4 Ways to Use Video in Content to Boost Engagement
That’s how long, on average, your audience will spend reading a blog post. It’s only a touch longer than half a minute, for heaven’s sake!
To put this into further perspective, reading an average blog post of around 1000 words will take about three minutes. Longer content, like this tutorial to creating meme videos, will take over twice as long to consume.
Data like this suggests that, on average, users don’t see even a quarter of your content. And that’s without considering the time and effort required to absorb your information!
Well, these stats show only averages, of course. They do not suggest that all content fails to engage the audience. Many pieces of content manage to keep the audience reading. However, they typically feature at least one element designed to boost that engagement.
Want to learn one trick guaranteed to help you achieve similar results? Keep on reading, then.
In this post, I’ll show you how to use one of the most engaging tricks in the content marketing book – adding video to blog posts – to boost your content’s engagement.
But first, let’s gain a bigger perspective on the problem.
Why You Must Keep Readers Longer on a Page
There is a reason why you spend two, three, maybe even four hours crafting the content.
You want to attract a relevant audience to the site. You want those people to find your content as they look for information, and engage with your brand. You want your blog posts to convert them into leads and sales, as well.
Then, there’s the brand awareness, the buzz, and promotion that content can boost too. Strong content will generate mentions, links, social shares, and help spread the word on your brand in many other ways.
But the thing is, none of it will happen (or at least, not at the level you’d expect it to) if people do not read the content.
Take SEO, for example. Your post might be perfectly optimized for its target keywords. However, if users don’t engage with it enough, their chances at ranking well will be slim, at best.
Why, because that suggests whether readers find your content engaging or not.
A recent study by SEMrush found a strong correlation between time on site and the bounce rate (two crucial engagement metrics in SEO) and rankings.
Without engagement, you’ll find it hard to generate rankings that can deliver significant traffic levels.
The situation is no different when it comes to building brand awareness or increasing conversions. A reader must consume at least a significant portion of the content to engage with the brand enough to develop brand recall. And they must love the content to begin considering it as a potential vendor.
Enter Video Content
Can you think of many content types capable of coming even close to video when it comes to engagement?
Consider these video marketing stats, for example:
- Mobile video consumption pretty much doubles every year.
- 96% of consumers admit to having watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.
- 2 out of 3 consumers admit to having purchased a product after watching a video.
But video content isn’t restricted to use on social media or being posted to YouTube. Video can work equally well on your site and, as you’re just about to see, your content.
4 Ways to Use Video in Content to Boost Engagement
#1. Showing the Product in Context
This strategy helps eliminate a particularly nasty challenge most business face with their content:
How to promote the product or service without sounding pushy and “sales’y.” The issue is especially nagging when you write content to target people at the top of the funnel.
Those people aren’t familiar with your brand, after all. They might not know much about your products either. And more importantly, they’re not at the stage to consider a purchase yet.
But you might still want to show them the product, particularly in the context of the problem they’re researching, and that’s when the video comes in handy.
Your tutorial video doesn’t have to be professionally made, with a whole production behind it.
You can record it quickly on the laptop. Use the combination of the front-facing camera and screen recording and add various effects to overlay the recording with text.
Wave, for example, creates simple laptop-camera based videos, supplementing them with text effects. Those videos are included in blog posts to compliment the copy with an actual solution walk-through.
Here’s the video:
And you can also see it used in the content here.
With the majority of people being visual learners, tutorial videos not only provide insane value but immediately connect the brand with a reader. You’re advising them using the most accessible format for the person to learn from, after all.
#2. Use Short Product or Service Videos to Connect with the Audience
Videos can help you increase the chances of converting visitors. One way is by boosting the value provided like I’ve shown you above.
Another, by helping to build trust in you.
How, by letting you show the face behind the brand, for example, and connect with potential buyers at a personal level.
Most customers go through the majority of the sales process on their today. For you, this means that you have fewer opportunities to connect with them. Those people won’t email or call you early in the process. Instead, they’ll review your site and marketing materials, forming their impression about you that way.
Video offers you a direct gateway to that process. And once again, you don’t need professional equipment or sophisticated production to make the impact.
Almost every critical landing page on my site features a simple loom video. It includes a background visual with key elements covered in the video and a little window showing me talking to the viewer.
Here’s how the video looks on a page (you can watch the clip directly here):
Using simple, less than a minute long videos like this helps me connect with the audience and build trust by showing that there is a real person behind the brand.
Sure, a potential customer might not like me or may make a bad first impression about me based on a video. But it also means that we wouldn’t have worked together in the end anyway. Thanks to the video, both me and the client do not have to waste time finding that out through calls or meetings.
#3. Use Videos Early in the Content to Boost Engagement Signals
We’ve discussed the effect of engagement on rankings already. You know that search engines pay attention to how long people stay on a page and use that to determine the usefulness of the content.
Given its power to boost engagement, video is perfect for retaining readers for longer. And once again, it doesn’t take much to do it.
You can include tutorials in your blog post. I’ve shown you that option before.
You can also embed other people’s videos in your content. For example, this post features a short video overview of a book to help the audience to familiarize themselves with the author’s concepts:
Naturally, the company behind the post could have explained those ideas in writing. But would they be as engaging as an animation video?
I doubt it.
#4. Create a Post Summary Video
Not every reader will want to consume all the content, and it would have nothing to do with your writing, by the way. With the majority of people being visual learners, you have to assume that at least some do not want to put effort into reading long passages of a copy. It does not mean that they don’t want your advice.
This is where video can help too. You can record a summary of your blog post and publish it in the content. This way, you’ll give visitors the option to choose how they want to consume your advice. This strategy works particularly well for content that answers specific audience’s questions.
Ahrefs, for example, regularly adds video summaries into their blog posts, allowing visitors to either read the content or get their answers in a visual format.
Note that the company places those videos at the start of the content, just below the table of contents. This way, they ensure that even casual readers, who wouldn’t scroll to the end of the post, will see it.
And there you have it…
You’ve just learned four incredibly powerful, yet simple to do, strategies to include video in content and boost its engagement significantly.
What’s left is to go and start implementing them in your strategy. Good luck!
About the Author: Pawel Grabowski runs Smashing Copy, a content marketing service helping SaaS and B2B brands boost traffic and generate leads with amazing content that both users and search engines unconditionally love.