The benefits of Web video for business are all too clear, and as a marketing medium it's really hotting up.

A Web video or video infographic is a high-impact format that helps viewers retain information better than they would simple text or images.

That's because the human brain is programmed to much more quickly take in large amounts of information presented in a combination of images, movement, and sound rather than as images, text, or audio alone.

No wonder Web video is taking off as a powerful marketing medium.

What's the Relevance to Business?

For businesses, Web video is vital if you want to stay ahead of the competition. I don't suggest that you forgo other marketing tools, but adding video to your marketing arsenal is likely to make an impact on your sales, simply because the medium is so powerful.

Web video has a significant influence on consumer purchases, according to AYTM Market Research (Brafton, 2012), and video results appear in roughly 70% of the top 100 listings in search results, according to Searchmetrics (MarketingWeek, 2011).

Why? Because people love them. It's time you asked yourself why you haven't yet used video, as the ROI can be significant.

Initial Planning

So where do you begin? As with anything in business, first comes extensive planning. You will have already identified your target audience through your marketing plan, so use that information to think about the kind of content they would want to see.

Things to remember:

  • You're not making a sales pitch or making a TV-type advertisement. Rather, you want to give potential customers value, or they will soon lose interest and move on. With Web video, your aim is to connect with the viewer a way that gives them personal pleasure so that they continue viewing.
  • Engagement, therefore, is key. Stay away from gimmicks, and think about the best way that you can give your audience what they want. The content should be entertaining, not stuffy and corporate, and it should certainly not contain lengthy explanations about a product or service.
  • Determine your call to action—then consider why your audience would share your video socially or go on to visit your website.
  • Optimize for search. The sheer amount of online video means that it's essential you use sound meta-data to help your video climb the ranks.

Those are among the considerations during the planning process. As in any other marketing/planning process, you should ask yourself over and over what sets your Web video apart from others.

Where to Begin on Production

Obviously, if you're not up to the job technically, then it's a good idea to outsource to a professional video production company. Or, if you have a designer at the ready, many Web videos are made with Adobe After Effects, a digital motion graphics and compositing software used primarily for creating motion graphics and visual effects. It's fully compatible with other Adobe design products, such as Illustrator, used widely by designers.

If you want to do the work in-house and you already have a designer of your own, all the better; but ensure that the project is completed within a creative team so that every element of it is done well.

Points to remember:

  • Start with the script, and ensure that it's clear, succinct, and concise. A good Web video creates energy and buzz, so don't bore your viewers with droning speeches.
  • Consider how the script can be paced alongside your graphics and any other audio you use so that the whole fits together in a way that allows you to hear and see a rhythm pattern and progression, which is what will hold your audience's attention.
  • Keep the background simple, and don't allow clutter. Let short phrases and accompanying graphics do the talking.
  • The recommended format to work in for video is 1920 x 1080. File sizes for design elements can be adjusted easily in After Effects (compatible with Mac and PC).

Using the Adobe software also allows you to access a wealth of stock effects you can use to enhance animations.

* * *

Getting it right can make all the difference to your business and how it's perceived by the buyer. And don't forget to integrate social into video; doing so can greatly enhance social sharing to help ensure that people talk about your company and products.

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How to Use Web Video to Win Business and Wow Customers

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image of David Ingram

David Ingram is on the digital marketing team at My Social Agency, a UK-based digital marketing and social media agency. He is an evangelist of the power and impact of Web video.