Tuesday, February 2, 2010

On Web Movies


SEO statistics show that online video viewings daily has passed the total number of searches on the “core” engines.  (Core = Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, and Ask.)

And that if you post a video on your website’s front page, up to 80% of visitors will click on it FIRST. 

Eighty percent?  More videos than queries on the big five?  Are you kidding me?

A decade and more ago, everyone talked about “the convergence.”  The biggest challenge would be the battle between the ‘lean forward’ nature of computing and the ‘lean back’ posture for watching movies and TV.  Well the future is here and nobody cares.  We’re screen agnostic, and we watch moving pictures on any device.

(I’m leaning back just now, even as I type, because my tilting laptop table from Ikea nuzzles perfectly against my comfy armchair.)

So, if you build videos into your site, they will come.   Here are four things to think about:

1.  You have 5-10 seconds of initial attention span to work with.   The video needs to be compelling from the start.  Look for a hook – a single graphic or image, engaging music, a unique voice and great copy – that demands they continue to watch.
2.  Give it personality.  In the You-Tube era, surfers expect a certain quirkiness and authenticity.  Try not to be slick and over-produced.  The whiz-bang animations that look so good in the edit suite will be wasted on the small screen.
3.  Tell a story.  Meaning it has a beginning, middle and end.  And get a call-to-action of some kind in there, even if it’s just a web address at the close.
4.  Help the virus spread and watch it grow.  Make your video search-engine friendly with tags and easily shareable with links.  And make sure you use all the cool metric tools on your host site to see who’s viewing.
One great source for ideas is the video mash-up Vidque.  Check out http://vidque.com/business/popular/
For thoughts about your online video needs, remember that iFilm consultations are free, and screen agnosticism is part of the DNA.

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