In my early days as an e-commerce director, I grasped an essential truth: heed Google's call. Deciphering Google's desires was like a bullfight - unpredictable and intense. They demanded we sell through teaching. Given our site's ties to educational retail, this should've been easy: a seeming disdain for sites with shopping carts.
Sites similar to ours but devoid of commerce soared in rankings. Our struggle felt doubled, and our rewards halved. Organic search - those unpaid spots on Google - accounted for half of our six million annual revenue. The other half? Paid advertisements. If Google held our fate, you're seeing the picture.
At times, Google's foresight is uncanny. They pushed for a blend of education and sales, perhaps guiding us in the right direction again. As I've mentioned in the video, our Google Analytics showed our few videos are some of our stickiest content.
"Content is King." Bill Gates coined this term in a 1996 essay, and while the essence of the statement remains true, the types of content that reign supreme are shifting. Today, video content is the undisputed king of the digital realm.
The last year has seen an unprecedented surge in online video consumption. Social media platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram's Reels are becoming the epicenters of content creation and consumption.
Wonder why content in video form is so hot? The answer is its ability to convey complex messages quickly, engagingly, and memorably. Humans are visual creatures. While text-based content and infographics have their place, something like videos needs to capture and hold attention. Videos, whether explainer clips, tutorials, or reels, offer a dynamic way to present information, making it more digestible, engaging, and shareable for your target audience.
Search engines love video content. Algorithms on platforms like Google prioritize high-quality, relevant content, and videos often fit the bill, as I discussed in the video. With keyword headings, descriptions, links, and SEO strategies, video content can significantly boost organic traffic. Videos are sticky. People watch them, and more time on your pages creates another SEO benefit. As I noted in the video, at this point, we only have a few videos, but they've jumped to the top of the "average engagement time" list. Does that mean we'll be making more videos?
Use links below to learn more about why video marketing is now king.
For websites looking to integrate video, there are several strategies to consider. Here's a breakdown of three primary ways websites can utilize videos, along with insights into video storytelling and avoiding copyright pitfalls:
Create and use a Video Hosting Tool
When you host your videos on a platform such as WTE partner Brightcove, you're the captain of your ship. You dictate the narrative, the pace, and the visuals, and there are no ads to distract or link to other people's content.
Create and use YouTube and other Social Platforms
Platforms like YouTube and Vimeo are bustling ports, teeming with life and stories. Adding content to a social video platform can cast your tales far and wide. While the audience is vast, so is the competition.
Embed OPV (Other People's Videos) with Your Copy
Sometimes, other people's videos resonate with your journey. Embedding these tales as I did in Vejas Tesla Effect can enrich your words. I used Future Proof's video to kick off our shortened copy. Think of embedding as giving up a piece of your website since the Iframe moving views credits to Future Proof, but WTE gains average engagement time, so it's a win-win.
Hybrid Videos - Their Content Supports Yours
The video I created and embedded on this page includes royalty-free clips from Pexels, such as Kelly's opening animation and horses running video (the link is to her Pexels profile page). Linking to Kelly's profile page is an example of how you repay royalty-free creators. I also sent Kelly a small donation.
As I noted in my Minute with Marty the Marketer video, I'm learning as I go, too, and I'm known for YouTube influencers featured in Telling Effective Video Stories.
Tell me facts and I learn. Tell me truth and I believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.
Native American Proverb
If you've never tuned into LegalEagle, you're missing out. Devin's way with video is something to see. It's incredible storytelling, pure and simple. Who would have thought a lawyer could craft such an engaging video? I'd never thought that watching a man talk law on YouTube could be so fascinating. But then there's sharp-suited Devin talking about wild lawsuits and why crooks and phones are a terrible mix.
The man's got an incredible team that knows video storytelling. Amy, one of his video hands, has moved on. Now she's over at Awkward Awkward Anthems on YouTube (see Resources). She's doing well, pulling in a crowd. Over sixty thousand in just a short time.
The video below shows why Amy's Awkward Anthems channel subscriber numbers are climbing fast. She's got a knack for telling video stories, sharpened on LegalEagle's channel. She uses tools like Adobe Aftereffects. Hearing an editor talk about her craft is beyond helpful.
Devin's sharp suits, smooth-talking, and his lawyer's office backdrop create a distinct brand experience. Then there's Amy's offbeat clothes, signature tee, raw settings, and easy "like a friend" talking style. Branding? It's in the details.
You've got to tell folks what to do. Without direction, they get lost. LegalEagle knows how to ask for guidance. Their CTAs? They're a lesson. Your videos your sites, should watch and learn.
Videos need life. A joke here, a graphic there. Something to snap you back. Amy's right: it's an art, these breaks in the flow. I'd pay to hear her talk about those little surprises she throws in.
Slipping in ads without breaking stride is a skill, even when you're plugging yourself. LegalEagle's got that down.
Amy talks about the hard part: keeping time and staying fired up. Making videos it's about rhythm, about rolling with the punches. Every production has its challenges, but it's how you face them.
Here are other great YouTube video storytellers we follow:
Jacque Slade - engaging stories about sneakers.
Drew Gooden - Intelligent, funny, and well crafted pop culture stories.
Clownfish TV - Rants about "dismal Disney" and other pop culture stories.
Company Man - Business topics that could be boring come to life on the Company Man YouTube channel.
Videos on a website draw people in by telling stories, sharing information, and making your site better. But video marketing comes with challenges. Here's what you face when you put videos on your site:
Serving & Playing
Videos eat bandwidth. So many watches at once can cause your site's page load times to suffer. We recommend using Brightcove or a similar tool to serve your videos.
Ever create a video only to see black bars to the left and right or above and below? Those black lines come from a mismatch between your video format and the player. I had this problem until I read Nathan Veer's post on Brightcove.
Creating videos isn't cheap. I just spent a chunk on Amazon because spending money makes me motivated. As you can see from the video on this page, not shot with my new gear, I'm not half as comfortable as I need to be, but working on it and spending money is a way to motivate me to make more videos. How did I know what to buy? I watched an excellent video from Ehud Sopher (below)
Now that I've geared up here are some great video sites I'm using for inspiration:
Airbnb asks travelers to share their experiences and stories through video testimonials. They use videos to showcase unique accommodations and experiences worldwide, teasing potential travelers with visuals of what they can expect.
TED's video recordings of experts from various fields sharing insights, stories, and ideas are among my favorite things on the web. Their website is built around their videos and categorized by topic, making it easy for visitors to find and watch talks that interest them.
HubSpot, a CMS, CRM, and marketing platform, integrates video content into its academy with tutorials, courses, and webinars. Their videos help users understand how to use HubSpot's tools while venturing into related digital marketing.
GoPro taps into its user community, asking for user-generated video content and featuring creators on its website. Videos shot using GoPro cameras showcase the product's jumping out of planes, skiing off a cliff, or climbing mountains. GoPro knows the power of curating UGV.
Red Bull is another favorite, but I'm going to write about how they prove we are all media companies now next week.