We all know that online video is the man of the moment. We frequently hear about the rewards we will reap if we get it right. The other side of the coin has been less explored. What happens when your video isn’t right? What are the consequences of publishing low quality video? If good quality video can make you money, it logically follows that low quality video will lose you money.
There are a number of ways that a video can be considered low quality in terms of production values. However, by low quality we also refer to slow start-up time, buffering, and resolution. We are going to list some of the most detrimental video quality errors and talk about our approach in relation to web presenters.
(This article is going to talk about web presenters as a case study, however, most of the points relate perfectly to other online video forms.)
1. Do not make your video productions too long
At My Web Presenters we support clients with script writing for their web presenter videos. Our advice is always the same; your script should be no longer than 30-45 second. We offer this advice on the basis of our experience, which shows that viewers switch off if you don’t get to the point quickly.
Some of our clients insist on long scripts that could be likened to an essay rather than a spoken script. As you might expect, these videos are less successful. The viewer switches off before they ever hear the presenter get to the point. The result for the client is a missed opportunity. Visitors don’t convert and the client loses a potential sale.
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We had one example where a video we produced with a client written script cased a 5% fall in the page conversion rate. We then re-filmed with a shorter and more punchy script and the result was a 12% increase in the page conversion rate.
At My Web Presenters we produced a short video for Virgin Holidays, which resulted in a 30% increase in Upper Class seat sales. This was because it go to the point and gave users the information that they required at the right time.
2. Have a Call to action in your video production
If you don’t include a call to action in your video script, how are your visitors supposed to know what to do next? A call to action is a chance for you to tell your visitor exactly what they need to do next, and why. If it takes them too long to work it out for themselves they are likely to bounce off your website and go somewhere else.
This point relates to the length of a video and poor scripting. A call to action should be integrated into a concise script. With a web presenter, you also have the opportunity to use gestures to literally point the visitor in the right direction.
We recently introduced a new web presenter video to our homepage. ‘Jeffrey’ increased our conversion rate by 30% in a short space of time. Take a look for yourself to appreciate the importance of a strong call to action.
3. Poor placement of the online video on your website
Web presenter technology has the potential to transform how visitors interact with websites. However, they can only fulfill this potential when there is a considered strategy behind implementation.
A fundamental element of this strategy is in terms of where on your website you place a web presenter video in order to achieve a desired effect. There is a tendency for clients to think that the homepage is best, because it gets the most pageviews per month. However, this might not necessarily be the most effective use of a web presenter. It may be that you have a landing page which new visitors are being directed to via search engines. These visitors may have more potential to convert because they have come through to the page via a particular search term. A web presenter in this context could constitute a vital link in their journey to your product. It is a chance to keep them on your website by reinforcing your sales pitch and pointing them in the right direction.
Of course, you can have web presenters on more than one page of your website. But again, this should be part of a considered strategy and one web presenter video should complement another, rather than merely repeat the same message.
Performance can vary massively even just by position to the left, centre or right of the page – the video must interact successfully with the rest of your content.
4. Do not make web videos too sales focused
People are used to being sold to all of the time. If you want to turn your visitors away from you in one easy step, then turn on the hard sell – they will run a mile.
Video is an opportunity to show your customers your business personality. If done right, you can build a lot of trust from a video. With web presenters, we select presenters who are authentic and approachable. Combining a good choice of presenter with a considered approach to script writing, a web presenter can guarantee that your visitors feel engaged with your brand, enough to consider what you have on offer.
5. Poor video production quality
If your video looks bad because it has been filmed ineffectively, viewers will notice. We are all used to seeing high quality video on a day-to-day basis. When we come across bad videos, it is obvious to us. The general impression will be that you are amateur, unqualified and people may even assume that your video was intended as a joke.
In terms of web presenters, production quality is in terms of how well the presenter is lit and how well they have been chromakeyed. The other majorly important factor is sound quality. It is essential that the sound quality is of the highest possible standard. Audiences notice poor sound. Once aware of sound quality, a viewer will stop listening to the message.
In terms of other corporate video types, there are different levels of acceptable production quality, depending on the genre and purpose of your video. For example, a corporate video in the style of a mockumentary might have shaky, hand held camera work (which is acceptable in this context!).
6. Poor technical video productions
Conviva recently published a study that tells us that in 2012, content producers missed out on an extra $2.16 billion in revenue due to poor quality video streams that have impacted significantly on viewer engagement.
The report pointed out just how common poor quality videos streams are. They also pointed out how users are becoming less tolerant.
According to the report, viewers watch 250% more when they have an optimal experience (with fast startup, little/no buffering and a high-sustained bitrate for high resolution and visual clarity).
Improving the technical quality of your videos could therefore be one of the most important investments you could possibly make. Conviva predicts that content producers will be throwing away $20 billion by 2017 if they don’t take these findings on board.
At My Web Presenters we aim to produce the highest quality videos. A web presenter video with a slow start-up speed will completely defeat the object and render the video useless.
If you are going to produce low quality videos, you might as well produce no videos at all. No videos will do less damage than bad videos. As well as the literal implications talked about above, there is also the damage that poor quality videos can do to your brand and how people perceive your business. The best advice we can give, when you don’t really know what you are doing, is to speak to someone who does. This is the best way to guarantee a return on the investment you make into online video.
Now I am not saying for any moment that this is not classic cinematography but you can see from this clip how expectations have changed with technology; these production qualities would not be acceptabel nowadays except in a parody: