Is Video the Web of the Future?

Everyone is rushing to add video to their websites.  Video increases conversion!  Video increases interaction!  Video increases return visits!  While all of these statements can be true its easy to oversimplify.  Use video reasonably and avoid video obsession.

Video is becoming easier and easier on the web.  That just makes it one more thing that needs to be done well, not just done.  Like most cutting edge things there are early adopters that take a technology much farther than it’s intended.  It’s like eating only a favorite food.  Ice cream might be a great treat but it shouldn’t be an entire diet.  For it to be special it needs to be surrounded by more wholesome foods that balance a diet.  Video is the same, without good layout, text, and images it is less user friendly and loses its appeal.  It becomes an annoying background noise.  If you find yourself contemplating the best way to shoot a listing off of product features, you’ve gone too far.  Look critically at what you are presenting, there are a ton of things that are better presented by text or image.  Use video to enhance a page, not be it. Video demos or personal messages can be a great add on.  However, having just that video with no written description or product specs is confusing.

More care needs to be taken in creating video.  A low resolution video filmed with a cheap webcam and poorly edited won’t add anything to your site.  It will do a great job at undermining credibility.  Video is an undertaking, it takes more time and effort to produce it.  If a commitment of time, energy, and money can’t be made, it’s best to skip it. 

Embrace video but for the right reasons and appropriate objectives.  If you’re going to do it, do it professionally.  Otherwise video becomes a confusing media that erodes credibility.

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