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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Need help adding Video to website

    Based on some past failures with client's websites, and with the realization that just having a nice HTML website isn't enough, I want to learn how to add Audio and Video to my personal website.

    But I have no clue of where to begin?!

    It would be nice to add a couple of simple, yet professional looking videos to my website.

    Specifically, I would like to do "Customer Testimonials", because I think that would really help me to establish rapport and trust with potential customers. (In addition, having audio or videos would "spice things up" a bit too!)

    Here is hoping that you don't say, "Go buy $10,000 in video and editing equipment" or "Go hire a Hollywood producer"?!

    On one hand, adding audio and video to my website will probably require A LOT of work, but then again, think of how many 14 year old kids out there get on nationwide TV and become rich and famous for the most obnoxious YouTube videos...

    Can someone help get me started?

    Sincerely,


    Debbie
    Last edited by DoubleDee; Dec 29, 2011 at 18:04. Reason: Rewrote Original Thread so it flowed better...

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    I am hoping that people won't say, "Go buy $10,000 in video and editing equipment" or "Go hire a Hollywood producer"?!
    Go buy a cheap video camera (preferably digital), take your video, import onto your computer and edit with iMovie (should already be on your Mac), then click Share to upload it straight to YouTube. Then embed it into your web page. Easy. And cheap.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    Go buy a cheap video camera (preferably digital), take your video, import onto your computer and edit with iMovie (should already be on your Mac), then click Share to upload it straight to YouTube. Then embed it into your web page. Easy. And cheap.
    If I give $20 Aussie dollars, will you do it for me?!

    Back in the "old days", websites had Flash (??) videos that would play when you visited the website. (I guess sites still do that with advertisements.)

    Not sure if people will find that obnoxious or not?!

    I was thinking of interviewing a customer or prop person on a topic that relates to my business. For example, maybe there would be a 200px by 200px "video" of some female talking about how incorporating her business was a great idea. People would see the lady talking, and hopefully think, "Hmmm... let me turn on the sound and see what she is talking about?!"

    Don't you think that would make my website more interesting?


    Debbie

  4. #4
    Non-Member Max Height's Avatar
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    Off Topic:

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    I was thinking of interviewing a customer or prop person on a topic that relates to my business. For example, maybe there would be a 200px by 200px "video" of some female talking about how incorporating her business was a great idea. People would see the lady talking, and hopefully think, "Hmmm... let me turn on the sound and see what she is talking about?!"
    If you want to add video customer testimonials, certainly do it as cheaply as possible because, and no offence, personally I think unverifiable testimonials on any website are a waste of time.

    Think about it - have you ever seen a bad testimonial on a website? And it's nearly impossible to determine if the testimonials are genuine and truthful, let alone just "cash for comment".

    just my


  5. #5
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    Like Max above, I don't find testimonial vids very interesting. They are really ads, as they can say anything they like, and who wants to watch an ad? What I really do like on sites these days are intro videos that give a demo of the product being sold. These can be very handy, and are more engaging that a long series of paragraphs trying to do the same. There are some really nice ones out there. If you like, check out this one on the goodsie website (it's the demo video, in the center down near the bottom of the home page, which seems a little silly to me, but o well ...)


    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    If I give $20 Aussie dollars, will you do it for me?!
    Add a capital K and I'll think about it.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    Like Max above, I don't find testimonial vids very interesting. They are really ads, as they can say anything they like, and who wants to watch an ad? What I really do like on sites these days are intro videos that give a demo of the product being sold. These can be very handy, and are more engaging that a long series of paragraphs trying to do the same. There are some really nice ones out there. If you like, check out this one on the goodsie website (it's the demo video, in the center down near the bottom of the home page, which seems a little silly to me, but o well ...)




    Add a capital K and I'll think about it.
    Well, Ralph, if you sing, "My heart is beating like a jungle drum.. JA BOM BA BOOM JA <whatever>", I just might...


    Debbie

  8. #8
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    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    Here are some samples that I found online which represent what I had in mind...
    You could do all (or most) of that with iMovie, but they are using nice cameras (and camera work) there, so you will probably get much lesser quality with a cheaper camera and cheaper mics etc.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    You could do all (or most) of that with iMovie, but they are using nice cameras (and camera work) there, so you will probably get much lesser quality with a cheaper camera and cheaper mics etc.
    I know you are in Australia, Ralph, but how much do you think it would cost just to pay someone to do it for me?

