13_videos_on_the_webOnline videos are a must for those who want to keep their audience entertained and emotionally involved in the web content they offer, and have proved to be highly effective.
Today’s Internet connoisseurs appreciate to be informed and entertained on a variety of websites. And that’s why online videos that not only entertain, but especially surprise, can be a useful addition to the existing range of information. 

When does the use of moving pictures make sense?

The use of online video is a good idea if you want to address your target group in an innovative way. Just make sure your multimedia content corresponds with existing data and is inserted in the overall context in a meaningful way. With the success of video services such as YouTube, MyVideo or Sevenload, videos on the web are no longer a novelty for your audiences that by now naturally embrace them. Thus, always try to surprise viewers with new ideas and have a long-term vision for all you’re doing.

Multimedia applications are, in general, suitable for all kind of websites: corporate websites become more vivid and emotional, news portals gain credibility and relevance, thematic portals complement their offering with versatility and visualization, and online stores can present tangible as well as new product ranges easily. All have in common that users get strongly involved in the online events, such as commenting on what they see, forwarding their opinion, or just repeating several times what they saw.

Fact is that an active audience appreciates having individual possibilities at their disposal while dealing with an offer, besides appreciating smart usability. A web video shouldn’t, for instance, be longer than four minutes on average, as the audience's attention then falls rapidly. Further, every video should provide a clear structure, an interesting story and be implemented meticulously. Just keep in mind that it is difficult for your online audience to jump back and forth if something isn’t understood, as individuals spend at best a few minutes to get the maximum of information.

For many the integration of videos into a context is still a hurdle: videos are either often stored in separate categories, where the visitor has yet to look for them under specific topics, or sometimes videos are just placed at the end of articles without going into specific text passage, or they are prominently positioned on the home page, although it would make more sense to present them on a thematically more relevant sub-page. Thus, pay very close attention to when, where and how to integrate video cleverly. Either you come up with a story about the video, or make it complementary available – but nothing is worse than videos that aren’t thematically filed.

Trends and Innovations: How you really get attention

Live-shopping, for instance, represents a new way of introducing a product visually to those that are willing to buy. From the conception of the videos, online live-shopping performances remind us of the traditional tele-shopping: a moderator presents a product and explains the benefits and price-performance ratio, besides, at best, telling amusing stories.

Live-shopping reaches the online visitors in a virtual environment through the inclusion of a real place, so that e.g. exquisite wines can be presented in an awesome wine cellar, organic tea in a cozy tea shop, or a bicycle against a village backdrop. Creativity knows no bounds here.

Even in-video-shopping is starting to become more popular thanks to new technologies. It is now possible to click on products in a video and purchase them directly. When watching a video on cooking, for instance, viewers get a change to buy just by clicking the cookbook, the wooden spoon, pots, and what else is used and seen in the clip - if these products are sold separately. By adding them to a shopping cart, products can be purchased as seen in the video.

For company websites, video webisodes are an exciting idea, too. Web series which are on average between 4 and 15 minutes are telling short stories that unfold in the context of a larger plot. Typically, there is the opportunity to interact with the actors or even the producers of the story. For example, a company that specializes in the distribution of international telecommunication services could depict everyday business with weekly short films, showing-off communication technologies, devices and the entire product portfolio.

Multimedia Ideas: always stay a length ahead

You can imagine that organizing a video contest is quite popular to provide users with interactivity, as they can send in home-made videos and win a prize if they are among the best. This not only leads to increased traffic to the site and associated viral marketing effects, but results in exciting content and a strong involvement of the target group.

The use of testimonials has a similar effect. The more sophisticated and interesting the characters of a video are, the more they are accepted by the audience and the more the video gets recommended. But beware: If you have the intention to shoot a promotional video, please don’t try to hide that. Web video viewers distinguish very clearly between content and advertising, and hold it against the provider if attempts of deception are committed.

Last but not least, and yet still in its infancy in the web video world, we have mobile videos. Online users increasingly take time for multimedia content when on the go: whether it is a distraction on a boring train ride or as a source of further training. Here it is particularly important to create a relevance to the situation of use and to offer the audience an incomparable service to the video offerings. Again, make sure that the clip isn’t too long and the message is clearly formulated.

Integrate multimedia content into your online strategy! You won’t just only be recognized as a modern company, but will be able to convince with creative ideas and valuable information, as that's actually the feat: Surprise your audience with appealing services or information and you will soon be able to welcome regular visitors to your website. Not to mention that constantly producing new content keeps you up-to-date and attractive.

By Daniela La Marca