Best Practices for Creating Videos for Your Website

Cool Web Hosting Tools for Videos and Website Marketing

Use your web hosting account to make a blog or website destination for viewers, then create videos that can serve as traffic builders to your website. You can create professional videos even if you do not have a film background.

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. By dissecting all the elements that create persuasive videos that move viewers into action, you can increase sales for your business website.

YouTube Video Marketing

There are five important elements of persuasive videos that you can post on YouTube and by following these elements, your videos can better move your viewers into action.

Why is video so important?

At its most basic level, video is a communication tool that can be used in an unlimited number of ways. You can plug-in video into everything that people are teaching you for your business. You can have a video, for example, for testimonials, how to drive traffic to a website, a video that teaches your audience and educates them, even a video that encourages visitors at your website to opt-in to your e-mail list. Making a video is actually simple, quick and efficient that can be used in many ways such as networking on social networking sites. The ultimate goal is to use your web hosting account to create a destination website or blog to which you can drive traffic. Videos can be tremendous traffic builders to your website or blog.

YouTube videos are the most shared form of content inside of Facebook. Videos are a powerful tool to communicate your message. Business owners can use video as a “welcome” when people sign up for your product or service. Screen captures can be used to show people how to do something by implementing screenshots into video. And by physically putting yourself in front of the camera, something special happens. Viewers that watch your videos fell like they know you at a deeper level and a relationship happens. When this occurs with your audience, your subscribers and your visitors, it shifts the game for you. Instead of being a salesperson and constantly pitching your product or service, videos can move your relationship to a level which attracts the type of clients and business that you want. When you connect with people in a face-to-face interaction, it transcends what can happen online. There is something special about that feeling and videos are the closest you can get to that face-to-face contact. You do not have to get in front of the camera, but if you do it is very beneficial because when people watch your videos, there is a singular person out there watching that is connecting to you and receiving your message. It makes a dramatic impact.

Components of Videos that Move People to Action

So many people think that you need to concentrate on which software to use, which equipment, camera and tripod to use. All these things are important but they are secondary to strategy. Keep in mind that what is more important than the equipment you use is strategy. By developing a strategy and plan of action before video production, you can take an ordinary video project into one that is successful, gives value to the audience, and drives traffic back to your website, your community, and build your subscriber list, which generates new sales leads for your business. Be precise and detailed when presenting video content online. Keep your videos synced and avoid rambling.

Prior to Creating your Videos

Sit down and take the time up-front to script your videos. Write out a strategy, an outline, or plan in some way that details exactly what you plan for the video. The clarity improves and the traffic and effectiveness improves dramatically.

