Evoke Multimedia

When to Use Talking Heads in a Video Interview

February 21st, 2013

While the use of video on websites is proven to increase viewer retention, conversion rates, and SEO metrics, I’m alarmed by the number of videos that have people talking at me.¬† Actually ‘alarmed’ is too strong a word.¬† Bored is more like it.

It’s long been understood that about 90% of communication is non-verbal. So when marketers offer ‘talking heads’ in their website video clip, they may be wasting the money they’ve spent to get prospects to the site in the first place.

Just as website visitors don’t have the time or inclination to read through pages and pages of text to learn about an organization, they are even less apt to sit through its personal commercial. Each time I come across one of these, IF I watch long enough, I’m more likely to be distracted by what the speaker looks and sounds like, than really hearing what they are saying.

There may be a rare occasion when you want to show the person while they’re actually speaking. But generally, unless your spokesperson is a celebrity or comes across as authentic and enthusiastic while speaking on camera, you can more effectively communicate the same information by showing your audience what you are talking about, versus watching someone say it.

Case in point:  one of our recent projects was to help promote a private school outside of Boston.  We decided that using the voices of students from a range of grades would be the best way to communicate with prospective students and invite them to visit the school.  But putting a video camera and microphone in front of a 9 year old would have doomed the project from the start.  Instead, we got them talking about what they liked most about the school and captured their voices then melded them with still pictures and video shots of school activities, music and ambient playground sounds.  It was the combination of these elements that not only told a story, but did so in an entertaining and energetic way that really connected with the intended audience.

So, unless you have the budget to hire a Hollywood star or local personality to convey your message, gather a variety of media that captures who you are and what you do and let them do the talking for you.  I guarantee the end video will be MUCH more compelling and impactful.