As the phenomenon of website video production gains more traction in the web industry, more companies are adding video to their websites. As companies look to video providers for help, the waters are becoming more muddied with “professionals” providing their own opinions and techniques to the process. Some are good, some not so good. So how do you determine what company to use and what are the proper techniques necessary to maximize this powerful tool? Here are some answers.
1. Keep your message short
With our society continuing to move toward instant access, and multi-tasking with our electronic gadgets, attention spans are becoming shorter and shorter. More advanced cell phones and faster internet connections make it very important to get your message across quickly. In fact statistics show that web surfers now expect a site and its contents to load in 3-4 seconds. Likewise, web surfers will move on from a video if it is too long.
Can you imagine yourself viewing a video for even 2 or 3 minutes? I have seen web videos that are 7 minutes long! I wonder if anyone has ever seen the end of those videos! Years ago VHS tapes were used for industrial/corporate videos and it was recommended that they be no longer than 3 to 5 minutes with the most important part of the message placed within the first 1 minute.
Today, if a company wants a corporate video, it is preferable to create a number of short videos that viewer can access short segments to select what they want to watch. They can also be added to the company’s website for added value.
2. Insist on lighting and a lavaliere microphone
I find it amazing that video companies who claim they are professionals do not use lighting or lavaliere (clip on) microphones. Too many so called video “professionals”, with no formal training, buy themselves a consumer camera, a tripod and a low cost laptop-editing program and then shoot videos that are cheap – Not only in price but in quality.
Cameras are much better today in low light situations, but that is not an excuse to neglect one of the first lessons a student learns in video production 101…lighting is essential for good looking video. In addition, good looking video is ruined by bad audio! We have all seen video that is compelling but the audio is muffled or low or out of sync.
Once we start to struggle to hear what is going on, we are distracted from the visual message of the video, lose interest and move on. Do not let that happen to your website video production. Once the viewer moves to the next website they may never come back. And, if your competitor’s video is well done, you have no chance! If the video service you are considering uses the on camera microphone and says lighting is not the other way!
3. Consider the background
Don’t you love viewing a video where the subject is plastered up against the office wall with a picture or plant that has nothing to do with the message? How about the video of the company president at his or her desk and the desk is disorganized and papers are piled up on the shelf in the background? Why would a videographer choose to shoot a video against a wall with no character or relevance to the business? For example, in every auto repair center I have been to, there are some great visuals of cars on lifts or cool equipment that would make a much more appropriate background.
A dentist or doctor shot with an examination chair in the background would be so much more compelling than a shot in the lobby or in a messy office. A lawyer with law books in the background looks much more professional than if shot in front of a generic spot in the office. Every industry has exciting visuals that can be used to create a compelling shot. The same videographers who neglect lighting and audio probably do not consider the background either.
If you keep these three basic rules in mind when selecting a website video production service to produce your web video, you will be happy with the successful results.
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