Five Elements of a Persuasive Video

  1. Attention Grabber is similar to a headline in an article or blog post. You want people to know exactly what your video is about as quickly as possible. Six to eight seconds is all this phase takes. Don’t even waste time saying, “Hi, my name is Joe”. Instead, jump right into the introduction by saying “In this video we are going to talk about xyz.” or ask a question. Entertain as much as you can. The whole point is that by six to eight seconds, your viewer should have a very good idea of what the video is about. The viewer needs to know what they are going to gain by watching your video. Start your video with providing value for your audience, informing them, and educating them. This is how you will get views. YouTube is not the place for commercials. The attention rate is very low with videos because when a person is watching a video all three their major modalities are engaged: audio, visual and kinesthetic. Videos are like a mini-transformation. Podcasts, on the other hand, give people the opportunity to multi-task such as drive, for example, while listening. You can’t do that with video. With videos you have a much more condensed amount of time to deliver your message and get people’s attention. If you can keep the viewers’ attention, you are connecting with that viewer and engaging them.
  2. Intro Bumper includes you’re branding, your logo, music, telling people what your video is about, what your show is about. As soon as you tell the listener what you have, this is where you can throw in a small commercial. This is the best way to brand your show. Call it a show because it raises your video to a higher level. It legitimizes you. The whole branding package is outlined in the Intro Bumper. Videoscribe.tv is software that offers an efficient way to create engaging videos. You can create amazing marketing videos, instructional talks, add a visual to your talk or story, bring illustrations to life, show text, logos or photos and keep any audience captivated. An example of this is a video with a hand drawing on the screen that captures the viewer’s attention. This is a great place to put your logo, your tag line and some music. VideoHive.net is a website that sells royalty-free, pre-made templates ready for you to customize. They can be purchased for $5 to $15 dollars. They are actually just AfterEffects templates. After Effects is a digital motion graphics and composing software tool published by Adobe Systems. With a template from VideoHive.net, you have a head start with your video. Find someone with basic video experience to whom you can outsource this project and have that person customize your template. You can use Odesk.com to hire someone without spending a lot of money. Have them customize the template with your logo. For around $10 you can have someone plug-in your logo and tag line. Now, save it and use it again and again as a video template that you can plug into all your future videos. This will save you time and money on every video by adding an introduction that is professional and consistent. It’s a wow factor. This phase needs to be done in six seconds or less.
  3. Content includes the meat of your video and it’s purpose is to deliver the value that you have promised. If you said at the beginning of the video that your video would provide value, this is where you need to deliver on that promise.
    • You need to tell the viewer why your video is important otherwise the viewer might take your content for granted. You need to do this as fast as possible. Becoming a teacher and a marketer is important in this phase. Tell the viewer why your content is important. You need to sell the viewer on the importance of your content before you provide the actual content. Then, you can show the viewer what you do or the steps of your “how to” video, for example. Give the viewer a line or two about why your video is so valuable, and then provide the content. Make sure that you have conveyed the benefits and the results of your video. What is the end result? What is going to happen after the viewer does what your video outlines?
    • The actual content can include tips, education, entertainment, or you can tell the viewer what to do in the content of your video. A video is a mini-transformation with one enclosed transformation that stands alone. One thing or one topic should be included in the content of your video. Keep your content precise and topic-oriented. Be unique; be entertaining. Re-set the viewers’ attention span.
    • Next, tell the viewer something that is coming up or tell them something that will be at the end of the video. Give the viewer a reason to stay. Teasing the viewer with something that is coming up keeps the viewer engaged and creates a higher perceived value.
    • The call-to-action is critical to include in this phase. Tell the viewer exactly what to do and why they should do it. The last part of the content should include another instance of your call-to action. Tell them what, why, and how to do something. Move someone that is passive to become active. Thank people for watching your video. You can close out this phase of the video by saying something, for example, like “I’ll see you on the next page when you click the link”.
  4. Altro Bumper entails you signing off on your video. End videos the same way you opened them. You can even put the same Intro Bumper in this phase. It ties it all up. The consistent branding is catchy and it sticks. Use text to further enunciate what your call-to-action is. Make your video ‘humanizing’. You can do this by throwing in a few bloopers which demonstrate to people that you are human capable of making mistakes. This does two things: it trains people to stay to the end of your video. The second thing this does is that it shows people that you are human and that you do make mistakes. It builds a rapport and helps the viewer understand you and connect with you. People want to be entertained and this part of the Altro Bumper shows people that when you make mistakes, you laugh it off, which then creates a deeper connection between you and the viewer. After all, this is the ultimate goal of video because we all know that people buy from those who they like, know and trust.
  5. Out Takes include a video directory, such as a simple card that gives people the option of what they want to do next. When the video ends, a video directory can provide a link to your website, the option to watch additional videos, join your opt-in e-mail list, watch more bloopers, subscribe to your YouTube channel, etc. It gives people the opportunity to take the next step and provides options to do so.

By dissecting the principles of video production and defining a strategy before you leap into your next video project, the end result will be a more professional and effective video.

Marketing Your Website with Video

Embed your videos into your blog or web site. Be sure to put your URL and keywords in the video description. Google owns YouTube so keywords in the video’s description will help your SEO efforts.

Connect Twitter to your YouTube channel by logging into your YouTube account and clicking your user name, “settings”, then on the left of the screen, click “sharing”. You can connect Facebook and Twitter accounts into your YouTube channel to further market your videos and increase distribution. From within your YouTube “sharing” screen, you will have choices of activities. Good settings within your “sharing” options are “like” and/ or “favorite”. If you “like” a video, it will automatically post onto your Twitter account that you liked that video and also onto your Facebook profile with the player so people can easily watch the video and hopefully they will like, comment or share your video.

Are Electronic Games Bad for the Education of Children?

Electronic games are one of the favorite leisure activities among people of all ages and social classes, thus electronic games deserve our reflection as an important cultural phenomenon. The question now for educational leaders and school administrators is how this technology could be inserted in the classroom.

Whenever we discuss electronic games, as with all new technologies, social issues are raised. People wonder whether they are beneficial or harmful to its users, in particular, parents and many educators discuss the harm that games possibly can bring to the social and cognitive development of children and youth. Therefore, there is surprise when someone suggests that leisure electronic games could be introduced as part of the core-school curriculum. One reason for this is that you will encounter many teachers in schools that use serious games (or educational games) in their pedagogical practice, but that they are skeptical about the educational possibilities of leisure games.

