The following is a Guest Post from Gary Lipkowitz, COO of Goanimate
Have you seen this video before?
Generic-looking lady at desk. Dry, monotone whiny female voiceover comes in:
“Meet Laura, a marketing manager with a major problem. She has to deliver 1000 qualified leads by next week, but her current software just isn’t cutting it.”
And we’re asleep. We know you were trying to tell us a story about your product and or service, but it certainly wasn’t original, engaging, or shareable, and we just can’t hear you because we’re so tir-zzzzzzz. Next!
What about this one?
Pasty, florescent office lighting. Unflattering mid-shot of CEO. His tepid voice echoes through the empty conference room:
“Hi, I’m Tom Johnson, CEO and Founder of Every Startup, Ever. I started Every Startup, Ever because I love startups, and now you can too!”
Booooring. Surprise, the brand story about the origin of your company might be interesting, but with this treatment, it will fall on deaf ears. Onward.
Slightly shaky room shot of trade show with noisy ambient sound, heavy breathing of the videographer, and muffled, bordering-on-inaudible dialogue from your demo diva:
“Today I’m going to shhhhhh …(heavy breathing) …(quiet pause with mouth flap)… (screeching noise)…
CRINGE. You’re not really going to show that in public, are you?
It’s 2014. Back-Button-Itis is back and on your video player!
People are busy. No one wants to put in more than 10 seconds to figure out if they want to keep watching. Make a false step in your video and the viewer will leave.
Can’t hear it or see it? The viewer is gone. Expectations are high. There are lots of good videos out there.
Slow, formulaic intro. The viewer is gone. Many clever people have come before you. Many more are waiting in other tabs.
Overly, salesy content. The viewer is gone. “Are we not entertained?” Not by a sales pitch.
How Do You Make a Good Marketing Video?
Good videos all have a few things in common.
They engage the viewer quickly. This can be with a hook, creativity or by simply and sincerely nailing a problem experienced by your viewers.
They maintain the engagement – by quickly and concisely proving their points. The exercise is one of sharing information and building credibility, not going for the close. Yes, you will end with a call-to-action. But resist the urge to try and close the sale every five seconds. If you do – the viewer is gone.
They appear professional. As described, viewer attention span is short. Demand on their time is high. Their level of trust is low. It’s a lot easier to click away from a marketer and their video then to remain engaged. So make sure your production quality is enough to convey “reliable and professional.” There are a lot of articles and posts out there saying that any video is better than no video. “Just get started.” This may be true. But even truer and doubly so in today’s content-saturated times is that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Below are some tips to help get you to the finish line.
A Great Script is The Key!
Wouldn’t the first video be better if it started off this way instead?
“It’s 9:04 AM on a Monday and I’ve already fed, watered, and dropped off the kids. Now I’m trying to feed the sales team. I’ve got 10,000 emails in the system and no idea what our relationship is with any of them. And now my system is hung.” [SCREAMS]
It’s just a subtle change, but we’ve changed the introduction to make it easier to identify with Laura. Instead of giving exposition (she’s a marketing manager), we’re showing the world through her caffeinated, over-achieving eyes. Some say it’s genetic. Some say it’s due to movies and TV. But we love story; we prefer to look in the same direction as people, not necessarily right at them.
In both cases, the viewers can tell we’re going to introduce a marketing platform. But in this one, they’re engaged with the story. If picture and sound are good, and the status bar on the video player makes it look like the video is short, they’ll stay to the end. At that point they’ll know the brand, they’ll know the value proposition and maybe respond to the call-to-action. That’s a win.
Write Moments, Not Words!
Video is rich media. The visuals are not some kind of inert wallpaper laid over the words so it can run on YouTube. It’s rich media — audio, visuals and timing all working together to create moments which are greater than the sum of the parts. Moments get remembered. Words don’t.
Choose Your Tools!
We’ve discussed the importance of a professional looking and sounding deliverable. This used to require tens of thousands of dollars. Not anymore.
Video equipment prices are much more affordable and accessible these days. If you’re going with live action, a high-res GoPro should do the trick, and those start at just a few hundred dollars. A GoPro camera will enable dynamic camera moves quite easily, and when paired with a tripod, will allow you the simplicity of a fixed camera.
Live action shooting tends to require a lot of editing work. Cloud-based sites like WeVideo allow non-professionals to get started at a very low cost.
Animated videos are very popular these days. They’re the must-have for home-page explainer videos. GoAnimate is a cloud-based, do-it-yourself animated video site with thousands of backgrounds, characters, props and actions ready to go at the click of a mouse. Everything is controlled with simple drag & drop tools. Animated video is great for companies with very big (global logistics) or very small (biotech) stories to tell since it’s so easy to animate around the laws of nature. Let animation give your story wings – so pigs can fly.
The cost of audio equipment has also come down dramatically. You can create a nearly professional audio recording booth out of a closet, some blankets (for the walls), freeware (we like Audacity) and a $100 mic. You can improve your narration even more by investing in a pop filter – it’s a little screen you position in front of the mic to protect it from your “Ps” and “Bs”.
Make it Interactive to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck
This is not just brand marketing. You’ll want your viewers to connect with you while they’re motivated by your story. Enabling your videos with interactive marketing apps from Viewbix can help you rank in search engines, increase your click-through rates and funnel leads directly into your marketing platform.
Let’s step it up in 2014!
Video marketers, make great videos because you can and you should! With all the high quality tools available to you at low prices, there are no excuses any more.
Reach out with questions or comments below!
Gary joined GoAnimate in 2011, with over 15 years of media and entertainment experience earned in the US and Asia. He holds a BA in Economics & Psychology (Magna Cum Laude) from New York University, an MFA in Film/TV from Northwestern University, and an MBA (With Distinction) from INSEAD. He enjoys playing ice hockey and collecting Balinese art.