Does the prospect of creating
Web video fill you with fear?
If you've never done it before
it can certainly seem overwhelming.
But you can relax,
because I’m going to walk
you through the process.
Why should you be using video on
your websites? Video is highly persuasive,
and users have come to expect
it. A well-produced video can
deliver your message in a way that
engages and persuades visitors to
take an action that you specify. For
example, my weekly WebTV show
(www.HelpMyBusiness.com) attracts thousands of new
viewers each week, many of whom buy various products
and services I recommend to them. You can do something
similar for your niche, regardless of your industry.
The number one key to creating an effective Web video
is simple: Preparation. Unfortunately, most people dive in
head first and end up with an awkward, disjointed mess.
Preparation might not be the most fun part of the process,
but it is critical to success.
Here’s a simple, 10-step process you can follow to ensure
an effective Web video:
STEP 1: Decide on the primary purpose and objective of
the video. Do you want to sell a product or service? Is it to
educate the audience about a commonly misunderstood
topic? Is it a product demonstration? The video must have
a single overriding purpose — otherwise, the audience gets
confused. Try to state your objective clearly in one sentence.
For example, “the video will overcome any negative perceptions
toward hiring new staff from an online employment
STEP 2: Who is your target audience? For example, based
on previous buyers, how much do they know about the subject
already? What are their backgrounds, languages and
abilities to comprehend the topic? Are they naturally interested
in the topic? You would make a very different video for
children under the age of 10, than you would for lawyers
who specialize in divorce cases.
STEP 3: Decide how you will present the topic. Will you
use a documentary style? Will it be dramatic or humorous,
sensitive and factual, or light-hearted and lively? There are
other considerations too. Should there be a presenter on
screen, or an unseen narrator? Also, try to achieve a balance
of information and persuasion. Do you want to appeal
mainly to intellect or emotion? At one end of the spectrum
you could present the information like an instruction
manual — purely factual. The other extreme is to persuade
the viewer by feelings, emotion, and entertainment. A balance
of the two is usually best.
STEP 4: Plan the structure of the video. It’s helpful to think
of your video as a story — it must have a beginning, middle
and end. The introduction must grab the viewer’s attention,
the middle should balance emotion and facts, and the end
must contain a powerful call to action that can not be ignored.
STEP 5:Work out the best duration for the video by boiling
down the essence of the message and conveying that in
the shortest possible timeframe.
STEP 6: Decide who will “own” this project and follow it
through to completion. It’s no use assigning it to a staff member
who is already over-stretched with other work.
STEP 7: Set a deadline. It might be a few hours or days for
a simple video, or several weeks for a complex production.
STEP 8: Research and acquire information and elements
to include in the video. Do you own any existing footage
that could be used? Other elements might include artwork,
logos, graphics or music.
STEP 9: Write the script. A script is the blueprint for your
video. It includes not only spoken words but a detailed description
of the visuals and music that accompany the
words. Don’t expect to sit down and write the finished script
in one session. It will evolve.
STEP 10: It’s time to record. Find a proper setting within
the theme of the video and eliminate distractions and ambient
Preparing your Web video will ensure a smooth recording
process and a polished finished product. Users are viewing
more video than ever on the Web and they are becoming
discerning viewers. Stay ahead of the curve. A properly prepared
video will always achieve better results than a haphazard
About the Author: Watch Andrew Lock’s highly entertaining weekly WebTV show,
“Help! My Business Sucks!” at www.HelpMyBusiness.com.
Andrew helps small business owners and entrepreneurs to “get
more done and have more fun.”