Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Why Video is Important for your MSP Website

There is a plethora of statistics that show the benefits of having video on a business site, and the articles pushing for increased video use seem to become more prevalent as the year goes on. Anyway, let's beat a dead horse and start off with some numbers:
  • Website visitors are 64% more likely to buy a product on a retail site after watching a video. (Video Brewery)
  • Visitors who view videos stay on a site an average of 2 minutes longer than those who don’t view videos. (Video Brewery)
  • 70% of the top 100 search results contain videos. (invodo)
  • 52% of B2B marketers are now using video, a 27% increase over 2011. (Business 2 Community)
(If you'd like to see more stats, check out MagnetVideo's huge list: 101 Online Video Statistics for 2012)

persons shoes getting sucked into laptop screen
photo credit: via photopin cc

We can gather a few things from these numbers...
If your site has video, users will stay longer and be more likely to make a purchase. In short, video = interaction. Emphasis on action. That's the goal of a website, right? Whether it's a client or prospect viewing your MSP's site, you hope that it ends in some sort of action - the purchase of managed services, a request for a quote after seeing a service they hadn't realized you offered, the submission of a help desk ticket. We can take these actions to be the "purchase" that viewers of a video are more likely to make according to statistics, since most managed service providers don't sell anything directly on their site.

How do people get to your site in the first place? A study of over 40 B2B tech sites in the first quarter of 2012 showed that they averaged about 39% of site traffic from organic searches (Business 2 Community). This varies from site to site, but even if you're on the low end of the spectrum and only about a quarter of your traffic is organic that's still a relevant amount. Since 70% of the top 100 search results contain videos, people are more likely to visit your site if you have pages that contain video. Why risk even 25% of your traffic by not having video? Video gets them there, keeps them there, and encourages them to interact.

One benefit of video is difficult to pin down with statistics: video makes you real. The "realness" of you and your company to someone browsing your site is an impossible thing to calculate, but it carries a lot of weight. Real means legitimate, and in a world where people are faced with the daily task of sifting through many fake, spammy, or just plain low quality posts and sites to find what they are looking for, real reigns supreme. The realer you can make your MSP for whoever is viewing your site, the better the chances are of them wanting to do business with you. Jon Cooper of Point Blank SEO spoke to this in his recent blog post:
“I email & tweet a ton of people on a weekly basis, but few of them really stick out in my mind.
But it’s really not hard to be one of those people that I truly think of as real. Here’s a little hierarchy I created to help explain how to do so.
Picture < Podcast < Video < Phone Conversation < Meet In Person
It’s simple. If I see a picture of you, then I can put a name to a face. If I hear your voice, that’s better. It goes all the way up to actually meeting you in person. Shaking your hand & seeing you’re physically someone lets me know that there really is a person behind that twitter handle.”
Jon's point is a logical one; real people want to interact with other real people! Do as much as you can to create a "virtual" real company with real employees by using pictures, podcasts, and (most importantly) video, as Jon lists.

If you or your employees don't star in or voice your video, that's OK - just make sure it is clear how the video relates to your MSP. For example, just sticking any old video about Microsoft on your page doesn't personalize your business for the viewer. It may make your page look better and help you rank higher in search results, but it's not adding to the "real" factor. Instead, try selecting a video that relates to how you use Microsoft products to help your clients, and explain that relation in a couple sentences. Taking the time to include this explanation will make you more real to your potential client and it will leave them with a better understanding of your services (and as we discussed in our previous post, understanding is a vital part of the sales process).

elephant on computer
photo credit: via photopin cc
The last statistic tells us that a little over half of B2B marketers are now using video. While this is an increase from last year, it's still not an overwhelming majority. Take advantage of this, MSPs! As a B2B using video, you still have the opportunity to use this as a differentiating factor. Video can make your site stand out and be more memorable.

Do you have video on your MSP site? Have you seen results, or do you think these statistics don't hold true for you? Comment and let us know!