As a content creator, I need to know what’s out there and create the best content possible, content that rises above the noise. Along the way, I’ve noticed some bad video trends that should be avoided at all costs!
First, your videos are too long.
This is the age of Twitter and viral six second Vine videos. Collectively, people do not have an attention span long enough to wait for you to get to the point in a 10 minute video. If I have trouble waiting the twelve seconds it takes to see a guy fall off his bike in some Youtube video, what makes you think I’m going to wait through you introducing yourself for the first 5 minutes of your video? By the time you’ve gotten out your name and how long you’ve worked for the company, I’m bored. By the time you actually get to explaining your product/company/etc, I’m already watching cats on YouTube faceplanting off of couches.
I’ve noticed the sweet spot is about 60-90 seconds. I know you’ve got a lot to share but the tighter you can make the video, the more engaging it will be. A good video will get your attention from the beginning, and not take time getting to the point. The point is to hook your audience’s interest so they want to find out more, not tell them everything.
Second, you’re not telling a story.
Ok, so say you’ve got your viewer’s attention. What’s going to keep them there? Remember, I’ve got cat videos to watch. Your video needs to tell a story to keep my attention. What’s better? A list of features about your product, or a story about someone who had a problem and found that your product was the perfect solution? Saying “We have many happy customers” or watching one of your customers tell the story of how he found you and how you/your product/company made his life a million times better?
Take Intuit, for example. They make Quickbooks, an accounting software. Which video are you going to watch, one explaining the many facets of their software, or videos showing real people using Quickbooks to run their businesses. Guess which videos they hired us to make?
Third, too much talking head.
If I wanted to watch a guy in a suit talking at me, I’d watch CSPAN. Guess what? There’s a reason CSPAN has such a low viewership. Nobody wants to watch a guy in a suit talking at them! What do they want to see? Anything else!
A good video will have someone talking whether it be an interview or voice over, sure. But we don’t need to see them talking the whole time. We want to see action! A good video will take advantage of the chance to intersperse action with narration.
The opposite can be true with video for an app or SaaS solution.
Fourth, too much screen capture.
I see a lot of videos get into trouble when there is no obvious physical product or action to show. If you are launching your new SaaS offering you’ll need to show a little of the software just to briefly see how it works, but instead of making your launch video a glorified demo, focus on the user experience. Let’s see how your solution affects the life of the user!
Here is a good example of a launch video focusing on the user experience.
Fifth, the quality of your video should equal the quality of your service or product.
Your offering is awesome, right? Otherwise you wouldn’t be here reading this. Don’t have potential clients’ first impression of your brand be your incredibly lame video. Video can make a lasting impression, good or bad. According to MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute, video is the 3rd most effective marketing tactic below in person events and webinars. That’s a huge deal!
Don’t underestimate the value and importance of a high quality video content piece.