Video Essentials

Online Video Keeps Visitors Around Longer: Six Simple Tips

Looked at your site analytics lately? Chances are your visitors come and go quickly, perhaps averaging less than a minute on your site. If that’s true, you’re not alone. Even the biggest sites struggle with getting visitors to stay longer. But an ad agency and marketing firm in Houston, Texas, has found the solution: adding online video.

On-Target Marketing and Advertising says that it conducted a study of small business websites and found that adding video causes visitors to stay twice as long. It makes sense: visitors can skim an article in seconds, but they’ll stick around to see how a promising video ends.

The company also found that video is more effective at communicating emotional content than text. For example, it added testimonial videos to the site for a housing development, and found that the average visitor spent nearly six minutes on the site, over twice the previous average. But more than that, an emotional connection came through:

“We knew we had great stories to be told by the homeowner, but something was lost when we tried to express her feelings in text,” says Scott Steiner, owner of On Target Marketing and Advertising. “Video testimonials capture those feelings and show the passion.”

For companies looking to benefit from online video, On Target offers these six tips:

  • Be brief: Keep your videos under three minutes to keep your viewer’s attention.
  • Tell a story: Rather than simply describing your product, tell a story about it. Include testimonials from satisfied customers.
  • Avoid talking head shots: Video is a visual medium, so use it to its fullest. Instead of just showing a spokesperson talking, think about action shots, landscapes, or before and after shots — whatever sells your product better.
  • Call for action: After your viewers have seen your video, what should they do next? Tell them. Maybe you want them to click for more info or maybe you want them sign up for a mailing list. Whatever the action, direct them to it and make it easy to find.
  • Go mobile: People will look at your site on their tablets and smartphones, so be sure your videos are accessible on any device.
  • Tailor your message: One video alone might not serve your entire customer base. For example, you might need to create one video for consumers and another for business customers.

Give online video a try and see if your visitors start sticking around longer, too.

Online video image via Shutterstock.


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  1. These are great statistics; they really show the importance of having a concise, clear message on your website. I’d recommend keeping the video to close to 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, simply because typically viewers click off after that amount of time. More and more consumers and businesses alike are preferring video over lengthy text, and it’s great to have these numbers to show that.

    Posted by Anish Patel | May 2, 2012, 10:55 am
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