Tag Archives: video

Have You Seen Our Coupon?

There’s one store close to my house that I frequent – not every day, maybe every two weeks. I was there today, and noticed the hand-written sign on the front door?

Have You Seen Our Coupon?

Under it was taped one of those coupons that are printed on the backs of grocery receipts. In making conversation with the store clerk, I discovered that the coupons had been out about a month, and no one had used one yet.

These folks spent a sum of money for a vehicle which they believed would cause increased traffic to their store. Since nothing happened, their feeling about this form of marketing will soon be, “I tried it and it didn’t work.”

It doesn’t matter that there could be other factors at play: the offer wasn’t good enough, the design wasn’t eye catching, the weather was too cold..any number of things.

Their investment in that coupon and its distribution ends when it’s no longer being printed.

That’s advertising.


What if you had a creative message that you owned? One that worked for you 24/7/365.

What if you didn’t have to ask your customers if they had seen your message; you’d know because they’d be buying from you?

What if you had something that the competition didn’t?

What if you had a message that connected with customers and prospects

What if that message was something your prospects had been searching for?

That’s web content.


Videos On Your Website can help you build a library of web content so that you become the expert, and they will choose your business to answer their questions and solve their problems.  No coupon needed.


That’s a wrap.



There Is No Trophy For Second Place

My wife loves to read. Both of us could browse thru Barnes & Noble or Borders all day.  But she rarely buys from them. Instead, she browses Amazon.

There are some items that I don’t bother shopping for at all.  I just look on eBay.

There are many places to buy books online. Ask someone, and see if Amazon isn’t the first thing on their minds. Same with auction sites.  Same with a lot of business categories. (Kleenex instead of tissues, Xerox instead of copier, PingPong instead of table tennis).

When you’re first at something, you can pretty much “own the franchise”. And when you can do that PLUS be outstanding at connecting with your customers, you can reach that Top Of Mind status reserved for the Amazon’s, and eBay’s and Zappos.

How many of your competitors are using video? If you said none, that’s your chance. It doesn’t matter if you are B2B or B2C. Your customers and prospects are searching for what you have to say.  Video was the most added feature to websites in both 2009 and 2010.  If you don’t know whether or not your competitors are using video, find out. Do it now.

Building your authority and your expertise should be one of your major goals this year.  If you’re in a business in which customers need to place their trust, you can’t afford to go forward without shoring up that trust with all of the compelling stories you can tell with video.

Hopefully, you can be the first.

That’s a wrap.

You Never Know Who’s Watching. (The Top 5 Things That Matter)

Over the past two weeks, I won two different clients specifically because of two different videos on my website.

Someone asked me recently if quality matters for web videos. I replied that quality is the top 5 things that matter for web video.

Quality, quality, quality, quality, quality.

I just invested on a new professional HD camera with which to shoot.
I know, most websites play videos in small screen players. But there’s something that folks forget: sales of Internet ready TVs are increasing steadily.

Think about that amateur video being played on a 46 inch screen. If you thought shaky, hand-held camera shots were distracting on a small screen, wait till you see it magnified. Now, add in that low, or not-quite right light. Is anyone still watching after 30 seconds?

Major newspapers, television stations and networks are all putting video content on the web. Any poorly-produced DIY video will have to compete with that.


Anyone can upload and share anything. It’s what is driving the explosion of social networking. It’s really, really cool. However more people want to connect with businesses and brands than ever before. Done right: with basic, well thought-out shots and a little showmanship, you can not only connect with customers and prospects, but they will stay on your website longer. That gives you more chances to convert them.

Coming soon – more about how your competition uses video.

That’s a wrap.

Pretty + Annoying =

The number one rule of multimedia: Let The User Control It. That means when you hit a website, you should not have to be assaulted with noise, music, or things that beep when you move your mouse. If you want to be, fine, you can turn it on. But the default should be OFF.

That goes, too, for those diminutive women and men who live just off the screen. Within seconds after landing on a new page, as you are trying to read text, or just figure out the navigation, one of them will invariably pop out from the side with a cheery, “Hi! “. If you do have your speakers on, it’s a bit disconcerting.; And if you have the speakers off, the model is usually walking right where you want to read.

They try and beg or cajole you with generic gobbledygook that says nothing about what I want to find out, or why I came to the website in the first place. I’m usually gone from that page within the first ten seconds.

The “Video Spokesmodel” is the spinning .gif of Web 2.0

I realize there are some business owners who prefer to remain hidden. Their website has no email address, and the About Us page is a collection of mission-statement speak that is foggy at best. So, in order to seem more like a REAL person (instead of a faceless website that is asking you to give up your money or your email address), they use a Video Spokesmodel as Lilliputian window dressing.

And it could damage their credibility even more.

When you put a face on your website, it should be YOUR face. Or at the very least, someone with whom I would be familiar if I were to buy from you.

Tell me your passion. I love to do business with people who love what they do. Show me what’s new in your world that could change my life. Take me behind the scenes to meet the heroes of your company. Let me hear from your Raving Fans about why their experience with you made them want to come back for more. Engage me.

