To really use audio-visual solutions to their best advantage in your direct sales website, you need to play to the strengths of audio-visual solutions. Those strengths are:
- Showing, not telling
- Providing an emotional experience to influence sales
- Not overstaying anyone's welcome
What does this mean in practice? Imagine two direct sales concepts using audio-visual techniques. They're both selling the same product: a lawnmower attachment, we'll say. In one concept, the company's owner sits at a desk and talks to you about the advantages of the attachment in terms of durability, effectiveness, and price. In another concept, we see a young boy mowing the lawn. In a series of quick cuts, we see a young man, then an older man, then a senior citizen, then a venerable grandfather--smiling as he watches a young grandchild mow the same lawn, in each case using the product.
It's just obvious that the second concept is better, but why?
First: it shows rather than tells. The first concept tries to communicate the idea of durability, effectiveness, and price by giving you sales statistics and slogans. Fine--but the rest of your direct sales site should do the same, and to give this kind of information in your audio-visual solution isn't really playing to the strengths of the medium. The second concept shows you the same ideas: the product is obviously durable if the same man can use it for his entire life, it's obviously effective if he never switches products, and it's obvious (although admittedly less so) that it's a good deal since it doesn't seem to require a lot of maintenance or replacement.
Second: it provides an emotional experience. In the first concept, the owner of the company is trying to convince you to buy a product. In the second concept, we have images of contentment and family, as well as a meditative sense of reflection about the cycles of life. It's much easier to emotionally relate to the second concept: we've all been young, we all will be old, and we can all see ourselves in the video. We've also provided the product with some crucial branding indicators without having to waste any time doing so through words or slogans.
Third: it doesn't overstay it's welcome. The first concept would need to be at least two minutes long in order to really touch on all of the advantages of the product. The second concept, with some careful editing, could make its point in roughly twenty seconds. When your customer goes to your page, they're probably going to look at your audio-visual components before they look at anything else. (We'll talk about why this is true later.) If you make them watch a two minute video, they're going to get bored and leave your page more often than not. If you make them watch a twenty second video--and moreover, one that's engaging and emotionally charged--they're not only going to stay on your page and buy your product, but they'll be happy to do so.
Video is a quick medium: it makes its point and then moves on. Don't bore your viewer and lose your sale in the process. Show them what your product does, get at their emotions, and then don't waste any of their time: take them immediately to your sales letter and your ordering page.
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