Video marketing: 4 tips to improve usability and drive engagement

By Dodge Communications (not verified) on April 9th, 2015

I have a confession to make, I hate online videos. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one. After all, videos are everywhere one the web these days, and for good reason. 76 percent of B2B marketers used video as a marketing tactic in 2014. In the same report, respondents rated only one tactic as more effective than videos (or webinars) – in person events. In addition, 75 percent of senior executives view work-related videos on business-related websites at least weekly. So what’s wrong with me?

What bugs me about video is the loss of control. In general, if you let the user control the experience they are going to be more engaged. Video is a loss of control because the speed of information delivery is predetermined by the video, not by the user. With text, the user can scan, back up, re-read sections, etc. Video is much more linear and it can be frustrating to try and skip around looking for the specific information you’re looking for. Luckily, by keeping a few usability tips in mind, you can make even video humbugs like me watch and engage with your videos.

  • Make it clear what the video is about. Let users make an educated decision on whether to watch your video before they click play. Bullet out a summary, make it easily scannable, and visitors who are wary of watching your video will have more confidence that it will be rewarding.
  • Better yet, provide a transcript of the video. Your ultimate goal is to get visitors to consume your content and engage with it. If you provide a text version of the content you get two benefits – increased engagement from visitors who prefer copy to video as well as a boost to your SEO as search engines will have text to index.
  • Don’t autoplay. Playing your video as soon as the page loads takes control away from the visitor and may encourage them to hit the back button or close the window.
  • Skip to the point. If you’re referencing a specific section of a longer video, either edit the video to start at that point, or some services allow you to queue a video up at a specific time.

By improving the usability of your video content, you can reach an even wider audience and drive more engagement.

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