Are you thinking about adding video to your website?  That’s a smart move. But before you take the plunge, take a few minutes to think about what type of video you’ll be posting and what it can do for your business.

Stay away from commercials
Commercials are great on TV but on the internet…not so much. People have itchy clicker fingers when they see shameless promotion on the web. As soon as they feel they’re being sold, they’re gone.

Provide real value
A better strategy is to provide the viewer with information that they can actually use – either in their business or personal life. It can certainly relate to the products or services you provide but you’ll get more viewers to actually watch if the video stays away from promoting your product specifically. Of course, if the video can be entertaining and engaging, all the better.

Here are a few examples:

A sporting goods retailer offered instructional videos on how to change a bicycle tire, set up a tent or use a camping stove. Again, this was useful information for clients but stopped short of self promotion for the sporting goods retailer.

A distribution logistics corporation published a series of video podcasts that featured cutting edge research on emerging markets around the world. The research provided valuable insights into local economies and businesses. This was invaluable information for their clients and could be used as part of global business planning efforts. The video podcasts featured the company logo and company experts but did not venture into self promotion.

A large national grocery chain offers a series of cooking shows on their website. The on-camera chefs are engaging and take the audience through complete meal preparation. A list of ingredients is also available from the website. The cooking show features very little in the way of promotion of the store other than a logo.

All of these examples offer the web video audience valuable information and an engaging video experience without subjecting them to a broadcast style commercial. The video is designed to offer real value in hopes that the user will respond by doing business with company sponsoring the website.

Quid pro quo …
We’ve all watched TV news stories on the web – but only after we’ve been subjected to the same commercials we’ve already seen on TV. It’s annoying. If a person visits your website, you want to keep them there – not drive them away. If they are willing to take the time to watch your video, give them something in return – information they can really use in an engaging and compelling manner.

Mike Schrader