Video is one of the most powerful and versatile marketing tools available to any business, but like any tool, it needs to be used properly in order to work well and produce quality results.
Apply the following tips to get better results from any type of video. If you’re already using videos in your marketing, these are all things that can be done very easily with little additional effort on your part.
Keep it short
Unless you have a very specific reason not to, you need to keep your videos under two minutes in length. Even at two minutes, many people will stop watching before the end of the video. We have very short attention spans, and unless your content is especially interesting, people simply aren’t going to watch a video for longer than a few minutes. The one possible exception to this rule would be “how-to” videos, where you are demonstrating a particular product or process. Even in that case, for videos longer than five minutes, you might consider splitting it into two parts.
Include a call to action
Your videos should always contain a call to action–a “next step” that someone should take if they want to learn more, or get what you’re offering. A good call to action is specific, can be completed immediately, and involves no risk to the person watching the video. For example, visiting a website and downloading a free report or e-book would be a good call to action. Another good, and often-used, call to action, is to start a free trial of a product or service. A bad call to action would be asking someone to buy a product, because that involves a risk on their part. You haven’t built enough trust yet to make that request.
If possible, you should make the call to action at the beginning and the end of the video. That way, if someone stops watching the video halfway through, they will still get to hear it, and if they do watch all the way through, it will be the last thing they hear. At the end of the video, you should never “fade to black”–there should always be a screen with your contact information and the call to action spelled out in words or graphics.
Use the lower third
The term “lower third” refers to the bottom third of the screen in a video. It’s a great place to use text in the video to introduce the person appearing on camera, or to reinforce your call to action. For example, you could have the URL of a website appear when the speaker on camera mentions the website. Any video editing program should be able to do this quite easily.
Use an external microphone
Regardless of what type of camera you are using, you should always use a good external microphone to make your videos more professional. Never use the built-in microphone on the camera–they’re just not very good, and it’s a dead give-away that the video was produced by an amateur.
Use videos to create additional content
When you plan your video, think about how you could use it to create additional content. For example, could you take the audio from the video and use it to create a podcast? Could you have it transcribed and use it to create a blog post? By thinking strategically, you can really get a much bigger return on the time you invest in producing a video.
Last but not least, don’t forget to have fun producing your video! Viewers will be able to sense your passion and enthusiasm, and it will help them identify with you as a person and not just a brand or a business. Once that happens, gaining their like and trust is much easier and you’ll have won half the marketing battle before you even meet them.