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Using Video Effectively On Your Website will start adding videos over the next few months to help our customers better understand our services and products and to better communicate with you. We believe that Videos are very important, and you should be adding video to YOUR site as well. And here are some tips/things to think about when YOU start adding video to your site.

Online video is no longer on the fringes of online marketing. It is now as mainstream as simply having a Website. Video on your Website can be used to uniquely set your business apart from others, as well as to provide education to potential customers and employees. Roughly one-third of online retailers currently offer video on their Website, and the number of videos uploaded to the Internet is expected to nearly double by 2013.

Additionally, users are watching more videos than ever, with no projected slowdown in sight. In December 2008 alone, Internet users in the United States watched 14.3 billion online, up 13% over November 2008. The average overall viewing time was 5 hours per user, with the average length of 3.2 minutes per video. Roughly 65% of online videos were viewed during business hours. Additionally, 5% of mobile phone users accessed video on their cell phones.

This all sounds well and good for the retailer, but for every video that is effective and works, probably ten times that number are ineffective at best, and kill sales at worst. The following tips should help you avoid the “video sins” that could cost you sales.

Videos that load slowly will kill any enthusiasm that customers may have for your service. As the Internet speeds have continued to increase, users have become less tolerant for slow Websites. If your videos load slowly, they will simply click away and go to another site, possibly to a competitor’s. Google recently did a study that determined that a loading delay of a half second will cause as much as a 20% drop in traffic.

Do not autoplay your videos. This can cause the page to load more slowly, and it can frustrate your customers. Give them the option of whether or not to play the videos. Videos are useful to garnering new customers, but once they are a customer, they probably don’t want to see the same video again. They are probably simply returning to do additional business. Additionally, only embed one video per page. More than one video per page can cause the pages to load more slowly.

Practice your communication techniques. Non-verbal cues can impact the user experience even more than what you say. Keep your speech pace at an even pace with lively inflections to keep the user engaged and watching. You want to avoid putting them to sleep as much as you do not want to sound like a carnival barker.

Always use a script. “Flying by the seat of your pants” rarely works in video presentations, and it often appears as if you are unprepared. If you do not use a teleprompter, at least use note cards with bullet points to keep you on track.

In closing, don’t be afraid of using video to promote your Website, but take your time and do your homework in order to ensure that the videos work for you and set you apart. Poorly done videos are worse than no videos at all.

Wishing you all the best in your business endeavors.

Roy Randolph
Head Hostmaster

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