The Pros and Cons of Using Video in Your Site or Blog

By Daniel Scocco

Last year I started experimenting with online video. I focused mostly on screencasts, doing some blog reviews and how-to videos. I liked to work with video, and found that it has many benefits. After some time I also realized that it carries some drawbacks, though. Below you will find what I learned from it.

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PROS

1. Video sets you apart from the crowd. Most people are able to setup a blog and start writing text posts. Current blogging and publishing platforms make it a no-brainer even for 5-year old children. Video, on the other hand, requires a special setup (e.g., a video camera, screen capturing and editing software). Using video can therefore set your blog or site apart from the crowd.

2. Video appeals to a different audience. There is a great number of online users that prefer to watch videos over reading text content. YouTube’s popularity is no coincidence. Adding video to your site could widen your potential audience and bring new visitors aboard.

3. Video enables you to show rather than tell. Demonstrating things and explaining some concepts can be easier with video. Sites that have a good amount of how-to articles and tutorials could therefore benefit from the format.

4. Video can be more personal. Video will bring out your voice and possibly your face. Needless to say that this is a much stronger way to interact with your visitors. Secondly, if you want to develop your personal brand, video could help with that.

5. Video reaches different online channels. Given the immense popularity of online video sites, YouTube above them all, video could be used to tap into different marketing channels and new traffic generation opportunities.

CONS

1. Video requires more preparation. Casual videos can be shot on the spot. If you want to produce something more professional, however, you will need to work on the setup, script and related activities. In other words, you will need to work even before you start shooting the video.

2. Video takes time to edit and upload. Apart from preparing the video before you shoot it, you will also need to dedicate a good amount of time to the editing and uploading processes. Choosing the right format, video platform and player are also areas that will need attention.

3. Video is not optimal for search engines. Google and other search engines are evolving fast regarding how they index videos. That being said, text is still king if you want to optimize your site for organic traffic. One solution for this is to offer video transcripts, but this will require some extra work on your side.

4. Video is not suitable for all topics. Depending on the topic or type of content that you want to create, video might not be suitable at all. Lists of resources, extensive articles and detailed researches, for example, are better presented in textual format.

5. Not everyone likes video. While there are many Internet users that swear by online video, there are just as many that can’t stand it. Those are mostly people that don’t have too much time to surf the web, and who prefer to access the information in textual format, because it allows them to scan through the content, and filter only the bit of information that they need.

Overall I think it is worth a try though. Video is certainly going to be a huge part of the web in the coming years, and the sooner you get used to it, the better.

What about you, have you experimented with producing online video? What did you learn from it?



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29 Responses to “The Pros and Cons of Using Video in Your Site or Blog”

  • Stephanie Manley

    I think the way google now indexes video’s it is worthwhile to do so, and why not put a backlink back into your site regarding the blog post that you received the information from? Seems like a no brainer to me!

  • shahnawaz (sani)

    Thanks Daniel, its gonna helpful for me as I’m going to start video posting in my blog at periodic manner.

  • medyum

    It’s real great to have videos on your blog/site.
    I’ve been into screencasting lately.And I’m very much interested in videos and have produced somshort music vids and stuff with my classmates.

  • Rob Abdul

    I shot an informative video and posted that on youtube.

    Youtube in-turn posted the video automatically to my twitter and facebook account.

    Needless to say 4 confirmed conversions with-in just 24 hours.

    That is the power of social media web 2.0 and video blogging on business!

  • Claudia

    Well I use a combination of both and distribute my videos on all the sites. I have gotten a god response. Video does involve some time, not so much the filming but the edit and uploading.

  • Tyrone

    Well in my view a video on a blog or on a site is not a very good idea, no doubt it keep the visitor on to your site but some times it makes the visitor bore and makes your site heavy.

  • lindajlord

    I have used video to introduce myself to clients. I have it posted on my site and on YouTube. It lets people test drive my style to see if we will be a good fit to work together.

  • Chris Fyvie

    The lesson I learned is it will almost never be perfect. I took the same video 25 times for the “about me” section of my blog. My first ever video blog post. It lasts about 40 seconds and took me 60 minutes to do when you include the youtube / posting.

    Lesson: it doesn’t need to be absolutely perfect.

    Overall, I love the idea of video, even though I’m timid to it. And I also believe it’s here to stay.

  • Sparky

    I am a big fan of video.Placing videos on YT got my blog noticed.
    Providing a link in the description area of the video pointing to your blog works good.The description section in YT is limited but by giving viewers a reason to visit your blog you can then provide them with more written content and details.
    Placing the video on your blog and written content will allow the viewer to decide which type of media to use.If they don’t want to press the play button they can just read.

    Sparky

  • vanae

    I love VIDEO, that’s what sets my blog apart from others. and you’re right, there’s definitely a sense of personal-ness that people can relate to.

    =)
    Vanae

  • Suzanne – Video/Text Example

    Well … I personally love video – as a blogger and as a visitor.

