or why video content is the future (whether you like it or not)
It’s simple: video is awesome.
Not only does it increase engagement, it adds precious minutes to your ‘time on site’ totals and can be a great way to break up content-heavy pages.
It’s also often a much easier way of getting your message across quickly and easily.
Most people would rather watch a 90-second video than read through a big lump of copy.
(Of course this requires you to write rather good video scripts).
And then there’s the statistics (who doesn’t love a good stat?)
According to comScore
- 45% of internet users watch at least one video a month
- The average interweb user is exposed to 32.2 videos a month
- 100 million videos are watched each day (although, obviously not all of those are business related, most are probably about cats, but still…).
- 90% say they find watching a video helps when making shopping and buying decisions
And, according to Forbes, 50% of executives watch videos at least once a week, and 65% will visit a marketer’s website after viewing a video.
I could go on, but I won’t. Suffice to say – videos rock.
Which explains why so many businesses are frantically uploading video content to their sites.
They’re making ’How to‘ videos, creating video courses, and whacking up gazillions of ’talking head‘ presentations about this and that.
But you need to stop.
That’s right: stop right now, and step away from the webcam.
Before you upload one more video clip to YouTube, Vimeo or your website, ask yourself this question:
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you have to be a supermodel to run a good business. But there’s a reason only some people get on telly.
Generally, it’s because they’re attractive.
And if they’re less than gorgeous, it’s because they’re super clever, a sports person or a politician.
At a very basic level, human beings prefer other human beings who are attractive. You don’t need a scientific study to realise we’re more likely to trust, listen to and buy from someone with a pleasant physical appearance.
Make no mistake. If you post a business video with your face in it, people will judge you by the way you look.
Your appearance, dress sense and mannerisms will all influence their decision-making process. They may find your accent grating, or your hairstyle offensive. Your top might be too low cut, your eye make-up too smudged, or your chins too… well, chinny.
And let’s not even get started on anyone who’s racist, fat-ist or has a thing against people with disabilities.
“I don’t care,” you cry. “If potential clients are judging me by the way I look, then I don’t want to work with them anyway.”
Hey, if you can afford that luxury, great.
But the truth is, as soon as you add a video of yourself to your website, the conversation with your customer changes. Instead of basing their buying decision solely on price, service offering, reputation or portfolio, they’ll now also be basing it on how you look.
What about photos?
Yes, I know you have photos on your site, but usually (and hopefully) they’ve been taken by a professional and had a magic Photoshop wand waved over them—however lightly.
Business photos usually capture your best angle. But video shows up all your worst bits.
What about meetings?
You may well end up meeting your clients face-to-face; but meeting someone in person is different. The warmth of human contact, the interaction, a shared sense of humour and even a good cup of coffee can make up for any physical inadequacies.
In person you’re a living entity. On video you’re a talking head.
What about ugly famous people?
Of course a lot of web celebrities, copywriters and SEO types aren’t exactly Aiden Turner, but they’ve usually built up a bit of a reputation that makes us look past their lumps and bump, or at the very least they’ve paid for professional videos.
Of course, if you’ve got a decent budget you can hire a video production company. Using professionals with good lights, a talented make-up artist and snazzy editing skills can turn even the most hideous business owner into a watchable presenter. But then you have to consider whether the investment in both time and money (they don’t come cheap) is really going to be worth it.
The harsh reality of amateur business videos
Lately I’ve seen a lot of crappy homemade videos made by business people. They follow the same format: seat so low their head hovers at the bottom of the frame, bad lighting, cluttered desk, and a picture of their cat or a pair of old pants hanging in the background.
And then they mumble through some prepared spiel like a zombie with a face like a constipated rabbit.
They’re cringe worthy.
Do they increase time on site? Yes, but only because the watcher is laughing so hard they can’t press the Stop button.
So, if you’re thinking about making a video, take a good look in the mirror and then consider making a voiceover-style screen capture instead.
Your customers will thank you for it.*
Over to you
Am I being too cruel? Do you think adding a homemade video to your site boosted sales or frightened potential customers away?
* Now before you get your undies in a tangle this post is OF COURSE tongue in cheek. In fact since I wrote this post, I’ve had to bite the bullet and record a few my own ‘To camera’ videos.
Yes, I wanted to wait until I’d lost 20 kilos and had a face-lift, but I couldn’t.
So now you can see my non-supermodel head on various videos across the interweb.
Including this one:
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