Do you need Internet video at all?

La Graciosa photo by Vlad Madejczyk
Lanzarote - La Graciosa, photo by Vlad Madejczyk

The title question is very important, especially that a video footage can be more or less expensive and definitely is much more complicated in production than just writing a post.

In general video on a web page – where it does make sense obviously – attracts visitor attention and makes the visit longer. It improves SEO of that page and adds to quality of a website as such.  From technical point of view it is better to have some video. Also, statistics show that probability of clicking to see what a video is about ranges between 60% and 90% depending on page topic/niche market.

However, there is more important reason behind web video, which makes it so useful – it is the possibility it gives you to convince your potential customers that your product or service is better.  Everybody can write that his/her company is the best, and use washed overcompressed photo stock to support the statement, however a only few companies can show it. A good image attract attention and helps to sell a product or service in more effecient way than just text. Can you imagine an online shop without products’ images, or a high street shop without exhibition window?

A good video can be much more effective, especially that it is more difficult to produce video than to produce a photo. Many times commercial video is what gives you advantage over your competitors.

On the other side poorly produced video can sometimes work against you. Equipment capable of productin good quality video and software for editing video – all this is much cheaper now, than several years ago. But still usual pitfalls in home-made video production are:

  1. low quality sound,
  2. location lighting and poorly edited or low quality video, that is bad visual part
  3. bad directing
  4. copyrights infringement

Low quality sound. This is probably the most common sin. Audio recording should be done via separate audio recording equipment and not by on board video cam mics. There is exception however, if you use good external XLR mics which feed XLR audio inputs in video cam. Except that in most situations camcorder onboard mics kill quality of video. I have to admit, that sometimes the video quality can be quite good for watching holidays video, but editing of such audio signal can be very very time consuming, and many times if you remove noise the price you pay is change in timbre of voice.

Lighting. Home made producers assume that if they can see something properly, camcoreder/video cam can see the same objects in exactly the same way. And this is wrong assumption. Whereas we are able to details in very bright objects or details in deep shadows, most of equipment in not capable to see in the same way. Usually in difficult lighting condition we need to add (or remove) light sources in proper way, or change arrangement of objects on location taking into consideration direction of light, or perform some corrections in post production, during video editing. But, it is impossible to correct very badly recorded video to get excellent results.

Bad directing. Every commercial video, or in general video concerning some product or service needs some directing. For such product like commercial video, where we don’t use feature-like story, just to plan what we want to say/show and why and in what way is pretty enough to escape huge waste of time and money. Proper directing helps to produce planned results, but also as a bounus saves your money and time. Point-and-shot method is good on holidays, but where some budget is involved, it is better to take care about good directing.

Copyrights infringement. Well, the fact that you can copy and use almost everything available online doesn’t mean, that you can use it legally. It looks like most of home-made video creators forget abou it. To steal somebody else intelectual creation, I mean audio/music or video or photo content is classical theft. The only difference is that it is very easy, and very tempting, but it is still not enough to justify such theft. The good news is that with plenty of audio and photo stock online companies offering royalty free content you can get – for instance – good audio stuff for really low money, in range starting from $20 – $100. The cost of royalty free content depends on what you need and for what you need it. The most expensive part of commercial video can be music, especially belonging to some songwriter/vocalist/music band. The prices for using such music content can reach hundreds or  thousands of pounds for length measured of seconds or minutes only, even if you perform some popular tune yourself on an electric piano. Fortunately, for most commercials planned to be published in internet, bacground royalty free music, especially electronic, is rather cheap.