Where To Use Video On Your Website
Hopefully I have convinced you in 144 – Video Killed The Radio Star (Part 1) of the power of using video to sell more art. Put your thoughts of ‘how’ and ‘overcoming that fear’ on hold for a short while and just think ‘where’ using video to sell more art might work for you. Think particularly ‘where on your website’ first because your website is your online show or exhibition stand. This is the online version of where you would meet and greet your potential customers in person. So do just that – virtually!
Website Homepage and About Page Video
The first place to start using video to sell more art is your homepage. Your homepage is intended to welcome people and briefly tell them what you do. Think brief here. Try not to go over 3 minutes. Briefly cover the main things you do. Keep it upbeat, add some images if it will make it more engaging. Be yourself as you would meeting someone for the first time at a show.
I use the following video on my homepage to introduce people to me and tell them what I do.
You might want to link the same video on your ‘About’ page. Once people are ready to read more about you in your about page, however, there is scope for using more videos that perhaps go into more detail or cover more topics on your about page too.
Website Product Pages Video
If you have a product to sell consider filming the product. As a minimum just walk around the product showing it from all angles. Show the front, back, sides and so on. Pick it up and hold it so people get familiar with it’s size. Use reference objects in the video that they will know the size of.
As you get better think about being in the video yourself, talking to camera and introducing the product. If you have lots of products this might be time consuming and you might prefer to film a product range or product type rather than individual products if they all share certain characteristics so that you can reuse some of the video content.
I use the following video to introduce my Simple Art Marketing Academy course on my course product page.
How Did These Videos Affect You?
If you skipped past these videos without watching them I urge you to go back and watch them then come back here. Now having watched them how do you feel about me? Be honest. Do you trust me? Would you consider digging deeper and maybe working with me? Would you consider buying from me at some point in the future if not right now? Hopefully the answer is a positive one but don’t worry if not – this is simply a first step!
Hopefully in a few short minutes of video I have advanced our relationship considerably? You have quickly formed an idea about me and my products that might otherwise have taken many more contact points, blog posts and other written correspondence? It is exactly the same for you and your customer. You will help them to get to know you and your products so much quicker. You will move your business forward so much faster with just a few carefully placed videos.
One of the products my partner Lucy recently launched was this adorable enamel pin badge. She sells it on her website but also on her Etsy shop. Etsy are well aware of the power of video and now allow 15 second video uploads for every product.
Click the image above to visit this product page and watch the 15 second video. It’s extremely simple but how much more powerful is it than the other 9 static images? Set yourself a task of generating small videos like this for all your new products then work back through your older ones over time!
Processes Webpages Video
Processes pages tell people about the work that goes into creating your products. They show the time and skill involved and help add value and demonstrate your craftmanship. Using video rather than just text and photographs here can help get that across to customers so much better. Try to film 3 minute explanations of all your processes. Link them to all the products that are created using those processes.
It might be time consuming to film and edit your processes but think of where you can use that material. You will have great videos for your processes pages so people can watch these and quickly see that you are an expert in your field. If they are linked to products they add more value to those products each time people look at those products. You can use them as material for social posts, newsletters and blog posts. Invest the time and let the power of video work harder and go so much further for you!
Where To Use Video On Your Social
So what about using video to sell more art through social media? A lot of social media is short lived unlike your website which is permanent so is it really worth all that effort to produce a video? Well yes it absolutely is and here are 2 good reasons why.
The first is that being short lived, a lot of video you produce will quickly disappear off your feed. That means you have lots of opportunity to get better at it and your early attempts won’t forever haunt you. Stories will disappear in 24 hours and few if any people scroll beyond your last few weeks posts. If something really embarrasses you you can always delete it or not post it in the first place. The key is to keep doing it and it will get easier and better. As you do it watch how others are doing and get better ideas for how to do it better yourself.
The second reason to do it on social is that social is really pushing video right now. The algorithm is showing video content to far more people than static content. Check out my post 134 – Why Has Instagram Engagement Dropped Recently to read a little more about how social has changed recently.
