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As a copywriter, I’m much more motivated by words than video.  I’d rather read a book than watch TV.  As a result, I didn’t understand how video motivates website visitors.  What better way to find out than to ask the questions.  So, a big thank you to the 126 people who took part in our website video survey.

Click on the graph images to enlarge.

Age range of respondents

Anyone involved in marketing (and copywriting is an integral part of the marketing process) can’t afford to let personal preferences colour their judgement.  To do so would be to miss valuable opportunities. There is nothing quite so risky or damaging as taking the ‘we’ve always done it this way’ approach.  Marketers must keep up with developments and embrace change.

The survey was not a huge sample, but considerably more than I expected to achieve.  And it must be said, it generated a bigger response than some of the popular brands which advertise on TV (67% of 89 people who use this shampoo, etc.).

Please note, the survey was created to help us understand visitor behaviour. The SEO benefits of video were not disputed.

What we wanted to know:

•    Does age have a bearing on people’s attitudes?
•    Does the person’s occupation influence their perception of video?
•    Are people now more interested in video than written website content?
•    If faced with a video and words on a site, what would the visitor do first?
•    What sort of video content is the most popular?
•    What video format is most popular?


From our analysis, the age of the visitor had little bearing on the results of the survey.  I will admit to being surprised by this!  Overall, the majority of respondents were aged between 31 and 59 and 10% were over the age of 60 and 12.6% under 30.


Again, I was surprised to see the respondent’s occupation had little influence on the overall results.  The two exceptions were those in the sales and marketing sector and people involved in video production.

However, the supplementary answers suggested this was because both groups had a vested interest in their marketing strategies and watching videos helped them understand the competition.

Videos streaming automatically

Videos streaming automatically when a site opens got a big thumbs down.  71% said they would either turn the video off or leave the site.  19% stated they would watch the video, but this figure was influenced by those involved in marketing and video production.

Video streaming automatically

Reading website content vs. watching video

Wearing my copywriter’s hat, I was delighted to see 81% of respondents said they would prefer to read than watch video.  However, that same percentage said it was the quality and value of the content which would influence their decision to watch the video.

Video content

This question looked at video content.  As you will see from the chart, informative ‘how to’ videos were the run-away winners in the content stakes.  Promotional and testimonial videos fared badly, with a large percentage saying they rarely or never watched them.


Video format

Overall, our results suggested conversation or interview formats and podcasts with voice-overs were of more interest than presenter videos.

Video turn-offs

The length of video, not surprisingly, appears to have a bearing on the audience, as does dull and boring content and poor quality.  The message is clear: keep it short, sweet and punchy!

A useful survey?

As far as we’re concerned, the considerable time spent on this survey has been valuable.  Clearly, it is not an authoritative study.  We’ve only polled a very small non-random sample, and we admit to being inexperienced researchers.  However, it has given us a valuable insight into video as a marketing tool and we hope you’ve found the results helpful too.

Who knows, in light of our findings, perhaps our next project will be a short podcast video on our survey results – watch this space!

Blog post by Joy McCarthy

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