I hate internet videos and most of my friends hate them too. A certain search engine constantly annoys me. I find a headline that looks interesting only to find that it’s not an article. It’s a video with a 30 second ad followed by a badly produced clip that was a waste of time.
You may say, “But Tim, the videos I’m using to drive traffic to my site don’t have the ad at the beginning. It’s just quality content,” to which I say, I’m still not likely to watch. My anti-video friends and I talk about it frequently. We’re readers. We know how to scan an article quickly. We can separate the content from the fluff in seconds so if you want to keep us on your site, you had better have something for us to read. For my high-speed lifestyle, videos move too slowly for me.
I’m not saying that we represent everybody. I’m aware of the research showing a dramatic rise in the popularity of internet videos, but there’s a difference between watching a video of The Big Bang Theory and a video designed to drive traffic or sell a product. If you want to get people like me to watch, here’s some advice:
Make it Entertaining
I do love me a funny YouTube video. If you entertain me, you’ll keep my attention. I also love to learn so a video that teaches me something that I can’t find in 100 other videos will win me over. Your only chance with me is high quality content that isn’t salesy.
Give Me Options
If your headline compelled me to click, I’ll look to see if you made an article out of your video. If you did, I’ll read it. If not, expect me to bring your time on site average down. Give me the option to read the contents of your video and I’ll stick around. Many of the big media outlets figured out that they weren’t reaching people like me so they started including an article underneath their video. If it works for them, it will work for you.
Tell Me It’s a Video
Nobody likes to feel misled. If my first impression of your site comes from a video when I expected an article, I won’t stay long. That same search engine that I love to hate now tells me if the content is a video — most of the time. (Now if it will just get rid of those ads that overtake my screen, I’ll stop hating on them.)
I’m not anti-video. You’re going to reach a lot of people with your video content but if that’s all you have, people like me will probably not hear your message. Use a variety of tools to get your message out and you’re sure to reach us.