I can be so self-conscious. Annoyingly so. I loathe photos being taken of me – even when it’s my adorable 7-year-old son trying to take them.
I was a complete ducking-and-hiding nightmare of a bride on my wedding day. My photographer all but threw his hands up in frustration and left.
So I understand why so many folks really resist the idea of marketing via videos. I get it! Who wants to watch themselves on camera, stiffly reading an infomercial script? Not me! Not hundreds of other business owners.
Nope, the only weirdo business owners who are regularly filming effective, interesting video marketing content are…the smart ones!
Video marketing is a no brainer if you want to succeed online. Google loves videos and often will rank them above other pages. Customers love videos. They want to see the people behind the product and they really love seeing the product ‘in action.’
So it’s time to tackle some of the top video myths and mistakes and get you “ready for your close up.” Once and for all!
Myth #1: Videos Need to be Super Short
This one always has me scratching my head. I realize that the attention span of an online shopper can be infinitesimal. And I agree that you should make every attempt to grab the viewer’s attention very quickly.
But it’s okay to ‘stretch out a bit’ and let a video really do its job. Two factors dictate how long a video should be. First of all, how good is it?
I’m not just talking about video production quality, I’m talking about how interesting is it? If it’s interesting and educational, it’s okay to go a little longer.
Second, who is it aimed at? How far down the sales funnel are they? If you are serving a video up to a casual browser then it probably does makes sense to keep it quick and to the point.
However, if you are talking to a “wallet out” kind of customer and they just need more reassurance before they pull the trigger, then by all means – give the people what they want!
Expound, show all sides of the product, show it in action, talk to some customers who are so happy they decided to invest in your product! A few extra minutes could be just what you need to tip that sale right into the shopping cart.
Myth #2 You Need Big Video Skills, a Big Crew or a Big Budget
When it comes to skills and equipment, the idea of needing fancy versions of either of these is just wrong. If Apple can use an iPhone video for a TV commercial, I’m pretty confident you can make a great looking online video with your own smart phone.
There are so many editing tools and tutorials online that you can easily train yourself how to take raw smartphone footage and turn it into engaging, interesting video content.
And did I mention many of those tools are free or very affordable? Money is no longer a barrier to great online marketing.
In fact, when it comes to production value, sometimes overly-slick production can actually hurt you. Think about it. What would you view as more authentic?
A green screened, perfectly lit and scripted customer testimonial? Or a ‘man on the street’ , impromptu gushing customer review? The latter feels more believable, more real.
One small caveat to the production value: If you think that you’re going to use this video a lot or spend money promoting it to other channels, you might want to invest a bit more.
I have a good rule of thumb. If it’s going to serve as a first impression (and perhaps the only one!) for your brand, make sure it looks professional.
Myth #3 You Need to Memorize Long Scripts
Please don’t do this. A memorized script sounds…well, very scripted. You never want your spokesperson to feel like they are just going through the motions and simply mouthing a script they don’t mean.
Obviously, you need to make sure that the person on camera knows what they’re talking about. But the majority of that knowledge should come from inside, from their own personal knowledge and passion.
If you worry that once the camera is rolling, you’ll forget to mention something, then by all means use some simple cue cards. A few bullet points on a big sheet of paper is all you need to keep you natural, focused and on track.
Myth #4: You Need To Be Uber-Original
Many owners get stalled when they try to think of a new, fresh way to talk about and market their product. No, no, no. That’s making things far harder than they need to be.
Remember, you’re not trying to create a work of art here. You are simply enhancing your communication! You are replicating the experience of the customer being right there in front of you, looking at the product and getting their questions answered. That’s all!
So don’t feel the need to find a new, zippy way to talk about your product. It is what it is! Simply ‘sell’ it the same way you would if you owned a brick and mortar store and a customer asked for a demonstration.
You don’t have to get all Stanley Kubrick about it.
Mistake #1: Getting the Branding Wrong
Okay so by now I hope you’re convinced that you can, after all, do this video marketing thing. It’s not rocket science.
But it’s also not something you can launch into without a plan.
For one thing, make sure you brand yourself. Time and again I’ve seen fun, compelling videos that are so much about the content that you don’t even register who actually produced them!
That’s a mistake and a shame – especially if it happens to go viral and people love it and share it. If you forgot to tag it enough with your brand and/or logo, you missed that opportunity.
Nor should you over brand. That’s actually worse. You want the content to come first and then branding second. Otherwise, if you push your logo and brand too much early on, you’ll lose viewers faster than you gained them.
If they instantly think your video is a boring, brash advertisement, good luck getting them to watch the really compelling stuff that follows.
Mistake #2: Trying to Do Too Much
Producing an effective video is very similar to planning an effective meeting. Make it about one thing. Don’t try to cram too much in the agenda.
If you try to cover too much, you’ll risk losing impact.
Say you have an unbelievable lifetime return policy for the work boots you sell online.
You’ll be able to give your customers a level of comfort in buying from you if you have a video that shows testimonial after testimonial about your awesome return policy.
Show all the beat up, years old boots that you still accepted back. Really hammer it home. You’ll make your point and make your customer’s feel well taken care of.
But if you try to laundry list all the reasons to buy boots from you (return policy, selection, shipping ease, etc.) then suddenly the return policy gets lost a bit.
If you don’t really make your prospects feel how great your return policy is, they might not truly understand it’s value.
Mistake #3: No (or Too Many) CTAs
Your video should be interesting, compelling and fun to watch. It absolutely should be all these.
It also should be bossy!
Don’t just cross your fingers that – when your customers are finished watching your video – they actually click on or buy something. come right out and tell them to!
Leave them with a firm “Sign up for my newsletter right now! In that box over to the right!” or a “Take advantage of this 30 day promotional rate before time runs out!”
Be firm, be bossy, give them a clear call to action.
Your turn! What do fear about video marketing? What mistakes have you made? What are you good at? Which content has worked the best for you? Tell me in the comments below!
Are You Ready To Start Doubling Your Business With Half The Effort?
If you have a business, whether it’s established or brand new, wouldn’t it be great to know how to use free and low priced modern marketing methods to boost the number of customers banging on your door and dramatically increase your profits? And with no technical degree, no sales staff and just a few minutes a day.
As a member of The Owners Club, you’ll get free access to the methods I used to bootstrap my company from zero to a million dollars in its first 12 months with no sales staff (it was actually $1,002,000). And the methods I’m using today to keep growing it beyond 97,000 customers with very little effort. Best of all, it’s absolutely free.