Videos are the attention-getters of choice in the world of content marketing, and they are expected to rise in popularity in coming years. There are a lot of different ways video can be used on a website in addition to the traditional “push play” approach, and there’s a certain science to selecting where on the site the videos are most effective.
To better illustrate the options, we looked at the websites owned by local businesses to see which ones were doing a good job. Some are our previous clients while others are not, but regardless, their sites use video well to engage customers.
Newberg’s George Fox University is a small private college that earns accolades for its academic rigor. It makes good use of a video slideshow right at the top of its homepage. Where other sites might have a series of photos, George Fox uses short videos to illustrate the diversity of programs, students and beautiful nature that exists on the campus. Site visitors feel compelled to linger throughout the slideshow to catch every moving image. It’s almost like getting a mini tour of the campus and buildings without leaving the house. Plus, catching a glimpse at some of the structures on campus offers a point of reference for people who plan to be on the grounds in the future.
The annual Newberg Camellia Festival added a video to its website this year that helps explain the forms and colors of the flowers celebrated at the event. You don’t have to know about camellias to attend the festival, but the additional bit of background can make you feel more comfortable selecting a plant if you do decide to attend with your family. The video is about halfway down the page, so it encourages site visitors to scroll down and then stay while the five-minute video runs.
One other client who is using video to great effect is McMinnville’s 3rd Street Flats. The main selling points of the boutique lodging are the décor of the different rooms and their convenient location in downtown McMinnville. The owners have posted 360-degree virtual tours that allow site visitors to marvel at the gorgeous apartments and choose among the different options, all from the comfort of their homes. Every apartment contained within the refurbished historical building is available for viewing. Site guests often tour all the rooms, even those they know are too big or too small for their party. That type of compulsive viewing means visitors are lingering at length on the website and are more likely to book a luxury apartment after seeing all the rooms.
These three sites have mastered the inclusion of video.
If this is an approach you’d like to explore, keep these factors in mind:
Check the specifications of you hosting service to make sure you have the ability and bandwidth to include videos on your website. If they take too long to load, you risk site abandonment.
Do you want the video to be the first thing visitors see, as George Fox University did, or would you rather have them scroll down, as in the camellia video?
Embedded vs. third party
If you want to have a “library” of videos, such as a categorized series of instructional videos, you might want have them as permanently embedded in your website. However, if you’d like to collect comments on the videos, you’d be better off linking to a third-party site such as YouTube where you can create your own channel with all of your videos in one place.
We realize that adding video to your site might be challenging from a technical standpoint, but you shouldn’t let that stand in your way. Our website maintenance team will be happy to help you navigate the world of videos and the appropriate customer engagement tools.