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Dynamic Product Demonstrations Using Video Marketing

by Tim Rimington | May 5, 2010

When promoting your product or service, the written word should evoke emotion in your audience. Photos should be the support to those words, filling in the gaps that words can't always cover. Video, on the other hand, takes care of all of that and more. When used effectively, video can be a powerful medium to supplement existing product information especially for online buyers who aren't able to hold a product in their hands, rotate it, and get a "feel" for the product.

I recently purchased a DSLR camera and researched this particular model for weeks. Of all the reviews I read, customer comments I absorbed, the stand-out piece of information was in the form of a lengthy video demonstration courtesy of an online seller on a popular auction website. That 20-minute piece of video clinched it for me. The person performing the demonstration knew the product inside out, and this allowed him to walk through the demonstration with very few pauses. Although 20 minutes is a long time to hold someone's attention, the video was absorbing - and it got the sale.

If you have an online store or a website that simply promotes your company's services, a short, well planned video can capture a visitor's attention and quickly deliver your message. Many would argue that a short piece of video is more likely to hold a person's attention than 3 or 4 paragraphs of explanatory text.

So is video suitable for your website? If you're selling products in an online store, the answer is most likely a resounding "yes". Short bursts of video could be used to accompany standard text and images, or to highlight a new product that deserves special attention. Nothing too long, but just long enough to get the key features across without labouring the point.

Shooting video nowadays is almost child's play. You can pick up cheap HDD-based video cameras, even Flash-memory driven cameras purpose built for internet delivery. Such cameras are offered by large retailers for under A$300 and allow good enough quality footage to be shot for the internet. Depending on the complexity of the product you're promoting, a video needn't be longer than, say, 2 minutes. Even 60 seconds is a long time - you'll be amazed at how much you can actually say in just 1 minute!

If you're promoting a service then you'll probably want to put a little more effort into your presentations. A tripod-mounted video camera for starters, and a well-chosen background and lighting are all considerations when preparing video footage. The style of the footage is dependent on your business and the image you're trying to convey, so what works for you may not work for the next guy, and so on. Experiment, get feedback, and engage the services of a professional video shoot company if you're not sure. But, as I said, quality video cameras for internet delivery can be purchased for nix at the moment so you'll need to weigh up how much footage you plan on shooting and how often you'll change that footage on your website to keep things fresh.

On the other hand, the style of a product video can be more 'loose' by moving the camera around as the person in front of the camera demonstrates the product. Draw up a simple story board if you want the shoot better planned, and simply rehearse the demonstration a few times until it feels right. Over time your video demos will become second nature and you'll soon learn what works best for your products and your business. Try shooting a continuous stream of video as this will remove (or greatly reduce) the need for editing - remember, the whole point of the exercise is to create and deliver cost-effective video without breaking the bank or sucking up staff resources. If you're a dab hand at video editing, then knock yourself out! But, it shouldn't be necessary if you plan what you're going to say and are confident in the product you're showing off. On a final note, try to use someone in front of the camera who has a bit of flair. Your product videos will present so much better if the presenter looks and sounds sharp.

Displaying your video is simple. If you're using SiteSuite's website content management tools, then everything's in place for you to upload common video file formats before displaying video on a chosen page on your website. YouTube is also another platform to show your video but if possible I'd display your demonstrations on your website and maybe think about having a YouTube account as a separate entity, linking back to your online store.

Happy shooting!

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