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How Video can be used Effectively Online

A powerful way to convey your communication messages to your audience is to be able to have your promotional video available on your website.

Yet, we have probably all experienced visiting a website and clicking on a video only to have to been irritated that the content is not viewable or that the sound is inaudible. The result is we leave the website in frustration.

So how do you make sure the video content on your website can be watched by your audience? It all boils down to how you want your viewers to access your video file and the level of video quality you want your movie to be played at.

There are two different ways of sharing your video file on the web:

1. Streamable Video

This is where the viewer is able to download sections of your video (otherwise known as "streaming"), while the video is playing. The main benefit of this method is that the user does not have to spend time downloading the complete video before viewing.

There are three major streaming video formats ? RealVideo (RM), QuickTime (MOV) and Windows Media (WMV). These are playable on Real Player, QuickTime Player and Windows Media Player respectively. Windows Media Player is widely available on most PC's, as it is part of Windows Operating System. The other players need to be installed.

The only negative with streamable video is that the quality of the video is dependent upon Internet connection. In addition, it has the annoying habit of dropping video frames because the streaming software has to adjust the data rate based on the speed of your Internet connection, in order to keep playing the video.

2. Download and Play

This is where the viewer needs to download the entire video first, then play it on their video player application. The main advantage is that the video quality is not affected by Internet connection speed.

However, it can take some time for the video to download if the file is large.

So which format do you choose?

In a world where first impressions always count, it is extremely important for companies to appear professional and trustworthy at all times. Marketing videos with poor picture quality are likely to reflect a poor quality company in the mind of the viewer. Consequently, we always recommend the download and play option. This is because it allows for high quality video content to be viewed.

However, as you don't want viewers to give up on downloading your video, we only recommend that short video clips are inserted onto your website.

This means your website users will be able to download a short video at a high quality picture resolution that will portray your company in the best possible way.

(c) Marie-Claire Ross 2004. All rights reserved.

Marie-Claire Ross is one of the partners of Digicast. Digicast works with organisations who are not satisfied that their marketing and training materials are helping their business grow. She can be contacted on 0500 800 234 (Australia wide) or at mc@digicast.com.au. The website is at http://www.digicast.com.au.

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