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Tips For Website Video

Sunday, August 16, 2009
Published in Video


Our company works with a lot of businesses who want to feature video on their websites. This is an increasing trend, as companies seek to communicate more directly and personally with their potential customers. Online video has almost become par for the course for any mid-size to large company. In our frequent perusal of internet video content, we run across a lot of just plain bad video, but also good video being used in bad ways. The following are some of what we consider the main points to remember when placing video on your company's website:

Make Your Central Video Short and Concise

A major problem is main webpage video that is overly long and/or overly technical. A main page video should be short and concise; it should usually be an overview and act as an introduction to people who'd like to know the main points about what your company does.

A long video, even if it makes some really good points, drives people away. A good video will communicate what your business is about with a concise voice-over, or with selectively chosen sound bites, and will further tell why someone should do business with you. Short and sweet testimonial sound bites are very influential for this purpose. We recommend these main webpage videos to be only about 1 to 1½ minutes long. At most a video should be about 3 minutes long. It's not a problem to have a longer, more in-depth video, but I would put it on another page, perhaps on a 'Services' or 'Learn More' page, for example.

Consider Your Audience

Thought has to go into who the target audience is who will be viewing this video and viewing the page it is embedded in. Consider the site's average viewer. What business industry are you targeting? What are the average demographics for that targeted viewer? Where will they be primarily coming from? Traffic from web searches? Internet advertising links? Links from emails that your salespeople are sending? Think about how much information the average visitor will have about your business and how much information you want them to have.

An interesting change we are just now instituting on our own website is making three separate landing pages, each dedicated to a different facet of our business. Because we work with a wide range of clients, we thought it best to split up our services into three separate, stand-alone pages, each focused specifically on the industry we are targeting. Each service page will feature its own short video describing our services in that area.

Video Should Look Professional

So many websites have what looks like amateur video hosted on their pages. This, to me, is much worse than not having any video. Bad lighting, bad sound, bad graphics, bad resolution; all of these things give the impression corners were cut.

On a purely superficial note, bad lighting in particular can make otherwise attractive people look just plain ugly. (Not that there's anything wrong with being physically unattractive. Some of my best friends are very ugly people. There's just no reason if you're good-looking in real life to come out looking ugly on video unless there's a reason for it. Like if you're doing 'Before' and 'After' pictures, for example. But I digress...) Finding good sound bites from principals in your company and from satisfied clients means little if they look bad, and the production appears shoddy.

How does bad video get made and featured on a website? There are several explanations. Perhaps someone at the company decided to do an in-house job because they thought it would be the most cost-effective method. Or they got the equivalent of a local cable TV commercial production crew to shoot their video. (Nothing against them; I used to be one of these guys myself. But their production budget is often similar to that of a small family picnic.) Or maybe nobody has updated a company video that was made in the 1970s. ("Yes, we realize that Grandpa Johnson is featured in the video, and he started the company with change he found in a public fountain, but most people coming to your website aren't going to appreciate this sentimental tidbit...")

Badly produced video isn't just off-putting to video nerds like myself. Your average viewer may not be able to put their finger on what is wrong like people in the production business can, but they will know that something is not right. And they may associate the low video quality with a company's products/services in general, and that is not a good thing.

Making good video is not rocket science, to be sure, but it is also not as simple a matter as most people seem to think it is. After making it, you still have to consider how to best display it. The above are the major concerns that should be taken into account when considering creating and placing video on your website. Businesses and proprietors should put a good amount of effort into figuring out the best video solutions for their particular needs. They should consider how to best tell their story, who their audience primarily will be, and how to achieve a level of video quality that will reflect well on their business.

Source: Ezine Articles

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