Short and Sweet: The Power of Short Web Videos

Web videos can be as long or as short as you need them to be. However, before you take on a two hour documentary detailing your product or service in depth, consider the advantages of shorter Web videos.

Web Video Usability

First, consider your audience: Web surfers. People watch Web videos differently than they watch DVDs and television programming. For some, download speed remains a real issue. For others, watching videos on a tiny screen is hard on the eyes. For many, time is in short supply and plenty of diversions compete for their attention. Even with broadband connections, HD videos, and larger computer screens, few Web surfers are ready to settle in for a long video viewing session. With short attention spans, short Web videos are a must. In fact, if a viewer perceives that your Web video requires a large time investment, that viewer may never click the play button.

Web Video Discovery

Web videos can provide websites with an immediate benefit: improved visibility. Search engines often list videos in their results pages. Not only that, some users specifically search for videos, not text. Where your website may have a difficult time ranking for a given keyword phrase, the addition of a Web video could vastly improve your site’s visibility.

By optimizing your videos with relevant keywords, your Web pages could attract a much wider audience than text alone. By splitting a larger video into a series of shorter Web videos, you can get much more exposure and optimize far more pages than sticking with the longer, uncut video. This strategy also overcomes the attention span problem.

The Power of Web Video Series

In addition to overcoming the problem of short attention spans and boosting SEO, having a series of short Web videos provides you with an opportunity to engage, convert, and nurture prospects and leads. You could also use a video series in multiple ways. For example, you could offer a series of Web videos via email as an incentive for users to subscribe to your newsletter. Doing so ensures that Web visitors return to your website instead of becoming one-time visitors never to be heard from again. Each Web video could be posted strategically in your website, taking viewers step-by-step through a process that culminates in a strong call to action.

From reaching viewers with short attention spans and enhancing your SEO efforts to creating a video-to-lead funnel strategy that allows you to engage, convert, and nurture prospects and leads, short Web videos deliver a powerful punch.

Do you have a longer Web video that could be made into a series of shorter ones? How have you used short Web videos to your advantage? Share your thoughts, experiences, and ideas with

us in the comments section below.

Building Credibility With Web Videos

While thousands of Web videos have made the world laugh with funny antics and viral concepts, many of today’s business owners are looking at video with fresh eyes. After all, Web video is a powerful platform that can help establish you or your company as an expert or industry leader. In short, Web videos are a terrific way to build credibility with new and existing customers.

Strong Production Values Build Credibility

In order to build credibility with viewers, Web videos must have strong production values. Today’s viewers may tolerate a guy with a webcam; however, the value of a well produced video with professional lighting, crystal clear sound, and excellent image quality cannot be stressed enough. Do this part well and your first impression will be a good one. Not only that, you won’t be giving your viewers any reason to doubt your professionalism because it will be readily apparent throughout the video.

Credible Content Builds Credibility

Next, a credible Web video should be filled with credible content, not opinion or sensational topics. Make sure that your script is well written with facts, supporting information, and useful information. Avoid “fluff” and give your audience relevant, useful information. Your viewers have limited time, so keep your Web video relatively short and tightly focused.

Credible People Build Credibility

In addition to strong production values and a well written script, the people featured throughout your video build credibility with online video audiences. This doesn’t mean you need to hire actors or pay big bucks for a celebrity endorsement. For example, a weight loss video could feature interviews with doctors and personal trainers while a do-it-yourself plumbing video could employ a plumber as the spokesperson. The presence of these professionals builds credibility.

Product Demonstrations Build Credibility

If you’re marketing a product, Web videos that show the product in action can build credibility. After all, a picture speaks a thousand words. . . In addition to demonstrating the product, consider “behind the scenes” videos that show the product in various stages of development. Your own research and development team brings its own layer of credibility to the process, so take advantage of it. As viewers see the behind-the-scenes commitment to quality, your product will become more credible to them.

Your Expertise Builds Credibility

Don’t overlook your own expertise and the events your company may be participating in, either. For example, have you recently participated in a seminar or conference as a speaker? Posting a Web video of your speech, or highlights from it, can immediately build credibility you’re your site’s visitors. You’re the expert, so show it with your online videos.

Well written, professionally produced videos that position you as an expert are an important part of the overall “video to lead funnel” strategy. Engage, convert, and nurture prospects and leads with credibility built into each video that you produce.

