Adding Website Video
Adding Website Video
One of the more common questions I’m asked these days by clients involves Video. How important is video? Is it really worth adding a video to my website? Video…video…video… So, is it honestly worth the effort?
Yes, it is. Because Videos SELL.
The Social Dogfight
Facebook right now is like a dog on a bone and that bone goes by the name of YouTube. Facebook has set its’ sights on the video goliath and shows no signs of letting up any time soon. Ever desperate to monetize the now public platform and appease their share holders, facebook really, really badly wants a piece of the uber successful YouTube pie.
So much so, that Facebook has started rewarding users who share “native” videos. By native, that basically means a video that you’ve shot yourself, with your smart phone, a web cam or any digital camera. Over the last year or so Facebook has been taking a very deep look into what kinds of posts were receiving the best overall reach and engagement and it should come as no real surprise that Video was the one major stand out. They took this new found intel to heart and are now squeezing home that point by rewarding marketers and page owners for the length of time their fans spend on their posts. What I mean by that is simple, if you post a great piece of original content and your fans are actually taking the time to read the post, then your next posts’ organic reach will increase as a direct result / reward. Facebook says, well done you!
So, does that mean we should all start posting 5000 word updates? Not really no and for the simple reason that in general, fans rarely read more than a line or two at best on most updates. So how do you get your fans to spend more time on your latest post? Simple, one way would be to turn it into a video (Yep, you heard us YouTube!) It stands to reason that most of us (not all, granted) would more favourably spend time watching a shorter video — especially a funny one — far more than spend that same amount of time reading a text update. Given the option, video wins almost every time. So Facebook loves Video even if it is a tad self-serving you could say, but it’s their house after all right?
The Magic Number is 3
Much like Googlebot who visits websites and blogs eagerly searching to find 3 different types of links: Inbound, Outbound and Internal, Video follows suit. As far as Video is concerned, I believe that the magic number to aim for (initially) is also 3: Marketing, About Us and Testimonials.
“Three videos? I just wanted to do one!” I hear you say and that’s okay, you don’t need to add all three at once however ideal that may be but the first and arguably most important one in my opinion will be your Intro or Elevator pitch. This is a simple and straightforward shorter video no more than 30–45 seconds that basically says, “Hello, I’m so and so and my company does this…”
In today’s virtual world, it’s no longer uncommon for many to never physically meet their clients. Sounds weird, right? The thing is, we handle more and more tasks every day through the likes of mobile apps, the all-knowing cloud, telephone, hangouts, twitter chats and Skype. So much like the old mail order businesses of yester year, who took great care in dressing up their packages (the only physical thing the end client ever saw), your intro video will either be a hit or a miss — much like the dreaded website bounce rate.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to be Steven Spielberg in order to have a successful video. Keep it short, simple, honest and BE YOURSELF! If you do that you will come across as real, and people like, trust and buy from other real people.
How much should I spend on Video?
While budgets vary, not as much as you might think. It all comes down to the actual time involved so it stands to reason that shorter videos will generally cost less than longer ones. Granted, professionally shot and edited videos can be expensive but shorter, in-studio interview styles can prove way more cost-effective (starting from as little as $150). If you’re feeling confident in your abilities you could even take things a step further and shoot the video yourself with virtually no cost at all!
One thing at a Time
I swear this one is fast becoming my mantra as I seem to be telling it to more and more people every week. Most clients start out wanting to pack way too much into their video slots. You just don’t need to incorporate every single facet of your company into each video. Even if you did, you lessen the chance of someone watching it to the end. In fact, the most popular videos on YouTube run only 30 to 120 seconds. The point of the first Intro video is just to say Hello and allow the viewer to put a face to the name on the branding.
Find your inner Bunny
If you ever watched The Wonder years on TV as a kid or know who Ferris Bueller is, you’ll get this one. The kids tune out the dreary monotonous tone of their teacher in about a millisecond — so on video, don’t be that guy! Much like Blogging, only shoot video when you’re feeling energetic or pumped because that energy is contagious and it sells! It also cannot be faked.
The Elevator Pitch
I’m surprised in classes that when I ask to hear someones elevator pitch, so many clients are completely unaware of the term. In general they do understand the idea but perhaps have never heard it referred to like this — not sure on that one. Just in case you don’t know what I mean by elevator pitch, it refers to the amount of time you have make an impression or give a very brief introduction in the span of an elevator ride. You don’t have long, so cut to the chase, be brief, be brilliant and be gone.
If you don’t have an elevator pitch or have never given it much thought before, it’s something you need to work on. I am a huge fan of speed networking events if for nothing more than the opportunity to practise your elevator pitch in quick succession. It is a practical, learned skill and not everyone can pull it off easily. These events will help you hone your craft, so look them up! Best part of these events is that it doesn’t matter if you screw up, that is you won’t have long to dwell on it anyways because within 5 minutes your meeting someone else. Review them all after the event but for now just work on your pitch. Hone those skills.
This video is your Super Bowl Slot and should be on your Home page or even in the sidebar if needed. It’s best to follow the KISS principle here and just keep things simple. The objective within 60 seconds is a true advertisement of who you are and what you do. Brand the video either with signage, a wrapped vehicle or simply by wearing company apparel. Whether you shoot this video in a talking directly to the camera style or even as an overview of recent projects with voice over is totally up to you and adding some music may be a fine idea too.
TIP: The most important point with this video is to be yourself and it’s fine to play it straight or goofy it’s all up to you. In truth, upbeat, fun videos tend to perform better on the whole but it will depend on the nature of your business, obviously. Personally, I always recommend opting for the fun way but that’s just me :)
This video will be a short summary of your About Us page. Be sure to include colleagues or team members in the video if you have them or perhaps some favourite clients if you don’t. Stay on topic here explaining why you do what you do, what’s your passion? People do business with people they know, like and trust — there’s nothing new or groundbreaking in that statement. Prospective clients will either “buy” or not from viewing this video (kinda scary huh?) but it’s far more important to be yourself rather than try and cater to every possibility. Doing so will help vet qualified clients before any direct point of contact is ever made which in turn will convert into more sales. At this point, you’ve already talked the talk with the Marketing video and there is simply no better way to introduce new customers and prospects to your team than walking the walk, so to speak.
TIP: Talk the Talk in your Marketing Video then Walk the Walk in your About Us video.
By far the ultimate testimonial or review is a video one. Unless the subject in the video is the same guy on your About Us page now wearing a different hat and t-shirt, you should be good and these leave no room for doubt as to the authenticity of the review. I like to think it’s not so much that we’ve grown cynical of everything on the web these days (although many have) but rather that we better identify with other like-minded people and seeing an honest review from someone much like yourself is gold dust. No money has been exchanged, the opinion is honest and it proves the company to be transparent in their business. You just can’t buy that for any amount of money!
TIP: We identify with, like and trust people of a similar mindset and value — Take this one to heart and use it to your best advantage with Video Testimonials.
Video Sells but it also does so much more. Maybe it’s time to fire up those handy cams eh?
MAC5 now provides Video services for Small Business — Interested? Contact Us for details.
* Image from the 1928 Buster Keaton movie, The Cameraman, Copyright MGM Studios
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