August 4, 2012
By Paul Harris, Marketing Manager
Internet videos are everywhere. You can’t visit many sites that don’t include at least one video link. Online videos are easy and cheap to make. Video content adds a splash of flavor in any webpage. If you’re a marketer that’s not using (or at least considering using) video content in your strategy you might as well go back to the Stone Age with Fred Flintstone.
In my past marketing jobs, I’ve worked as a video editor. During my time as an editor, I’ve watched cringingly as I see many marketers make common mistakes in their video content. I’ve decided to help stop these problems. Many marketers have all the resources to create great content. If you listen to my advice you can save yourself a lot of hair pulling and start making some awesome marketing videos.
Here are some of my tips to help create excellent online videos without making the common mistakes of a video marketing rookie.
- Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance (PPPPP). Boot camp instructors use this phrase in the military for a reason- It’s a rule to live by. Most marketers lose the vision for their video in the production stage. This is because they didn’t plan well enough in the pre-production stage. First, write a script and hold planning meetings with everyone involved before you shoot anything. Talk about the vision for your video and make sure EVERYONE understands that vision. If you forgo concept meetings and do a brief script writing process your video is destined to fail. Good planning = good videos. Simple math.
- Audio > Visual – Many video rookies focus on what they see. Does the lighting look right? Is his hair perfect? Do you like this shot? These are always the wrong types of questions a rookie video marketer should be asking. You should care much more about the audio. Make sure you can clearly hear all important audio during the shooting process. Think about your videos like you are making music with added pictures. If you don’t like a song you likely won’t listen to it. However, if you like it, you will listen to it very intently (maybe even memorizing it). That’s great marketing. The same rule applies for online videos. Sound is everything.
- Two Minutes or Less- I don’t care if you are making the next Wizard of OZ! If your video is intended for online consumption, you have two minutes maximum to get your point across. All too often, marketing videos will contain an interview with some senior-level management person taking about how great his or her company is. A couple minutes later, no one will care. Users of the internet have the attention rate of goldfish. They expect instant gratification, no fluff, no introductions, and no credits. Get right to the point and finish. The quicker the better.
- More B-Roll- Don’t bore your viewer with one shot for more than a couple seconds. Keep a good pace by using interesting b-roll that keeps the users eyes on the video and off the exit button.
- Take off that tie and loosen up- People want to be entertained. Don’t make a generic business video about your company’s products and services. That’s a waste of your time. Your videos should be engaging and interesting. Do something outside of the box. This will ultimately attract more interest in your content and lead to your company’s success. Try to fight back against “cooperate concerns/policy” that can stifle your flame of creativity. Never be scared to try something new.
Follow these tips and you surely can create something that you can be proud of. Just remember to take your time. Rome wasn’t built in a day but it was pretty damn impressive when they finished it. This same truth should apply to your marketing videos.