Part Two – Getting The Picture

Lights, Camera, Action!

The jiggling images that dance across a wall from a projector are the only memories some campers may have of the early years of video at camp. And gone are the tedious hours of splicing film to get those images.

Last month, we looked at making photographs work on your Web site. This time, we will discuss the hows and whys of using video images.

Why Use Video?

You already have plenty of pictures on your site and lots of copy that explains how great your camp is. Why add video? The simplest reasons are to make your Web site exciting, dynamic and interesting. Good video content can give your visitors a reason to stay at the site longer. And convincing browsers not to click away to another site is what it’s all about online. Web developers refer to it as adding “stickiness” to a site. The right kind of content will keep visitors glued to their monitors.

Video also has become a wonderful advertising tool. Many camps include a DVD as part of the promotional package mailed to families each season. Now, thanks to emerging technologies, that entire DVD can be played directly from your camp’s Web site. Instead of campers requesting information and waiting for the promotional package to arrive in the mail (where it may be lost in a pile of similar promotional packages from other camps), you can show them everything about your camp right there, at your site, in your video. And you’ll have the chance to do it without a cacophony of distractions from competing camps. Smart use of video can pre-empt competing messages and make a strong, lasting impression on a visitor. Online video can compress the time it takes to get a site visitor interested and excited about your camp.

Using Online VideoThere are many ways you can make your Web site more interesting for your visitor:

•Welcome message from the director. Now the head honcho no longer has to be just a face in a brochure. Video allows you to come directly into a family’s home, where you can speak to them in your own words about your camp. This makes the director a real person and someone visitors will trust.

•Safety videos. Show visitors all the precautions taken to ensure campers are safe and secure. Visit the infirmary and talk with the camp nurse. Show counselor safety training, especially if your camp has a lake or pool. This can go a long way in developing trust for your camp.

•Counselor training. Post a series of videos available for staff only. These videos can be for re-orientation for the upcoming season, or as a way to introduce new counselors to what is expected of them as members of your staff. You can also use video to recruit new staffers each season.

•Comments from campers. Imagine how exciting it would be for a young viewer who visits your Web site to see and hear real kids having fun at your camp, talking with exuberance and excitement about the time they are having–while they are actually having it. Kids like to see other kids, and they relate to them in a way they simply can’t with adults. Video is a great tool for building bonds among potential campers.

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Related posts:

  1. Getting the Picture
  2. The Three Knows: Part Two
  3. Staff Marketing
  4. Making the Most of Your Web Site
  5. Designing Your Marketing Budget
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