    I am getting better and better at using Camtasia for using screen capture for my blogging lessons but I also enjoy how personal it makes blogging.

    Whenever I do a video I also include the text version of the post or lesson – this is twofold. It’s for those who don’t enjoy video or they’re at work and can’t listen … but also for the search engines. I fully optimize the page/post just as I would if the video wasn’t there.

    I also use appropriate SEO when I post the video onto the video hosting sites (I post to you tube and several others for the backlinks and for traffic) so that’s a plus too.

    Great topic and I look forward to more great comments. *SmiLes* Suzanne

  • Blogging Tips

    Videos is good stuff i were also thinking of it.

  • Aravind Jose T.

    It’s real great to have videos on your blog/site.
    I’ve been into screencasting lately.

    And I’m very much interested in videos and have produced some short music vids and stuff with my classmates.

  • bansama

    I’m one of those that hates videos. I find them annoying. They interfere with scrolling depending on the embedded player, or worse, start playing by themselves. Not good when you’re browsing in the early hours of the morning. And a website should never be a reason for having to turn your speaker volume down.

    They can certainly be helpful too. But I don’t think they should replace text content. But then, I’m also like the written word and hate seeing how texting and the like has destroyed it. The ability to read seems to be something that too many people take for granted these days.

    Replacing text content with videos only would just do more damage in the long run, in my opinion. It certainly can have a useful place, but don’t use it as a replacement for text. Please.

    Besides, if I wanted to watch a video, I’d just go to the source – such as YouTube. So perhaps another alternative would be for blogs and the like to start up their own YouTube page and linkig over there instead of embedding the videos.

    Even better, would be adding a way to remember visitors and giving them the option of seeing an embedded player or a simple link to the video instead (of course, methods for doing that would vary depending on the setup of your site.)

  • Muzi Mohale

    I can also add that video eats to your hosting account budget. Have notice a vast increase on mine…as a result on adding lots of related youtube video clips on stories I published.

  • Adam Singer

    I thought about using video at my blog, but you know then my inbox would be overrun with emails from girls.

    Seriously though, I might do some video in the future just for fun, especially when demoing new apps. If you want to see great use of video check out Matt Dickman’s blog (http://technomarketer.typepad.com/) he’s a pro at working it in.

  • izu mou

    This is absolutly true…

  • Bill Bolmeier

    I like video. There’s a ton of great stuff and I think featuring one a week or two a month would be good. Whether it’d be a video of some industry expert or a screen cast I think they’re valuable.

    I did a video for a blog last year and it received over 30,000 views and 90 comments. Now if I could just get those viewers and comments over to my blog it’d be great. 🙂

  • suround

    I am still a beginner and need to learn many about the site. video
    tutorial really good installed on the site to increase the potential for
    new audiences. thanks

  • Gori Girl

    After commenting on this post… I ended up posting a video today on my blog! Certainly didn’t plan that – the video just fell into my lap. However, like most of the other videos I have shown, it’s not one made by myself – it’s more of a resource I thought my readers would enjoy, followed by personal thoughts & commentary from me.

  • SEO Tips

    I have tried creating videos for other sites of mine and they seem to work quite well so considering how easy it can be I am planning on creating a series of videos soon. Great tips Daniel.

  • Ajay

    Somehow, I’m not a great fan of videos unless they are for fun etc.

    I never find it easy to learn watching a video. I prefer reading at my own pace.

  • Gori Girl

    I’ve used clips from tv shows and the like that suit my blog’s niche, but they haven’t yet been a major part of my content.

    I must admit I’m not a major fan of the videos as a large source of content, if only because I don’t have the time/ability to watch them when I’m going through my feeds. I do appreciate it when there is a transcript available – it allows me to quickly scan through the information, and better decide whether the video is worth coming back to.

  • Brian~ Serve The Song

    Good stuff… Video is definitely the next big addition to my blog. I’ll be adding video guitar lessons, music production screencasts, etc.

    QUESTION: Which video host is best and why? YouTube, vimeo, others…?

  • Freebies Mentor

    I am not a big fan of video because one, it is hard to have any search engine optimization and two, because it does take a while to upload and prepare. It may seem like there’s not much work in making video for your Blog, but there is more than you think.

  • Dawn

    I use pre-made videos that relate to my niche as an alternative for others to learn as I have no time to make my own.

    It seems to be of help to others, no complaints yet and I change them out every 7-10 days so there is something new if they come even once a week for the video only.

  • Rarst

    I had thought about screencasts, they seem to fit software topic quite nicely. However at current point I don’t see producing video as good effort/benefit deal.

    Lately I am slowly lowering amount of weekly post (meaning I went from 7 to 6 🙂 ) so in the future I may have more time per post and that would allow trying video.

  • SATISH — Technotip.org

    I tried it some time ago, and it increased the time of stay of my visitors in my blog…other than that, nothing much happened. But as you said, its worth trying.

  • Jonas Martinsson

    Another con is that it doesn’t print well. That’s especially relevant if people read your blog in newspaper format, like FeedJournal.

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