3 Critical Questions to Improve Your Marketing Videos
If you’re considering making a marketing video, great! It’s an incredible time in the evolution of video. There are more opportunities than ever before to utilize a broad range of styles, formats and messaging platforms. However, while anyone can create and share a marketing video, too many videos are ignored or even counterproductive. Your video shouldn’t be one of those.
Recently, I listened to Celeste Headlee’s insightful TED talk about how to have better conversations. Some of her key points included honesty, listening, and being genuinely interested. And while her talk was aimed at spoken conversations, many of the principles apply to marketing videos. Why? Principles of good communication don’t die across communication mediums; the applications of those principles simply vary. When we look at video–or any other communication medium–it’s important to remember that we are still communicating with real people. These people have lives, beliefs, needs and preferences that differ from our own. That’s why asking questions is so important.
Whether you’re hiring a production company like ours or creating your own marketing videos, awareness of the right questions will help your videos communicate better. However, these three questions are far from exhaustive; they are simply a springboard to send you in the right direction.
1. Why would my audience care to watch this video?
This is the most important question. You may have a great message to get out, but if it doesn’t give your target audience something they want, they won’t stick around to watch. If they’re looking for an answer to a burning question, answer it clearly, speaking to their pain points. If they’re looking to be entertained, make them laugh, cry, or wonder.
Knowing your audience and what they want must come first. It’s a harsh truth, but you’ll thank me later: no one cares about what you have to say… unless it speaks to them where they’re at. This is why you should also ask:
2. Is this video unnecessarily long?
Don’t get into the weeds. Don’t pontificate. Always consider your audience, where they’re watching from, and why they’re watching. When you respect their time, they’re more likely to give their time to watch your video. For their sake, keep messaging clear and concise.
Some 2-minute messages can be boiled down into 15 seconds, while some videos are genuinely a valuable 10-minute piece. Further, a video on a social channel should generally be shorter than a video on a webpage. Rather than a magic formula, it is a science that requires effort: Every video’s length should be determined by the audience’s preferences and viewing location, not by your preferences.
3. How trustworthy is this video’s message to my audience?
Even though your message is honest (and if it’s not, we need to have another conversation), how it is presented can undermine or enhance its credibility. Perhaps a real face talking is a better choice than animation, because your audience is looking for a human they can trust. Perhaps low production quality will undermine your perceived credibility and professionalism. Or maybe your audience is keen on reviews and user-generated content, so using messages about you from someone else may be better than your CEO’s talking headshot, low production quality or otherwise. Again, it’s not about your preference, it’s the audience’s preference.
Let’s do this!
To sum it up, make your marketing videos for your audience, not for yourself. Much like a conversation, listen before you speak, be aware of how long you’ve been talking, and communicate clearly and honestly.
As always, we’re here to help. Whether you’re looking for help refining your vision or executing a concept, feel free to drop us a note. We’d love to hear from you. Cheers to you and your next marketing video!