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Internet Video – Not just cute animals and stupid people

April 12th, 2012

Once you’ve seen the Sneezing Panda on YouTube you are more than likely to view it again, and again, and, well probably more often than is strictly necessary. Although this may do nothing to promote your business, it does illustrate a few things rather well.

• We like to see things with our own eyes.
• If it’s moving, it’s more compelling.
• If we find something we like it sticks in our memory

With the advent of BBC iPlayer and all the other on demand services, your customers and clients are well used to the concept of viewing video over the Internet, and many companies now use that to their advantage. Precisely because it works, there are a number of areas where they now utilize Internet video.

Showcase
Perhaps the most obvious, video can be used to showcase for example a company, the facilities offered by a club, or any USP that should be emphasized. Adding background music and/or a voice-over can conjure up specific emotions that can be used to accentuate the message. For instance a grand classical piece can add gravitas and a sense of timelessness, light and contemporary music can suggest something more lively or witty.

Product Highlights
Not so common but just as valid would be to use video to highlight a specific sales line, range or individual item. It may be particularly effective if it shows what is being promoted in circumstance where it would normally be deployed rather than in a display situation.

Video FAQ
This is not anything like as common but is gaining greater usage on more technical sites, and can save any post sales support a mountain of effort. If a user can see how to do something it is so much easier than tying up support staff trying to visualize what the user is doing in order to help them.

Distance Learning
This generally comes in two flavours, the talking head or seminar recording, or a voice over the top of something similar to a Power Point presentation. Both have merit and tend to be much more effective than just a written document, as they give the information provider the ability to expand on what is written without greatly increasing the word count for the reader.

So how does this effect smaller businesses and organizations with budgets that don’t stretch into four figures? If you saw the BBC program ‘Empire’ you may have noticed that they didn’t have film or video of some of the events that Jeremy Paxman was describing in his commentary. So they used contemporary paintings and drawings which they zoomed in on and panned across to illustrate the words. In fact this is a very common technique used in particularly historical documentaries.

Very interesting you may say, but frankly so what? Well here’s the thing. You may not have large amounts of cash to spend on making the marketing equivalent of the Titanic. You may not have high definition video of what you want to make a video about. But I bet you have static images or access to a good quality digital camera. That’s all you need with the right software and a YouTube account.

A word of warning though, it’s a bit boring making videos. Even with modern fast computers there is a certain amount of waiting around and a lot of video standards to contend with. Good news is that you can get videos made very cheaply if you supply the images and sounds.

Paul Wood

Paul Wood has worked with computers since before the Internet and now utilizes that knowledge to leverage the Internet for small businesses and charities. http://www.woodcom.co.uk/internet-website-video.html


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