December 21, 2009
Better known as “Media FLAIR”, audio and video adds an impressive touch of professionalism to your business that makes all other attempts to increase conversions pale by comparison.
We’ll delve into more of the proper implementation of “FLAIR”. This is of paramount importance because even though adding flair can potentially improve the performance of your website more than any other change, if done poorly or incorrectly it can significantly hurt your conversions.
Have you ever been to a website that looked great and offered a useful product then… all of a sudden a crackly and static filled recording of the site creator’s voice blasts through your speakers and startles the daylights out of you? It’s not a fun experience is it? When this happens, the visitor gets a negative taste in his/her mouth about the entire experience and that clearly will not encourage them to make a purchase.
The same goes with video. A video should compliment the site by adding an engaging and multidimensional aspect to an otherwise one dimensional website. The video should set off buying triggers in the prospect and create positive emotions. The video should be fun and informative. It should be easy on the ears and the eyes. Videos that are hard to see, hear or understand will only defeat the purpose of increasing conversions. In many cases you’re better off not putting up a video at all if the quality is poor.
But there is a light at the end of the tunnel! You do not have to be a professional broadcaster with a state of the art recording studio or millionaire budget to create effective flair that captivates and engages your audience. As a matter of fact there are lots of effective shortcuts that can drastically improve the production quality of your flair and they don’t cost much money to put in place at all. Here are some production tips to get you going:
Tip #1 – Plan – Prepare – Predict For some situations, unrehearsed media can be very effective, however when it comes to sales videos and website audio this is seldom the case. You should always plan what you are going to say and HOW you are going to say it. What points will you stress? etc. You should prepare some bullet points before you begin perhaps write them on a white board directly behind your camera or print them on a sticky note right beside the lens. Predict your audience’s emotion and apprehensions and address them in your delivery.
Tip #2 – Control The Environment (Audio) The sounds of your environment will be captured by your microphone just as the sound of your voice will. I recommend that you sit still for a minute and take note of ambient noises that may be recorded along with you. Things like family members in other rooms, baby’s crying, lawn mowers and outside vehicle traffic. The idea is to keep the audiences attention on YOU and not on things going on around you.
Tip #3 – Control The Environment (Video) One of the biggest challenges when creating the proper video environment is lighting. Lighting is HUGE. Always pay close attention to the lighting in your videos. Is it clear and well lit or is id dark and gloomy? When lighting the recording area use 2 or three lamps and angle the lamp shades so that they cancel out shadows.
Tip #4 – Consider Outsourcing Segments Regardless of the type of flair you are producing, there are always segments that you can outsource to professionals. For example, you may want to consider outsourcing the creation of a “Title Segment” to a professional. This will be a unique 3-5 second video segment with your name and logo “swooshing in” and some sound effects. You will add a much more professional appearance to your work with this type of intro/outtro.
Also consider a voice over artist to narrate your video. Powerpoint presentations and slideshow videos are an excellent example of this. A professional V.O. will skyrocket the effectiveness of your presentation. You can even edit/splice together professional clips to create your own custom narration. You can use a product like VoxFlair.com to show you how.
Tip #5 – Use Various Elements Be creative. Always seek to keep the viewer or listener engaged by combining multiple elements of media flair. For example, you can splice a “Tittle Segment” with some “on camera” footage and perhaps insert photo stills or even screen capture shots into your sequence. This keeps the production flowing and engages the audience far more than just a redundant and/or monotone recording.
Video flair should always have accompanying audio but in many cases audio alone can add the flair you need. Audio can work on its own but silent video is seldom an effective way to enhance a website. Keep that in mind when creating a recording. Since you’ll be creating your flair in stages, you may be unhappy with the early phases of your production (especially if you’re a perfectionist like me!) But once all the segments are spliced (edited) together and you have added audio and visual accents, you’ll feel alot better about the production.
Accenting is an important part of flair. Accenting breaks up the monotony of continuous media. For example, if you are recording a 15 minute presentation of yourself on camera reading a sales script, the viewer may begin to loose interest after a few minutes. Adding simple accents can solve this challenge.
You may consider switching to a new camera angle once in a while or cutting to a zoomed in version of the same angle. Another effective video accent is cutting to a black and white video clip that coincides with the story line. For example, if you mention in your video that you enjoy playing basketball, that would be a great spot to insert a few seconds of you shooting a basket in black and white. These small accents go a long way to keep the viewer engaged.
With audio only this is a bit harder to do but you can still get the same effect by using sound effects. So if I was only using an MP3 audio as my sales presentation and there was a part that I mentioned my love of basketball I can insert a few seconds of audio recorded at a basketball court, i.e. the sneakers squeaking on the hard wood floor the ball bouncing as players talk to one another and the swish of the net as I score a basket. Then fade back into my narration. You can also use a music bed as a low level background to keep the listener engaged.
The most important thing to consider when using audio alone as a form of flair is your VOICE FLUCTUATION. Speak like you are talking to a friend not like you are reading a book. In general everyday conversation we accentuate certain words, we stress certain points by controlling the pitch of our voices and we even create emotion by bringing down the level to a near whisper then raising it again. Always remember to smile! Yes SMILE. Even if you are not on camera a smile can show through a microphone and convey a positive vibe to the listener.
Overall, the key is to be creative and dynamic when you are producing flair. Be mindful of the recording quality as well as your content and these things will improve your conversions rather than hurt them. In next months issue I’ll reveal the actual software and services that I personally use to produce and serve Flair on my websites.
Omar Martin is Mike Filsaime’s partner & co-owner of Higher Level Strategies, LLC. Based in Florida USA. Omar has built a successful internet business over the past 3 years & now earns over 25k per month online using these tactics. You can learn more about 1 on 1 coaching and mentorship at http://www.HigherLevelStrategies.com and you can get more useful information on producing media flair at http://www.VoxFlair.com