Video excellence - Made With Purpose

If you want your promotional videos to succeed these days, you need to be authentic and down to earth. Have you ever experienced the arrogance of a major company’s marketing? The clues usually lie in the language and content on their website. They will use we constantly in their text, because the centre of their world is themselves – not you. You won’t feature very much, because you are primarily a number on their database.

They will talk about their history, their innovations, how many offices they have. Their sense of self importance is unfailing. It’s an honour for us to do business with them… isn’t it? Well, no actually, it isn’t. 


A successful promotional video starts with you

That’s why there are so many opportunities to build your business by replacing we with you. We need to tune our messaging in to the most powerful  communication channel on the planet – WII FM (otherwise known as “What’s In It For Me?”)

Bottom line – that’s all any of us are interested in. For your promotional videos to succeed, they should focus on the needs and values of your customer. Focus on the immediate benefits and make the right calls to action.


3 rules to make your promotional videos succeed

If we are talking about communication, nothing comes close to video. So in just a few minutes of your time, I hope to give you the secrets of making a successful video campaign. If you want the statistics of why you should be using video, check out our ‘10 video marketing stats for 2019‘ post. But I can be more useful to you right now by cutting straight to the chase.


Rule # 1: Pushing creates resistance

We are so besieged by messages and advertising, that we have become almost universally skeptical. As soon as we are pushed, we resist. Before we deal with anyone, we need to know, like and trust them (hence the effectiveness of influencer marketing videos). Initial videos should have only one purpose – to get permission to create a relationship. We do that by demonstrating that we care more about giving value, and less about extracting payment as fast as possible.

When people see us as experts or consultants, they contact us. 

Just look at YouTube. You will find many of the most viewed videos are those that offer useful tips or solve problems for free. Some of the most popular headings are titles like “The Seven Secrets of … “ or “The 12 things you need to know before…“  Titles like these offer magic bullets, key information and solutions at no cost. They also hint at the user needing very little time to investigate answers to key questions.


Rule # 2:  Your first 8 seconds determine the success or failure of your promotional video

Attention spans are just so short. We are all pushed for time and everyone is trying to grab our attention. If you don’t have a powerful hook in your video in the first 8 seconds, you are wasting your time.

One minute of speech equates to only about 180 words, which means you need to make a powerful promise of what follows in a very concise way. You need to signpost the amazing value (or entertainment) that is to come after your introduction.  I strongly suggest the use of a good copywriter to cut out superfluous phrases or words. When I create “perfect pitch” videos for websites, I sometimes have to reduce 300 words to 80. That takes a bit of skill – every word or phrase should add to the momentum. Don’t use fillers.

The best length for introductory videos is 45-60 seconds. When someone asks us to create a 5- 10 minute promotional video, I beg them to reconsider. Unless the rapport they have with the customer is equivalent to a commercial love affair, this is a recipe for failure.


Rule # 3:  Don’t throw a loaf at a pigeon

When we have a product, service or business we believe in, there will be countless things we can say to impress. But after about 5 major benefits, the viewer reaches overwhelm and simply switches off.

It is important to “chunk down” and force yourself to restrict each video to those 5 essential points. 

If you are making a “storytelling “ promotional video, make it entertaining and involving. That’s one of the keys to success. One of the big advantages of video is that it can evoke emotion very quickly. Used in the right way, it can be extraordinarily powerful. As examples, just take a look at the Old Spice or Expedia videos on YouTube. Both campaigns got millions of views. And more importantly, they gained the brands massive numbers of subscribers.


Call in the experts to help you get it right

No one ever chose to watch a film because it was cheap! We want to learn, be intrigued, amused or inspired. Wherever you are on your video journey, don’t put cost as your main priority. The most expensive waste of money is tainting your brand through obviously low grade video production. There are any number of experts out there to help you.

Just find one that isn’t an ex wedding photographer. Find video professionals that understand marketing and how to match the right kind of video to the right kind of audience. That way, you’re giving your promotional video the best chance to succeed.


In his next article, Neil Davidson will give tips on how to optimize your videos, measure success and keep those subscribers and clients rolling in.