Adding Video To Your Website
Why would you want to add video to your website? For a business the most obvious answer is either because it will help to generate additional traffic, or that it will help to better convert existing traffic into customers. A short ‘head & shoulders’ clip of the business owner can work exceptionally well in this respect, because it helps to create a sense of familiarity in the prospect before they ever visit your business. As a bonus, if it’s hosted somewhere like YouTube, it can also create an additional inbound link to your website …and that never hurts!
If you’re halfway handy with a camera, and not afraid of a bit of basic HTML editing on your website, it’s actually pretty easy.
To start off with take your mobile phone, digital compact camera, DV camcorder or similar and film whatever it is that you want to show on your website. Now follow the maker’s instructions to download the short movie to your PC. If you want to edit it, do so with any of the editing software that is available. There’s an example movie later that was filmed on a mobile phone, in a noisy room, at the end of a marketing workshop that I ran when a delegate wanted to leave a testimonial: even though the image quality is far from good, it does get the message across very powerfully.
Alternatively use something like Windows Movie Maker to create your own short movie from a collection of still images that you can zoom-in/out, pan, rotate etc. and narrate over afterwards. You could perhaps use this to make a short movie from a collection of still catalogue photos of some of the products that you sell.
In any event: keep it short and to the point, make it interesting to watch, and try to ensure that your company name and/or contact details are clearly shown in your movie so that if somebody finds it other than through your website they’ll know how to get hold of you.
With your movie now ready, it’s time to upload it from your PC to a server somewhere. You can host it on your own web-server (but beware that it can have a massive impact on your download bandwidth consumption for which you may have to pay), or host it somewhere free such as YouTube: http://www.YouTube.com. If you decide to go down the YouTube route you’ll need to create an account first: that doesn’t take long if you follow the instructions, and is very easy if you already have an email account on googlemail.com.
When your video is uploaded and tested, you’ll be able to obtain a URL (address) for it. This will look something like http://www.youtube.com/v/cUlhhnV9F8s&hl=en&fs=1 and while you can email that link to a friend to watch, you need to do a little more work to get it shown on your website.
First of all decide what webpage you want your movie to appear on, and where on the page. Open up the source code for that webpage in your favourite HTML editor (DreamWeaver & XSitePro are popular choices) and embed the video in the appropriate place. In simple terms that means placing a block of code that looks like this…
<object width=”210″ height=”178″ align=”left” hspace=”15″ vspace=”15″>
<param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/cUlhhnV9F8s&hl=en&fs=1″ />
<param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true” />
<param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always” />
<embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/cUlhhnV9F8s&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”210″ height=”178″ align=”left” style=”margin-right:35px; “></embed>
…wherever you want the video to appear. Obviously you’ll also want to replace the YouTube URL in this example with the one for your own movie, unless you especially want to show your visitors a delegate testimonial from an online marketing workshop that I ran earlier this year! You may also wish to change some of the other parameters, e.g. to alter the size and what happens when the video ends.
Now simply save the HTML source file, upload it to your website, and you’re done.
It really is as simple as that, but if you get stuck at any point (e.g. you’ve made your movie but aren’t comfortable editing your website) give us a call and we’ll try to help you out. If you get stuck at the movie-making stage, and/or want more commercial hosting than YouTube offers, then contact me and I’ll put you in touch with another company we use that specialises in making and hosting business videos for websites.
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