Today I was talking about web video with Patrick Hughes, Production Director of VisualPost and presenter at this weeks Mequoda Summit. While we’re always doing case studies on other publishers and talking to them about their own videos, I thought it would be nice to get a perspective from someone in the field who produces web video for a living.
My big question to him was this: “What is the one biggest mistake that publishers make with video landing pages?”
Without any hesitation, he told me that “when publishers start using video, they forget they’re publishers”. Upon further investigation, he explained that some publishers, once they start to get into video, stop writing content and start using video as a quick-fix for content creation.
“Videos are a great way to get people to your site and build brand identity. They’re also great for creating new content, but it has to co-exist with the copy that supports it. For example, if you’re going to create a video landing page, there should be a salesletter to go along with it. If you’re going to create an editorial-esque video, there should be a transcript that accompanies it.”
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Hughes is no stranger to SEO and emphasized the importance of supplementing video with keyword-optimized copy. “The video on a video landing page is like the icing on a cake, it’s what entices people to keep reading and it can also help you close the deal, but it’s a part of the cast, it’s not the lead actor on a landing page,” he told me.
So, naturally, I asked him to tell me three things publishers can do to make better video landing pages, and here’s what he told me:
1. Whatever you’re saying in the video, write it down. Writing it first and using it as a script will be easier than transcribing, but depending on the type of video you’re doing (face-to-camera or voice-over), one option may be more feasible than the other. Keywords aren’t necessary in the spoken script, but should be used in the copy on the page.
2. Don’t let video quality degrade your content. While sometimes it’s OK to grab a Flipcam and turn it into a fun “around the office” video, or take a presentation and turn it into a video demonstration – these aren’t the best options when you’re selling a product.
If you’re selling a membership website, use professional screen capture software to give a demo of the inside. If you’re going to have a person talking to the camera, make sure the set is clean, the persons face is in focus, and the audio is crystal clear. A bad video can turn away a customer just as easily as a good video can convince a customer to buy your product.
3. Spread your video around. If you’re creating great, informational videos, don’t let them sit alone on your website. Put them on YouTube, Vimeo and other video sharing websites. Use keywords so that people can find your video and make sure to put a link back to your website in the video’s description.
Do you have any feedback to share about your own video landing pages?