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WEB VIDEO ESSENTIALS

The essential elements of a web video are that it is short, it is well constructed in both content and technical set up, and that it is appropriate for the audience.

As the attention span of our audience seems to dwindle ever shorter on the web, adding a smart bit of video to your website or newsletter can be a powerful way of improving the strength of your message. A second of time is roughly equivalent to 3 spoken words, but in fact the mix of visual images, supporting graphics, music and the spoken word multiple the ‘word count’ several fold. The old saying about a picture being worth a thousand words – well when the pictures are moving you get an even bigger impact! However, the sweet spot for web videos does still seem to be around 1.30 minutes – with 60 seconds for a one person piece to camera, and 2-3 minutes for a ‘How too…’ or product based promotional piece. It does very much depend on the audience though, which is where an experienced video producer can be invaluable.

The content of a web video must be well constructed. People often feel they can record their 30 minute presentation to a live audience, then simply pop that onto the internet and get the same impact. It doesn’t work that way. When presenting to a live audience you’ll naturally find that you speak in a totally different way, the ambiance of the room and reaction of the audience will impact on your presentation in ways that translate differently on video. So it’s a good idea to consider the remote audience as well as the live audience when presenting, and to use the live recording as a support for other materials such as improved graphics and maybe some pieces specifically recorded to camera for the video cut.

Technically, good lighting and sound are essential – although these days you can get some great images from a mobile phone there is a world of difference between something you shoot for fun or reference, and something that is going to be used to promote your business and brand, something which will be seen by potentials clients who want to spend money with you. We so often see video talks from marketeers or technical specialists which say all the right things, but the quality of the images don’t inspire the viewer to spend the sort of money that’s needed to engage their services. It doesn’t really make sense, but then it is more difficult to see one’s self in a true light, which is why an experienced video producer is again worth their weight in gold.

And finally, remember the audience – are they going to be watching on a mobile phone, a tablet or a desktop? Will they be able to listen with the audio up or need to have closed captions as an option? What is the likely level of their understanding of your offering? Video can’t do the whole sale for you, but pitched correctly it can at least open the door and get the kettle on for you!


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