After you spent the time and money on producing quality video for your Website, you need to also consider what's the best way to have that video have the best presentation and user experience possible? In this post I outline those companies and business models which I think have an especially large stake in taking great care of how their website video is presented to viewers; and then I discuss what all businesses who are serious about Website video should consider in terms of professional presentation standards.
What Do We Mean By A Professional Web Video "Experience?”
An "experience" for our purposes here is the manner or style in which something is given, offered or displayed. It's also referred to as a demonstration or display of a product or idea. A professional Website video experience is how video is presented on a company, organization or professional individual's own Website, which provides their intended audience with a positive impression associated with the presenter's own business solutions and their brand.
A professional web video "experience" should score positive marks with its target market audience in all criteria:
- Appearance – how the web video looks. Does the video player look appropriate for the type of content a business is showcasing? Is it an appropriate fit for their brand? Is it sized properly for the Web page where it resides?
- Quality – how the web video renders. Does it playback all right? Or, does it suffer from pixilation, frame drop off, audio out of sync, or buffering? Does it suffer from any playback issues on certain web browsers or devices?
- Features – properties within and around the video that enhance the viewing experience. Does the Website video come with a share button, a mute button, and expanded view? Can you scroll through and select related videos? Can you present proper titles and short descriptions around each video?
What Companies Need a Professional Web Video Experience?
These are just some examples of companies and business models where audiences expect the video on their Websites to have a professional video experience:
- You offer unique video creative as your main service or as part of your services.
- You are a creative agency or an ad agency, and showcase video campaigns that are appearing on your clients' Websites.
- You regularly publish video content to a large and expanding audience, which has come to expect that content as part how they consume your information.
- You are offering high-grade solutions to a niche B2B market, with a high margin on your product or services.
- You are showcasing a performance, and making the content of that performance available for purchase.
- Your brand is associated with Web video, which is also what attracts advertisers.
Consequences of NOT Having A Professional Web Video Experience
Content and marketing aren't the only things crucial to a Web video's success and for consumers to have a positive impression of your brand. The most fragile link often is the delivery mechanism of that video to the Web and your Website. Without giving proper care to the actual presentation of your Website video, even the most high-end content and marketing activities can leave consumers with a negative experience, and greatly diminish much of your video production and marketing efforts.
I earlier interviewed long-time video producer Earle Greenberg of Chicago Video Works, who concurred that a huge oversight he sees with web video campaigns for major clients is the lack of professional care into their Website presentation of that video:
"A big one I see all the time is this: Just because somebody knows how to produce a good video, doesn't mean they know how to prepare it for putting it on the Internet. You can have a great video producer, and have a great video, and end up with something (on your Website) that looks like junk." Says Earle.
It's ironic that some people put so much money and time into the production and marketing of a video for their website, yet slack off on the final component – the presentation module – which can result in that weakest link having the most overwhelmingly negative effect on the end user's experience.
Common Issues of Poor Web Video Presentation
- Not using proper video codecs and pre-sets for those codecs. (This is what allows your audience to be able to watch the video, and also be able to watch it under the best circumstances with their existing bandwidth, web browser and plug-ins. Viewers will find it very annoying and inconvenient to be told that they need to install a web plug-in to watch your video.)
- Poor thumbnail image representation
- Inconsistent streaming
- Unwanted ads appearing around the video.
- Auto audio playback. (Really, what user wants a video start making noise without first giving a user the choice to press play? How inappropriate is this if someone is watching your video at work and surrounded by co-workers? REALLY?)
MANY Companies Need A Professional Web Video Experience
Companies that build their business model around Web video, and are offering Web video services, need to present the video on their Website with a higher standard than other businesses. It just makes good business sense to do so. Why put so much money, time and expertise on the content of your video and the marketing around that video, and slack on final product? You spend a lot of money and attention on your video and your website – you should take equal care to have your video presented the best it can be. It can make all the difference between a successful business and one that goes bust.
Image courtesy of iStockphoto®, © Lenotura Image file # 5275448.