Video Feature Enhances Website
"When we were redesigning our website, some of our staff felt that a video would be an effective tool for communication," said Washington Care Center administrator Helen Sikov. "We were looking forward to including a video on our site, but were not experienced at video production. Therefore, we were grateful for the technical assistance provided by IlluminAge. Everyone who has seen the video has commented on how professionally it is done and how enjoyable it is to watch."
As internet speeds have increased in recent years and the popularity of video sharing websites such as You Tube have grown, website users are accustomed to viewing videos online. To create a very powerful video, you don’t need a huge budget. You do need a resonating story. Some of the most viewed videos are low tech, low budget pieces that “go viral” because they are passed from person to person over the internet.
IlluminAge recently supported Washington Care Center in producing a short video highlighting their key service benefits, to serve as a prominent feature on their redesigned website. Some key steps that were identified during this project were:
- Identify your key message. Your video should be developed with a story that supports the key message you would like to convey.
- Create a script including a storyboard that inventories the photography, video and audio needs for the project.
- Connect with residents, families, and staff to schedule the time to shoot the video and images you will need.
- Edit the video and photos. You are likely to have more video than you need. It will need to be reduced to manageable pieces to integrate with the photos and audio to create your story.
- Choose voice-over talent and record your narration. You may find someone internally who is able to perform this part, or there are many sources online for professional voice talent.
- Edit the movie, either through a professional, or using Mac’s iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, or other editing software such as that supplied with your camera.
- Once the final piece has been created, it will need to be compressed and uploaded to your website. If the video is under ten minutes and two gigabytes in size, you can do this by uploading the video to You Tube (or another video sharing site) and then embedding it into your site. Keep in mind that studies show that web videos are most viewed when they are less than three minutes in length.
We recommend all videos be streamed through You Tube or a similar site, because the tagging they enable supports search engine optimization, and these sites support the different player needs of devices. For instance, Apple products may not support Flash.
"IlluminAge provided a structure, so that we could provide the personality and content to the project," said Sikov. Her tips for other facilities considering adding video to their website include:
- Form a committee to make decisions about the style, content and messages, and to coordinate the interviews on the day of filming.
- Identify one or two people to take leadership and receive maximum support from administration to stay on task and meet deadlines.
- Involve a number of people in the project to generate enthusiasm.
- Include residents, patients and family in the planning – they are the key to producing a meaningful video.
For more information, please refer to our April 2010 Communicator article Low Cost Video for your Website, or contact us for a free copy of our Web Communications Handbook for Senior Living and Long Term Care. The handbook offers tips on all aspects of web communications, including video and multimedia.