Reports and articles about online video increasing conversion rates are easy to find, but what contributes to this measure of success? Video placement is a significant contributor.
As your online video content library grows, it’s vital to deliver the right video to the correct person. With that goal in mind, here are five tips and best practices to follow when placing videos on your company website and relevant pages.
Do Not Reinvent the Wheel: Before we get into specific placement tips, let’s start with the basics. Video players come in all shapes and sizes, but marketers should keep their designs simple. Publishers should use familiar icons like the play button. It should be in a prominent spot; it is one of the most recognized symbols across the web. The play button communicates that your content is a video, not another media form.
If your company displays videos in a media hub or library format, it makes sense to follow a similar presentation and user experience to other well-known video channels. The YouTube watch page should be looked at and replicated, as many people are familiar with the most comprehensive online video platform on the web.
YouTube’s presentation of videos is widely recognized and understood by users across the globe. Place related or episodic video content on the player's right-hand side, as your viewers are familiar with this type of navigation.
Companies can mimic other online video user experiences, such as those from Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, depending on the audience demographic. Knowing your audience and how they absorb content will take some homework. Taking an in-depth look at metrics and including marketing teams can help organizations obtain this essential information.
Using custom thumbnails instead of generic ones is also a great way to encourage customers to watch more of your content. Create vibrant visual thumbnails that act as teasers and mini-billboards. Video thumbnails will also appear in popular search engines' video results. Popular search engines such as Google and Bing have emphasized thumbnails over time and have increased their display size to enrich the video search experience.
Place Videos Above the Fold: Placing online videos in a spot that minimizes scrolling helps search engines understand their value. Take a bold approach and place your videos high on a page instead of burying them at the bottom.
Placing relevant metadata like titles, descriptions, and transcriptions beneath the video further enhances search engine optimization.
Placing videos at the top of a page makes for a better mobile viewing experience. As a result, video consumption over mobile devices has seen tremendous growth over the years. More than 70% of YouTube watch time comes from mobile devices, according to a study by Global Media Insight.
Think about the small screen and remember that mobile web pages require more scrolling to display correctly. Test and preview how your videos look on mobile devices and optimize content optimized for proper playback on both smartphones and tablets.
Give Video the Proper Real Estate: Besides placing videos above the fold, marketers must display them prominently. An average based on YouTube, Vimeo, and other popular online video platforms suggests that video player size should be in the 576 x 320 dimensions for 16 x 9 aspect ratios. According to other online video platforms, video codecs perform better when the width and height in pixels are multiples of 16. Otherwise, you run the risk of compressed video and subpar quality during playback.
Companies should also place the videos directly onto a webpage rather than using a light box or something that requires the video to launch in a separate application.
Studies report audience abandonment rates increase with buffering and that viewers start to disappear after a two-second delay. While these applications can present videos in dazzling displays, they can cause delays and bugs upon launch.
Avoid these issues by embedding videos directly to product and landing pages. The goal is to make the video part of the overall strategy for a webpage. Not only should marketers carve out real estate for the video, but they should consider including complementary information like whitepapers, photos, and blog links.
Strategize how a custom video can enrich the audience experience versus including a one-size fits all approach or one-off videos.
Autoplay or No Autoplay? This is a topic that marketers go back and forth on. The general rule is to avoid videos with autoplay. There are several reasons: first, it can interrupt your customer’s viewing experience. Autoplay also eats up bandwidth and potentially freezes your viewer’s browser.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has published audio and video standards on auto-playing. In a nutshell, these standards state that autoplay can interfere with user navigation and can cause severe distractions for some people.
Let your viewer drive the action by clicking the play button. Viewers controlling the playback will empower them and users will not feel bombarded by your video content.
Autoplay is also a concern when it comes to mobile viewing. Vimeo’s support page states that autoplay will not work on most mobile devices. It’s best to research your platform and determine how autoplay features may or may not work.
There are some instances where autoplay is acceptable. Email marketing, whitepapers, or PDFs that link to videos on webpages are suitable for autoplay. At that point, the viewer has already clicked on the video and wants to consume that media. Understanding where your audience is coming from is critical here.
Length of Video Content Matters: Determining how people access your website is critical in understanding where to place your videos. Many publishers are already taking a blended approach with online video to create long-form and short-form content.
Serving your audience's correct type of content is essential to a quality user experience. For example, if most of your audience is mobile visitors, then publishers should consider placing short-form content instead of long-form content on said webpage. Traditionally, desktop users have consumed more long-form video content than mobile users.
Video marketers can apply these metrics to their video strategy. Brands could also create short-form versions or teasers of their long-form content for their mobile sites, while serving up the long-form content on desktop visits. This approach will help with engagement rates and time spent on your website for all viewers.
All marketers and video publishers will need to evaluate their customized metrics to determine how these tips can apply to a video strategy. One last piece of guidance is to compare your website analytics with your video platform metrics and draw parallels between the two. This deep dive will ensure you get the full scope of your viewer's experience with video on your site. Reach out to learn more about our online video campaign package.