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Web Videos for Better User Experience

The World Wide Web offers a wealth of riches - billions of them, so how do you convince a casual browser to stay on your site and re-visit time and again?

Time is of the Essence

With the average visitor spending a paltry 26 seconds on a web site, you need to captivate them and not present them with a text-heavy, over-stylised, difficult to navigate home page.

Susan Weinschenk Ph.D. author of The Brain Lady Blog argues we are drawn to video because we are programmed to pay attention to faces, even if they are animated ones; voiceovers and narration on a video helps convert information into meaningful content and fundamentally we pay more attention to things in motion.

And just as product placement is crucial to a company's success, so is the positioning of your video on your website.

A well-produced web video clearly situated on your landing page is one way to make a visitor learn about your company product or service whilst being simultaneously entertained.

Situational Success

In fact visitors to DropBox's home page were given no option but to watch the company's explainer video because that's all there was. A video and nothing else.

The viewer's user experience was a simple one. It took minimal effort to click on the video and watch a 120 second video. The video gave maximum exposure to the online storage facility's message and provided the user with a solution to their file-sharing problem.

By reducing the amount of user choice on its home page DropBox forced the viewer to watch and learn.

The strategy was a phenomenal success. Switchvideo's Arthur Angus in his article 'How An Explainer Video Helped DropBox Grow from 0 to 100 Million Users' calculated the video resulted in a 10% increase in sign-ups. He further computed that with 100 million users, the explainer video had converted an additional 10 million extra customers. Additionally with an estimated $4.80 of revenue per customer, based on 2011 estimates by Forbes.com, revenue was increased by an extra $48,000,000 per year.

The user experience was a pleasant, uncomplicated one. A video was watched, the problem of online storage was solved and a new customer signed up.

Succinct Synchronicity

A video should have a well-matched synchronicity between marketeer and the viewer. A video following the AIDA format allows the company message or philosophy to be communicated and absorbed quickly saving the web visitor time and brain strain.

YouTube video marketer Tyrone Shum says AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.

So the video gets the viewer's attention, it creates interest, it creates a desire to continue watching the video and hopefully convert into a sale which is the actionable part of the formula. The video has a call-to-action message prompting the viewer to sign up, or download some free literature, subscribe to a weekly email and invest in the company by purchasing or pledging.

And instinctively coursing through the video is a sense of purpose. A video without a clear purpose annoys a watcher. What is it hoping to achieve? That's why the greatest and most successful animated web videos have been developed based on a business insight strategy to ensure the company gets its message across and engages with its core customer - the one who won't just be entertained by the video, but will take action at the end of it.

Vision Speaks Volumes

Today's web user is time-poor, but thankfully they remain inquisitive.

Text heavy web sites are out and being ignored in favour of the more visually stimulating and informative sites with embedded video.

According to Forrester Research, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.

Additionally research from Internet Retailer suggests product videos gave 52% of customers more confidence in their purchase decision. So, in addition to reducing eyestrain and time assimilating text, web videos give the user sweet peace of mind.

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