Online Video Marketing Basics: Part 1   The Case for Online Video and Why You Should Get Involved videography At ReelSEO, we love video. We love making it, watching it, marketing it, and writing about it.  And we have all kinds of readers.  Some are polished experts that—quite frankly—sometimes know more than we do about a particular aspect of online video.  Some are intermediate users, who create and market a lot of video but still enjoy having a community to share and learn.

And some of our readers are pure novices… newbies… babes in the woods.  Some of our readers love video and want to get involved, but have no earthly idea how to go about doing that.  It is for the people in this last group—the beginners—that we offer this first article in a planned series called Online Video Basics.  If you are an advanced online video user, you might find this series covering ground you've already explored—but you also might find some new nugget you missed back when you were still a beginner yourself.

Before diving into online video, it's important to determine if online video is for you.  It definitely is, but I want to lay out the case for video so that anyone on the fence will have the motivation they need to jump off and get going.  Whether you're a small business owner, a Fortune 500 CEO, or just a talented individual, video should be a part of your online strategy.

Therefore, I present to you a list of possible reasons why you might want to get involved with online video:

Video Helps You Stay Current

Video is the hottest thing going on the web. If you've been thinking lately about starting a blog or setting up a Twitter account, you're still slightly behind the curve.  Everyone's talking about video now… and with good reason.  It's entertaining, it's easy to find and consume, and it engages viewers in a way that text simply cannot.

Video is on a meteoric rise, and shows no signs of slowing soon.  Along with that trend, there is a growing segment of the online audience that has begun favoring sites that use video over sites that just have text.

Online Video Marketing Basics: Part 1   The Case for Online Video and Why You Should Get Involved video advertising1 Additionally, video advertising is the fastest-growing form of online advertising.  On just YouTube alone, the number of advertisers rose tenfold in the past year.  That means all your competitors are out there using video to steal away your customers… and it's probably working.

Remember when email started gaining momentum in the mid-90's, and there were old-school business people that furrowed their brow and looked down their nose at this newfangled electronic mail trend, saying it was a fad and wasn't for them?  That's how people sound today who say similar things about video.  People don't forward long, text-based jokes to each other in email anymore… they send links to videos.  If you want your content to be seen as something that is hot and fresh, you need to have it in the hottest and freshest format… and that's video.

Video Is Where The People Are

YouTube is giganticThey claim to serve two billion video views per day.  Want to know why no one's leaving comments on your company blog?  Because they're all over at YouTube watching videos.

Let me give you an analogy:  When I was a kid, my friends and I decided to have a party.  We got our wiffle ball equipment, a few water balloons, a boom box, and some pretzels, and told all the neighbor kids to come meet us in our backyard.  We thought it was going to be amazing.

But unbeknownst to us, Timmy Tompkins down the street had his own party that day.  And he had Super Soakers and a Slip-n-Slide.  Game over.  Nobody came to our lame party because they were too busy having fun at the Tompkins party.  We gave up after a couple hours of stubborn pouting, grabbed our trunks, and booked it to Timmy's house and ultimately had a blast.

Don't let online video ruin your company's ability to connect with customers… join the party!  There is a type of Internet user that loves video so much, they rarely start their browsing anywhere other than YouTube.  If you're not on YouTube… these people will not ever find you… period.

Video Can Help You Get Discovered

Video is rapidly increasing in search engine importance.  Bruce Clay, one of the godfathers of SEO, has even said you basically won't exist, in search engine terms, if you don't have video:

"…In the case of video, we believe that as one of the more important engagement objects, Google has actually started to build it into the algorithm.  To us, that means if your website has engagement objects on it,  video or mp3…  it is going to be received by the algorithm better and your site will actually have an opportunity to rank better.

Now today, we haven't seen it much as an incidence of ranking, mostly because not everyone is doing it. …I don't think we've yet seen even the tip of the iceberg.

I think, that a year from now, we are going to be sitting here saying – 'if you don't have video, if you don't have engagement objects on your website, you are just not going to rank.  It will make you last amoung equals if you don't have it.”

Have you noticed in the last year or two how much more frequently you see video results in the main Google search results?  Wouldn't you like to be the one capturing those clicks and speaking to those customers?  Well, if so, you'll have to create video to do it.  Because I can tell you this:  Google wouldn't be rolling in their "universal results" (non-traditional things like video, books, news, shopping, or Twitter comments inside the standard Google search results) if they weren't being clicked by users.

ALSO ►  Why Safety Videos are the New Video Marketing for Airline Brands

I've been working in search engine optimization for nearly six years, and at this point… I would rather have a video I created showing up on the first page of Google results than my website… because videos in search results are almost certainly receiving more clicks than standard website listings.

