Should I add video to my website?

Engaging video as content strategy. Should I Add video to my website?It seems that every other website has some kind of video that begins running when you open the page.  You are naturally drawn to the sound and motion, forgetting why you went there in the first place.  There is no doubt that video is a powerful tool, but like any tool, it needs to be used correctly to be effective.

Intention

Because a video will catch the attention of your audience, you need to spend some time planning how you communicate through this medium.  Will you persuade them to take a specific action?  Are you educating them about your organization’s history and purpose?  Perhaps you want to brag about the success of a recent project? Whatever your intention, make sure that the attention it grabs will turn into results.

Audience

The script and setting should reflect the qualities of your target audience.  The video itself should be entertaining and informative.  It is best to use known cues that appeal to your market.  For example, if you are targeting teen boys, a theme that includes music and sports may be your best bet.  Use your knowledge of your typical buyer to guide your content.

Standards

Pay attention to what is typically being done in your industry.  If video is used on 90% of your competitors’ websites then integrating video to your website is imperative.  Another aspect to consider is the length of the video.  Generally speaking, viewers begin dropping off after one minute and few will continue watching past three minutes.  If the content you share is very engaging and provides information that is of great value to your audience, you might be able to get away with a longer video, but be aware of industry norms.

Quality

Like a good piece of fiction, your video content should follow the pattern of problem description leading to climax followed by problem resolution.  Be sure to include a clear call to action.

You also need to be sure that your video meets professional standards.  A shaky cameraman and off-the-cuff commentary will not leave your audience wanting more.  Hire a professional videographer who has had experience creating videos that are similar to what you have in mind for the best results.

Message

Just as your business cards, logo, and website should have one unified look and message, so too should your videos.  If appropriate, you can film in your workspace, perhaps in front of a branded image on the wall.  If you are talking about a project or your history, then most of your branding will be communicated through your script and related images.  Make sure that your message is consistent with your marketing strategy and all of your marketing efforts.

Potential

A recent study by PR Newswire found that “Adding a photo to a press release resulted in a 14% improvement over text-only releases; adding a video, 20%; both photo and video yielded a 48% jump; and, finally, using photo and video plus additional documents (such as PDF, Word or PowerPoint files) led to a 77% leap.”

We can see that the use of video as a marketing tool is sharply increasing and that it holds great potential.  If you choose to use video, make sure that the production is of high quality, that the message is consistent with your marketing strategy, and that the high level of emphasis placed on your video’s topic is warranted.

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