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Will Video Help or Hurt Your Online Sales?

Video Explained - Even For Those With a Face For Radio!
 
Paul Smithson - 23rd March 2009
   
paul smithson Video is a form of media that can have a great impact when it is properly employed and can really give your sales a boost, but if it’s poorly put together, or if it’s intrusive, it might do more harm than good and actually cause people to leave your site.

The first thing you need to think about when choosing whether or not to have video on your site is if there is any real reason to do it.  Video may not be right for every type of site. 

If you’re selling an eBook on knitting, video may not really be necessary.  It might be useful to show some of the items that could be made by following the patterns in the product, but if your price point is relatively low, video may not make enough of a difference in conversion to make it worthwhile using. 

However, if you’re selling an item that requires an in-depth explanation of features and benefits, and if your price point is relatively high, then video might be just the thing you need to give you a competitive edge over a similar product. 

If you believe your product could benefit from the extra selling power of video, here are a few words of advice to help you along the way.

First, you should always work with a script. Without a script it is very easy to lose focus on what you want to say. It also helps to minimize those unprofessional ‘ums’ and ‘errs’ that can be very frustrating for the person watching the video, particularly if it is quite a lengthy presentation.

Next up is the visual aspect of the video. If you don’t feel you look good enough to be on camera, or if you’re particularly camera shy, you can either hire an actor to be in the video, or you can create a presentation of screenshots and just record your voice over the presentation. If you don’t like your voice then consider hiring a voiceover talent to do the job.

The most important thing is to have a video that is effective, and if you feel that you’re not the right person to appear on it, either visually or even audibly, then there’s no sin in getting other people to do it for you. However, don’t rule yourself out straight away. Just because you don’t look like Brad Pitt or Julia Roberts doesn’t mean you’re not right for the job. It’s also worth remembering that many regional accents can actually come across as being very sincere and honest, and that can often work in your favor. So, don’t be too concerned if you don’t have the dulcet tones of a news reader, you might still be the best person for the job.

Now let’s take a look at production.

Unless there’s a really valid reason for going for the ‘amateur-look’ you should aim to make the video as professional as possible.  The lighting should be even, and bright, and shouldn’t be grainy or out of focus. The audio should be clear and free of background noise.

Luckily, all of the above is easily achieved with inexpensive equipment these days. Even a budget webcam is capable of producing excellent results, but the general rule of thumb is that you should use the best equipment you can get your hands on, without breaking the bank.

One thing you should keep in mind is that many people don’t like audio or video on websites, especially if it starts automatically.  Opinions vary on this subject, but it may be prudent for you to consider not having any audio or video on your site start automatically. If a visitor wants to see your presentation, they can click the play button. 

Of course, some people believe that conversions are increased by having your presentation start automatically, so it can be worth testing to find out whether that’s the case for you, but you should keep in mind that it can lose you visitors in certain situations. What if they’re visiting your site at work?  What if they have an infant sleeping in the same room?  What if their wife thinks they’re busy working, when they’re actually surfing for information about trout fishing? 

There are many reasons to consider not having your video start automatically, but only testing can tell you what is better for your site.  Test both options, as well as having no video at all, to see which works best for your site.

Used properly, and produced in a professional way, video can definitely help with conversions, but it’s not the right thing for every site so bear this in mind before you rush out and buy that state-of-the-art digital video camera.

About Paul Smithson - Paul Smithson is the founder of Intellimon and the driving force behind the best-selling XSitePro web site development tool. Since graduating in Business Strategy and Direct Marketing from two of Europe’s leading business schools, Paul has set up five multi-million dollar companies, one of which is now owned by the BBC. His areas of expertise include business strategy, e-commerce, on-line and off-line marketing, software development, and maximizing the potential of on-line businesses.


For more information about this, and many other Internet Marketing-related topics, visit Paul Smithson's site, www.xsitepro.com.

Source: http://www.xsitepro.com/will-video-help-or-hurt-your-online-sales.html


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