The world of the web is changing and the days of users being happy with text driven web sites is coming to an end. To get a visitor’s attention and to get your message across, forward thinking companies are using online video and the rest of us will be following suit.
The Internet is simply a way of moving information from one computer to another quickly and cheaply. The main use most companies make of the web is to use it as a marketing tool to communicate with their current and potential customers.
Communication at its core is simply taking an idea and getting someone else to remember and understand that idea. That said, trying to achieve that amongst myriad of consumer advertising and marketing communication presented to us these days is increasingly difficult.
The web is a great tool to communicate such messages, but simple text and the odd photo of your product is a poor way to do it. Video on the other hand, with moving visuals complete with audio provides a more effective way to communicate.
Consumers react better to audio and video than to the written word. It is easier with video to make your message interesting, fun and entertaining – all the ingredients needed to stand out to your customers in the modern world.
Technology is also playing its part in this revolution; computers and Internet capacity make watching video a much easier experience than it was just a few years ago. The last movie sold in a VHS format was in 2005. Nobody remembers floppy discs. How long before those little round DVD discs go the same way and everything becomes available online? I have not rented a DVD for over a year, but I regularly rent movies from iTunes and watch them via a computer attached to my big screen TV, and it looks just as good as a DVD. The technology for online video is here!
Websites aimed at communicating to a mass market without video are starting to look really old, and in a short period of time they will look antiquated.
However, it is not as simple as pointing your home camcorder at your top sales person (or CEO) and getting them to talk about your product. Video is of course no longer on videotape, it is all digital, it is a creative process and to be successful it needs thought and great creative.
As with any communication you firstly need to be able to answer two questions:
- who is our target market
- what is the key message we want them to remember
Unless you can answer these questions clearly, you have little chance of communicating effectively.
Then, you need a creative way to communicate that message, and that will most likely involve outside expertise unless you are supremely confident in your production and directing skills.
There are two parts to making a great video:
Firstly and most importantly is the creative, the part where bright creative people come up with the “idea” – how your message will be delivered. It is a somewhat strange process to conceptualize for us commercial people because it is a unique blend of art and science (technology). The creative person or team think through how to communicate your message – good creative will make your message effective and bad creative will kill it.
Secondly, there is video production. There are many ways to do this either with real actors or increasingly with digitally created animation. This is definitely an area for experts and definitely not to be tried at home.
To make your web site stand out and communicate effectively to the public there are a number of things to understand: (i) your website is just a communication tool (ii) know your target market (iii) have a clear message, and (iv) get great video. Then you can make your web site the evangelistic communication tool for your business that it can really be.
This is an example of how video has been used to creatively communicate a company’s business message: Haley Vines – Womens Outdoor Apparel
Mark Hamilton (http://markhamiltonconsulting.com) is a business and management consultant.