This is now a reality and a good idea, getting video on your website makes a difference and can be a great way to make an impression.
Some examples, taken from our client:
See before you buy and so you really feel immersed into the experience. All these videos are hosted on the You Tube website.
You can review Bear Grylls Talk manner before employing him, these videos are again hosted on You Tube for free.
If perhaps your subject matter is a little more dour, video can still enhance things, these are simple Quicktime movies.
And if you are after a full TV channel all to yourself, then you can cheaply host anything you like on line… why not get a quote, it costs nothing. But it is important to know what is out there.
So what are the choices:
- Straight video, all you need is the video file in AVI, MPEG or Quicktime format, we can load this onto the website and visitors just click and play, cost virtually nothing
- Flash Video – the most popular format at the moment by far. Flash video is quick easy and works on 98% of people computers, cost is again virtually nothing
- Online Hosting – you post your video on to You Tube or Revver.com, and they do the rest, again cost is virtually free.
- Streaming – costs have come down, but this is for the more serious among you. On demand video is growing at a hereto unknown pace and will effect your website eventually.
Planning and use for video
- Product demonstrations – if pictures speak a 1000 words TV speaks volumes more
- News and Views – make your point more forcefully with a regular video update on your web site
- Tutorials and e-Learning – there is no faster way to get your message across than to do it for them.
I cannot tell you what to film, but I can open the way to what is possible. Here are some basic tips:
- Keep it professional, this is essential, a home movie is not wanted here. Planning and implementation are the key to professional online videos
- Keep it simple, the less movement the better, no fast action shots, in fact just someone speaking straight at the camera is good enough, no need for action heroes
- Keep it short. Average attention span on any web site is between 30 and 90 seconds, i.e. short, if you have a big message then break it up into separate chapters.
Following these simple guidelines and sticking to them will allow you the best video experience you can manage.
The first thing we have to make clear is that we are not experts, we are now reaching the boundaries our knowledge and the next step if you want to make proper quality video is to call a ‘production company’.
However before you do that, it is worth looking at what is available and the two key programs that can be used are Microsoft Movie Maker and Adobe Premier.
Microsoft Movie Maker (www.microsoft.com)
This is a free offering from Microsoft and is usually included with any new computer or with Windows XP and Vista. It was developed so that people could make home movies and publish them easily.
Movie Maker is for the beginner, it has a 4 step process, import the movie, select the scenes, export to AVI or MPEG4 and publish. Available are Titles, Credits and special effects, all you have to do is drag and drop, it is remarkably easy. Overlaying with Audio is possible, but this is slightly trickier.
Adobe Premier (www.adobe.com)
This is the key staple of any Video enthusiast, there are others, but Premier has led the way in much the same was as Photoshop remains the best Photo editing software today.
With premier, you can do virtually anything with your video, complex editing, audio sound tracking and special effects are all made easy. but the skill level is higher and you need a clear picture of what you are trying to achieve before you do too much.
Both programs allow you to save to virtually any format and have preset settings for exporting to web, CD or DVD, for a professional finish and corporate use you should be looking at Adobe Premier however, as it is the better of the two solutions.
Overall then in this series of mini articles we have looked at why you might want to use Video, we have realised the benefits and the returns available through using Video and we have looked at the need to make it professional.
In researching this article, we have come to the conclusion that Video on the Web is at the same stage as Web Design 10 years ago… It is possible to do everything in-house, for a very low cost, with relative ease, however just like the monstrous Websites one used to see 10 years ago, the secret is in making it look professional.