Cost-Effectively Integrate Video Into Your Site
The hot topic of the day still appears to be video production and how to cost-effectively integrate video into your site as a way to create site stickiness via improved merchandising. The YouTube craze is likely making us all aware of more and more success stories – nearly everyone is engaged in either viewing or contributing content these days. Remember, seventy-five percent of U.S. Internet users watch video online during a typical month, according to comScore data. And, since YouTube began making its videos available to smart phones over broadband cellular networks — that has only further expanded the potential audience for online video. As I’ve spoken with more and more etailers on the topic - the motivations for producing promotional Web video are clear… and, production questions frequently come up such as: How can a small (or thin budget) e-business produce videos that will resonate with their customers?
First, I think folks need to step back and really re-think their global resource allocation. How much is currently spent on marketing for your site (six figures, seven figures?) – and how effective is that marketing at getting new customers to your site… and… how well does that new traffic convert to sales? Now, what if all your traffic (both newly acquired and repeat) converted at a higher rate due to having video on your site? Is there a case to be made to reallocate some of your less productive marketing spend – into highly effective conversion spent via video? It is worth doing the analysis – perhaps you can break out of the thin-budget mindset by looking more broadly.
In any event, if you are starting to sort out how to fund a video push – I found this article on eCommerce-guide.com interesting – in that it hones in on some key findings and drills down on helpful hints for avoiding common mistakes when producing video designed to boost sales. I agree with many of the tips provided in this article because, despite YouTube paving the way for low budget production, when people see a video associated with a company, there is still the expectation that it should look more like a polished commercial. And, the only way to get around that is if you actually use customer-submitted footage because then it becomes part of the shtick. The last thing you want to do is make your business or what you sell look cheap. But the irony is that you don't have to spend a lot of money to produce a quality production. If you are thinking about going down the ‘in house production path’, which many companies are pursuing, some key points jumped out at me:
• Get a decent camcorder (will cost $800-$1,500)
• Look for a camcorder with 3 Charged-Coupled Devices (CCDs)
• Invest in balloon-like soft lights (making products and people look good) – lighting is key
• Pin a lavaliere microphone on your subject for better audio, or Use a short shotgun
• If you’re going pro, look for XLR audio microphones instead of 1/8-inch mini-plug mics
• Get a tripod that's stable yet light and has a fluid head for camera movement
• Consideration: rent the equipment you need if this is a one-off event!