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Video Elevator Speeches for Websites

May 27, 2009
Jill,

I create short videos for companies to post on their websites and for other purposes as well, including posting on YouTube. My philosophy is that when people come to your website, you should tell them in a very concise, compelling and coherent way who you are, what you do, and what makes you special in the marketplace. That is what marketers call an "elevator speech" – a 2-minute version of your branding or mission statement. I create 2-minute (or less) videos that state a company's mission statement.

Jill, why do so few websites use a video to do what I seek to do in my videos? My sense is that web designers are not marketers, so they have no idea how to shape a compelling message – hence, most websites do not convey a very clear and concise message as to what a company does. Do you think a positioning video has value on a website, or does it interfere with the structure and architecture of the website?

Best,

Alan


++Jill's Response++

Hi Alan,

For the past couple of years – since Google introduced their "Universal Search" algorithm – companies have been scrambling to put video on their websites. Some SEO companies have gone so far as to say that websites without video won't be ranked well in the search results!

I very much disagree with that statement, but I do believe that video can be an important addition to a website for SEO purposes as well as for marketing in general. I think you'll find more companies embracing video on their websites for years to come.

That said, there are usability issues to consider when adding video to any page of a site. For instance, I highly recommend that you do not have pages where the video plays automatically – at least not with the sound on. This can be very annoying and disruptive to people when it happens. But having a video with an optional "play/pause" button that provides a few minutes of elevator pitch about the company? Sure, that's a good thing for those visitors who prefer listening over reading. As always, the more ways you can appeal to your target audience, the better.

As to whether embedding a video on your website impedes the structure and architecture of a website, no, it shouldn't.

Best,

Jill
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Jill Whalen is the CEO of High Rankings, a Boston SEO Consulting Agency.

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 Jane Noel said:
I think one reason video isn't more popular is because it's slow. Most people scan a website to get the info they want. You can't scan a video. How many users spend 2-3 minutes on a page - unless it's a page they are really interested in.

I do think video has good uses to show unique features or demonstrate a products. But I'd never watch a general info video.
 Finn Skovgaard said:
I agree with Jane. Considering myself in the role of a web user, I can't imagine why I would want to spend 2 minutes watching such a video - or even 30 seconds. One can read a lot of text in 2 minutes, and it ought to be possible to explain in much less text what a company is doing. I rarely click on the increasing number of videos on news sites either. It's too slow, the image quality isn't very good, and it has nothing to add to a quick read of the text - with few exceptions. There may be certain cases where it can add value, but I would say that has to be carefully analysed on a case by case basis rather than just adding a video simply because of fashion. Keep it simple and remember that customers are focused on their own needs; not your business.