Leveraging Online Video for Business (Part 1)
It’s not the future of the web … it’s the NOW
Internet users (that’s you) are watching an average of 186 videos per month¹ … 186! … per month!
A friend called me and said, “I was researching something today, and I just visited about 6 web sites. I’m at the point now where if I don’t see a video on someone’s home page, I’m gone!”
Is he alone? Absolutely not.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what about a video?
Recently, I was hired by a great company to present and train at their national sales meeting. Although referred to me by another client, the vice president of sales listed her primary reason for hiring me as a 93-second video she saw on YouTube.
T.M.I. = A.D.D.
As the hours and minutes in our days seem to lessen, the amount of available information and often distracting messaging continues to grow. How many times have you gone to your computer to do one specific, quick task only to find that 30 minutes or more have passed in a flash? It’s almost as if many of us have A.D.D. when we’re sitting at our computers – quickly losing focus and easily becoming diverted, distracted or sidetracked. There’s just too much information out there.
Here are 2 compelling reasons why I believe you should be using video:
1. Three Paragraphs of Text Can’t Compete with a Play Button
Given the choice, most people will watch a 90-second video rather than read 90 seconds worth of text. Did you know reading just one book a year places you in the top 20% of readers the U.S.? In other words, 80% of our population doesn’t even read one book a year². In fact, if just 15% of the people that receive this article in the form of an eNewsletter actually click through to this blog post – and then read it – experts will consider that a “good return.”
And while our society may have lost interest in reading, we’re really good at watching online videos. How good?
• 2 billion videos are viewed each day on YouTube alone
• 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every single minute
• YouTube is now the 2nd most-used search engine in the world (Google is #1 … but you already knew that)
• And, as stated earlier, Internet users are watching an average of 186 videos per month¹
Bottom line: Given the option between 90 seconds of reading text on a screen vs. clicking Play on a 90-second video … people are much more likely to watch the video.
If you’re a regular Facebook user, do you notice how much more appealing those quick video posts are (embedded in your news feed) than a text-heavy post? Despite the anti-reading tendencies mentioned above, most of us are visual people. We’re just more drawn to pictures and videos than we are to plain ol’ words on a screen.
2. The Likability Factor
According to UCLA Psychology Professor Albert Mehrabian’s 1967 studies on nonverbal communication – specifically as it pertains to the audience’s feelings about the speaker – listeners base their opinions largely on nonverbal cues. He theorized that 55% of the impression comes from the speaker’s body language, 38% from his voice tone and a tiny 7% from the actual spoken words. More than 40 years later, the results still ring true – and they apply to the digital world as well: Using only words on a screen to reach your audience and communicate, is both inefficient and ineffective.
Most of You Won’t Do This
While training a group of regional client service/sales representatives recently in Las Vegas, I applauded one rep in particular for taking on the practice of posting videos of himself describing his products. He said, “I wanted to get in early … before everyone else started doing it.” I assured him that he probably has nothing to worry about. I don’t believe everyone else will ever start doing it.
Why? Because people tend to either:
a) over-think the process (i.e., “Do I need to script it? I wouldn’t even know what to say! Don’t I need to be funny?” or “Should I use a professional videographer? What about my lighting and background … or an external microphone?”)
b) believe it’s too expensive or time-consuming
c) succumb to camera shyness, or
d) fear that creating and uploading video is beyond their skill set and comfort zone
For these reasons and more, most people will simply never take that first step toward creating online videos of their own. This is good news for the rest of us. If you become one of the few to actually take this on, you’ll be distinguishing yourself in a vast ocean of information, not to mention a sea of competition.
And for Those Who Will…
In part two, I’ll give you the top 6 strategies and best practices for quickly and easily embarking upon your own online video initiative.
I’d be remiss (and a bit of a hypocrite) if I didn’t include a video with this post. So here you go. We recently interviewed Will Hamilton on We Mean Business, our cable (and online) TV show. Will actually makes his living from online videos and currently has more than 25 million views on YouTube alone. Clearly, he knows a thing or two about video and I recommend taking the time to watch what he has to share. Enjoy…
²Source: The Jenkins Group