Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce ‘Business Voice’ Article: Using Live Streaming Video to Increase Website Revenue
Some time ago, Carmen Gigar, the Director of Marketing for the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, asked me to contribute an article to Business Voice, the Chamber’s monthly publication. After some email talk about what I should write about, she was very enthusiastic about teaching the Chamber’s members about the potential of Live Streaming Video productions.
As a new Chamber member myself, I just recently received the March edition of Business Voice (my first!), which includes my article. For those thinking about whether or not a Live Streaming Video production might make sense for you and your business, I’ve reprinted a copy of the article below.
Using Live Streaming Video to Increase Website Revenue
It’s interesting…websites have been around for over fifteen years…yet the websites of today aren’t performing any better than the websites of the mid-nineties. The reason? We’re still creating what amounts to a bunch of electronic brochures. And nobody cares about our electronic brochure.
Here’s the rub – the goal of every business website is the same: increase the probability of engagement with your visitor while at the same time reducing the risk of “exit” – leaving your website, and heading off to the competition. Unfortunately, the average amount of time somebody spends on a website is ONE MINUTE, and half those people leave in eight seconds or less. (Which is bad news if you have a story that takes more than eight seconds to tell.)
There’s another bit of trouble as well. It has to do with a company’s perceived approachability.
Most people think approachability is a big-company problem. And it is. But it’s actually a problem for ANY COMPANY that has a website.
Before you had a website, if I wanted to learn about your company, I’d pick up the phone and speak to somebody who had been taught how to help me understand who you are, what you do, and the problems you solve.
Today, your website acts like a brick wall. I never have to talk to an employee when deciding whether or not your business will make my short list. Instead, I’ll judge your company’s capabilities based on the 8-60 seconds I spend on your website.
It’s a Question of Impact
Instead of doing the same thing online as your competitors, ask yourself this question — Which do you think has more impact on your customers and prospects – reading about how great your company is, or seeing and hearing from the very people who make it great?
A Live Streaming Video Production (LSVP), when done correctly, delivers the kind of personal one-to-one (or one-to-many) experience that has been the cornerstone to effective sales. It will separate your company from the competitive herd and completely change your website from “brochure-ware” to a tool that accelerates the sales process.
Video + Chat = High ROI
To get the biggest return on investment, your LSVP should include both live video plus live chat. Offering both human-enables your website and breaks down the wall between you and your website visitors. Imagine how much more effective your website would be if you could interact with your viewers in real-time–answering their questions, providing advice, and establishing your credibility, not by claiming it but by demonstrating it.
LSVP: What Are They Good For?
There is a long list of ideas that would make for a great LSVP. Here’s a few of the 40+ ideas we give to our customers:
- Enhanced Webinars
- Trade Shows
- Distance Learning
- New Product Launch
- Talk Show
- Tips & Tricks
- Customer Interviews
The transformation we see when producing a professional-level LSVP is amazing. A few examples:
- Become Approachable Online: People want to buy from people they know. A LSVP human-enables your website.
- Accelerate the “getting to know you” phase of your sales cycle
- Reduce the chance of being skipped in favor of a competitor due to a lack of “connection”
- Extend Engagement Length: A LSVP gives you an opportunity to take your time and deliver a compelling, results-driven message.
- Increase time to move people from a passive need to an active need.
- Decrease risk associated with visitors only spending seconds on your website before moving on.
- Establish Credibility: Claiming your own credibility is the weakest way to establish it. A great LSVP allows you to demonstrate your expertise and credibility, the strongest way to establish it.
- Enhance perceived expertise in the eyes of your customers and prospects
- Lessen problems associated with trying to convince somebody they should work with you.
Ultimately, a great Live Streaming Video Production will allow your website to do one (or both) of the following:
- Make Your Business More Money
- Motivate Your Visitors to Take Action on Your Behalf
And when it comes to your website, wasn’t that the point in the first place?
Scott Whitney is president of PodWorx, Inc., an Internet broadcasting company that specializes in podcasts and live streaming video productions. Visit his website at www.PodWorx.com.
About a year ago, I wrote that a great podcast (and now, live streaming video production) will drive more traffic to your website. This would have to be considered an obvious benefit of a well thought out production. But, I pondered, what if your website isn’t ready for that additional traffic?
Huh, that’s a good question.
Here’s what I wrote:
A great podcast, when done well, will drive traffic to your website (and vice-versa). But what happens if your website isn’t ready for that additional traffic? What happens if the search engine juice a podcast provides is wasted on a corporate website whose search engine strength is weak?
Furthermore, what happens if your website’s old, static design fails to match the more connected vibe created by a well produced podcast/live streaming video production?
What happens? A disconnect–that’s what happens. If you’re going to spend the time developing a great show, it stands to reason that you’d like your call-to-action to point to an online presence for which you can be proud. If you fail to do so, the success rate of your efforts are certainly at risk. (Trust me when I say this. . .I have seen “social-based” content that was very compelling, but that drove me to a website that made me want to put toothpicks in my eyes. As a result, I didn’t return.)
To date, PodWorx has designed, developed and deployed two new blog-based websites for customers that plan to do much more with their website than just throw up a bunch of static electronic-brochure pages.
And, I’m happy to report, it goes beyond the design of the website.
Both QBS Research and LASIK of Nevada have committed to communicating with their website visitors more often via their blog. Additionally, each has a very unique card up their sleeve that will radically differentiate themselves from their competitors.
(Truth is, I’ve seen their competitor’s websites. . .they’re already way ahead. . .but what we’ve got in store for their customers and prospects (or patients in the case of Dr. Rothman) will change the way folks look at how to break down the barriers every website creates.
Fun stuff, this is!
Stay tuned for more on each of these customers. We’re in pre-production for both companies. . .and from what we’ve developed so far, it’s going to be outstanding.
How about you? What are you doing today to improve the approachability of your company via your website?
p.s. I’m an eat-your-own-dog food kind of guy. This means that if it’s good enough for our customers, it’s good enough for us. As I type this, a brand new podworx.com is in development.
As a part of the presentation I gave to the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, I listed four reason why the life of a typical corporate website is not an enviable one. Here’s a recap:
1. It is Static
Which means that the day-to-day efforts that make your company great are not being reflected and shared with your visitors. Those interesting ideas, insight, thoughts, and opinions you have? Lost.
A static website also lacks the ability to have a dialog with your customers and prospects. It is clear to me that the power of blogs and podcasts is that they are predicated on an architecture of participation.
2. It is Cumbersome to Update
Anybody with a voice in your business hates your website. Why? Because it’s too damn hard to add a new page. Don’t believe me? Here’s the steps:
- Open a new page in favorite editor
- Create/write the content
- Spell check
- Preview the content locally
- Upload the new page via FTP
- Secretly test the page
- Revise the navigation scheme throughout the website to reflect new page
- Rinse and repeat
Blech. Not exactly conducive to new content.
3. It’s Hard to Find Stuff
Do you know the average time a first-time visitor spends on your website? Three minutes or less. And because you’ve placed important content in a variety of places, there is a good chance that your visitor is missing something you thought was important.
4. Google Doesn’t Love You Anymore
While search engine optimization techniques still have value, Google give much more weight (and search result order) to content that comes from a dynamically-created, often-updated website. Like a blog. Or a podcast.
There have been no less than three occasions (that’s I’ve gone to the trouble of checking) when I placed new content on a site (either blog or podcast) that could be found on Google within one minute.
Bottom line: A static corporate website will become more and more problematic as time goes on and users expect more from their vendors/solution providers. The question you have to ask is, are you willing to risk losing business to your competitor because you haven’t taken the steps to communicate the way your customers want?