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Five Fundamentals for Video

While some of the marketing tools we’ve discussed in this series may, according to some, not be as useful in the 21st century marketing environment, there seems to be almost universal agreement that the age of the video is here. With the massive power of YouTube, anyone can produce a video and make it accessible for sharing. The problem with using videos for marketing is the same as the use of photography. Because everyone has a digital camera and a video camera on their smart phone, there is a sense that ANYONE can make a good marketing video. There are actually a lot of things to keep in mind if you want your video to work well for marketing purposes. We’re just going to touch on five.

1. Don’t make a documentary (unless you’re making a documentary)

People have short attention spans (and they are continually getting shorter!). The ideal length for a video should be between 30 seconds and 2 minutes, and the closer to 30 seconds the better. Remember, you’re asking people to pay attention to a video that ultimately is about your products and your company. Don’t be like the house guest that doesn’t get the clue that they should leave. Keep it short and sweet for the best results.

2. Make sure your lighting and audio are professionally handled

How many times have you clicked on a video only to see a person or product surrounded by a strange halo of bright white light? Or maybe you’ve clicked on a video and the audio reminded you of the teacher’s voice in the Charlie Brown movies. None of these flaws will help your video work for you. Make sure your lighting and your audio are professionally handled. This will not only help you get your message across, but it will also indicate that you invested time and the proper resources into your video message.

3. Have a point

Often times videos seem like they have been thrown together rather haphazardly. If a person isn’t understanding what they’re supposed to get out of the video, you’ll lose their attention. Your video should tell a story (a short one) with a clear beginning, middle, and end. That means that instead of just showing a product in use, tell a story about how that product can help your customer or prospect solve a problem. Does your product help people work more efficiently? Use your video to demonstrate how that happens. Along with having a cohesive video that will cover all of your key points, you’re more likely to keep a person’s interest if they know where your video is taking them.

4. Establish a look and feel for your company’s videos

A lot of videos on YouTube that are used for marketing purposes just randomly start. You click a link and you feel like you’re stepping into the middle of a movie. If you are doing a series of videos, or even if you think you might expand your number of videos in the future, create an opening and closing template that will tie your videos together. Your opening will usually include your company name and logo along with the title of that specific video. Your closing screen can include your URL and other contact information. These kinds of touches add to the professional quality of your videos and also help you build your brand as people see your videos in different venues.

5. Make sure you measure

Doing a video the right way can take a lot of time, an investment in professional resources, and a lot of planning. That means when the video is done you don’t just want to toss it onto YouTube and hope for the best. Take awhile to research other videos in your industry. How are they tagged? Do they seem to be getting a lot of views? Remember, the meter for success is not “going viral.” Most videos, in fact probably about 99%, won’t go viral and won’t even approach that level of popularity. Instead, try to use your videos to drive traffic to your website, or use your videos, via QR codes, to make press releases and advertisements more interactive as we’ve discussed previously. If you have a videos page on your site, monitor how many visits it receives and how long people stay there. Keep a close eye on how your video is performing.

If used correctly, videos can be a selling tool in addition to a marketing tool. Make sure you plan carefully and execute your videos in a professional way that will keep a viewer’s attention.

Any questions? Let us know!

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ezalis/77430740/ via Creative Commons

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2 comments on “Five Fundamentals for Video

  1. Have a point! Yes! And Stick To It! One way to know whether you have a point is to check whether you have a real Title. “Corporate Overview” is not the name of a story, and your video probably doesn’t yet have a point. I’m just sayin’.

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