How to Use Video on Your WordPress Site in 2017
Back in 2009, WordPress added video embedding capabilities into their 2.9 update. A lot has changed since then. Take the latest WordPress 4.7 release, for instance. The new Twenty Seventeen theme now automatically comes with a built-in video header option.
It’s not surprising to see WordPress make this foray into video with their latest update. Many developers have already recognized a need to create built-in video background capabilities for their themes. With video as big as it is right now, and with it showing little signs of slowing, it only makes sense that we’re seeing more video functionality pop up in WordPress as 2017 wears on.
When it comes to your website, it’s important to have a steady stream of relevant content flowing through it—to secure your audience’s attention and to boost SEO. Video content is an excellent way to keep your content fresh, tap into this medium’s popularity with your audience, and also differentiate yourself from the competition.
If you’re ready to take advantage of this growing marketing trend, today’s article will explore the various ways you can creatively use video on your WordPress site in 2017.
Note: As many of the videos featured in this post use Vimeo, we’ve had to provide screenshots, unfortunately! But do click through to the websites to see how they look in context.
Creative Ways to Use Video on Your Website
The future looks bright for video. Cisco predicts that, by 2020, video will comprise about 80% of all Internet traffic.
Although we’ve got a few years to go, there are various ways you can start to use video content on your WordPress site today. Here are some examples of how marketers use video to attract and engage an audience through video:
Background Video Headers
The Get Going Today website features stunning fullscreen videos designed to educate visitors about the academic programs available at Drexel University Sacramento.
Welcome Videos for the Home Page
The WPMU DEV website features a fun superhero-themes promotional video on the home page that advertises our products.
Fullscreen, Parallax Videos for Business Websites
Spacejunk, a full-service motion graphics and live action studio features parallax video in its header.
Explainer Videos for Landing Pages
Research says explainer videos lead to “100% longer average time-on-site per visitor (another 1-2 minutes).”
The CrazyEgg website features a fun explainer video that runs through the features of the service.
Video Testimonials for Social Proof
ChowNow features a solid testimonial video to help sell its online ordering system for restaurants.
Vimeo’s Video School offers advice on how to vlog.
User-Generated Content for Your Product, Service, or Company
The GoPro website features content produced by its users that show off how much fun they have with the product.
Product How-To Videos
Ninety-three per cent of businesses believe help to improve consumers’ understanding of their products.
Solo Stove has well-produced and informative how-to videos of its products.
These samples are just the tip of the iceberg. Additionally, you can use video to:
- Reshare videos from your social media live feed. Since about 75% of executives “watch work-related videos on business-related websites at least weekly,” this is a great opportunity to keep those informative videos in rotation.
- Give customers a behind-the-scenes look at your company.
- Talk about breaking a news story that’s relevant to your audience.
- Host webinars, tutorials, or podcasts.
Regardless of how you decide to use video, the end goal should always be the same: to engage with visitors on a more personal level.
13 WordPress Plugins to Help You Embed Video on Your WordPress Site
Coming up with an idea for and shooting a video is the hard part. Getting the video up on your site is child’s play.
Here are 13 tools to use to get your video uploaded, embedded, or imported to your WordPress site.
Before scouring WordPress for a video-capable plugin, check your theme first. As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of developers now incorporating video functionality right within their themes, so you might not need any additional tools. For instance, if you’re using the Upfront Builder, you already have access to video embedding and background functionality.
Video files can be cumbersome – especially if your website is already running at maximum capacity. Rather than weigh down your server with another video file, consider storing it offsite (like in Dropbox or on YouTube). That way, all you’ll need is the URL when using the Advanced Responsive Video Embedder plugin. As a bonus, this tool is SEO-friendly, so you’ll be prompted to create all necessary metadata to help visitors better find your video content in search.
If you’ve created a video in MP4 or FLV format, you can use the FV Flowplayer plugin to add that new content to your site. While this WordPress plugin comes chock-full of features (including advanced controls over how and when your video plays), the biggest selling point of this is its retina ready and responsive design, ensuring that all visitors will be able to view your video without issue.
For flexibility and ease of use in getting new video content on your site, the Huge-IT Video Player plugin is a good one to start with. You can upload a video file directly to WordPress, embed one from a URL, or you can grab a copy of it from a website like Vimeo or YouTube. There are other personalization options that make this plugin extremely user-friendly, including thumbnail selections, video player sizing, playlist creation, and more.
Video content should be just as responsively designed as all other content on your website. The Video Embed & Thumbnail Generator plugin helps users do this by offering a variety of video player options (like Video.js, MediaElement.js, and Flash). It’s also easy to use, so this is a great plugin for the novice to advanced WordPress user looking for a quick way to upload and embed video content on their site.
If you’ve ever wanted a simple solution for getting your YouTube videos over to your website, this YouTube Embed plugin is a good choice. You can add individual videos or entire playlists in a gallery format. As with most other video player plugins, this one comes with additional control features to ensure your video content is optimized, plays, and looks exactly how you want it to.
If your WordPress theme does not include functionality that enables you to easily create a video background on your website, you can use this plugin instead. Just be aware that this plugin is not meant for the novice WordPress user. However, if you understand jQuery and coding in general, you shouldn’t have any problem with this.
Although this is not a video player plugin, per se, it’s one you’ll need if you’re adding video content to your pages or posts. The Video Thumbnails plugin streamlines the process of assigning thumbnails to each page that contains video content, ensuring that your main blog page showcases the right thumbnail and that every social share contains one as well.
This plugin serves a similar purpose as the Video Thumbnails Plugin. However, the key difference is that this one allows users to add a video as the featured highlight of a post instead of a thumbnail or preview image.
Keep in mind that video content will only catch your audience’s interest if you can provide real value with it. So, take some time to come up with a killer idea that your audience will love. Once you see how well it performs, you can then start incorporating more (and regular) video content into your WordPress site.