    I would only want like a 60-second interview/ad/testimonial.

    Nothing too fancy... Just something that looks good, and shows how everyday people like my products and services. (I chose the videos above because most of them looked "organic" and "earthy" and a little more believable than something produced in Hollywood...)


    Debbie

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    Hi Debbie,
    Put yourself on the other side and envision what would be an interesting video relevant to what you're selling. What would they want to see? Maybe a tutorial with slides and a voice over. That would be free. You can download free software if you don't have a mac.

  11. #11
    Non-Member Max Height's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    Nothing too fancy...
    in that case a few hundred $$$ should get you something half decent - and that's AUD, not USD which ain't worth much nowadays

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    how much do you think it would cost just to pay someone to do it for me? ... Nothing too fancy ... Just something that looks good, and shows how everyday people like my products and services.
    Those videos do look simple and earthy (especially the first) but that belies a lot of skill. The typical home job video looks pretty tacky and cheap, so doesn't cut it for business, IMHO. I have no idea how much it would cost to have something like this done professionally, but I'd say a few thousand dollars at least.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    It would be nice to add a couple of simple, yet professional looking videos to my website.
    That's the problem, really: "It would be nice ..." I'm tired of hearing "it would be nice" from clients. If you are running a business, "nice" doesn't cut it. It needs to make you money, meaning that it's worth putting money into it. I'm not being harsh here, just practical. If, in your judgement, having a video would bring in more revenue, then do it well ... or "nicely" (ha ha).

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    if you sing, "My heart is beating like a jungle drum.. JA BOM BA BOOM JA <whatever>", I just might...
    It doesn't sound nearly as good in a bass-baritone voice (mellifluous though it be ... )

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Height View Post
    in that case a few hundred $$$ should get you something half decent - and that's AUD, not USD which ain't worth much nowadays
    Yes, I'm sure you could get something for a few hundred dollars, both in Australia and in the US. You might not get much editing thrown in, though, and I'm not sure the quality would be worth it. I know a guy who runs a pretty nice business, and he got someone (obviously on the cheap) to record him talking about what he does to go on his website. And it's fine (hosted by YouTube and all), but I still feel it was just a bit too "home made", and thus detracted from his site more than anything.

  14. #14
    Non-Member Max Height's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    Yes, I'm sure you could get something for a few hundred dollars,
    yeah, I guess it depends on high the bar is set when the criteria is "Nothing too fancy..." . I was also assuming mate's rates.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    Those videos do look simple and earthy (especially the first) but that belies a lot of skill.
    You are probably right.


    The typical home job video looks pretty tacky and cheap, so doesn't cut it for business, IMHO.
    Again, you are probably right.


    I have no idea how much it would cost to have something like this done professionally, but I'd say a few thousand dollars at least.
    Sounds about right.


    That's the problem, really: "It would be nice ..." I'm tired of hearing "it would be nice" from clients. If you are running a business, "nice" doesn't cut it. It needs to make you money, meaning that it's worth putting money into it. I'm not being harsh here, just practical. If, in your judgement, having a video would bring in more revenue, then do it well ... or "nicely" (ha ha).
    That is why I am here asking for expert advice...

    Yes, I think offering strategically chosen videos and podcasts would make my business and website more 2.0 and 21st century.

    Whether I can afford it or not remains to be seen?!

    If I did pay someone to do it for me "professionally", then how much work would I have on my end from a web design standpoint? (This goes back to my first thread about Video Formats on YouTube)

    So what do you think direction I should go?

    Stick with stellar HTML/CSS/Content-only? Delve into the netherworld of web video? Maybe focus more on audio (e.g. podcasts)?

    How do you think that Video like I'm describing compares to well-done Audio as far as Return On Investment (ROI)?


    It doesn't sound nearly as good in a bass-baritone voice (mellifluous though it be ... )
    Do you do Sha-na-na?!