Video Helps Sell Products

This one's really simple.  Research shows that video helps sell products on retail sites.  I don't know if you've ever worked with retail website clients before, but my experience is that they will do almost anything if they think it will help sell more products.  I've seen e-commerce sites with jacked-up product pages, SEO shortcuts, image overload, and a host of other unwise actions, all because someone convinced them these tactics would help sell more products.

And all they really needed all along was some video.  And this isn't even me convincing you that video helps sell products… this is based on hard data.

Also, I'm fond of telling my clients, "Even if you don't have a retail site… you're selling something.  Maybe an idea, or an image, but you're still selling.”  And it stands to reason that video would also help you non-retail companies "sell" whatever it is you're selling.

Video Appeals To Most People

I have a coworker—let's call him Chad—who hates video.  Whenever he visits a blog or news story page, only to find there's a video there instead of a text-based article, he gets irate.  "I can speed read and skim the page in five seconds and know if there's anything there worth spending more time on," he'll say, somewhat boastfully, "I don't want to sit through ten minutes of video just to find out if I'm really interested in the article!”

Have you ever met anyone like Chad?  He's not the only anti-video guy I've met.  While folks like him are in a minority, and the vast majority of web users seek out and prefer video, it's an important illustration of how diverse our audience is.  I would never suggest that one of my clients eliminate all text from their website and replace it with all video.  Likewise, I would never recommend they ignore video just because there are still "readers" out there in the world.

Adding video to your web presence doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing venture.  You can ease into it.  And including a few videos throughout your website is a fantastic way to ensure that you're appealing to both the "reader" crowd, and their counterparts, the videophiles.


So… is online video for you?  If you don't answer "yes," then I have definitely failed in my task today.  Online video is pretty much for everyone, and might eventually end up being absolutely vital to any successful web presence.

If you're not already dabbling in video, I hope that this article has given you reason to consider diving in.  Don't worry… we won't leave you stranded… now that you've decided to get involved in online video, you've actually just created several more decisions for yourself to make, and we hope to help guide you in those choices as well.

Stay Tune for  Part 2: What Kind Of Video Should You Make?

  • kskhash

    I'm like Chad - a reader.  If I land on a page and see nothing but video, I immediately hit the "back" button.  I don't have the patience to sit and watch a video about something because my thoughts move way faster than the video.  That being said though, video is a must in marketing these days, and your article illustrates why.  Most people do want it, and us "Chads" will just have to deal with it ;)

  • kskhash

    I'm like Chad - a reader.  If I land on a page and see nothing but video, I immediately hit the "back" button.  I don't have the patience to sit and watch a video about something because my thoughts move way faster than the video.  That being said though, video is a must in marketing these days, and your article illustrates why.  Most people do want it, and us "Chads" will just have to deal with it ;)

  • Schessin

    Great ! Except you forgot to mention the most important fundamental reason. Similar to the oldest comment about video being people oriented rather than facts and specs.

    I "wasted" a lot of time in college taking course that sounded interesting - with no direct relevant purpose - such as pre-human linguistics. Malcome Gladwell ran with that and wrote a best-seller called "Blink". Apparently - our brains are hard-wired to read faces and body language. Any good movie director or TV commercial producer knows that this MUST be tapped into. People watch people for any sign of sincerity or deception --- "tell me that to my face" ... "look into my eyes and tell me" ....

  • Jamie

    Read your post! I'm a novice, as you put it =) I love videos but I've never tried putting it online and market it. I'm looking forward for your next article!

  • Stefania Delzotto

    I'm new to seo videos so i've got a question which I hope you can help me with. I've got a magazine website where there are already some videos on. Now, would you suggest me to open a youtube channel for this brand magazine as well? I was thinking it will be useful to get potential visitors/buyers and I also thought to put a link on my homepage to the youtube channel.
    Do you think it will affect my visits trend (people going to the youtube channel instead of staying in my video pages).
    I would appreciate any comment.

  • videoBIO

    VIDEO IS KING! Your personality, your product, your site, your brand can be so well displayed through video because it can be delivered faster, smoother- and is easily digested and remembered. It's the future, and it already occupies most of the present.

  • Thomas Owadenko

    Jeremy it's a great article here. Here At Videoagency ( ) we are trying everyday to convince our customers that we can produce great and affordable videos for them thanks to our filmmaker network (over 5000 filmmakers in 80+ countries)

  • Grant Crowell

    "Videophiles" sounds too close to another type of "phile" that I'd prefer we avoid association with. :-0

    The best success I've had on convincing newbies is showing the a case study with video in their own industry. As much survey information and trend data you can throw out at a person, professionals tend to respond more favorably when they can see an example that most closely relates to their own business model.

