Optimal iQ Blog

Posted by: Jason Smith on 8/16/2011 | 0 Comments
If you have worked with me over the years you have heard my argument that video is going to eventually dominate the web.  I don’t believe non-video content will shrink – I just think that video content is going to grow at a much faster rate that other content.  There are a lot of reasons why I believe this but here are two that I believe most strongly in:

1.  People want a richer experience no matter what they are interacting with.  If you look at the recent history of media you will see a similar transition to video.  We started with newspaper, transitioned to radio, that morphed into black and white TV with no sound, black and white with sound, color TV, 3D TV, HD TV, etc.  (I know that those other mediums did not disappear but in many ways they became niche or we saw a similar transition just within that medium – Black and white newspaper to color for instance.)  As people become heavier users of the web and connection speeds become better they spend more time with rich media online.  This is why we see YouTube searches outnumbering Google searches today.  
2.  Businesses are seeing better results online when they use video.  We have customers who have doubled response rates for certain promotions on their websites when video elements were introduced.  Video is able to tell a better story and explain product features more clearly.  More people are not doing it because it is simply more difficult.  As the ease of creating video expands, so will the use of it. 

So what does this mean?  Companies that are proactive about using video on their websites and in their marketing efforts will reap rewards over their competitors who don’t.  Here are a few ways to start using video now:
1.  Set up a YouTube channel for your company.  Once this is done expand to sites like Vimeo and MetaCafe.  
2.  Get a low cost video camera (or use your iPhone) to practice shooting and editing video.  Customers are fine with low budget video quality as long as the message is correct and you are genuine.
3.  If you sell products then shoot video of those products and simply explain what is there.  Point out features and benefits.  
4.  If you sell services do an interview of one of your service people explaining a job they have completed.
5.  Ask two or three of your best customers to give you a testimonial.  It doesn’t have to be long or dramatic.  

I would love to hear your opinions on this topic.  
Posted by: Jason Smith on 2/11/2011 | 0 Comments
As I sit and work on digital business plans and website design concepts for customers I am again struck by the importance of clarity.  That seems like a very obvious statement but sometimes the obvious is what we have to be reminded of on a regular basis.  

So how do we clarify on our websites?  
1.  Plan ahead of time.  At Optimal iQ we work through some simple but comprehensive planning documents to make sure we understand what we are building.  If you don’t have a planning process contact us and we can give you some suggestions.  
2.  Add video.  Sometimes one short video explains more than pages of text.  We have seen video multiply sales of products when properly displayed with video.  
3.  Use well developed graphics or process explanations.  A good example of a company who makes a living doing this is Common Craft.

As you proceed talk to customers and potential customers to test your work.  If they don’t understand you have not clarified enough. 
Posted by: Jason Smith on 1/8/2011 | 0 Comments

Here are my top three predictions for growth areas in digital for 2011:

1.  Video – more companies are truly going to embrace the use of video for the richness of experience it provides and the search engine optimization benefits it brings.  

2.  Mobile Platform development – more groups are going to think about how mobile platforms fit into their overall strategy.  This will be driven more by tablet devices than smart phones.

3.  Strategy – more companies are going to take a step back and think about how to better tune their web strategy.  As competition heats up and more companies compete for web "share of voice" strategies will need to tighten up to better compete.  

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