BusinessSocial Media

No second chance for a first impression

The boom in broadband connections is creating a golden age for rich content websites. In 2010, nearly 80 percent of Australia’s internet population viewed online video, with some 7.4 million of those accessing e-commerce.

With so many businesses having video as an important part of their web presence, those who are able to communicate and present well on video will have a huge advantage over those who can’t.

A website introduction video is a short video presentation placed on the landing page of your site, outlining who you are and what you do. When creating an introduction video for your website, what you are really creating is the first impression. Much like in the offline world, your business will get only one of these.

First impressions

When you meet people, you typically shake hands and start a conversation. A good introduction video is as close as you can get to replicating that experience online. Like a good handshake, your introduction video should be firm, brief, and professional. Your aim is to establish trust and a connection with your potential customer.

In this article, we cover the basics of how to create online video content that will draw website visitors in, getting them past the front page and into the meaty goodness beyond.

Some things to consider

Be concise. A good length for an introduction video is about 30-50 seconds; people will click away if it’s longer. You don’t need to pitch everything you know and do right away.

Just think of your introduction of your video as an introduction in real life; you don’t immediately launch into a five-minute monologue about how great you are. Having said that, it is vital that you provide a clear picture of who you are and what you do. Tailor your summary to your target client, and address their needs. e.g. “I help your small business become more efficient” is better than “I am an efficiency expert”.

Consistency. Your video has to be 100% consistent with what you and your business are about. The writing, the way you present and the content of the video all have to match your site, your print materials, your product, and your behavior off-camera.

Quality over quantity. An unprofessional introduction is worse than not having one at all – you will be actively turning clients away. If you don’t have the budget to use video, then don’t use video!

Production tips

Be prepared to invest resources and energy in the making of any video content. While it is possible to create something on the cheap, the lack of polish will show, and it will reflect upon you and your business. If you want to give the impression that you’re about quality and experience, make sure your video shows this.

You may also want to consider some of the following points to create a better-looking, professional introduction video.

Write it well. Of course, you are the expert on your business. However, you may want to consider a professional writer to help you best express who you are; a fresh perspective can really help. There are many great writers out there that will greatly enhance your script and the writing on your website. Saving on this is a false economy. At the very least, run your script by your business peers, who can provide you with valuable feedback.

Keep it simple. Use a plain background. Anything that is in shot needs to have a reason to be there. If you’re an art dealer, by all means, have a crazy painting in the background. If not, it’s just a distraction.

Present it well. By this, I don’t mean “act like Jamie Durie”. People do truly cringe-worthy stuff while trying to be ‘presented. Be yourself, but be a slightly enhanced version of yourself. If you’re having trouble, get a bit of coaching.

Don’t auto-play a three-minute video? People hate that. There are a lot of ‘walk-on presenter’ videos out there that basically sit on top of the website. That can be annoying if the video is long and doesn’t allow you to click anywhere. Make sure that the audience stays in control.

Short and Sweet

Your introduction video is not going to form the bulk of your online presence, but if done well, you will have a modern, professional opening to your business website that will entice clients and customers to want to learn more.

Just remember to keep it brief, focused, and consistent with the rest of your brand, and you will have an online handshake worthy of your excellent business.

Robert Moorman is creative director at Hunting With Pixels, a strategic online video, and social media production company.

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