Three Good Marketing Reasons to Use Video on Your Website
About this time every year I make a few predictions about
what will rate “HOT” for the coming year in the online
world. Last year, among other things, online audio topped my
list for 2005.
This year, 2006, I see full-motion online video as the
“killer app” to revolutionize website communications and
Bottom line: with a digital camcorder and some basic
software, you can transform your website into the Home
Shopping Network, and with distribution tools like
Video.Google.com and video Podcasting on Apple’s iTunes, you
can broadcast to the masses just like CNN.
Several major changes in 2005 set the stage for full-motion
These include faster, cheaper computers, improved video
creation and conversion software, and widespread adoption of
the free “Flash” Web browser plug-in (works on PC and MAC).
Combine these changes with the fact that over 50% of all
Internet users in the United States got high-speed access as
of 2005, and you set the stage for an online video
In 2006, you will see the equivalent of little online TV
stations cropping up all over the Internet.
Along with the free-form, “anything goes” content of video
blogging (vlogging), commercial use of full-motion video
will fall into 4 basic categories.
Website “Infomercials” – Any savvy business knows the
Internet actually represents the largest direct-response
advertising medium ever seen.
As such, infomercial techniques of late-night fitness, self-
improvement, and real estate gurus will spill over into
other niche markets online.
Though initially not 30-minutes long like their TV
counterparts, online infomercials will last 2-5 minutes –
long enough to get all the main sales points across.
Live Demonstrations – If a picture is worth a thousands
words, then full-motion video is worth 100,000 words!
Any product that easily gets sold once people see it in
action will greatly benefit from online video.
Also, service businesses such as Realtors can now easily and
inexpensively create full-motion video home tours.
And, sellers on the popular eBay auction site can now show
and demonstrate their items rather than depending strictly
on text and static pictures to make the sale.
Before and After – Anyone selling a diet product, skin care,
cleaning, car repair or other product promising specific
results for the end user can now “show and tell” using full-
motion online video.
Imagine the impact of showing concrete evidence in “before
and after” video to help you make the sale online.
Product Testimonials – Despite widespread acceptance of
online shopping and ecommerce, many people remain skeptical
and somewhat leery of purchasing anything online, especially
based strictly on promises made on a website.
With video testimonials you can put their minds at ease by
showing video of people who used and benefited from the
product or service.
Imagine the impact that will have on the trust and
credibility for any website.
A word of caution to all would-be online videographers:
dial-up users still make up a huge part of the online
population, so you must always try to offer them a dial-up-
friendly option to watch your video or receive your
Don’t cater strictly to the high-speed crowd because you’ll
alienate a significant portion of the marketplace.
Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the
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