Should You Include Video on Your Website?

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One of the biggest recent trends in website content is an increasing number of video posts. These posts offer an interesting respite from the more standard text and graphic based format of content. Furthermore, as video technology continues to become more and more common and pervasive this trend only seems to be growing. However, while it has never been easier to make and post video based content there are still many people out there who are reluctant for various reasons. In this post we’ll take a look at some of the pros and cons of posting video on your website.

Pros of Including Video on Your Website:

1. Video allows you to convey emotions and make a better connection to your viewer.

The old expression goes that a picture is worth a thousand words. If that is the case than a video is worth a million. The reason is that in a video the viewer is receiving both visual and auditory information. Not only can they see everything with their own eyes, they can watch changing facial expressions and interpret tone of voice and inflection. There is no doubt that a video based post allows for a much better connection to your viewer and is likely to help them empathize with you more effectively than a stand alone picture or block of text.

2. Video can allow you to increase the number of people you reach.

One of the most exciting phenomena on the web is the experience of the viral video. A viral video is a video that gets seen and shared over and over, multiplying and spreading its reach. Whereas it might start as something a single person sees if that person sends it to their network of people the video can spread exponentially until it seems like it’s everywhere! In theory this can also happen with a text based post or a picture image; however, there is just something about videos that make them much more likely to be shared and to go viral than these other types of media.

3. Video allows you to show concrete things instead of just describing them.

One of the best things about video is that it allows you to visually demonstrate something. Words and pictures are great, but there is no substitute to actually watching something happen right before your very eyes. For things like instructional content, videos are often the undisputed best way to go. There are some things which might be difficult if not impossible to describe in words only and that is where video is so ideal.

4. Video can be combined with other formats.

So far we have been discussing video as though it is an either/or type of thing. However, that is not the case. A video can be used to supplement pictures or texts, or visa versa. That means that you can get the best of both worlds in many cases and you can thus provide visitors with a written transcript, or at least a thorough description, along with the video.

5. Video is more unique than text only.

As we mentioned above video is more unique on the internet than text and pictures. Though it is growing in popularity it is still a good bit less common than regular text and picture only based posts. That makes it much easier for your video to stand out, and it will also likely make the video feel like a “special treat” to people who are watching it.

Cons of Including Video on Your Website:

1. Video takes more work and time to prepare

Though it is by far getting easier and easier to make and post videos, they still require a bigger investment in time and work. In addition to being shot, they may have to be edited, and then they still need to actually be uploaded and released. Even people who do them often and efficiently are likely to find them a much bigger production than simply sitting down and bashing out a few hundred words for a text based post.

2. Video takes more skill to do effectively.

Nearly all the benefits discussed above are predicated on the videos actually being of good quality. While it is certainly getting quicker and easier for people to make and post videos, that doesn’t mean that the videos are necessarily any good. A really good video may require technical skills, attention to lighting and sound, ability to perform charismatically, and perhaps a text based script or outline. When all is said and done, a good video requires a great deal of skill in a number of various areas to pull off.

3. Video may not be the best approach for some topics

While it is certainly the case that many topics are much more suitable for video than other formats the opposite is also true. If the information is something that is technical and requires a great deal of thinking and studying to learn, then it is almost certainly more effective to have a text based copy to refer to and re-read as needed rather than a video. That’s why even if it goes digital, there’s still no replacement to the plain, old fashioned textbook when it comes to learning. It may eventually be a “text screen” instead, but text isn’t going anywhere.

4. Video isn’t ideal for search engines

One of the biggest drawbacks to video posts is that they aren’t very suitable for search engines. It is harder to find a video using a search engine than it is to find a written article. A video is also something that cannot be analyzed and indexed by a search engine. At best search engines have to rely on text description tags that are added to the video and they may or may not be accurate and complete. Overall a video isn’t able to compare with a text based post in terms of its SEO benefits either.

5. Video isn’t something everyone likes.

While it is true that many people love videos there are also a large number of people who hate. Many internet users are still primarily comfortable reading pages and articles rather than watching clips. They may not want to take the time out to actually watch the video when they could more quickly scan a page for the key points they are looking for. Many people also find videos disruptive and annoying. As with anything it still comes down to a personal preference.

Thus, there is no easy answer to whether or not you should include videos on your website. It will ultimately depend on what type site you have, what type of audience you have, what your own skills and preferences are, and what you are trying to accomplish. The final question may not even be should you include video on your website but rather why and when should you include a video.

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