Do You Need a Web Video Strategy?

Adding web videos to your websites and blogs is a terrific way to add value to your sites while also taking advantage of the potential additional traffic from video search engine results. However, there’s more involved than occasionally posting an online video on your site. As with the other elements of Web development, video for web pages should be strategically planned and managed.

First, how can online video benefit your site? The benefits are numerous. For example, having Web videos on your site can result in additional traffic based on search results. Not only do the major search engines list results based on text, they now list video results. While additional traffic is always welcome, video for web pages can also: inform visitors, direct attention to specific areas of the website, convey your message, make your company more personable, and prompt users to act in some desirable way.

With all of the benefits of online video, the decision to move forward is relatively easy. Before you start trolling YouTube for inspiration, it’s important to understand what you want the Web video to accomplish.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of the website?
  • How can Web video help you to further that purpose?
  • Which benefit of online video is most important to you?
  • Where does it make the most sense to post video on your website?
  • How often are you willing to post online videos?

The answers to these questions can guide you in creating a Web video strategy. For example, if your website’s purpose is to raise awareness about a specific cause, adding informational videos could be powerful. On the other hand, if your website’s purpose is sales driven, how-to videos or product demos may be a better choice. If you want to attract visitors, inform them, and create a more engaging experience, you may want to opt for a video spokesperson who acts as a virtual tour guide throughout your site.

Where should you post your online videos? Again, it depends on the purpose of the site and the Web video. The home page may be the perfect spot for your cause awareness video whereas individual product pages may be better suited for the how-to videos. Depending on how you incorporate Web videos, you may even want to create a video gallery or showcase section of your site.

Just as it’s important to regularly add articles and blog posts to your sites, regularly adding online videos is also important. Adding fresh content encourages return visitors and aids in SEO. Create an editorial calendar and map out your video for web goals. If you have the resources, adding a fresh online video each week would be an excellent start. Even if you can only handle one Web video per month, you’d have 12 videos working for your site in a year’s time, each delivering benefits and traffic.

Do you have a video for web strategy or are you winging it? What are your thoughts?

Enhance the Internet Sales Conversion Process with a Virtual Spokesperson

Have you encountered a virtual spokesperson on a website yet? If you have, then you know that virtual spokespeople add a new, dynamic element to static Web pages. A video overlay of a real person walking onto the screen and speaking directly to site visitors helps personalize websites. However, there’s more involved than a friendly face; a virtual spokesperson can translate into increased conversions.

No matter what your website’s goals may be, using a virtual spokes model strategically can ensure that those goals are met. For example, do you have a landing page on your site designed to collect opt-in email addresses? While “click here” links and peel away banners entice users to click their way to the landing page, a virtual spokesperson can gently guide the visitor to the desired page. As the virtual spokesperson directs attention to the pages that you’d like the user to visit, she can also explain the benefits of doing so as well as thank the user for taking the desired action after the fact.

One of the most profound effects that virtual spokespeople have on site visitors is that of credibility. Because the spokes model looks, sounds, and acts like someone the visitor relates to, trust is built. Who do consumers buy from? People that they trust. Well written website content, a professional website design, and a real, albeit virtual, spokesperson work together to build trust.

This doesn’t mean that you should simply dress an actor in a lab coat and tell him his name is Dr. Smith. It means that you need to select a spokesperson who can build trust with your audience. Wardrobe choice is important, but it’s not the only priority. For example, if your site sells healthy living books, a number of spokes model characters could be effective such as a motherly type, yoga instructor, or athlete. Consider who your audience is and what type of role models resonate the best with site visitors. From there, select a virtual spokesperson with the qualities that your audience respects.

So, you have a professional website with a credible virtual spokesperson welcoming and guiding your site’s visitors. While you’ve been able to direct visitors to specific areas of the site and build trust along the way, nothing happens until the visitor takes action. If you’ve been involved in traditional sales, you know that the simple act of asking for the sale is one of the most powerful tools in your sales toolbox. Phrases such as “Would you like to place an order?” and “Can I schedule overnight delivery or standard delivery for you?” prompt users to make a decision. A virtual spokesperson can improve the sales conversion rate of your website simply by asking visitors for the sale.

Though some companies will suggest that incorporating a virtual spokesperson into your website is easy and inexpensive, the process is more complicated than cutting and pasting a few lines of code into an HTML editor. Among the many steps are: selecting the right actor or actress for your site, writing a script (or several scripts if the virtual spokesperson will be used extensively), choosing the wardrobe, shooting and editing the video, and overlaying the final composition over your site. Look for a video production company with an understanding of the nuances of Internet marketing as well as high production values.

Virtual spokespeople enhance the sales conversion process by building trust, guiding visitors, and asking for the sale. What have your virtual spokesperson experiences been like so far? Have you made a purchase decision based on a virtual spokesperson’s recommendation? Has your site seen improved conversions since adding a virtual spokes model? We’d love to hear from consumers as well as website owners.

The Benefits of a Virtual Spokesperson

Last week we talked about the evolution of virtual spokespeople on the Web. While it’s interesting to see how virtual spokes models have transformed from animated text readers to full motion video overlays delivering custom messages, website spokes people serve a real purpose and deliver real results.