Start Small Using Video
Maybe start with some story videos. As you become more confident try some post videos. As you do more think about producing a polished story that you can save as a permanent highlight in your profile. Think about Instagram reels, IGTV, Facebook and Instagram lives. Don’t rush it all at once. Start slowly and watch others as you progress. Trust me you will get more confident over time once you push yourself out of that comfort zone.
Reusing Video To Sell More Art
Look for opportunities to make things go further using video to sell more art. The video I use to introduce my brand on my homepage in landscape mode has been cropped and edited to work portrait mode in Instagram. Being over 3 minutes long it has been posted in IGTV with a preview showing in my normal Instagram post feed. Click the image below to see how that turned out.
My partner Lucy was terrified about doing any of this. I think she still is to an extent. 6 months ago she was adamant she wasn’t going anywhere near reels but then just over a week ago disappeared quietly into her studio and emerged an hour later with this to launch her new cat enamel pin badge. I strongly urge you to click on the image to visit the reel on Instagram. Play the reel and make sure sound is turned on!
Reels are still relatively new and so everything isn’t perfect yet. Lucy used Tom Jones ‘What’s New Pussycat’ as a backing track for this as it was available in Instagram reels here in the UK. It really suited it but it seems that Instagram does not have the rights with Sony in every country around the world. It cannot be viewed in Australia and several other countries at the time it was posted due to rights management!
The Power Of Sharing Video To Sell More Art
Even with restricted exposure though look how powerful this content is. It is so on brand with Lucy – animals, art, humour. How much is this cheekiness likely to get shared and have the opportunity of viral exposure!
In my research many people talked about reels as filling a place once filled by expensive advertising slots. These slots were well outside the reach of artists, makers and photographers. Now, however, you no longer need a film crew, you no longer have to pay for production and then advertising. You can film with your mobile phone like Lucy did. You can edit using the software on your phone. Then you can post up to a 1 minute advertisement for your business free of charge. How cool is that?
It doesn’t have to be cheeky, it doesn’t have to be really polished. It just needs to have a good idea, an hour of your time. Pick a good soundtrack and some good visuals and away you go. Don’t just do one though, plan a sequence. Do a new one every week or two in between everything else on social and see how it develops for you.
How To Record Video
As I said you don’t need high tech when using video to sell more art. Use an SLR camera if you have one but don’t worry if you haven’t. Most modern Smartphones are enough. The key is to use a tripod to hold your phone or camera. There are lots on Amazon. You can pick up a desk based tripod from £10. You can pick up a standing tripod from £20 so it doesn’t have to break the bank.
Most phones have a front and rear facing camera. The front facing camera tends to be a lower resolution. Anything you purchased in the last 2 years, however, is likely to be ok for what you need. If you face the screen and see yourself that will ensure you are able to judge distance and stay in frame.
Many phone cameras have self timers that you can use but for another £10 or less investment why not pick up a bluetooth remote control fob? You can connect it to your phone to control your camera from where you are?
Make sure the camera is at eye level if you can. If standing use a tall tripod. If filming using your laptop webcam as I do a lot, raise your laptop on boxes to get the camera to eye level – there is nothing worse than having people looking up your nostrils!
What Format Video To Use?
It can be confusing what format to film in when using video to sell more art because different systems have different requirements. Always consider repurposing your video so that it goes further when you record it. You might want to shoot it landscape to go on YouTube and embed in your website. Remember, though, that you can still reuse that content in portrait Instagram stories, reels and IGTV for example.
To do that make sure that there is plenty of space around the subject matter in the shot so that you can crop it both in landscape and portrait and still have it fill the frame effectively. Think about where you want to use the video. 3 minute videos work great on your website. They are too long, however, for Instagram reels which are limited to a minute but will be fine on IGTV.
