Web presenters – your voice and your brand

by Joe Pelissier on July 4, 2012

I’ve only caught a few episodes of BBC’s The Voice but I like the concept.

Tom Jones, will.i.am, Jesse J and Danny O’Donoghue  listen to the lone voice of a wannabee pop star and make a judgement about the potential of the singer based on the quality of the voice.

At the early stages, the judges only judge on what they can hear, not what they can see. If they like what they hear, they then decide to coach the singer to fame and fortune.

Question: If your business was a voice, what would it be?

The voice is a powerful part of your identity but the concept is very seldom applied to business, except if you’re big enough to contract a swanky ad agency.

The Voice in Sports Commentary

A lot of sport is identified by the voice of its commentator.  David Coleman with the Olympics, Richie Benaud with cricket, Peter O’Sullevan with Horse Racing, Murray Walker with Motor Racing, John Motson with Football. The list goes on…

Yes, most of them are retired but that’s the interesting thing. You can still hear their voice – it’s a living legacy of their knowledge, expertise and passion.

Hear the voice and you immediately think of the relevant sport.

An increasing amount of websites use online video to engage with their visitors but, for me, many of these lack a distinct voice. Most of them are just people talking.

The trick is to produce a video with web presenters who evoke our sense of interest or empathy and who become a part of the brand.

Bill Franklyn

Bill Franklyn

Some of you may remember the actor, Bill Franklin, who succeeded in doing this brilliantly with a series of commercials in the 80s for Schweppes, the beverage brand.

A lot of this was down to the charm in the VOICE.

MWP – My Web Presenters

Recently I teamed up with MWP – a video production company with the technology to float video presenters across web pages. Videos they’ve produced using their technology have significantly increased flight upgrades and hotel room reservations, or reduced site bounce rates.Web presenter on Virgin Atlantic website

That’s not necessarily down to the voice alone but via a combination of script, production and presenter delivery.

The link below gives you a taste of how a web presenter works. The example doesn’t reflect all of the stuff I’m writing, but you can see the potential.

PLAY NOW – Video Web Presenter Demo

Web Presenting as strategic video marketing

If you take a strategic approach to using a web presenter, it has the potential to do wonders for your site, your brand and business performance.

The .pdf presentation: How to use web presenters to make your website more persuasive answers most of the questions you are likely to have about using video in this way.

According to Dr James McQuivey of Forrester Research, 1 minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.  Forbes Insight says that 59% of senior executives prefer to watch video instead of reading text, if both are available.  That’s why online video is growing so fast.

Going forward, this type of production is set to become much more analytical and strategic in approach.  So, if you are attracted to the idea of a web presenter, you will want to think about:

  • Benchmarking the performance of key pages of your website before any recording e.g number of visits, duration of visits, sign-ups, purchases etc
  • Building a business case for using a web presenter so you are clear about what you want the presenter to achieve
  • Agreeing your brand values and how the presenter should reflect these

This is not about hiring a production company who can put video on your site. It’s about working with people who understand about marketing, analytics, technology, creativity and performance.

In essence, it’s about using video as a marketing tool to create a greater awareness of your products and services.  For this to work well, you need people who like nerdy analytics – so you can measure what’s going on.  You need to use smart technology, the sort of stuff that doesn’t make IT managers wince. You want technology that isn’t scary and which allows you to be creative in approach.

Above all, you want a great performance. And that leads us back to the VOICE.

If you don’t believe me, the next time you watch a online video on a website, close your eyes and just listen to the words and the tone of delivery.

If the voice doesn’t work on it’s own, it’s highly likely the video as a whole won’t work.

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