Positioning Your Virtual Spokesperson

Video spokespeople can appear just about anywhere you want them to appear on your website. Some walk on the screen while others “drop in” from above. Others appear alongside graphics and begin to play either automatically or on demand (when the user clicks the play button). A common location is the webpage’s sidebar. However, the sidebar is not the only location for positioning your video spokesperson. Let’s take a look at the options.

Positioning the Video Spokesmodel in the Header

The header area of your website may be the perfect place to put a virtual spokesperson on your site. Eye tracking surveys reveal that the upper left corner of the screen is “hot.” Place a video spokesperson in the upper left corner of your screen and eyeballs will naturally gravitate to it.

Positioning the Video Spokesmodel in the Sidebar

Many video spokesmodels walk onto the screen and occupy the empty space of the right and left sidebars. This is an efficient use of space and appears made to order. However, not all websites are designed with empty space on each side of the page.

Positioning the Video Spokesmodel amongst Text and Graphics

Another option is to position the virtual spokesperson amongst text and graphics. In general, when using this technique, you’ll want to have the spokesperson appear “above the fold.” This is the area that is immediately visible upon visiting a webpage. The area “below the fold” is not visible until the user scrolls down.

Positioning the Video Spokesperson on Specific Pages

In addition to deciding on where the video spokesperson should appear on the screen, it’s also important to decide which pages should feature the video overlay. Because the video spokesperson reinforces calls to action, the video should be overlaid on pages featuring key calls to action.

Landing pages are also good candidates for featuring a video spokesperson. Because many of your site’s visitors will arrive to your site via landing pages, they may never see the official “home” page. Think of each of your landing pages as a mini home page and feature your video spokesperson on these pages, especially if these landing pages feature your key calls to action.

Since website design takes many forms, there’s no universal right or wrong answer as far as where to place your own video spokesperson. Your website’s header may be too cluttered for placing another element. Your site may not feature wide sidebars. A good video production company specializing in virtual spokespeople can evaluate your site’s design and recommend a suitable location.

Have you seen a particularly creative use of virtual spokespeople? Feel free to share your favorites in the comments section below.

Should Your Virtual Spokesperson Have an On/Off Button?

Have you ever wished you could use a remote control to silence a loud talker in a crowded restaurant? How about when surfing the Web and landing on a webpage featuring avideo spokesperson? While having a virtual spokesperson appear on your website offers numerous benefits and adds a personal touch, it also brings with it the potential for annoying some of your site’s visitors.

This is because people have different learning styles and preferences for receiving information. Where one visitor may love being able to see a video spokesperson and hear an oral presentation, another may learn better through reading and find the audio portion distracting. By having an on/off button, you are giving your site’s visitors the option to silence the video spokesperson.

A common categorization of learning styles is known as Fleming’s VARK Model with the following four types of learners:

  1. Visual preference – these learners prefer seeing information such as through visual aids and pictures
  2. Auditory preference – these learners prefer listening to information such as through lectures and speeches
  3. Reading and writing preference – these learners prefer reading and writing information
  4. Kinesthetic-tactile preference – these learners prefer learning through experience such as through hands-on experiments

Of these learning categories, visual and auditory learners may respond well to a virtual spokesperson on your website. Learners who prefer to learn by reading, will likely want the option to silence the spokesperson as the spoken text could be distracting or annoying to them. By providing an on/off button, you are able to reach most learners in a format that appeals to them without alienating those who don’t respond well to auditory delivery methods.

You may even want to take this one step further by configuring the virtual spokesperson video to play on demand rather than automatically. Why? Having the virtual spokesperson talk “uninvited” could chase off prospects. Rather than looking for the on/off or mute button, some visitors will simply click the button that they’re the most familiar with: the Back button.

While you can’t please all of the people all of the time, you can provide options. If you’re implementing a virtual spokesmodel on your website, speak with your video production company about configuring your virtual spokesperson for on demand playing or at the very least including an on/off button.

If you’re not sure, consider running a test. Keep an eye on the bounce rate for your page for both autoplay and on demand video options. If you see significant numbers of visitors exiting your site right away, it could be because of the autoplay option. Change the video to play on demand and see if you notice an improvement.

What have your experiences been with videos that autoplay? Do you tend to leave a site if sounds start playing without your explicit approval? Or do you find the automatic playback convenient? Share your thoughts below.