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Why You Need To Start Using Video On Your Website

Put simply, people prefer to watch videos, than stare at a wall of text, or even piece together the story from a series of images. We’re watching more video online than ever. We often forget that YouTube is the second biggest search engine, and that it is a largely untapped method for targeting customers. Think about your competitors websites – are they using video? If not, it’s a good way to get one up on them. If they are, then you’re behind the curve, and need to step up. Don’t believe me? A recent infographic presents some telling statistics:

Small Business Video infographic

  • 96% of consumers find videos helpful when making purchase decisions online
  • Nearly three quarters are more likely to purchase a product or service if they can watch a video explaining it beforehand.

The most common misconception about video for the web is that it needs to be high quality. It doesn’t. If you don’t own a smartphone, then you’re certainly close to someone who does. That’s all you need to shoot high definition video, and upload it to YouTube. YouTube will even help you to optimise the video, improving the lighting, stabilising shaky video, adding captions and even soundtracks.

A YouTube video should be short and snappy, and illustrate one concept well. Drone on for too long and you’ll lose the viewer’s attention. Before you call out “Lights, Camera, Action”, you need to plan your video:

  1. Determine what your video is about
  2. List the small number of key messages that you are going to convey
  3. Script your dialogue – you probably won’t read from a sheet when you’re on camera, but you should have a set of crib notes to refer to, to prevent pregnant pauses, ums and ahs.
  4. Read the script. Have others read the script. Is it interesting? Does it convey the message completely and concisely?
  5. If you’re going in front of the camera, be presentable. You don’t need a suit and tie, just make sure you’ve removed the egg from your mustache, unless you want to go viral for all the wrong reasons.
  6. Tell people what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you’ve just told them. Summarising before and after the message helps to distill the video into its core points, and ensure the audience will remember it.
  7. Don’t be afraid to do multiple takes, if you’re not happy with the first. By the same token, you need to know when it’s good enough, or you’ll never get it uploaded.

The uploading process is simple. YouTube will almost certainly accept the video file format your phone uses. Be prepared to wait a while for the video to upload – the file will be large, even for just a couple of minutes of HD video. I recommend that you shoot at the highest resolution you can – viewers on a slow broadband connection can choose to view at a lower resolution, and YouTube takes care of making the lower resolutions for you automatically. Any modern content management system will allow you to easily embed your video into your website.

When your video is up, track the views on YouTube, and remember to ask new prospects how they heard about you. See how many leads your videos are generating, and refine your strategy accordingly for the next video.