Why your web guy says video is not important.

Anytime something new comes out, there will be naysayers. Remember when websites were first gaining popularity how some pooh-poohed the Internet saying it was a fad? Even within your own company I am sure many said it was a waste of time and money. Often these people were in marketing. The awful truth was that many were naysayers because they saw websites as a threat. I am not kidding. Think about it. A website would take resources from them. It would take money from their budgets. It involved people with expertise they didn’t have. All of these factors made them downright anti-web. For most they either learned to embrace it, or they fought it and ended up looking somewhat foolish in the end.

History has a way of repeating itself. As video is gaining momentum on the Internet there are a lot of companies who are embracing it full force. Some companies, like auto manufacturers, are going as far as to reduce expenditures on traditional marketing avenues such as print and television, and moving it to the Internet. Many, such as Ford have created YouTube channels and created entire series of videos aimed exclusively at the Internet audience. Millions of dollars are being pushed into video as more and more companies realize that video online is now mainstream.

Despite this growing popularity, others are not so eager to get into video and consider video to be a fad or a luxury. They will flat out tell you so. And many on the “no video” side of the fence come from a surprising place – from within the Internet industry, particularly those involved in web design.

I talk to web designers all the time, and I find that they are about equally split on their thoughts on video. Half know that video is an absolute necessity, and the other half will insist it is a waste of time and resources. I’ve had debates with web developers who tried to tell me that video on the home page was a mistake. On one debate I had a client present with the designer of his website. My client had made the fellow place the video I made on his home page several months earlier, to heated objections from the web designer. The designer said it should be in a gallery, or under a “video” tab. I advised the client to make it the first thing a prospect saw when they came to his website.

Now, many months later, he was telling this designer how the video had raised his sales 40% and increased traffic and rankings etc, etc, yet nothing would sway this web designer. Several other people joined in the discussion that had also had similar experiences with their Home Page videos. Despite a table full of people professing their successes this guy told all of them they were making a mistake. They were all wrong and he was right. Videos were just fluff and should be relegated to a gallery. Reality be damned. Sounds like arguing politics, eh?

To me, at first it was incomprehensible that people in the know about SEO and current Internet trends would downplay what is, without a doubt, the current driving force of the Internet. How can you argue with the overwhelming statistics that show video is not only what viewers want, they demand it? But since I had already seen the same thing back in the 90’s when I was in the web design, I could recognize that this was once again about egos and feelings of being threatened. Even if this fellow didn’t realize it.

Just like those marketing people, these web developers see video as a threat. Right now they are the lead singer, so to speak, of your Internet presence. Here comes video, threatening to make them a back up singer. After all, if video is the new star, then that leaves them out of the spotlight. They want to be in control. They want to be the focus of your Internet marketing. And, to put it brutally honest, they don’t want to share your budget with others.

Other web developers don’t see it that way. They see video as a something that is inevitable and they are looking to partner with video firms to provide their clients with what they need. Some are even providing video services. (Personally I think this is a mistake as they should stick to what they do best. I don’t see podiatrists adding a dental chair since you also need a dentist. No, they stick to what they do. I don’t try to be a web developer, I stick to what I do best. And so should they.) But these video embracing web designers also know that video is not going to make them obsolete. You will still need them. You still need SEO. You still need a nice looking site with great text content for the search engines. They know that even a video driven Internet will need website developers.

Anyway, back to your web developer. If you are talking to your web guy and he is telling you that putting a video on your website isn’t a priority, perhaps you need to have a chat with him about reality. Google states that video on a home page increases search engine rankings dramatically. You are 57% more likely to get a first page ranking. Google also says viewer retention is increased 400% and duration increased over 800%. Conversion to sales is up 35%. Video not important? Puh-lease!