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Using Online Videos Successfully

Quite possibly the biggest current online sensation is the use of videos. Viewing online videos for pleasure is entertaining, touching, inspiring, and fun. But videos can be quite effectively used for business purposes. Videos offer a more stimulating Web experience, adding motion and sound to an otherwise flat environment. When used effectively, online videos can be used to tell the story of the company and customers, explain products and services, and demonstrate products.

When videos are implemented well, they can boost site traffic and sales, and even lead to new business opportunities. In fact, the numbers are quite significant. Mashable.com, a social media blog, conducted internal research which revealed that adding video to a site can drive 36% more clicks, 20% more inbound calls, and more than double the time spent on the site. A Kelsey Group study discussed online videos with consumers who were asked what they did after viewing videos. 55% of the consumers asked said that they visited the web site after watching the video, 30% said they visited the store, and 24% actually made a purchase after viewing a video. With those results, every business should be utilizing videos on the Web.

So the best question is this, how do you use video effectively online?

First, your video should be awe-inspiring. It should contain visual displays that encourage the viewer to keep watching and look for more information from your site. Second, each video should tell a story of some sort. Storytelling adds a human element to advertising and marketing, allowing viewers to be lured in by the natural pull of a good story. Along with the storytelling element, use emotion to encourage site visitors to become purchasing customers. Just a few emotions that can be incorporated into your video are joy, surprise, sadness, humor, anger, love, and fear. This emotional connection builds trust between the company and the customer. People are drawn in to a video's story and captured by its emotion; they are further intrigued by the use of conflict. We are curious as to how various problems and situations are solved. When using conflict, however, it is important to resolve the problem by the end of the video and be sure to present the problem in a respectful way, displaying both sides of an argument in a respectful way. At the end of the video, the audience is stimulated when a question is left in their mind. An obvious question would be, "Where can I see/find out more?" Others might include: "How do I get this product/service?", "Are there other products like this?", or "Can I get more information?" These questions lead the consumer to learn more and take action.

After creating a video that is authentic, eye-catching, emotional, and intriguing, it is imperative that the video is housed through a site like YouTube to increase the visibility and ease of sharing. From a site like this, the video is embedded on your own site or blog and linked to other social networking pages or used on other marketing materials. Encourage your viewers to leave comments, ask questions, and repost your video on their own sites. Thank them for their involvement and the free publicity!