Building your brand online and being discovered in search.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then how many words is a video worth? At least a thousand, if not many more. The greatest advantage video offers is the ease to which it can communicate an idea, and the degree to which our brains are naturally wired to absorb information in this way.
When the web first entered our homes, it was this new medium with which to share information and manage data on a very basic scale. In the early to mid-nineties, we were able to share text and images. With the explosion of broadband the web can now drive richer content to our screens and provide higher level experiences such as videos and interactive Flash websites. And with these new applications comes a greater opportunity to communicate who you are.
More recently countless businesses have taken to online video and viewed it as an opportunity to build their brand presence. Some have been quicker out of the gates than others, but now that so many have done it, it might be useful to ask yourself: why should I do it?
I don't think the only answer should be: "because my competitor is doing it." As good a reason as that may be, it's still not going to help you determine what you're going to convey when it comes time to create engaging online content and build your brand (given the assumption that brand credibility is an important factor as to why people buy).
So then, what should every good website strive to communicate? Perhaps it's useful to take a cue from journalists and answer the 5 Ws... more so: who you are, what you do, where you're going, when you started and why you do it. Don't expect to answer everything with one video, but keep the 5 Ws in mind when you create your video content.
This is not to say that online video is the only or best way to engage people with your brand, just that it has certain advantages. With video you can convey the feeling of sincerity, a human element, a voice and personality. With the trends gathered from WebCanada's recent expedition to the Web 2.0 Expo, integrating video with the rest of your online content strategy be it a blog, social media, interactive website elements, slide shows etc. is probably the best strategy to keep your visitors engaged with your brand. Adding video speaks to the larger trend of late: personalization and the "experience" a user has when using the web either to browse, research or participate in communities.
Although video brings certain advantages from a communications perspective, text-based web content still contributes significantly to getting a website noticed. Matt Cutts, Principal Engineer at Google's Webspam team breaks it down simply in his video "Exploring Video Sitemaps & Google's Video Index" where he describes the value of good content and video, both of which can be a wonderful thing for SEO.
If you've ever watched videos on TED talks (an amazing company found at www.ted.com) you may have stumbled upon Chris Anderson's video entitled "How Web Video Powers Global Innovation." Chris describes the video trend and how it is dramatically influencing the speed of innovation on a global scale. I think Chris is right, and we are bound to see the rise of video explode in the near future; in fact he notes that CISCO estimates that by 2014 90% of the web's content will be video. We've embedded his TED talk at the end of this blog.
So naturally you may wonder, where are WebCanada's videos? Look for them to come!
To the initial question of how many words a video is worth... well, if the average video is 30 frames per second, then one second of video must be worth 30,000 words! Food for thought.
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