ONLINE MARKETING

Why Your Promo Video Stinks

Are your videos roaring or boring? Read these three tips for taking a basic failed video and making it a success.
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I'm about to waste a minute of your time. Don't be offended. It happens a lot. In fact, chances are you're already wasting other people's time or you wouldn't have clicked on this column. Every time you post a video that's dull and doesn't communicate a meaningful message, you waste your precious marketing resources as well as the time of the few people who view it.

Don't take it personally; most marketing videos are boring and useless. Companies are spending tens of thousands of dollars on videos that look "professional" (my euphemism for boring) in hopes of boosting search engine stats or increasing leads. But sadly, most videos do little more then embarrass the marketers who didn't vet them before posting.

It doesn't have to be this way. You don't even have to scrap the snoozer of a video that already cost you thousands of dollars to produce. Here's an example:

A successful London dentist, and aggressive marketer, Dr. James Goolnik, has struggled converting viewers into customers with his office-made videos. So he hired a professional video company who created this 1-minute video below. The camera work is pretty, but the video is not very effective.

Here's why you and the customers did not respond positively to this video, and how to fix it.

  1. It's not about the customer. Like many business videos, this starts right in talking about what they do without creating an emotional connection with the viewer. Video storytelling is a great way to connect with the prospects' emotional pain. Once they see that you understand their need, they want to know how you will solve it.
  2.  It sends too many messages. This video addresses every aspect of the dentist's offering. It tries to communicate too many ideas without emphasizing the individual importance. Pick one feature or benefit and emphasize why you are best to deliver it.
  3. It's boring. Most marketing videos are boring because they are straightforward and don't say anything different. Many companies simply try to look serious and professional without the concern for impact. Humor and creativity will make people want to share your video, increasing views.

At Goolnik's request, I created a revision using techniques in my new book Video Marketing For Dummies.

While Goolnik has been properly prolific with his videos on his channel, few have gained steady traction over time or even much more than 100 hits. This video with very little promotion is growing at hundreds of hits monthly and largely in his London target market. The video helps Goolnik stand out from the other dentists and most importantly, without diminishing his professionalism, makes a visit to him seem like fun, an unusual word to associate with dentistry.

Effective videos are the Awesome Experience, the convergence of need, entertainment and the unexpected. Otherwise they will fall flat and waste your time and money. You can makeover your boring videos into roaring videos just as I did for this one with these simple considerations.

  1. Target your prospects pain Remember, it's not about you or what you want to sell.
  2. Focus on one differentiator Videos should send a single, clear, memorable message.
  3. Make it share worthy You need some sort of OMG factor that makes people want to pass it along.

If you have a video you think is awesome or one that needs help, send me a link. I will praise or critique it with helpful suggestions and maybe even promote it in my upcoming columns for all the Inc.com readers to see. Prepare for brutally honest feedback that will help your wallet rather than your ego. If you think your videos are up to it, send them to me at kevin@roaringvideo.com.

I'll let you know if your video is ROARing or Boring and tell you how to make it better.

IMAGE: Shutterstock
Last updated: May 2, 2012

KEVIN DAUM | Columnist

An Inc. 500 entrepreneur with a more than $1 billion sales and marketing track record, Kevin Daum is the best-selling author of Video Marketing for Dummies and the executive producer of Amilya! on 77WABC New York.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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