If you’ve got a web site, the chances are you’re poring over the stats, wondering after all the money you’ve spent, the time you’ve put into writing quality content, just how it’s earning its keep. And if it isn’t, what can you do about it? These are some lessons learned in video marketing. We've been providing visual content to web sites for twelve months now, seven films and four complete web sites later, we're sharing the knowledge we've gained.

Firstly, put yourself in the shoes of your potential client. You’re thinking of buying a product or service. You Google – you’ll get pages of potential providers. You may add some qualifying terms to the query – say “Birmingham”, “Bargain” or “ Best” – you’ll still get pages of potential providers. You look at the first page of results, maybe the second, that’s between 10 and 20 potential providers, not counting the sponsored ads! As a consumer, you’re bewildered – how can you possibly pick the best one?

Savvy marketers are making much of visual content. Visual content is the currency of engagement – Twitter claim that the inclusion of a picture with a Tweet will enhance the engagement by up to 35%. On Facebook a picture can generate as much as 53% more ‘likes’. It’s rare to see an article on Facebook now without a picture.

What kind of picture? It depends on the audience. Take a lesson from TV Advertising. Almost never ambiguous, it’s always clear who they are going after, from the choice of celebrity to the colour scheme – they have become sophisticated ‘search and convert’ devices. Selfies, iPhone videos, etc all have a part to play in internet advertising. Don’t believe anyone who simply tells you it has to be technically excellent – believe the person who understands the audience.

In terms of content – still images enhancing text will never disappear, but they have become the norm. To grab attention these days something extra is required An attention grabbing, outstanding headline image or a moving image. Selling with moving pictures is an art in itself – the trends we are seeing suggest that long form video is often viewed with impatience, short impactful video is preferred. Time Lapse, Microvideo and Cinemagraphs – images that are part video, part still photograph.

Through understanding your customer, their age, demographic, location and habits you can begin to see when and how you might engage with them and what type of content they are likely to engage with. If your audience are teenagers for example – will they be viewing your site on a desktop PC or a mobile device? What kind of content will they respond to?

Those who have been around since the beginning of the internet will remember the “Flaming Gif’s “ that used to bedevil every web site – there’s a lesson to be learned from those early horrors – moving pictures can be profoundly irritating as well as eyecatching! If you think video is a medium you’d like to dip your toe into, then first and foremost – talk to a professional, not a techie, not a web designer, but a professional filmmaker. We tell stories for a living. The eyes have it.