There is a lot to consider when planning your web video strategy. SEO, text vs. visual information presentation, the engagement object level, your market demographic, production quality, and more, all bearing on the success or failure of the effort. But don’t let this scare you. All of these factors need to be considered for a successful web page copy strategy too.
In our experience, here are a few tips for getting the most our of your web video strategy.
- Keep it short and free of too much visual filler. I regularly read blog post comments about the intolerance people feel toward long, meaningless stretches of content that isn’t relevant to them. “Short” is a relative term, by the way. A 30-second video on the intricacies of the impact of government involvement in free market dynamics is too short. Keeping the content only as long as it needs to be is a good rule of thumb, whether the medium is text or video. Complex, information-dense subjects can still be kept brief, as highlighted by this video we recently produced for a client:
- Be considerate. Provide player controls in a Flash player. YouTube has a good player, albeit not the best quality picture in the video space. At the very minimum, use a Flash player with a clearly identifiable play/pause control, and a scrubbable timeline (to be able to scan through lengthy content). A volume control is less of a concern if you are being considerate with your volume levels during production and editing. Full-screen toggle control is nice but not essential at all.
- Take time to visually conceive the video before production begins. Is there a clear story or thought progression? What is the best way to visually convey the ideas being expressed? If the content is candid, captured in the wild, and less than 90 seconds, it should contain one main point and get right to it.
- Do a DIY or How-To video. How-To Videos are wildly successful, and can quite easily get you and your brand on the radar in your market. Think about what content you could freely offer your customers. Think of the video content as bait without a hard hook; free without strings, yet clearly demonstrating expertise and brand value.
- Include a full transcript of videos that contain audio dialogue or narration. Post it on the page in close proximity to the video, so that Google can see and index it, and visitors can scan it to see if the video is worth their time. If the video has no spoken word component, compose a detailed paragraph or two that hightlights the value of the content a viewer could expect to see if they click “play”.
- Know your customer profile. Are they entertainment seekers? Busy people with little patience for fluff or filler? Engaged community members? Info seekers on a mission? Answering this question will greatly inform your choice of video style and length.
- Get the production right. More and more, web video is being seen as a primary informational source, and in some cases, is preferable to text only. Production values count more these days, whereas just two years ago, they didn’t. Just don’t confuse quality production with over-slick, fluff content that is meaningless to a viewer. 30 second animated logo sequences rarely have a determinative impact on customers.
Web video productions, used well and in conjunction with other informational mediums, can be a great and profitable way to relate relevant and valuable information to customers and prospective clients.