    Debbie

  16. #16
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    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    strategically chosen videos and podcasts would make my business and website more 2.0 and 21st century.
    Ah, but don't get sucked into that line of thinking. The point is, would they make you money or not? That's the only question to be asking. And we can't answer that for you. It would require research of some kind ... perhaps such as showing samples of text to people with and without a video and asking them if it influences them at all .. but this can get complex (and expensive). It's tough doing this sort of thing on a small budget. But I'm starting to find that, unless you can demonstrate clearly that you will make money from spending money, then don't do it.

    If I did pay someone to do it for me "professionally", then how much work would I have on my end from a web design standpoint?
    Not necessarily all that much. Of course, those people could put it on YouTube for you, in which case you'd have virtually no work to do at all. Or you could host it on your own site, which is quite easy. Ideally, the video person would supply the video in a range of formats ... but even if they just gave you an .flv, that would cover most scenarios.

    Do you do Sha-na-na?!
    No. (Or at least, I don't think so, as I don't know what it is.)

  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    Ah, but don't get sucked into that line of thinking. The point is, would they make you money or not?
    Don't know?! If I did, I would be rich!


    That's the only question to be asking. And we can't answer that for you. It would require research of some kind ... perhaps such as showing samples of text to people with and without a video and asking them if it influences them at all .. but this can get complex (and expensive). It's tough doing this sort of thing on a small budget. But I'm starting to find that, unless you can demonstrate clearly that you will make money from spending money, then don't do it.
    Yes, I see your point.

    Okay, Ralph, so play "customer" for me.

    Let's say there is some product or service out there that in which you are mildly interested. So you go check out the website... (The product or service shouldn't really matter for our purposes, other than you are a prospective customer.)

    Now, let's say you could watch a 30 to 60-second video which describes "The Problem" and then shows how this company's products/service offer "The Solution".

    How much more appealing would watching a video - that shows "The Problem" and offers "The Solution(s)" - be versus just reading about it in plain, boring text?

    And what if it was the same scenario above, but this time Audio/Podcasts?

    (In either case, there would always be Copy to back up the Video/Audio.)


    With having "The TV Generation" out there, and now "The You Tube Generation" following behind it, I think that customers often get *lazy* and would rather sit there passively and watch (i.e. be told) about a product/service than have to actually take time to read and digest?! (Obviously there are lots of out there that have no problems reading up on things we might want to buy - doing the research - but those kinds of people may be more in the minority these days when most people view the world through a TV, Computer, or Cell Phone screen...)

    With the advent of iPhones, it seems like offering Podcasts that people can listen to anytime, anywhere, might also be a powerful selling tool.

    But I don't know?!

    Tell me what you think...


    Off Topic:

    No. (Or at least, I don't think so, as I don't know what it is.)
    Well, I was referring to a 70's TV show called "Sha Na Na" that had this quirky, deep-voiced guy called "Bowzer" on it. (Watching the old clips online, I'm embarrassed to even bring him up! Funny how time changes our "memories"?!)

    Here is a "slice of Americana" that you might appreciate if you have a deep voice...


    (Here is hoping the Mods don't mind me answering an off-topic question with some supporting links?!)


    Thanks,


    Debbie

  18. #18
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    How much more appealing would watching a video - that shows "The Problem" and offers "The Solution(s)" - be versus just reading about it in plain, boring text?
    As a general rule, it wouldn't. Not to me. I hate watching website videos, because they're almost universally a waste of time. Unless there is something very visual that can't be described as easily as it can be demonstrated, I would much rather read about it and/or look at diagrams. I can read it at my own pace, I can go back and re-read it if it wasn't clear or I can scan ahead if I've got it. It doesn't interrupt any other audio/visual that I might have on at the time.

    "Home-made" video for the web is usually dull and boring. About the only one that I choose to watch is Matt Cutts' channel, because it's very informative, but even that – even with all the power and resources of Google behind it – rarely gives any kind of information or point of interest that couldn't be just as easily conveyed in illustrated text.

    I'm not saying I'm a typical customer.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie D View Post
    As a general rule, it wouldn't. Not to me. I hate watching website videos, because they're almost universally a waste of time. Unless there is something very visual that can't be described as easily as it can be demonstrated, I would much rather read about it and/or look at diagrams. I can read it at my own pace, I can go back and re-read it if it wasn't clear or I can scan ahead if I've got it. It doesn't interrupt any other audio/visual that I might have on at the time.
    Okay. One vote against Audio/Video!


