There are some absolutely great videos out there that people have created. They are fun to watch, engaging…there is a reason, a purpose if you will for the video.
There are also some really bad videos out there, and not just in production quality but in ‘what’s the point’ type of bad.
It is not really about the good and/or bad in the quality of the video production (that’s another post, read Your Video Just Might Suck) it’s about creating a video that has a point, that answers your customers problem.
Including Video is simply another avenue for your past, current, and potential customers to have their problem answered. The product or services that your customers may need can be explained, talked about and even given away through the use of video.
We’re not in the business of creating a video just because it’s cool, or it’s the new hot thing to do in a business marketing effort. We create video because the story that your business is putting out there can be captured for an audience visually, simply, and with a purpose.
Questions to ask yourself before deciding to create (or have someone create) a video for your business.
Does it help tell my brands story?
Is there a point, a purpose for the video?
What kind of video do you want?
Does this video answer my current/potential customers problem?
The most important question to ask before deciding to include video, is “Why?”
Why am I making this video?
If your video doesn’t have a purpose, you shouldn’t create it. It is a waste of time, money, and investment without a plan or a purpose.
There should be specific reasons why you create a video.
Building brand awareness
Educating your customers
Show your company culture and creativity
If your video doesn’t appear to fit into one of the above categories then take a step back and re-evaluate your strategy. It’s pretty important to have a plan, a purpose and goals when creating a video. If you don’t have this direction, it will not be easy to measure your project’s success or even failure.
All too often we here the banter, “Oh I can just create a video with my iPhone.” Or even, I have an old camera, “I can set up and do my business’ About Us video.” I think a little bit of me dies inside every time I hear that, “I can create my own video, it’s easy”. In reality, it’s not that easy, or everyone would be a Videographer, and making crap for money.
As much as you may want to believe that you can easily create your own video, and yes at the end of the day, most people do have the capability of pressing the record button on a video camera, creating a video requires much, much more than pressing record, and hitting the upload button.
Here are 7 Reasons why your video probably sucks:
You Made It Too Long You’re in love with your content…and you want to make sure your audience sees ALL of it. Problem is, your audience could care less. Shorter is better. In an online viewing experience, anything over 3 minutes is a death sentence for that video. 30 seconds…that’s typically what you have to capture someone’s attention. Analytics show that after the 30 second mark, viewership drops drastically. If it’s longer than 3 minutes and not made for a very specific audience, the viewer is long gone. Keep it short.
Your Script Is Just Too Boring / Content Unorganized Ever had a conversation with someone who rambles or who jumps from one thought to another without completing the previous one? Not fun is it? It usually leaves you thinking, “What the hell just happened?” The same holds true for your video. Tell a story, keep their attention, write a quick script/outline to follow. Convey your message clearly.
Your Audio Is Crap Amateur Audio The microphone on your camera is designed to capture everything in front of it in every situation. That includes sounds from the kitchen, the dog barking next door, and the voice of your subject bouncing off of every untreated wall in that hollow empty room you are filming in. It is not a professional microphone. It does not capture professionally. Use a professional audio setup…your audience will forgive some bad footage…bad audio is another story.
You Are Using Copyrighted Material Just because it pops up in a Google search does not mean it is free for you to redistribute it in your video. Learn at least a basic understanding of internet copyright laws. It may save you lots of money in future legal fees.
You Don’t Have A Call To Action “How do I buy what your selling?” “Where do I sign up?” “Do you have a website where I can get more information?” Figure out what reaction you want your audience to have and call them to it.
Handheld Footage Shaky footage looks amateur…period. I know Hollywood is all about the “handheld” look but that doesn’t mean they just carry around a camera and film. It is a very systematic, coordinated effort to give it that look. Holding up your iPhone to film isn’t going to give you that same look. Use a stabilizer…any stabilizer.
No Movement After about :30 seconds of looking at the same shot, the human eye gets bored. Zoom in, change angles, cut in some b-roll footage. Do something to keep it “moving” visually.
Seriously, there is no such thing as a ViralVideo. There are videos that go viral, but one cannot set out to create a viralvideo. And this is one of the most annoying things that we get asked on an ‘almost’ weekly basis. When we get an email about requests for video work, it’s exciting. Love hearing about the ideas and possibilities of using our creativeness with video, but the moment the word viral come into talks, I can’t help but roll my eyes.
ViralVideo is a possibility, but setting out to create a viral video is just not gonna happen.
For example, we work with The Tri-City Americans. Last year we had the amazing pleasure of creating a fun Christmas video using the players to act and lip-sync to Mariah Carey “All I Want For Christmas” and it was hilarious and fun! I won’t lie, I would’ve loved to see that video go viral. I mean seriously, who wouldn’t get a laugh out of large hockey players, ice dancing gracefully while rocking out to mariah Carey? But I knew, and I still know, that creating a fun video (as much as you think it is THE best video ever) doesn’t guarantee that it will be in the next headline of the New York Times, or broadcasted on the Today Show.
Funny thing about that video, it goes ‘viral’ (*insert eye roll) over in New Zealand. Never saw that coming.
A Video Is A Video
Which goes to say that any video that you make, is quite simply a video you make to share with your fans, followers and/or customers the same way you would share a Facebook Status update. It is meant to give those followers a different means to view and understand the product or service that you are providing.
Of the thousands of videos out there, there are plenty that are good or bad, and whether they go viral (or not) is really out of your control.
I love video. I believe that video is an amazing way to capture your brands essence into a visually appealing “something” to make it that much better for your fans.
The way that we approach creating stellar video is:
•Outline an online strategy around the concept for the video
•Keep an open mind at unique ways to leverage social media.
•Utilize a smart social media plan to ensure the campaign reaches the right audience
•Don’t over emphasize on the brand which can make it less engaging for consumers
•And lastly, never call it a “viral video”.
There is no such thing as viralvideo. You can’t create it. You can’t plan for it.
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