Online video is a powerful communication medium and used correctly can capture your audience or even an audience of millions. User-friendly technology enables us to produce high-quality videos, integrated soundtracks and share these creative works with our social and business networks. Given the fast pace of information transference, it’s easy to stay atop the latest trends, entertainment news and industry buzz. In fact, 178 million U.S. Internet users watched online video content in June 2011 for an average of 16.8 hours per viewer, according to comScore data.
My interactive design/build firm recently collaborated with a design/builder on a unique remodeling project in the Boston area. The scope of the project consisted of designing a second floor addition to an existing brick veneer, L-shape ranch home. You may be thinking, “What is unique about adding a second floor addition to an L-shape ranch?” Nothing, unless you are planning to lift the entire structure 11 ft. above its foundation and build a new first floor with 9 ft. ceilings underneath the existing structure.
The unusual nature of this project made this a perfect opportunity to document and share an interesting bit of design/build work on YouTube. The question remained how to document the IDB process accurately and share it in a logical and timely manner with past and future clients through social networks.
When creating online videos, keep it simple, short and interesting enough for viewers to want more. Remember, people may have time for a one- or two-minute video, but they do not have time to watch a full-length movie. Also, keep in mind the viewing audience; action to hold interest; avoid industry buzzwords; and leave the audience wanting more. Format your videos using the KISS method: keep it simple stupid.
Creating your own YouTube channel is easy and painless, but choose your channel name wisely. Keep the name easily remembered by viewers who will use search engines to find it. A simple name helps your audience share your video content with their friends or colleagues.
Once you have created the channel, you may wonder how to keep your audience coming back to view your YouTube videos. Video chapters are a simple way to break up a long story into parts. This allows the viewer to choose the video that is most interesting to them at that particular time. If the video is compelling enough to capture the viewer’s interest, the viewer is more likely to scan through your video library to glean more information. Think of your videos as if they were episodes of a daytime soap opera. The show opens with a dramatic scene to gain interest and ends with a cliffhanger to suck you into watching tomorrow.
Once you have created, scripted and uploaded your video onto YouTube, the next step is marketing and promoting it. YouTube is a household brand with global name recognition. By posting on this site, your company will have an additional Web presence featuring full streaming video. The only costs involved are the video equipment, video editing software, and someone’s time and commitment to design and produce.
Providing your audience with a short burst of video information displays the reality of your company’s day-to-day operations. Promotional videos give the sales team a powerful sales tool to provide your potential clients a better understanding of the company’s design/build process. Remember you are also communicating your design/build process with others in your industry.
Have fun creating your videos and remember to keep it simple, be persistent and consistent!
Joseph Dellanno is the founder of My Design/Build Project, a Web communication application for design and build teams, and president of My Design/Build Coach, providing design/build business training. He is also president of Design Solutions, a national design firm. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Read past columns at rdbmagazine.com.