How to Capture the Eyes (and Wallets) of Web Users

Ten tips that will make your online content shine

5. Use the Right Equipment
Sure you can shoot a simple video on a cellphone and upload it to YouTube, but doing so would label your final product as amateurish and unprofessional. Avoid this dilemma by selecting a video camera that produces high-quality moving images and quality sound. Expect to shell out $300 or more for such an investment, and don’t forget to add a tripod (to avoid shaky images) to your shopping basket.

6. Cater to Short Attention Spans
As an online marketer, your goal is to get consumers to watch and react to your videos in a way that leads to sales. Belaboring the point won’t get you there, says Rodger Roeser, president at Cincinnati-based public relations consultancy Eisen Management Group, Inc. “Keep your videos to three to five minutes in length,” he advises. “Make them longer and your customers will tune out and move along to other sites.”

7. Pick the Right Location(s)
Depending on your video’s content and focus, it may be good enough to simply have your firm’s CEO sit at his or her desk and talk for three minutes. Other videos, however, require a more dynamic background. Put some time into choosing a location, and consider using two or three different places (weaved into a single, short video clip) to keep viewers engaged.

8. Include a Call to Action
The soft sales approach tends to work best in the online video world, but that doesn’t mean you can’t effectively use the medium to garner new customers and entice repeat business from existing clients. Spio advises all companies to integrate a solid call to action (such as, “call us today for a free health insurance quote” or “click here for more home improvement tips”) into their online videos. “You want to make it extremely easy for customers to get to your cash register,” she says.

9. Use an Editing Program
Assuming you’ve shot an ample amount of footage to use in your video, now is the time to edit that content into one or more short, concise clips. Use a program like Adobe Premiere Elements, Windows Movie Maker or iMovie to select the desired images, add music or sound and incorporate text and logos into the mix. Other options include online video editing programs like JayCut or Roxio.

10. Test Your Content Before Uploading
Before sending your online video masterpiece out onto the Web, test it on a site such as Deviceatlas.com, where you can double check that the content is being presented in a format that all of your viewers – whether they are using an iPhone or Blackberry — can watch. The site’s mobile device database allows companies to adapt their online videos in way that ensures viewers get the optimum experience.

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