There are all sorts of elements that go into making a website great. Informative text, eye-catching images and compelling video. As the founder of a Milwaukee video production company, no surprise, that last one speaks to me.
The thing that might come as a shock is that I’m not all about video. I believe in the written word. I believe in graphics and photos. It’s all of these things working together that can transform a website from a simple online brochure into a marketing tool that converts visitors into customers.
Easier said than done.
But here’s the tricky part…getting them all to work together. A lot of sites have each element, but they all operate independent of one another. While we try to break down silos within our businesses, all too often they seem to be alive and well on our websites. That doesn’t need to be the case. It just takes having a strategy when you start designing or re-designing your website. Which is why I always recommend working with design and marketing professionals who can help you keep the big picture in mind. They can resolve the question of how each piece of content can relate to and complement the others.
Putting it into practice.
Let me give you an example that applies to almost every business, the About Us page.
This is the page where you tell people who you are, what you do, and how you help your clients. It should contain a photo, text, and a video. Let’s breakdown each element and see how they compliment one another.
We have all sorts of data showing how important visual content is whether it’s a website or social media. Which is why you need good, strong images on your About Us page. An exterior shot of your building is not good enough. The photos should feature examples of what you do and/or the people who provide your products or services.
Those images become even more eye-catching when they include a “play” button indicating a video. People are drawn to video, and this is where most businesses go wrong.
Video, meet text. Text, meet video.
They might have a video, but there wasn’t any discussion when it was produced about how it might work on the website. Especially the relationship between the video and the text on the page. A lot of About Us videos simply provide the same information that’s on the written page. Big mistake! Video and text are two totally different communication methods. They both can do the same thing, but each has its own strengths. Let me explain.
What text does well.
Text is great for providing information. Add bullet points and it can do that very quickly. Text can also be used to tell a story and, in the case of exceptional writing, touch people’s emotions.
But let’s be honest, when’s the last time you went to a corporate website and were moved emotionally? Heck, that’s even tough to do for non-profits that have incredibly emotional stories to tell.
Where video shines.
Now video… that’s a different story. Like text, video can convey information, but the power of video is all about emotion. Video allows you to build an emotional connection with the viewer and to do it without any words at all!
I’m not strictly talking tears or laughs here. In most of the marketing videos we produce, we’re trying to tap other emotions. We want viewers to feel confident about the business. And maybe, more importantly, we want them feeling good about the company.
Taking advantage of both strengths.
So… how do we get the text and video working as a team? We know video is the most popular form of online content, which is why people usually click a video before reading text. Knowing this, the About Us video needs to create a good first impression.
We do this by telling a story, not just listing facts and figures.
Remember, video is all about emotion.
A friend of mine who’s a communications expert says facts are called “cold” and “hard” for a reason. They don’t stir emotions, which is the key to changing hearts and minds. Good stuff. The video should tell your company’s story in a way that taps emotion. This is why DIY video is rarely a good idea for businesses. For optimum effect, you need a video producer who understands how to tell your story in motion, sound and music as well as words.
Now… text. Think of the text in two ways: each accomplishes the same goal.
First, if your video is compelling, it will inspire the viewer to seek more information about the business. The text provides them with that information. Here’s the place for those facts and figures! How many clients do you serve? In which communities? How many widgets do you produce every month? Roll out the bullet points! Provide a link to the page where they can find your prices to speed up their journey into your sales funnel.
Second, while most people will click on the video, there are some who won’t. This means the text should give them a bit of your story, but non-visual learners are the type of people who crave information. Not a problem since all of those bullet points will work for them.
I love it when a plan comes together.
See how this works? The video reels people in by tapping their emotions and getting them to feel good about the company. The text provides additional information to confirm those feelings. That’s how video and text work in concert with one another.
anywhere on your website. The relationship between text and video can also work in the opposite direction, with people attracted to the text first and viewing the video to learn the nuances of the story or information that augments it.
Here’s an example of how it works the other way around.
Let’s say you run a workout facility. You might write a blog post about the benefits of certain training methods. The blog visitor has specifically clicked that page to read that post, but you might also provide them with a video that compliments the subject. Perhaps a video on the benefits of working with a certified trainer or a nutrition tip.
Regardless, the idea is to start thinking about the communication elements of your website more strategically. Specifically, how video can be used to enhance the sales arguments you usually make only in text. Then, how text and video can be used together not only to meet your sales goals, but also to create a positive emotional reaction to your brand. Once you develop this formula, site visitors will move into your sales funnel more frequently and consistently, whatever your product or business.
—– ABOUT THE AUTHOR —-
Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy Award-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions (offices in Chicago and Milwaukee). T60 has won 13 Telly Awards for its work.