Video Content: Entertainment value or influencing purchasing decisions?

With over three-quarters of the Aussie population online and spending an average of almost 44 hours online per month outside of work, consumers are searching for, and are faced with more information than ever before.

These days, however, it’s not just information they’re after, it’s HOW it’s presented to them that is becoming more and more critical.

They’re looking for it in the right medium — visual, interactive formats like video. Can they find this kind of information about your products and services?

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Video and Australian Consumers

According to the most recent ACMA report, 53% of Australians between 18 and 29 watch videos online. An estimated 96% use YouTube. And these numbers are growing.

In 2007, Australians watched two billion videos. In 2011, this number increased 550% to 11 billion. This means each viewer watched an average of just over ten hours of video per month.

How we watch videos has also grown and changed. Today, 77% of Australian viewers watch videos on a laptop or desktop, while 26% use a tablet or mobile. And they’re not just watching for entertainment. Nine million consumers watched product or service-related videos during the buying process.

The Growing Global Video Landscape

Globally, 97% of consumers research products online prior to making a purchase. Of these, 90% of consumers use search engines, 48% use online directories, and 42% use comparison engines.

A recent survey found 8.5 out of 10 people watched videos containing product information, while 8.7 out of 10 said they would watch videos of product demonstrations. And global consumers are definitely watching more videos overall.

According to Cisco, video traffic will increase by 4% over 2011 levels to make up 55% of all online traffic by 2016. Add peer-to-peer file sharing to these numbers, and video will make up a massive 86% of all Internet traffic.

Why Consumers Are Turning to Video Content

The significant growth in video consumption is the result of a number of changes in technology and society. For instance, consumers multitask more today than ever before partly because technology makes it so easy to do so.

An estimated 48% of Australians over the age of 16 own a smartphone, and 15% of households own a tablet. Over 80% of Australians admit to using these mobile devices while watching television. They’re listening to podcasts or watching videos on the way to work, and making as much use of their time as they can.

Half of Australian consumers research purchases online. And if you want to be part of their search as they navigate their way around the web, these consumers should be able to find your business in a format that works best for them.

Why Video for Your SEO and SEM Campaigns?

Perhaps the biggest reason to include video content in your SEO strategy is visibility. Google, Bing, and other search engines now incorporate video content and other media into their search results. In many instances, video content makes up 20% or more of the listings on the first page depending on the query. That’s a lot considering Google is adopting a seven-listing search result format, instead of the usual ten.

Video results attract more clicks, too. One study from AimClear found video results get an estimated 41% more clicks than standard results. The same study estimated video makes your page up to 53% easier to rank on the first page. This is a huge boost for any search or marketing campaign, but there are even more reasons to include video content in your SEO strategy.

So what could you be doing with video?

  • Funnel Traffic From Video Websites

Sites like YouTube and Vimeo get a huge amount of traffic, so why not publish an introductory or summary video on them. You can link back to the main video on your website and bring in more traffic. These short videos can be created from your original video.

If you publish these shorter videos through YouTube, your content will also appear in the YouTube search engine. This network receives an estimated 11 million unique Australian visitors per month. That’s a lot of traffic and a lot of monthly searches to miss out on.

  • Generate Links from video content

Everyone loves videos. Not only are they easy to digest, but they’re ideal for enhancing studies, articles and blog posts. This increases the number of links you’re able to build to your videos and your website. And the more natural links you’re able to build, the easier it is to rank your website.

Videos are also easy for users to share with their social networks. This helps spread the word about your video and your website, expanding your reach and increasing your traffic flow (and potential buyers!). Social shares are also part of Google’s ranking algorithms.

  • Lower Bounce Rates & Increase Time Spent Onsite

By adding a video to text-based pages, visitors will likely spend more time on the page. This lowers bounce rates, which will help increase the page’s search ranking. It also gives you more opportunities to make conversions.

Studies have also shown that adding a video to a product page can increase sales anywhere from 6% to 400%. Want to further increase your sales figures? Combine your content and PPC campaigns with video ads. Why? Consumers watched 10 billion video ads last year. That’s a huge audience!

  • Repurpose Videos to Increase Content Generation

Once you’ve created a video, use it to generate even more content. Publish a transcript, a summary, make it into a series, or publish a combination of text, images and video. Drop the content on your own site, or use it as guest posts to help build even more links. And, because all the content created from the video is on the same topic, it enhances your original SEO and marketing efforts.

To conclude, your business and your SEO can’t afford to ignore video content. It has become almost vital to a robust online presence because of its expanded reach and ease of use. Not to mention the numerous other benefits outlined above.

That said, video marketing can do more than just generate sales. It’s an excellent way to humanise your brand, interact with your customer, diversify your marketing, reach a new audience, and build trust.

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