Monday, September 1, 2008

Adding video to your Web site can help attract new clients


By Tricia Gellman Holmes

In the age of the Internet, consumers expect immediate gratification, answers at the click of a button and engaging visuals to capture their attention. As a professional photographer, the demands of your potential clients are no different.

Photographers from all walks of life have been adding video components to their Web sites in an effort to attract new clients, showcase their creativity and create an emotional connection before ever speaking to or meeting with them directly. But, interestingly, only about two percent of the world's professional photographers have jumped aboard the video train.

Many of these are the photographers who are on the cutting edge or at the top of their field, and, as a result, they are leading the industry. For everyone else, this trend seems to take some consideration either because of the technical hurdles you'd have to overcome or because you might be afraid of breaking the bank.

"There are many ways to incorporate video on your Web site and you don't need the technical know-how or a big budget to accomplish this goal."

The truth is there are many ways to incorporate video on your Web site and you don't need the technical know-how or a big budget to accomplish this goal. In fact, most new computer operating systems are built to handle video capture and viewing, and if they do not also include a camera for creating the video, you can easily purchase the hardware and software you need at an affordable price. As a result, the end product can be as simplistic and homemade or as professional and flashy as you'd like it to be.

Attracting potential clients through video

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of creating a video and uploading it to your site, it's important to understand how videos can benefit your business. Photographers are using videos to explain who they are and what a potential client's experience will be like, provide a "behind-the-scenes" look at how they work, and translate their creative ideas into a visual story.

The trend toward photographers using video on their Web sites began with people putting their images to motion by creating a virtual video with audio, moving images and graphics to help tell a story. It was only logical that the wedding industry embraced this trend on the heels of the advent of sites like Video is now an influential medium for communication and consumers have grown accustomed to hitting "play" and getting all the information they need.

In today's globalized economy, people are not only searching for products local to their area, but they want the best and, if the price is right, they'll go to the other side of the country (and sometimes the world) to get it.