Tips from a Pro: Website Videos


Thanks to technology, we now all have a video camera with us at all times. Our phones capture videos of special events. Our laptops send live video feed to friends via Skype. The number of YouTube videos has doubled in the past year with 48 hours of video being posted every minute!

Our eyes tend to land on moving pictures. If you own a business, your clients and potential clients want to hear from you, see you and know you before they decide to pay for your services or products.

We asked professional videographer Brian Hogan about how to post the perfect website video.

How important is it to have a video on your business website?
I think it’s very important. You don’t have to look too far to find those high-ranking statistics proving your video will likely be viewed on your website. And if people will view your video, you’ve just gotten their attention to introduce your business on your terms.

Why do you think it’s become that important in recent years?
To be honest, the importance has been around for quite some time now. I’ve been professionally working in video production for almost 14 years, and even back then I had a hand in making ‘about us’ videos for businesses. I think videos are more noticeable recently because technology keeps making it easier to watch them. Gone are the days of waiting for your Real Player to buffer and updating your Adobe Flash to the next incremental version! All that to say, it’s still important after all these years because it all boils down to storytelling.

The key to a good website video – STORYTELLING!
Humans are wired to like stories about other people, and I think the most effective videos focus on sharing the “why.” Try to stay away from the “what” and the “how” when explaining your business. It’s usually much more compelling to dive into the origin story of why your business exists. (Check out the Higher Life website for an example of a video introduction.) A good website video should capture the purpose and desire of your business in a specific marketplace. Leave the exact details on what you offer and how you do it somewhere else on the website. For now, your goal should be to draw people in!

How many videos should you have on your business website?
This absolutely varies with the type of business you have and what you are trying to communicate. You can always go the route of either showing what you offer and how you do it as supplemental pieces, or adding a client testimonial, but I would begin with showcasing your company’s story and who you are.

Is this something you can do yourself with your iPhone or laptop? Or should you hire a professional?

Well, sure, you can record yourself with an iPhone or a laptop, but I would not recommend it. (Are you surprised?)

Smartphone cameras are like the Swiss Army Knife of cameras. And while Swiss Army Knives are awesome, no one should be using a pocketknife to cut filet mignon! Your business takes dedication, investment, and hard work; why would you give away the opportunity to introduce yourself with excellence?

The quality of a professional camera is unmatched compared to a smartphone or a laptop. We’re talking about using a tool that is specifically designed to capture video at a completely different caliber. Color, depth of field, lens capability, the list goes on. You can just TELL when a video was shot from a webcam on someone’s desk.

And that’s just the camera! Let alone lighting, editing, storytelling. A good professional will use their experience and skill to make the video you’d make for yourself, if you had the time. And the equipment. And the experience with editing software. And the understanding of music licensing, pacing, narrative arc…etc., etc.
How long should each video be?
I’ve sort of found the sweet spot to be around 2-3 minutes in length. However, that’s not a hard and fast rule I go by. If there’s more to the story then let it be told. I know I’ve done a good job if the video runs to around 5 minutes, but still feels like 3-4 minutes long.

Any other tips or suggestions?

Often times people think video is purely visual, but this is only half of the equation. Make sure to have your audio recorded professionally as well. The video is only as good as it sounds.

But above all else, my biggest tip is to hire someone who is interested in the craft of story and is passionate about telling yours. You won’t regret it.

 

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