Why Should Your Site’s Visitors Trust Your Virtual Spokesperson?

Deciding to add a virtual spokesperson to your website is exciting. Not only will you soon have an attractive video spokesmodel welcoming visitors to your site and adding a personal touch, you’re expecting to see increased sales conversions as a result. But wait? What’s that nagging feeling in the back of your mind? Could it be trust issues? Are you wondering why your site’s visitors should trust your virtual spokesperson?

The Importance of a Credible Virtual Spokesperson
Whether you’re wondering about this or not, it is vital that your virtual spokesperson builds trust with your site’s visitors. If the spokesperson fails to build trust, you might not see the sales increases that you’re hoping to see. Worse, if you select a virtual spokesperson that is unprofessional or a bad fit for your site, you could lose credibility with your audience all together.

Because building trust can drive sales and losing trust could drive visitors away, it’s important that you choose a professional virtual spokesperson. Professional spokespeople are trained in the fine art of appearing on camera.

Professional virtual spokespeople are actors who can:

  • Quickly memorize scripts
  • Work off of teleprompters
  • Play multiple roles
  • Change their looks to match different roles and moods
  • Appear at ease on camera
  • Relate to audiences
  • Maintain eye contact with the camera
  • Select clothes, makeup, jewelry, hairstyles, and props that look good on camera and enhance the role being played without distracting
  • Add personality

How a Virtual Spokesperson Can Build Trust 
A virtual spokesperson can build trust in several ways including:

  • Having the right look for the website. For example, if your website caters to hip-hop music fans, an urban young adult playing the part of a record producer or D.J. would be more likely to build trust with site visitors than a senior citizen or a traditional businessman. The opposite is true if the site caters to senior citizens or banking customers.
  • Having a natural, accessible appearance and attitude. The more your audience feels connected to the virtual spokesperson, the better. Does the spokesmodel seem like someone your audience members might enjoy being with? Does the spokesperson seem approachable and friendly?
  • Saying the right words, in a natural way. Virtual spokesmodels don’t generally get to say whatever they want to say; their words are carefully scripted in advance. A talented actor delivers these words in a natural way. With a well thought out script and a natural talent delivering the message, you can build trust with your audience.
  • Appearing on screen without causing technical glitches. Web users don’t like websites that cause their browsers to crash, and they’re technologically critical. Strong production values and overlay technologies that do not cause conflicts are a must.

What does all of this mean to you? It means that professional talent, the right appearance, a strong script, and high production values build trust. Invest in these areas and your virtual spokesperson will be a successful addition to your website.

Business Video: Create a Virtual Company Tour

What if you could create a business video that showcases your company, its employees, and its facilities to prospective customers and future employees? You can! By creating a virtual company tour, your customers can see you in action while also learning more about your philosophy, products, and processes.

Why produce a corporate video tour? A professionally produced business video showcasing your organization can personalize your company, satisfy your customer’s curiosity, pre-sell your products, and set you apart from the competition. Consumers are naturally curious about how things are made. A number of television programs such as How it’s Made and Build it Bigger satisfy this curiosity and have proven to be popular with viewers. The How Stuff Works website is also a popular destination. People want to know so why not open the doors to your office and give your customers a peek?

Whether you run a bank, a catering company, a manufacturing facility, or an auto repair shop, creating an online video that takes consumers behind the scenes could be an effective marketing tool. Posting the video online allows customers who are researching similar companies and services to get to know you better. Being able to see your building, your friendly staff, and employees hard at work builds confidence and shows that you’re not a fly-by-night operation with a fancy website.

You can also use the business video tour in your company’s lobby. For example, if your business performs a service behind closed doors, your customers may wonder what goes on back there. You may not be able to take customers out on the shop or manufacturing floor due to safety concerns, but you could take them on a virtual tour.

If your company uses a sales team that asks other professionals for business referrals, having a business video showcasing your company’s location could help build relationships and confidence. These professionals will likely be more comfortable recommending a company that they have seen in action rather than one they’ve simply heard about from a salesperson. A business video can help them to “see” your company. For example, if you run an upscale auto repair shop and your sales team asks local insurance agents to recommend your services to their clients, the agents can personally vouch that your shop has a “clean, comfortable lobby with leather couches and an espresso machine” because they watched your video and saw the lobby.

Other potential audiences for your virtual company tour include attendees at trade shows and job fairs. Use the video tour at a trade show as part of your display, again building confidence and satisfying the natural curiosity people have about how things are made. At a job fair, you can use your business video to show job candidates your facility and how you work.

How long should your business video tour be? Avoid the temptation of creating a documentary about your company because few people are that interested. Instead, keep the video short and professional. If you’ll use the video online, consider breaking it down into individual videos covering different departments or areas such as: reception, call center, accounting, warehouse, and so on. Doing so allows viewers to pick the areas of interest to them. You can also design your DVD with menus for each department, again giving viewers a measure of control over which segments to watch.

Creating a business video that takes customers on a virtual tour of your company serves many purposes including building confidence and distinguishing your company from the competition.

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, Animotioninc.com’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.