As the Internet video age matures and more interactive content is consumed, the metrics behind how people engage, and why, get better. We’re beginning to learn what causes people to respond to different types of content, allowing us to serve up more relevant, more engaging content. This leads to increased conversions and improved response metrics on your site.
Video arrived with a bang. YouTube came out of no where to grab headlines and put video on the map. Suddenly everyone with a camera had a voice. As major studios and networks moved their content online, new models emerged for advertising within that content using video.
Broadband penetration is ushering in the days when our content will all be consumed using the same pipe and the same device. With acceptance of dynamic content through the roof, online marketers can now explore engaging the website audience in exciting new ways. I’m not advocating a resurrection of self serving Flash intros. I’m saying as long as you give people what they came for, you can package it, and control the message, in powerful new ways.
We began a few years ago by advocating video content. Product demo videos, testimonials, and feature and price comparisons were some standards. Some of it played on load, others required people to click to consume the content. By and large, the content was fairly straightforward video – standard video frame with basic controls. And it was a success, playing a role in helping clients raise conversions by as much as 47%. But over time we noticed (and it was supported by research) that the less traditional the video looked in size and appearance, the higher the initial engagement.
The concept of banner blindness has been on online marketer’s radar for quite some time. This lead to an evolution in the size and nature of banners and ultimately brought us to the point where banners now expand when rolled over, play video on load and open portals into new worlds with out ever leaving the page you were on. But does video blindness exist?
I’m not sure video blindness is quite accurate; however, I do believe that most people have now engaged video. They know what a video looks like and they know what to expect from it. So the mind moves on. It no longer stops the eyes in their tracks. The novelty has worn off and now video must compete with all other forms of content. However, switch up the format and things improve. Instead of a video embedded on a page, how about a video compilation that is integral to that page and looks like the page was built around it? How about video with its own navigation and purpose? How about video that engages the user in a way that even the best flat photography never can?
So far, the results have been good when removing video from the typical video box. Animated features, video and interactive elements can all coexist to truly allow entry into your value proposition. With web pages, people control how they consume the content. They choose the order and they choose when to stop reading. With video, you take back some of that control. Using the captivating, powerful combination of audio and motion visuals, you can grab their attention and then walk them down the path to what they are looking for – making sure to point out key points of differentiation along the way.
As long as it is not too self serving, and as long as you are giving them what they want, you can take more control over your message by deploying video as an integral part of your website. Just make sure to remove it from the box first.
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