Avoid 4K video unless it is really necessary. Files will be big and take time to process. Most systems will be happy with 1080 x 1920p and 30 frames per second. You can use square 1080 x 1080p on Instagram if you prefer for the square grid format. I prefer widescreen and let Instagram crop that itself in the grid. This gives viewers the better widescreen experience if they click on the video to expand it.
What Length Of Video?
Think about 1 minute videos for stories and reels but up to 60 minutes for IGTV. For my 3 minute website introduction video I put that onto IGTV. I then used the option to allow a preview in my normal post feed with the option to view the remainder in IGTV. Just because IGTV allows 60 minutes don’t feel you have to use long videos. People have to be really hooked on your content first to do that. Aim for 3 minutes or less while you are still new to video. See what resonates with people and what they want to watch more of before going beyond that.
What About Sound?
I use a professional Blue Yeti microphone to record my online course, however, for short video clips most Smartphone microphones will be sufficient. Don’t overthink it just get it done. Speak clearly and make sure that there is no background noise. Close doors, leave the dogs with a chew stick. Make sure the postman has already been and so on and you should be just fine!
What About Green Screen Video?
I use a green screen with the videos above and on my course videos. If you could see what is really behind me it looks like this. You don’t see all the junk hidden behind the screen and it gives me the option to put any backdrop I like on it.
Some software is so advanced it can do what a green screen does without a green screen. If you have one, however, and need to change your background it extends your options and the quality is usually a bit better. Consider green cloth to lay products on and then software to change the background. For this to work well though make sure there is no green in your product!
Again don’t overthink it though. I am recording hours and hours of video here but for your short videos you might be better with something much more natural!
What About Lighting?
I bought a kit for my course. The kit consists of the green screen and 4 photographic lights – 2 umbrella style lights and 2 in large rectangular pods that diffuse the light. Great value at around £120 on Amazon. Again this is for my course so I can film day or night indoors. It gives me consistency throughout. I still get issues with direct sunlight sometimes coming through the velux windows in the studio. There are days when I wished we had fitted blinds to them too!
You don’t have to take it to this level though. A newish Smartphone will usually work well in all light conditions. If you have the option of filming outdoors that always makes for the best light as long as you try to avoid direct sunlight. If indoors make sure the room is well lit Try to film facing a window which brings in lots of natural light.
You might also consider purchasing a light ring for around £20. This is a ring of light on a small tripod with a holder in the centre for your phone camera. Having lighting all around the camera helps spread the light around your face so that you get much better results without more professional lighting arrangements. It’s also a lot more portable.
What About Your Video Script?
Its hard enough to get on camera in the first place when using video to sell more art but then to expect it to all flow naturally and do it in a single take – not a chance for most of us mortals! Trust me I have tried and at the beginning it took a whole day to film 3 minutes of video and another day to edit it!
This got quicker over a period of days as I started filming my course but then I had a breakthrough when I entered ‘teleprompter‘ in the Play Store! I downloaded an app called ‘Nano Teleprompter‘ and it became a gamechanger!
You can point the app at Google Drive or One Drive where you store all your online documents. It can load up a Google Doc or Word document containing your script.
I play the script on my phone and record from my laptop webcam sitting just in front of it a lot of the time, however, the teleprompter app will also work on your front facing smartphone camera. Your phone shows the image of you on the screen but then overlays your script on top of that so that you can record yourself as you read the script.
It took a bit of practice getting the script to play at the right size and speed so that I could keep up and you don’t see my eyes moving as they read the text but it did the trick. Things look so much more natural now. I think I will progress to adlibbing with time but for now this keeps me closer to my comfort zone and really boosts my productivity.
Video Is Trending in 2021
So there you have it from me – using video to sell more art is so important. Video is going to be key in 2021 so if you haven’t started yet I really urge you to avoid getting left behind. It does involve pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, trust me, I have been there (and still am?). But it also gets easier and with some of the tools and techniques above you can really make a difference fast.
Are you using video yet? I would love to know what you are up to and what kind of results you are experiencing?