Do that with your prospects, and they’re more likely to become customers.

Could I show you some examples?

That’s a wrap.

Behind The Scenes part one – WHAT IS POST PRODUCTION?

Part of our core message is : “We write, shoot, edit, do post production, then deliver the files to you.” And while I try to keep that core message simple and as targeted as possible, I want to do some in depth blog posts to explain what makes Videos On Your Website a valuable resource.

Every video gets a little post-production. It may be as simple as adding a music track. Oh, wait – did I say simple?

Music should enhance without being obtrusive. All music tracks have to be edited themselves – so that they fit the same timing as the video. Sometimes, whole segments of a music track have to be moved to match scene changes.

Voiceover is part of post production. Being a voice artist for 20 years, I could go into fanatical detail about this. But I won’t. I have another blog for that at ronharper.com. Suffice to say the voice tells the story. Narration entails a lot more than reading.

Everyone likes nice graphics, whether it’s a logo, or a great still shot. But how about a little blip at the bottom of the screen that shows the speaker’s name? That is usually made up of two different video files: a background, called a “lower-third”, and the text file. How big should it be? Where do you want to place it on the screen? Want to match the color to the logo? Those are some of the decisions we make at that point. Still shots don’t always fill the screen, and they need a background. Or, maybe you’d like to start at the top of the still and pan down, or slowly zoom in.

Is the color right on all of the shots? If not, we can adjust it in post. Want a special filter, or other effect – it’s all done in post production.

Come back soon, and we’ll have another peak behind the scenes.

–That’s a wrap.

6 Reasons Why You Need To Use Flash For Web Video, and 1 Reason Why You Don’t.

If you’re putting video on your website, you want as many folks as possible to watch it, right?  No matter if your viewer is using Windows, or Apple, they should be able to watch it quickly and without hassle.

There are more than a handful of multimedia formats, and some players don’t play them all.

I’m a PC – always have been; always will be.  Here’s something I didn’t know – not all Windows systems have Windows Media Player pre-installed. On the other hand, not all Apple machines have Quicktime pre-installed.  Windows Media won’t play Quicktime files. Quicktime doesn’t like Windows. But there’s one format, and one player that works with both operating systems.

When it comes to putting videos on your website, Adobe Flash has a lot going for it.

  1. The small file size means it loads quickly
  2. You can pre-set the buffer size, so it starts playing immediately
  3. It embeds easily into webcode
  4. You can determine how you want the player to look.
  5. You can view it full screen if you want
  6. Mobile devices are using it.  (It’s true, Flash doesn’t play well with the Iphone.  That’s why you also need an MP4 version of all your videos.)

Your website visitors don’t want to have to wait while a video downloads. Give them the experience they want, and the information they need, and they will actually spend a longer time on your site.  My average viewer spends almost four minutes on each page.  And there are effective and affordable video players which will even generate the code for you.  All you do is plug and play!

Do it now.  The longer you wait the further behind the curve you will be.  Video is not a craze.  It will become as ubiquitous as text and images are on websites.

–That’s A Wrap.

Are You A Videographer?

I never know how to answer that question. I don’t really like the word. To describe what I do takes a little more. So I looked it up.

vid?e?og?ra?pher [vid-ee-og-ruh-fer]
–noun someone who makes films with a video camera.

Empty. So, what is the best way to describe what I do? I can’t think of a really good one, although, I like Content Producer. It really is all about content. That’s why it at the top of my web pages.

If you want to capture a wedding day, you can call a videographer. If a reporter needs someone to get pictures of the story he is telling, he’ll take a videographer. And let me say, that I’m not knocking those tasks at all. The term just does not describe my business.

My first role is as a consultant. In the preliminary stages, clients ask about the process, subject matter, and we brainstorm ideas. I’ll take that information, do some additional research, and come up with a script. That’s one of the things I love. I’ve been writing professionally since I was 16.

On the day of the shoot, I’m with my client for less than two hours. If we’ve done our planning, that’s all the time we need to get the images.

I transfer the files into my digital editor and start piecing together the message. Many times, scenes are shot out of sequence, or maybe a scene needs to be moved to give it more emphasis. I have to create the graphics, find the right music bed, and maybe do a couple of voiceover pieces.

I’m not through yet, I’ll watch it a couple of times to see how the shots match up and do some more tweaking. I’ll do a rendering to see how the video is going to look online. Does it have a great opening? Will the colors go well with the website it will be shown on? More tweaking. Finally, it’s ready.

After client approval, I make a number of renderings in different formats: Windows Media, MP4 Quicktime, MPG, Flash, and start uploading to the most effective video sharing sites. Yes, there are a couple of dozen others besides YouTube that show up in search engine optimizations. Many times I’m also working with my client’s web master or designer.

So there you have a condensed version of what goes into every project.

There has never been a better time to start using Videos On Your Website to promote your product or service than right now! And as you can see, you get more than just a video. You get my decades of experience in knowing how to reach your target audience.

Give it whatever name you want. But know that it neither starts nor stops at the camera.

–That’s a wrap