The criticisms, which are repeated since the emergence of computer games in the 50s, are summarized by Nicky Hayes in Psychology: “games are based on violent concepts; children spent a lot of time playing games, and this could bring damage to their physical health; and games are harmful in terms of children future learning” (p. 223). In other words, many people believe that leisure electronic games promote violent behavior and isolation, and finally they do not have educational value. We believe that these concerns are not justified, especially if we take into account the developments of the games.

Electronic games are a new cultural form, if compared with the TV, pop music or the movies – the other main manifestations of popular culture.

Nowadays, not only the games have evolved as the proper way to play evolved. And this was possible because of the interaction between the new digital technologies and the internet. For instance, players can embrace games on their smartphones and tablets. Besides that, the new video games consoles PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, which will be launched towards the end of the current year, bring a new element: the online multiplayer, which seems to be a new trend on video gaming industry. This new element enables the players to play simultaneously online in fictional worlds.

Remember that the game Spacewar!, a game launched in 1961, was the first one to allow multiple users to share the computer simultaneously. The games today embrace more ways of interactivity; this means that players do not need to play only offline alone or with friends: players can interact with other players online. Certainly, games per se do not isolate individuals. Some individuals choose to isolate themselves, while for others the circumstances of life – the politics of leisure on the area where they live and public security concerns – exert a strong influence on their behavior.

Many people still believe that playing games is a habit that produces no significant long-term impact – other than becoming a more skillful gamer. But recent studies show that the playing games can stimulate learning of facts and skills. For example, the European report written in 2008 on the protection of consumers, in particular minors, in respect of the use of video games points out the following skills: strategic thinking, creativity, cooperation, and innovative thinking. Accordingly, electronic games are a positive contribution to learning. Thus we see that the last two concerns listed by Hayes can also be considered superseded.

We cannot allow prejudice or concerns that are not based on facts preclude the use of the new technologies in school. Surely games are not the only answer to the problems of learning or other problems that we face nowadays in our schools. But games could help student achievement, since games can motivate to learn the content in a variety of ways, engaging students, for example, in complex tasks that require addressing content in unique ways. The American researcher James Gee is a pioneer in focusing in the principles of learning in video games, or what he calls the “good” video games. In fact, there is already extensive research on games and education which could provide an excellent starting point for discussion.

Work cited

James P. Gee. What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy (New York: Palgrave, 2003), 49.

Nicky Hayes. Psychology (London: Hodder Headline, 2003), 223.

Choosing a Career in the Music Industry

Do you like the idea of having a job that surrounds you with creative and inspiring challenges? Have you ever wanted to take your love for music, video games or the movies to the next level? Do you see yourself behind the scenes making music, games or working in film?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then a career in the audio recording industry may be for you.

Why work in the audio recording industry?

We are surrounded by sound. You can’t go to the movies, play a video game, turn on a TV or radio, or browse the internet without hearing music and recorded sound. Nearly everything you hear was created by an audio professional.

How do you get started in the recording industry? It isn’t easy to break into the entertainment field, but proper training, an internship and determination can help you get there.

Here’s what you can expect from a job in audio:

  • You’ll work with, professional, creative people who have a passion for their jobs
  • You’ll be part of a team with a common goal – producing quality work and expanding your knowledge in the process
  • You’ll be exposed to professional-level hardware, software and computers used to record, edit and produce a finished audio product
  • You’ll have a career in an industry with solid growth potential

The proper education can make the difference between success and failure in your audio career

The music business has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. Because of the low cost and availability of computers and memory, it is now possible to write, produce, edit, process, mix and distribute audio using equipment that was once very expensive and difficult to find.

As an up-and-coming audio pro, how do you wade through this amount of information and make the right contacts and decisions in your search for a career? The answer is to seek out the proper education and gain the knowledge and contacts you need to work in the audio field.

Many people choose different paths in the recording industry. By using the following job descriptions as your guide, you will find an occupation that properly fits you.

Recording Engineer - This is one of the most coveted jobs in recording. The engineer records the instruments, vocals and other important elements on a CD. They also mix the final product and get it ready for mastering and final release.

Post-Production Mixer - In film, the mixer balances all of the elements that go into the making of a film. With the increasing popularity of surround sound in movie and home theaters, this job has become more complex and important. Post production is a growing business with many engineers finding work in Production Sound, Foley Recording and Mixing and Film Score work.

Game Audio Content Provider - Video games and systems are growing in popularity. Even if you don’t work for a gaming company, there are opportunities for hired guns that work as independent content providers. Audio professionals provide the sounds for every aspect of the game including character movements, sound effects, weapons, environmental sounds and music.

Live Sound Monitor or FOH Engineer - Live sound engineers work in radio and TV broadcast and live venues. This part of the business often works hand in hand with the recording end of the industry providing live material for release on CDs, DVDs and TV.