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Creating Videos for Your Website: Where Do You Begin?

Video continues to be a growing part of the online experience. Ericsson reports that half of all mobile data traffic will come from video by 2019, growing 13 times between now and then. And Canada will contribute to that growth in a big way. The country ranks second in the world in online video consumption (behind only the U.K.) with the average user watching 24.8 hours per month.

But videos aren’t just for entertainment – they can help better promote a company and what it has to offer. Videos generate a 41% higher click-thru rate than plain text in universal search results. So it’s no surprise that businesses want to get in on the action and add video to their websites.

Before delving in, here are some questions to consider:

What type of videos will you create? First, you’ll need to determine what type of content would make the most sense for your business. For example, video demos can generally provide a greater understanding of how products or services work and how customers can benefit from them. Advertising and marketing materials in video format can be more compelling than traditional imagery, and give the impression of a more modern company – 71% of consumers say online videos leave them with a positive impression of a company.

Consider that almost three-quarters of consumers say they’re more likely to buy something after watching a video. In a more specific field like real estate, for example, videos can help sell a property. The point is that there’s a number of possible ways to approach video. Learn what others in your field are doing, and ask key clients what they’d most appreciate in video format.

Who will make them? If you don’t have the resources to produce and edit online videos in-house, consider hiring a third-party that specializes in video production, and who can provide quality content including scripts, supers (text displayed during a video), and can tailor the content to your specific audience. They should also be able to recommend various aspects like the ideal length, camera angles, composition, resolution, and have access to stock footage to improve your video’s production value. They’ll also have expertise in choosing a location (maybe even their own studio), lighting, what to wear, voiceovers, and other important details. A quick online search will lead you to a number of agencies in your area.

Where will you hire your talent? If you’re already hiring a third-party to produce the videos, they may be able to connect you with a reputable firm or actor. Otherwise, you can hire a professional actor through a talent agency. A good place to start is with ACTRA, the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television & Radio Artists, which has a diverse database of actors that specialize in various work; including background actors, interviewers, announcers, and even hand models.

If you’re looking to find talent on a budget, consider a local talent agency that offers actors available for work on a freelance basis. Look for one that offers an online catalogue of actors with profile details such as a headshot, location, work experience, and even ratings or comments. Alternatively, you could include your own staff members, which could add a more personal touch to the video – but this may require some training to ensure they are comfortable on camera, can memorize a script, and will properly represent your brand.

Do you have the right equipment? If going the DIY route, you’ll need the appropriate equipment, including a high-definition camera or DSLR with video capabilities that can shoot at a high number of frames-per-second (to ensure smooth quality). It should also have features like image stabilization to reduce the effects of camera shake for shots that don’t involve a tripod, and a proper optical zoom. You’ll also need to consider lighting equipment and external mics to capture audio effectively.

Have you budgeted appropriately? Factor in expenses like renting out a venue, special props and other equipment, actor fees, and time away from regular duties for staff. Even things like hair, makeup and wardrobe can add up, pushing you over your anticipated budget if they’re not accounted for early on. The costs of creating a video can quickly skyrocket if you’re not careful, so it’s important to research average pricing, set a firm budget and work within its limits to ensure costs don’t get out of hand.

The bottom line

Video is rapidly becoming an integral part of doing business online. When done right, it can help better educate (and maybe even entertain) your customers on your company and what it has to offer.

What types of videos would you like to create for your company’s website? Tell us in the comments below.

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