I saw a video over the holidays and it got the better of me so much so that I have to say something because these types of videos just need to stop being created by “marketers.”
I’m talking about poorly conceived and produced online videos that we find on countless company websites and social media channels which are completely ineffectual. You know the kind of video I’m talking about: it starts off looking like it was homemade and it never gets better; the on-camera ‘talent’ has none; it doesn’t know when to end; there’s an information overload going on which leads to boredom; no clear understanding of who the audience is; and most importantly, the “WOW factor” is completely hidden or missing.
Unfortunately, this is exactly what some companies have haphazardly slapped together in the name of “meaningful content video.”
As we all know, online video content has just exploded over the past couple of years and it’s going to keep getting bigger in the foreseeable future. For example, did you know….
- Each day, over 100 MILLION American watch online videos, an increase of 43% since 2010.
- About 46% of people say they’d be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video.
- 70% of B2B marketers use some form of online video with their overall strategies.
Yet we still have too many companies that create and post videos which are visual train-wrecks that unfortunately their customers and prospective customers will see. With that in mind, and so that the next video you develop has a chance to be all that it can be, let’s talk about what good videos have in common:
- Good videos contain real content
- Good content should be engaging, relevant, and appropriate for the audience. Good content takes a stand. It has a voice, a point of view. It may be informative, useful, or funny but it always leaves you wanting more. Is the storytelling or narrative coherent and does it hold your attention? Does the content stay with you long after viewing it? Is the video like that of a woman’s skirt – short enough to be interesting but long enough to cover the subject?
- Good videos are truly interesting from the viewer’s perspective
- Internet viewing has created a world of people with ADHD. Viewers will click the second they lose interest, so you have to hold their attention on every frame. Your scripting has to be based entirely on the viewer’s wanting to know “what’s in it for me?” I’ve written about outside-in thinking. Here’s where it really comes into play.
- Good videos know who their audience is
- Determine who you’re speaking to with the video. Are these new website visitors? Are they returning customers? What’s their mindset? How much do they know about your product or service already? What do you want them to do next? What are their demographics?
- Good videos have a purpose and know where they’ll “live”
- Prior to the video having been developed, company/agency folks have decided how they want to share the video given their communication plan and goals. Synergies between different online social media channels (Facebook, YouTube) and other uses (emails, blog posts, landing pages, registration pages and corporate websites) have been determined…as have offline uses. Shooting and editing a video only to then decide what to do with it then creates unnecessary messaging and expense issues.
- Good videos are leveraged
- Good videos have relevant keywords incorporated into their descriptions and postings to insure they come up when searched. Website or landing page URLs have been imbedded in the video for users to click (remember you WANT them to do something, right?). The video is promoted through various means ranging from PR releases to e-newsletters, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
- Good videos have high production values and a consistent look/tone/feel
- Cheap-looking productions imply cheaply products from the company. There is a level of production value that really good videos simply don’t dip below. The audio and camera work for good videos is such that one can easily understand what’s being said and view the video without feeling the need to click away due to poor audio or shaky camera work. On-camera talent is professional. Users can easily spot a poorly done video, and if your video is not well produced, it suggests that you do not value your product/service. Also, a consistency of look and branding in your video to the rest of your marketing efforts is a must.
So whether you’re creating a testimonial, promotional, “how-to” or other type of video, the idea is to make sure that people find it interesting, worth spending the time to watch and that it leads to the desired next step. Repeated viewings of your video generally indicates a positive overall experience. Repeatedly having your video, or future videos, being ignored means, well, you know what that means.