Should you use web video in your site? This is like asking whether you should use framed artwork in your brick and mortar lobby. You probably should have some artwork, but what you hang on the wall is important. Just any old artwork is not guaranteed to raise your clout. After creating almost 5 thousand client videos, here is a summary of videos that get the most results and the ones that get removed from the website a few months later.
BEST USE #1 Shake Hands and Introduce Yourself
The video should confirm that the content of the website matches the search terms that brought the person there in the first place. This short elevator speech should leave the visitor “hungry” for more information.
BEST USE #2 Simplify Navigation
Your web videos should always contain instructions for “next step” type actions. If you don’t know what they should do next, then how can they know what to do next. If they don’t know what to do…they’ll leave. Most refer to this as a call to action, but sometimes the action is just suggesting a couple possible next steps in the website.
BEST USE #3 Simplify A Sales Message
Some up-sells or “freemium” services have complicated explanations. A 30 second video can often clear most details up and add a Human voice to the message.
EXAMPLE: I know you want to download the free version of this software, but you can also get the full version for free for a 30 day trial. You can have a lot of fun with it in 30 days and still get a full refund.
EXAMPLE: Before you make your purchase today, you might want to consider our rewards club. It earns you 10% cash back for the year, enrolls you in a quarterly magazine and gives you access to members only events and sales.
3 Worst Uses For Web Video
WORST USE #1 Replace Written Text
This is also known as the part where person reads the company brochure aloud.
Text should re-enforce the web video script and allow visitors to dig deeper after the video finishes. Web video is not a website tool for literacy challenged visitors. Scripts must be SHORT and action oriented without flowery advertising-type copy. The surround page text should offer the visitor the promise of deep information if needed. The common statement. “nobody read these days” is completely untrue. People are so overwhelmed with search results that unless they see instant clarity of message and clear next-actions, they will bounce from the site looking for a better site. When they find the clarity, they stay and read as much as they can find.
WORST USE #2 Entertainment (Gangnam Style)
No video is ever as entertaining to everybody else as we think it is. Nobody could have predicted that a Korean pop star would dance his ways to the most youtube views in history. He isn’t selling anything, do you think you can compete with a video that’s not selling anything.
People go to youtube and Hulu to be entertained, not your website. Inform, be respectful of their limited time constraints and save the eloquent cordial greetings extended thank yous for your first phone call with the prospect. It might be upsetting to here this, but in your website they want information, not entertainment. (the exception is when social media followers come back to your site for something entertaining)
WORST USE #3 Good Ole Southern Hospitality
It sounds cozy and wonderful, but anytime your script contains words and phrases they expect to hear like; “welcome to our site, we’re so glad you visited. Take a moment to browse our entire site….”. You will lose nearly every visitor on Earth after 5 seconds. They will equate everything said to a greeting and ignore all the content and instructions that follow. It may disappoint you to hear this, but it applies to the way you surf websites too.