Take a guess at how many home pages feature video. Think of its popularity, its accessibility and its clarity as a communication medium. You’d think it’d be a substantial amount, right?

Wrong. According to a recent survey, the number of home pages with video currently stands at 16%. This is an age where video has killed the radio star but given rise to the clever marketing star – an age where one video can elevate a brand to global renown.

So why is it that businesses aren’t harnessing its power on their websites?

Let’s talk about stats, baby

You might be thinking that 16% isn’t too low a figure. After all, video can be expensive to produce, and a great website is predominantly defined by its design and copy. Whilst that is true, quality video content makes more of an impact than you might think.

Digest these numbers:

  • 96% of people say that videos help them make buying decisions online.
  • 59% of senior executives would rather watch a video than read text.
  • 71% of people say that video leaves a positive impression of a company, and 73% are more likely to purchase a product after watching an explanatory video.
  • Video attracts two to three times as many monthly visitors, doubles their time spent on the site and has a 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines.

Impressed? Surprised? Dubious? Well, there’s a vast body of research available, and each study leaves a resoundingly clear message: video is a powerful sales accelerant and customer engagement tool. That 16% suddenly starts to seem negligently low, doesn’t it?

The appetite for immediacy

Consumers today are spoilt for choice. Not just in the volume of products available to them, but also in the volume of channels and mediums that they can absorb information through. The truth is, content oversaturation has made us all develop short attention spans – and we’re way too inundated with digital diversions to spend hours reading a business website word for word. (No matter how well-written the content or how eye-catching the design.)

Simply put: we demand information, and we demand it instantly. Enter video. Video gives consumers the information they’re looking for, in the format they most like to engage with. Nobody wants to spend five minutes searching a site for information when the quicker, easier option of a video is available. Without video, you’re making it too hard. Too hard, that is, for users to find relevant content, too hard for them to immediately engage, and too hard to ultimately convert.

It’s the way our brains are wired

Video marketing isn’t just a passing trend. There are fundamental biological reasons why we’re all drawn to video.  Believe it or not, we’re genetically hard-wired to pay attention to faces. The ‘fusiform facial area’ makes us recognise faces as authentic information hubs, whilst the sound of a human voice speaking is rich with meaningful information.

And let’s not forget the importance of movement. Since our genesis as a species, peripheral motion has grabbed our attention, and that’s not set to change any time soon. Video instinctively appeals – and it’s this which makes it such a fundamental sales tool.

Give the people what they want

Let’s go back to your website. We’ve established that (statistically) video converts, that it fits in with our changing information consumption habits and that it even appeals on a more elementary human level. Now, apply that to ecommerce.

A visitor lands on your home page. They’re clicked because they want to see your offering, but in the vast majority of cases their interest is fleeting. To keep them invested, you need to both engage and inform immediately. And guess what? That doesn’t mean reams and reams of copy.

It means video. Yes, videos on product pages are fantastic tools, but you also need a video right on the home page – right where your users are starting their journey. With an instant display of instantly digestible information, you’re giving your site the best chance of maintaining attention on entry.

The future is now

Soon, everything that can be video will be video. We won’t be reading articles online, we’ll be watching them. In fact, by as early as 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, and 64% of marketers expect video to dominate their strategies in the near future.

It’s time to react – and you should start with your home page. Not only will you be giving people their preferred medium of communication, you’ll be driving sales in the process. What have you got to lose?

Author bio

Parker Software develops technology that brings businesses closer to their customers. We’ve built a multi-award winning suite of solutions focused around online engagement, sales enablement and business process automation – which together join the dots of digital communication. To join the 10,000 businesses in 100 countries who’ve gained greater control over their digital spend, get in touch.