We have become such a visual society, as shown through our incessant consumption of YouTube videos and trending memes, that the thought of wading through blocks of text often stops many people from staying on any given business website for too long. There is no mathematical ratio to help determine how many parts video versus written content to add to the mix when building the ideal website to showcase your brand, but it is important to combine both written and video content to most effectively get your message across.
You have to ask yourself how your service or product is most readily understood, how its benefits can best be communicated, and how you can most effectively win the trust of your target audience. For example, in the complex sales category that includes complicated investment products, machinery, or pharmaceuticals, you'll need a succinct, point-by-point description of your product's features and benefits.
In most cases, clear readable content in an attractive font spaciously presented on the page is the best way to get the "must-know" information across quickly. However, if your product or service is highly visual and benefits from a video demonstration, than it makes sense to focus more on video content than on written content.
Pros and Cons: Making Your Content Choices
When generating your website content, remember that there are pros and cons for each type and make your ultimate selection based on the needs of your target audience. While written content can overwhelm your audience if there is too much of it, when formatted and presented properly, it can communicate the most important details clearly at a glance. Written content is also easily updated if you decide you want to change something on the fly. The downside is that sometimes even the most skilled writer can't generate the same excitement and connection to the audience that a video can.
In terms of budget, written content tends to be more budget-friendly; however, if you are putting out videos that are meant to be more grassroots and raw, then a lower quality production will work for you. For those polished and edited videos that will showcase your professional brand, expect to bring on a professional.
Where video is concerned, a carefully thought-out video can add excitement to the website and make your product/service offering memorable through demonstrations and dynamic spokespeople. In terms of cross-channel opportunities, visual content can be shared across multiple channels -- tap into that social media audience!
Video content often takes longer to produce than written content, and if not done well, can quickly diminish a personal or corporate brand. Once it is "out there" on social media, you can't recall it.
Lights, Camera, Action ...
Writing content is one thing, but putting together effective video content is where many struggle. If you have decided to make video part of your website, here are some tips based on my years of personal experience that will save you time and money.
#1: Insist on broadcast quality and consider investing in a professional to help you plan and then record your video, regardless of its length or subject matter. The saying, "You get what you pay for" has never been truer than in this case. You don't need all the bells and whistles, but a great videographer can work with you in a cost-effective way while ensuring a great result.
#2: Identify the purpose, topic and benefits of the video to the viewer before getting caught up in working out the technical details. Consider hiring a professional writer who can help put things into perspective. He or she can add ideas for promoting your brand that go beyond your video. You will ultimately save time and money.
#3: Mimic face-to-face conversation. Don't be afraid to make eye contact. Look into the lens and not at your own on-screen image or on-screen notes. You still have an opportunity to make a personal connection with your audience with video content. Make sure you speak clearly and there are no overpowering sounds around you like an air-conditioner or street traffic. This also means that you shouldn't sit too close to the camera. If close talkers make you feel uncomfortable in real life, then don't do it on camera.
#4: Lighting makes all the difference. Allyson Reid of Chockablock Productions suggests that to give yourself a healthy glow, you can easily use an office window or desk lamp if you are doing a DIY show. Make sure the light source points at you from behind the web cam/laptop. It should be slightly above eye level, towards the middle of your face. If you light from above you will get raccoon eyes, and if you light from below you will look ghoulish.
#5: Keep things simple and uncluttered. Even if you don't have budget to hire a professional videographer, you can do it yourself provided you keep it simple. Always keep an uncluttered backdrop so your audience can focus on you rather than any interesting objects behind you.
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