You might not be the world’s biggest fan of YouTube, but we’re pretty sure you’ll at least have heard of it. The chances are you think YouTube is just for meant for pranksters and jokers or wannabe pop stars. Well, that may well have been the case once upon a time. However time has moved on and YouTube is now full of online marketing videos selling business products and services. Video marketing is probably the fastest growing of all internet marketing sectors. If you still think YouTube and other video marketing channels are just for the kids, then we’d urge you to seriously think again. Video marketing is good for business: all you need to do is check out any number of websites, blogs and internet forums and you’ll see everybody is at it. Shouldn’t your business be there too?
So, if you’ve decided that it may be time to dip your toe in these video-waters, is there anything you should know? Are there any trade secrets or best practices that you should be aware of before making your video masterpiece or paying someone else to do it? Well, no, not really: most of it is good old plain and simple common sense. All you should be aware of, particularly if your business is considering producing its own video is that it needs to be memorable, well scripted and it has to look professional. If you’re paying someone else to do it for you then insist that they also meet these minimum standards. Generally you get what you pay for, but even the most expensive products can come with certain inherent flaws.
Make your video memorable
What all businesses want is to make an impression. Ideally they’d love to create a video so memorable that it gets passed from viewer to viewer by either word of mouth or recommendation. What businesses would ultimately like is for the video to go viral. Now, how you do that is partly up to you, and partly up to your audience. What’s crucial is that the video makes an immediate impression. Boring doesn’t sell: in fact it’s a sure fire way of making sure your product will never sell. Users won’t share boring videos – end of story.
That doesn’t mean to say it has to be outrageous, though that in truth has been shown to work. Perhaps the best examples have to be the Old Spice Guy and Blentec’s ‘Will it blend’ videos. Both were very clever and packed an immediate punch, particularly Blendtec’s Total Blender video. Some boffin came up with the crazy idea of dropping all sorts of different objects in an ordinary domestic blender to see if they would blend, and hey presto it went viral.
Now obviously not everyone can be as inventive and creative as that, but it sets down a marker. Ask yourself is there any other way you might be able to portray your business products through video? Rather than just presenting a staid video of what you make and hoping for the best, why not try to approach things from a different angle: ask yourself, what can’t it do, why can’t it do it, how do we make it do it? Many of the best marketing videos were conceived by asking these sorts of questions and running with the ideas that were suggested.
Prepare your script well
You might fancy yourself as the next De Niro or Pacino, but let’s be honest, you probably aren’t. Most of us will freeze if we step in front of a camera and fluff our lines, if in fact we’ve taken the trouble to write any at all. You might like to think you can wing it, but you probably can’t. Sit down and carefully script what you want to say, regardless of whether you or a hired voice-over actor will deliver the lines. Draft, read, redraft and re-read, and hone the message down until the words seem natural and convincing. Yes you still are trying to sell a product, but if the message is blatantly sales-driven, viewers will turn off en masse. The words need to be inventive and entertaining, and above all need to engage the viewer. Run your script past as many people as possible to get their opinions. If the reaction is negative, then that should tell you all you need to know. Then it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
The video should look polished and professional
If you intend to pay for the service, then you have every right to expect that your video will look the business. If it doesn’t, complain and keep pestering until the finished product meets all your expectations. If you plan on making your own marketing video, make sure that you use the correct and most up-to-date gear. Use a high quality camera, a good microphone, proper lighting and a state of the art editing software. The worst thing any business can do is to produce an amateur looking promotional video. All this will achieve is to kill your marketing effort stone dead. Test your video on your friends and colleagues and gauge their reactions. If you can honestly say you’re proud of what you’ve produced and your colleagues agree, the chances are your marketing video could well start pulling in that extra traffic you’ve been dreaming of.