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To Video or not to Video

To Video or not to Video

I may be showing my age but do you remember "video killed the radio star" back from the early days of MTV?  Back then they played music videos all day?  Nowadays many websites have videos embedded on their landing page, should yours?  There are several schools of thought on this as more and more content marketing is going "video".

I believe there are certain types of companies and organizations that video makes since and others… well, it depends. Non-profit organizations, communication specialists and so on, video make a lot of sense for quickly conveying who they are and what they stand for.  If you are a writer, for example, a writing sample would make much better sense than a video.

Another suggestion is that you have a text/transcript option to your video.  Why?  Not everyone learns and/or responds to videos.  Similar to how some people are auditory learners vs visual learners, having a transcript option makes your site more inclusive.  Speaking for myself, I don't care for autostart videos and I much rather read through what is to be conveyed than sit through a video - in most cases.  If I am learning or updating my design skills, of course I am going to look for video.  The other advantage to having a text/transcript option is that if someone is visiting your site and either do not have sound or is someplace where they need to be fairly quiet, they still get to take advantage of the message you are presenting.
 
For the video itself, think about the message you intend to convey.  Is it clear?  Is it too long? I recommend that your introductory/landing page video be no more than a minute and thirty seconds - max.  This means you have to be succinct and to the point.  Take a look around YouTube, excluding movies and training videos, they are short.  Yours should be too. Write it out and practice it, tighten where necessary.  I find it helpful to run it by a family member or friend who was not involved in the video development.  Emphasis on not involved as it is hard to see errors, typos, flubs and things if you have been working with it for an extended period of time.  If no one is available, walk away and come back, you most likely will see things differently.
 
Check your video's quality.  Ok, so I said I prefer to read vs viewing a video, however when I do look at a video if the quality is poor (bad picture, bad sound), I really prefer to read the message.  Don't leave a bad impression with your site visitor nor risk missing the opportunity to share your message.  
 
Here are a five (5) steps to getting video on your site:
  1. Ask yourself, will a video enhance your message? 
  2. Don't auto-start the video but make it easy for site visitors to start it
  3. Keep your message to no more than 1:30 minutes
  4. Have a text/transcript version of the message available 
  5. Check quality, a grainy video is as bad as no video

P.S. - I know that I have not addressed the different types of videos and video production options, you may want to seek out a professional for assistance.

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