READ THIS before putting video in your site.
The number one concern about using a video spokesperson is the “annoyance factor”. Here’s my advice to business owners losing sleep over the worry about annoying people on the internet. Immediately dismantle your website and stop all further advertising of any kind. I’m sure that your ads are annoying somebody somewhere and this way you can be sure never to annoy anybody again. Now you can get some sleep.
Don’t Let The Inmates Run The Asylum
Business owners are so sensitive to every comment and reaction to their website. They want to let all feedback guide their online strategy, and yet in their Brick and Mortar business they wouldn’t change everything on the comments of just a few. If sales were up, then in fact they would be very resistent to listen to anybody about making changes. Clients with auto-playing video have seen huge sales increases from their website and still cave under the pressure form friends, family, office staff and a few visitor complaints to get rid of the “annoying videos” that nobody likes these days.
Want To Succeed? Annoy Somebody.
Go to a Labor Day Sale at a furniture store. The crowds would be there because they see a TV commercial. Ask them if they feel that TV commercials are annoying most of the time and 100% of them will likely answer an emphatic YES. Would it be wise to stop TV ads because your customers find them annoying? Since when was being “not annoying” the requirement for successful advertising. In the words of my favorite annoying advertising guru, Roy Williams, “if your ad doesn’t offend SOMEBODY, it’s because you’re not saying anything.” When people start complaining, it is a good sign because it means they finally noticed you. If your goal is to let people anonymously slip in and out of your website, gathering information and moving on to other sites, then you will certainly get a humanitarian award someday for freely sharing information in a non-annoying way, but you will probably never gather more than a handful of leads or sales from your website.
Results Mean Everything, Ignore Opinions
I oversee a website that converts 30 out of every 100 visitors into an email lead with phone number, mailing address, programs of interest and custom comments. Some of those leads even complain that they had to share their info to get pricing, but I still get the lead.
When you sit down to write your video script for your onsite actor, you need to realize that your web visitor doesn’t want to see a video, listen to a greeting, hear about your company, or be sold to. They want to quietly slip in and out of your site. They want to quickly find the one or two websites that seem to hold the promise of the information they need. If your video spokesperson doesn’t help them immediately decide to stay by saying something surprisingly relevant, they will most surely leave. You wanted to get them to stay longer and you force them to bounce even faster. Don’t worry, the odds are good that they would have left anyway, you just hurried their departure.
It seems cruel to say these things about your website, but the reality is that somebody will most likely look at 10 or more sites to find the one they spend time with. That means that the odds are very much against you. You have at least 90% chance that they WILL NOT stay in your site. Do this experiment.
Open up all of the google page one competitor websites in separate tabs on your browser and make sure your website is also one of the tabs. Then rapidly go between all the tabs and compare your site to the others.
1-Does your site compel people to stay and take action over and above all the rest?
2- Is your product/service and unique offer clear in the first 5 seconds or even 2 to 3 seconds of the visit?
3- Does your site have an overwhelmingly obvious “next step” in the website or does the visitor have a bunch of options that look equally attractive.
Make sure your video script covers these bases and make sure that your site is clear and compelling. This is at least a good start. As far back as 1920 or so when Claude Hopkins wrote his masterpiece, SCIENTIFIC ADVERTISING, the advertising world already started realizing this frightening truth.
You will never understand why anything works in advertising. You have to test and adapt until you hit the most successful version. This became the ultimate process in the age of Search Engine Marketing. Claude Hopkins would have thought he had died and gone to Heaven when he could test, measure, re-test, measure and adapt new techniques all in 24 hours at next to no cost. He made many men millionaires 100 years ago without this speed of results, so what is your excuse?
Spokesperson or Salesperson
The use of a spokesperson has been a well-documented tactic in advertising. The proper spokesperson can help with the emotional triggers of identification and establish brand credibility instantly. In the online world, the use of a video spokesperson on a website is not the same use in any way. The video spokesperson does not usually confer credibility becuase they are unknown, without recognition. They are simply used to convey information. If the script is written correctly, the video actor is more like a salesperson. Somebody that stands there day and night to present a short “elevator pitch” for the company and lead the website visitor to the next most logical step for their visit. So in any traditional sense of the word, the web actor is NOT a spokesperson, just an old-fashioned salesperson.
There are some well-established rules for sales communication. There are thousands of books about how to present a sales message, but the basic principles are not new. If you miss the point that your video spokesperson should say a sales pitch, then you are missing the point. They are not a tour guide, or a “greeter”, they are a salesperson.read more
One of the most abused words of the past 20 years (since the dawn of the internet) is the word “research”. Having personally earned my Doctorate in Neurophysiology, it is offensive to have the same word used by somebody just reading opinion and non-reviewed stories on the internet. I hear people say everyday, “I researched that on the internet”, but what they mean is “I read some words on a website about that.” Research has an entirely different meaning. Now, this wouldn’t be an issue except these same people still give the word “research” the same heavy duty meaning as if they had spent years in a lab testing the laws of nature and then submitted it all to a group of experts on the same subject for peer-review.
What does this have to do with spokesperson video? Before the age of the internet the word spokesperson meant something special as well. A business, with pride in the service and ethics that they carried into the marketplace, hired a person to represent their company to the world via TV, radio or print media. The spokesperson INCREASED the appeal, recognition, professionalism and overall reputation of the business.
Now let’s talk about the video spokesperson world online. The concept, like the word “research” has been reduced to a shadow of it’s former self. In fact, now online marketers consider this to be nothing more than a tech gadget or widget. I hear them saying several times a week, “my site just needs to be spiced up”. I can tell you that if you feel you are the BEST in some area of service or product, then your spokesperson needs to be the very BEST you can find. This person is on the front lines for your business, and comes in contact with your clients before anybody else, including you. You will be judged by how WELL – or well they do NOT convey your message.
The average person is exposed daily to the best special effects, 3-D, academy award winning actors and directors. In fact, even a proud Dad can make a movie about his kid’s birthday party with iMovie that would rival some major productions from 30 years ago. This means that anything less than professional looks ridiculous. If your spokesperson is PERFECT, that just means that they will fade away as a gadget and the message will come shining through. But if the spokesperson is a bargain basement actor with bad lighting and poor audio, you will have a hard time convincing that visitor ever again that your business is not a mom and pop operation who is unable to tell the difference between cheap and quality. My advice is to keep looking till you find the very best talent you can find within your budget. You will know you made the right choice when you feel proud and excited to send people to see your new spokesperson. You will know you chose wrong when you quickly make excuses and say, “ I thought the site needed a little flash, you know…pizzaz.” This will be followed by the removal of your video from your site within a month or so.read more