Modern sites fall into several key categories by the over-riding purpose of the site.
1-Sites can be used strictly for dissemination of information to the public.
2- Site can be use a visitors interest in a product or service to gather contact information. This is most-often called lead generation.
3- Sites can directly sell merchandise of services (e-commerce)
4- Sites can act as a virtual brochure to provide deep information for a second touch point after a prospect has already interacted with the company.
The internet is most likely to follow the same trend that communication has followed for the past hundred years. Dissemination of information and persuasion for the purposes of sales has consistently moved from written static text, to auditory on the radio, then Television with full motion, full color visual media. The evolution of the internet in the direction of Website Video was inevitable and predictable. The only barrier to its development was bandwidth; which has changed dramatically in the past 5 years.
Nobody can deny the power of visual media to communicate complex or persuasive concepts. The combination of high quality video and concise presentation of knowledge on the pages of a site is the most powerful combination for achieving results in all 4 category of website above. Website Video can act as a the sales person in the site, delivering a quick distilled message about the site and possible action that can be taken in the site. Once the visitor has identified her needs in the video message, she can drill deep into the real content of the site. The Website Video then acts as a simpler site lying over the more complex and complete site beneath.
The going opinion is that “people just don’t read anymore”. This is entirely un-true as illiteracy rates have not changed measurably in the 20 years. The real issue is one of information overload. Our faith in the ability of a search engine to deliver ALL the relevant sites regarding our search is very high, but our faith in each result on the search page is very low. We need to see immediate confirmation in absolute clarity on the webpage, that we have arrived at the BEST provider of that information or service. If we do not see that in the first several seconds, the draw of more clarity calls us back to the search results page. So the summary is that people still read informative text, but they need instant confirmation that a webpage will have relevant information before they will invest the time in reading that text.