  • mikeedgell

    My marine biologist brother sent me a link yesterday to Jove – the Journal Of Visualized Experiments. It’s a peer reviewed video journal for biological research. It’s another sign the benefits of online video are being recognized outside the realm of waterskiing squirrels. If the ‘profiling of extracellular polysaccharides’ can be explained with video, what can’t.

    When I talk to people about leaving television to produce online video content ( or some common myths arise. Foremost, that online video is “entertainment.” Of course it is, but there is great value and influence beyond the amusing, and yes, even beyond YouTube. Video can provide an incredible tool to leverage in business, healthcare, defence, non-profit work, and education.

    Benefits of Video:

    INFLUENCE – Video is the most powerful communication tool, because people react to visuals more than text.

    TRUST – People trust what they see. And who they see.

    VALUE – Video proven to increase perceived value, interest and conversion. The mystique, emotion, and potent storytelling ability of video influences behaviour like no other medium.

    UNDERSTANDING – Picture says 1000 words x 30 frames per second. Conveys vast amount of intangible information text can’t.

    DEPLOYMENT – ‘Bottle’ the best people and assets, and deploy it to senior decision makers directly. Allows stakeholders to simply ‘click this video link.’

    COMPETITIVE EDGE – It is a progressive thing to do.

    More importantly, it is quickly becoming a question of relevance. Which I will elaborate on in my upcoming post ‘Generation V for Visual – the most visual, video-obsessed generation, ever’

    Mike Edgell


    social media, online video production, Toronto, multimedia

  • Mike

    Great post Jeremy.

    I have created video slide shows with voice overs, background music, and Closed Captions. for a holiday vacation apartment company here in the UK.
    They are doing well with viewer numbers and show up in most country's in the world. Plus in relation to "Cornwall Newquay holiday vacation promotions UK" They appear at the top of the search results in the video section on Google.
    Question is How? or what would you suggest I could do to get the the viewer to the landing page from Youtube and then to the Holiday vendors website though an affiliate link?
    I am missing something or there is something I am not doing right.

    All the very best.

    • Mark Robertson


      Good to see you on here. Im going to be writing soon about CC and will
      mention you so stay tuned for that. As for your question - take a look at
      my presentation - slides
      18-21 and let me know if that helps. Im happy to help you with this so let
      me know... Thanks - Mark

      • Mike

        Sure I will be staying tuned. Your presentation is good. I have to work on a formula for getting the viewer to the landing page then on to the affiliate site. It has to be compelling to encourage them to sign up for a Newquay holiday.

        I know I have the video optimization almost right because the Stats show a huge increase in viewer numbers. Search terms. and foreign country's. Thanks to titles, descriptions, and Yep the most important Closed Captions. Proof that relevant words, and loads of em works.

        I have mentioned local attraction names eg "Eden project" and yes my videos appear in the list in fact Google has put my videos all over the place including Video sites I never Knew existed.

        Someone mentioned here that most people view video adverts purely out of interest. This is very true at the moment. Jeremy has a great article about Closed Captions. Youtube seems to have played down the Auto caption tool. Personally I prefer to do it myself, lots of work but well worth the effort. The results prove that.

        Google you may have seen. have included a Closed Caption video link on the left side when you click videos. Check out "Newquay holidays UK" All my videos appear here.

        Google can only understand words. it cannot index a picture or video file no matter how good
        quality it is. Words Work.

        One of my Holiday videos is a Studio Apartment, this video appears in search terms used. building design. rent a flat how to's, and foreign search terms as well.

  • Jumpcuts

    I guess I like half the points made here. A potential buyer says to me: "Mr Video Guy, show me what the ROI will be on spending money to buy your video production services?" Staying current doesn't really answer that question. Nor do the YouTube statistics (I think it's safe to say that the vast majority of videos watched on YouTube are for personal entertainment, not business). But the SEO point could be a start to the answer, I suppose. As could the stats on selling product via e-commerce (if I was pitching to a retailer...not sure it necessarily translates too well for a school trying to recruit students, for example).

  • Donnadavis

    Jeremy, great article. It is a very exciting time to be in this industry. Good points. Glad we have lots of video on our site.

  • Chuck Morgan

    Great article. Sometimes in marketing we forget about targeting all the senses possible in order to get a response. Video adds a key element to invoke emotions in the viewer to cause action, or conversion.

  • Thomas Rehder

    Thank you Jeremy, very good points, even for "advanced" videomarketers. But for my opinion you missed one important aspect:
    EVERY BUSINESS IS PEOPLE BUSINESS. Be authentic doing your business, present yourself, give answers, sharpen your profile – and you will be successful.
    Can you really be personal and authentic on the web without video?