Add Video to Your Blog: 6 Formats to Engage Readers
December 23, 2020
Adding videos to your blog posts will not only help with SEO, it’ll break up the text and add life to your content.
In a crowded, often static blogosphere, you have an opportunity to stand out from the crowd while building emotional connections with your audience. Cue the movement, the color, the humans, the office dogs!
If you’re new to making video for your blog, or just searching for inspiration, these uses of video might spark an idea.
1. B-roll montage video
Back in the day (in 2011), our video producer, Chris Lavigne, shot our first video for the blog. In a nutshell, it introduced our small team and our office space. The video is made up of creative b-roll shots, some dynamic overlaid text, and a zippy background track. No lines. No acting. Just clean, quick editing to showcase our space.
If you’re just starting to experiment with video on your blog, a short, visually-driven piece might be a good way to begin. Introduce new team members or your office space in a post about your culture, show a process in action in a more technical post, or simply demonstrate or reinforce an important point.
We didn’t know it at the time, but this first video laid the foundation for many blog videos to come. After receiving a lot of positive qualitative feedback on social and an uptick in signups, we knew we were onto something.
2. Announcement videos
Every time we get ready to launch something new, our video team starts brainstorming. Take, for example, the following video, which is featured at the top of our post about our latest product announcement — Wistia now supports podcasts!
Not only does this video feature real Wistians, but it also conveys how excited we all are about this launch. By sharing videos like this at the top of our posts, we increase time on page and introduce our audience to our new features with memorable enthusiasm.
3. Repurposing long-form videos
If you’ve created binge-worthy content for your brand, you can repurpose those videos as supporting content on your blog. This can help you spread the word about your video series to fans who already love your written content.
We’ve done this for a few of our own series, One, Ten, One Hundred, and (Out of) Office Hours with Chris Lavigne.
For One, Ten, One Hundred, we realized there was a ton of valuable content that we could expand on by creating a blog post. For example, Producer, Trevor Holmes, talks about set design in an episode of the docuseries. We extracted his segment and turned it into a post called “Tips for Creating a Beautiful Video Set from One, Ten, One Hundred.” We broke up the full-length video into shorter clips that drive home the points we make throughout the post.
On Chris Lavigne’s weekly live stream about remote video production, we created supporting posts on the Wistia blog after each episode aired. These recaps featured the full-length episode from the live stream for folks to watch or read all of the highlights. In the final installment, Chris pre-recorded his interview with a COVID Compliance Officer. When we wrote the recap, we plopped in the edited interview for that section so people didn’t have to scrub through the full episode to watch the clip.
4. Looping autoplaying video
It’s real easy to go overboard on these puppies because they are fairly easy to make and a lot of fun to use. On our blog, we use them to illustrate technical concepts or add a touch of entertainment to otherwise dense posts.
Compared to their friendly cousins, GIFs, these autoplaying videos have higher resolution, and they’re faster to load, making them a preferable type of media for a blog post. If you’re interested in GIFs, our Director of Content and Creative, Jenny, wrote all about how to turn videos into custom GIFs to boost engagement on social.
Whether it’s the founders of your company looking despondent about a failed side project (see below) or a teammate getting extra excited about trimming her first video clips in Adobe Premiere, these looping videos can reinforce a point, add clarity to a visual subject, or simply delight readers.
Before you take off at a sprint, you should keep a couple of rules of thumb in mind.
Silence is golden.
I can’t think of one instance when you’d want to assault your readers with a loud autoplaying video in a company blog post. Especially if it’s looping. It may seem obvious, but it’s worth stating: make sure to produce a silent video if you’re going to autoplay it on your blog.
Keep it short and sweet.
If your video is looping, make sure it’s short enough that your viewers can take it all in without getting impatient. Since it’s silent, it can be disorienting when the video drags on for too long.
Pro tip: If you’re using Wistia, you can make autoplaying, looping videos by selecting those options in the dropdowns for “Start” and “End” under Timeline Actions.
5. “Pull quote” video
Pull quote videos are a great way to emphasize a main point and cater to skimmers. But what if you could offer those skimmers an attractive video thumbnail to engage with? They might just stick around for a while longer.
With pull quote videos, readers can become more familiar with the author or the interviewee featured in the post. For the rest of the article, your audience can imagine what it might be like to hear from that person in real life.
For our interview with web psychologist Nathalie Nahai, we asked her to shoot some video of herself talking about video (meta) and share it with us. We pulled our favorite sentence from her video, emphasized it in the article with some large, colored text, and included the thumbnail of the whole (20-second) video right beside it.
In terms of formatting, Wistia’s popover embeds come in handy for these digestible videos. Check out our interview with Swami Kumaresan, CEO and one-person video team for Databox, if you’d like to see an example of an article with multiple pull quote videos.
6. Case study videos
Lastly, creating customer testimonials with video is another way to make your content more engaging. Potential customers want to hear authentic responses from people about how your products helped them. We interviewed a real estate brokerage called Hawaii Life to learn more about how they’re using Wistia Channels to showcase video and audio content. Then we put the video on our blog with a supporting post with all the best takeaways. Check it out!
Put videos to good use!
Videos can take your blog content to the next level, and we aren’t just saying that because we love videos. So, take these examples and give them a try on your own blog.