming what you’re going to learn, the learning, and a recap.
Not only is subtitled content more inclusive from an accessibility perspective, but it means that people can view the video with the sound switched off (when they’re at work, for example).
You could offer your viewer the option of switching the subtitles off if they choose.
Showing your product or service in real-world situations.
This differs from a how-to video because that focuses on the nuts and bolts of your service or product – how to use it.
Case studies show us how real people use your product and how it benefits them; how their life is better after interacting with your service.
Video endorsements increase trust: we’re hearing a recommendation from the horse’s mouth.
Anyone can invent a written endorsement and add it to a website; if we’re particularly cynical, we might consider that written endorsements are fabricated more often than not.
Seeing an endorsement vocalised from a genuine customer is so much more reassuring.
And, although it might feel counterintuitive, an endorsement video with high production values is less likely to be trusted: it looks staged. Just think about those cheesy infomercials on cable channels.
If you’re looking for authenticity, an endorsement shot from a camera phone looks more genuine (even if you’ve still set up the recording).
Vlogging appears through a variety of forms, but the essence of a trustworthy blog is the DIY aesthetic: the more polished and scripted, the less authentic.
It might not fit the mould of your company to go lo-fi, so consider the more polished approach adopted by many influencers. But don’t over-polish.
Think of a Vlog as a diary; the journal of an experience.
If your campaign is about your company’s eco-credentials, show us a customer or an employee who is saving money and protecting the planet over the space of a month, for example. Shoot it as a moving selfie – your subject speaking directly to the camera from a handheld device.
Vlogs are cheap to produce and driven by personality.
People engage with Vlogs because they’re made by “everyday people” – you’re not being manipulated by a trained voiceover professional.
Vlogging is about projecting a real human being as opposed to a “brand ambassador”. It’s your way of giving your brand some personality beyond the branding.
Thought-leaders and influencers are good people to have on-board for specific marketing campaigns.
Interviews help inject authority into your video content. Interviews support relationships with potential referral partners, which helps to build up your engagement.
A good interview should feel unscripted. The subject should do most of the talking, and the presenter should ask probing questions that encourage new, enlightening material.
Associating with high-profile individuals builds credibility for your brand and enhances engagement and conversion. Interview guests are likely to share your content with their audience, extending your reach organically.
Animations don’t need to be expensive to produce.
Animation is great for companies with complex products and services that are difficult to convey, making it an ideal medium for landing pages.
Everyone wants to know your trade secrets, and, while we’re not suggesting you give everything away, providing a little backstage content brings personality to your brand.
Overly corporate presentation can feel a little alienating, so if you want to express the human aspect of your brand, give your website visitors a little glimpse into what makes your product or service tick.
Production values for behind-the-scenes-type content should be higher than a vlog. You’re representing the personality of your brand – you must get it right.
The bottom line
Video can convey a concept more efficiently than text alone – providing an emotional trigger that can be deficient through the written word.
Of course, words are mightier than the sword – but video has a more universal appeal for the fast-moving internet environment.
Inspiration is the mother of engagement. But if you don’t have the capacity, the will to create your own content, you’ll find plenty of independent companies that can help.
Develop a relationship with YouTube and find content similar to the type of video that you’re looking to create. Use that content as a template for your own or as a means of expressing your ideas to an independent videographer.
Video is a significant opportunity for your conversion rate.
Are you making the most of it?