Adding video to your site doesn’t have to be a difficult proposition. In fact, it isn’t! I have written about adding video before: in a recent blog post about adding multimedia, and in an article in MightyMerchant’s October 2006 newsletter, SiteBeat, about adding streaming video content.
To those of you who have never utilized the services of Google Video or YouTube, the process might seem intimidating. I’m here to tell you that it’s actually quite easy, so if you have ever had the idea to add some video content to your website or blog, there should be nothing holding you back. Let’s take a look at how the process works and why you might want to use video.
Adding Streaming Media
Streaming video or audio files are sent in compressed form over the Internet. The file is played as it arrives, in almost real time. With the advent in recent years of large web content providers such as YouTube and Google Video, the equipment and infrastructure necessary to serve huge quantities of video and audio at little or no cost is in place and provided free for the general public to use in almost any way they like. [Note-As I write this, I just learned via TechCrunch today that Yahoo has relaunched Yahoo Video with some changes to the service. Instead of offering only user-generated content, Yahoo Video is now displaying videos from other Yahoo properties music, movies, TV, news and sports.]
Here is how the process works:
- Set up an account with a streaming media provider, such as Google Video, Yahoo! Video, or YouTube.
- Create a video, using basic video recording equipment. For marketing purposes, the video should be of as high a quality as you can afford.
- The service provider will typically review the video for appropriate content, resulting in a short delay before the video is made available to you to post publicly.
- Some services allow the videos to be set to ‘private,’ so only users you invite can view the videos. In order to post your video on your website or blog, you must allow the video to be public, to be shared, or to be ’embedded.’
- The streaming media provider will generate a code or URL to display your video stream. This code can be pasted right into your WordPress blog through the ‘upload video’ feature, or added to your website for other uses.
- There is a little bit of setup work involved on our end to include the video stream on your website, but typically, it can be accomplished in less than 30 minutes
One of our clients, DenLorsTools.com, sells automotive tools and supplies and mechanics equipment. They created a series of videos which are viewable on YouTube and on their site. Over the past 6 months, their video “Bench Bleeding a Master Cylinder” has been viewed more than 6,000 times. Check it out for yourself by going to YouTube.com and doing a search for “DenLors Tools.” Other videos include Volt Tester Tool, and Using the Robinair 34700 A/C Machine.
On DenLorsTools.com, the videos are placed in the “Tech Articles” category, where one of the most-watched videos is “Honda and Acura Timing Belt Tips, Crank Pulley Tool.”
Marketing benefits of video
Obviously, the primary benefit is free advertising! Each time someone views DenLors’ videos, they’re getting a message like, “Free shipping $99 and up at DenLors Tools.com.” or information about the various products they sell and pricing. This is permission-based marketing at its best. The people viewing his videos are choosing to watch them, they’re interested in the subject already, and all DenLors Tools owner Dennis has to do is put the message in front of them.
Dennis explained some of the benefits he has seen from including video: “Customers do mention the videos when they call and we have noticed an increase in sales on some of the products featured in the videos. We even had a salesman from the manufacturer of the Honda crank pulley tool (Powerbuilt) contact us to say he saw it on YouTube and that it was a great idea.”
Ideas for integrating video into your site’s content
The popularity of video sites like YouTube can’t be underestimated. People turn to videos for entertainment and information. There are lots of ‘how to’ type videos on YouTube already, so it’s natural that people would check there for ‘how to’ information on auto repair and tools, like what Dennis has created.
What can you offer? A tour of your facility? The making of a hand-crafted object? How to use or install one of your products? Before and after project images?
The possibilities really are endless.