    "Home-made" video for the web is usually dull and boring. About the only one that I choose to watch is Matt Cutts' channel, because it's very informative, but even that even with all the power and resources of Google behind it rarely gives any kind of information or point of interest that couldn't be just as easily conveyed in illustrated text.
    You may be right. But did you watch the videos I posted above in Post #6?

    What did you think about those videos?

    Did they look "home-made"? Or did they look "professional"?

    Don't you think - in those contexts - that hearing someone describe how they feel about a product/service in their own words is more powerful than just reading about it?

    **Side Note: Key point that may be missing here is that I am more interested in doing interviews of people on Topic-X and getting their perspective, opinions, how they feel there is a real need for a _____, and how using my company helped them meet their goals. This is different than just someone doing a demo of a product or talking about the features of a product/service. In those cases, I agree 110% with you. But when it comes to getting customers' perspectives - like in the links above - I personally think that adds another (beneficial) dimension...


    I'm not saying I'm a typical customer.
    Yet I value your opinion!

    Thanks,


    Debbie

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie D View Post
    As a general rule, it wouldn't. Not to me. I hate watching website videos, because they're almost universally a waste of time. Unless there is something very visual that can't be described as easily as it can be demonstrated, I would much rather read about it and/or look at diagrams. I can read it at my own pace, I can go back and re-read it if it wasn't clear or I can scan ahead if I've got it. It doesn't interrupt any other audio/visual that I might have on at the time.
    My thoughts exactly - and put much more succinctly than I would have managed.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnoBear View Post
    My thoughts exactly - and put much more succinctly than I would have managed.
    Another vote against Audio/Visual.

    Hmm...


    Debbie

  22. #22
    Non-Member Max Height's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    Key point that may be missing here is that I am more interested in doing interviews of people on Topic-X and getting their perspective, opinions, how they feel there is a real need for a _____, and how using my company helped them meet their goals.
    Testimonials of any description, written, audio or whatever, on a website are generally useless. I doubt very much if someone thought whatever product/service you are selling is a pile of junk that you would put their testimonial on your website - hence why you rarely see a negative testimonial on any website.

    Unless you also provide a means for your visitors to somehow verify the authenticity and accuracy of any testimonials, I think the vast majority of visitors will at best see them as a waste of time and at worst wonder what you are trying to hide by getting people (or paid actors) to talk up your product/service.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    How much more appealing would watching a video - that shows "The Problem" and offers "The Solution(s)" - be versus just reading about it in plain, boring text?

    And what if it was the same scenario above, but this time Audio/Podcasts?
    I do like videos of a certain kind ... manly those that show how a product works, like a CMS, a shopping cart etc. In such scenarios, a picture/video can can be worth a thousand words. With testimonials, meh, probably not so. And to be honest, audio only is even less appealing.

    So it really boils down to how much people want/need your product, and how much convincing they need. I've decided over time that advertising only works for some products, and it's probably the same for video.

    Here is a "slice of Americana" that you might appreciate if you have a deep voice...
    Ha ha, . Too much high culture there for me.

  24. #24
    Mazel tov! bronze trophy kohoutek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    I do like videos of a certain kind ... manly those that show how a product works, like a CMS, a shopping cart etc. In such scenarios, a picture/video can can be worth a thousand words. With testimonials, meh, probably not so. And to be honest, audio only is even less appealing.
    Same here. Whether professionally made or not, no one would get me to click on a testimonial video.

    I'm not against video per se. In fact, I've seen a design firm (quite a popular one) doing videos of their work space. They even filmed a semi-professional video, where one of the co-workers had a cam installed on their bike and the video showed this co-worker riding from his home all the way to the design firm. That was quite a nice idea and the way it was made did transport a powerful message.

    So, I'd say some self-promotional videos can work, if the execution is creative.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by kohoutek View Post
    So, I'd say some self-promotional videos can work, if the execution is creative.
    Indeed—creativity is the key. Something that is interesting, quirky or surprising, that makes you want to see more, can be quite effective.


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