The benefits of having a virtual spokesperson on your website range from making your site’s visitors feel welcome to prompting visitors to perform a specific action such as “call us today to place your order” or “download this exclusive, free report now.” When a website’s visitors feel welcome, they’re more likely to stick around or return regularly. When visitors are prompted with a solid call to action, they’re more likely to act on that call. In both cases, having a friendly video spokesperson guiding visitors can lead to increased sales conversions.

Using a Virtual Spokesperson to Welcome Website Visitors

Incorporating a virtual spokes model on your website’s home page and landing pages is similar to having a customer service representative or receptionist greeting customers as they arrive at your place of business. A friendly face, a nice tone of voice, and a warm greeting help put customers at ease and let them know that their presence is welcome and appreciated.

Select an actor or actress with a professional appearance that fits in with your business type or customer base. Working with a professional script writer, you’ll then want to create a welcoming message that connects with the audience while also telling visitors what they can expect from visiting your website.

Using a Virtual Spokesperson to Build Trust

In addition to welcoming visitors, your virtual spokesperson can also build trust with users. Use the virtual spokesperson on informational pages, FAQs pages, and other areas of your site where you want additional credibility. Again, you’ll need a solid script presenting useful information to your site’s visitors as well as a virtual spokesperson with the right image. For example, if your Web page discusses preventing sports injuries, the appearance of a virtual spokesperson playing the role of a sports trainer, physician, or nurse can add credibility to your message and build trust with your audience.

Using a Virtual Spokesperson to Prompt Users to Perform Specific Actions

Your website is likely designed with several elements requiring specific user actions in order to be effective. For example, you may have a newsletter or special report that you use for building an opt-in mailing list. You might have specific pages with strong calls to action. You might have a video that educates and inspires your visitors, prompting them to donate to your cause. No matter what you’re trying to accomplish with your website, you’ve got to get your site’s visitors to those specific areas of the site. A virtual spokesperson can do just that by appearing on your site and guiding users to other areas of your website. Far more effective than a “click here” link, a virtual spokesperson can entice users to perform the desired action as well as explain the benefits of doing so.

By using a virtual spokesperson throughout your website, you can welcome visitors to your site, inform them, build trust, and convince them to perform specific actions. This makes for an engaging, informational experience for your users and translates into increased conversions for you. Make sure to team up with a professional video production company specializing in virtual spokes models.

The Evolution of Virtual Spokespeople

Remember when it was fairly common to land on a Web page and find yourself face-to-face with an animated person reading the text on the page word for word? Those early virtual spokespeople have evolved, leaping out of their frames and shedding their cartoon appearances. Today’s virtual spokes models do more than simply read the page’s content. They appeal  site visitors on a personal level.

Early Virtual Spokespeople

Virtual spokes models are not new to the Internet. A typical early virtual spokesperson featured an animated talking head that read the words featured on the website. Web visitors either loved them or hated them. For some, hearing the text read by a robotic voice was more annoying than useful. Annoyed visitors don’t stick around long, and for the most part, these early spokes models have fallen out of favor.

As broadband connections have become more common, so too have video spokes models. At first, these virtual spokespeople appeared in video boxes just as any other hosted video on a website. Depending on how the Web developer set up the site, the videos either play automatically upon opening a page or are launched by the visitor. While it’s not unheard of for a video spokesperson of this type to read the page’s text, most follow their own scripts and deliver additional information.

Modern Virtual Spokespeople

spokes teamWith advanced Flash technology and a new emphasis on video spokes models, today’s virtual spokes person is a far cry from those early incarnations. You may still see the occasional animated spokes person; however, expect a level of interactivity that wasn’t present before. For example,’s virtual spokesperson, Bucky Smiles, appears buried under a clump of snow. A brush appears and the user is invited to brush the snow away to reveal the character, chattering teeth and all. Next, the user can drag a cup of coffee over and warm up the poor guy who finally has the opportunity to deliver his message.

As far as video spokespeople go, the actors are no longer confined to tiny frames. These virtual spokes models step across the screen, appearing as overlays on the site. For example, a virtual spokesperson can walk across the website, pointing visitors to specific areas of the site. Depending on how the scene was shot, a video spokesperson can jump into the website, landing on the page and delivering a unique message.

Today’s modern virtual spokes person is far more engaging than previous generations. With video spokespeople, an actor or actress presents a short message which has been scripted with a specific purpose in mind. For example, a video spokesperson might welcome site visitors, highlight specific products, or prompt visitors to perform a certain action such as sign up for newsletters or fill out a survey.

The modern video spokesperson for the Web is also more personable than the animated spokesperson of the past. Most video production companies offering virtual spokespeople have a cast of attractive, versatile actors and actresses capable of delivering any message. If your site appeals to businesses, a professional spokesperson can add credibility to your site. If your site appeals to a younger crowd, a young and vibrant virtual spokesperson can add a touch of fun and excitement to your site. Best of all, today’s virtual spokespeople add value and can lead to increased conversion rates.