Column: “Watch” your website

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Commentary by Jon Quick

Words, words, words, words, words, words, words and more words.

Tired of reading words? Ask the people who visit your website.

If you look at the research, websites with too many words hardly ever get read. Visitors certainly will never read all the way through to the end. Alas, you lose potential customers who just might miss some of the main points you are making in your online dissertation.

Much of the time, sites like this also lack visual appeal, color, compelling headlines and the main points are at the bottom of the mountain of words, never to be read.

The answer is to tell your story with pictures coupled with writing that is clear, concise and written for the consumer to understand. People are looking for quick answers and instant satisfaction.

Enter video. Good online video brings you alive and results in better placement in online searches. Being able to provide content in video format also increases your ability to differentiate yourself from your competition. The usage of video online is hardly new, but it is quickly gaining in popularity because it works.

Today, 87 percent of marketers use video for content marketing.

According to Forbes Insight, 59 percent of senior executives would rather watch a video than read text. Half look for more information and 45 percent report that they contacted a vendor after seeing an online video ad. About 50 percent of those who viewed an online marketing video went on to make a purchase for their business.

These days, most people first find out about a business by using a search engine. Plus, visitors who view videos stay on the site an average of two minutes longer than those who don’t view videos, according to the Online Publishers Association.

Bottom line: Adding video marketing can effectively increase your business.

Here’s another piece of good news. The cost of producing video has come way down. It can even be free when you consider the ever-improving quality of smartphone video cameras.

Still, you must know what you are doing. There is nothing worse than a bad video, such as your subject staring at the camera like a deer in the headlights. That’s going to chase away viewers as fast as they can click their mouse. If you want to try it yourself, practice first and practice a lot before you put it up.

The real secret to a great video is in the editing, proper lighting and audio. Although you can purchase many do-it-yourself editing programs, it still takes a lot of time that you may not have.

By the time you get around to purchasing all the equipment, it might be more efficient to have an experienced professional do it for you. The cost of a great overview video on the home page of your website can vary greatly, but there are talented videographers out there who will do it for between $3,000 to $5,000. It can really be worth it to make the most impactful first impression. You can probably find someone to do it for less, but – like anything else – you get what you pay for.

Remember, too, that your video can be repurposed in a variety of ways. Insert it in your email direct marketing campaigns and place it on social media like LinkedIn and Facebook. While you’re at it, check out Facebook Live. It’s an amazing new way to do some on-the-spot marketing.

Oh, and don’t forget to smile.

Jon Quick is President of the Carmel-based marketing and public relations firm, Q Public Relations & Marketing. You can reach him at Jon@QPRmarketing.com. He is a former 25+ year manager at both CBS and Emmis Communications.

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