If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth ten thousand. In our YouTube age, using videos is a no-brainer. Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you sort out your options.
Outward or inward? The best place to start is with outward videos for posting on your website. These are usually targeted toward potential customers. Examples of outward videos are:
- Explanations of your products or services, or of how your company fits into the industry
- Product demonstrations
- Customer testimonials
Later, you may want to add inward videos. These are not posted publicly: they might be posted on the company intranet, kept on a private channel of YouTube or a similar hosting site, or shown by a salesperson on a tablet or other device. Examples of inward videos are:
- Training tutorials, either for client product usage or for staff procedures
- Presentations for clients
- “Get to know us” videos, such as staff profiles, for clients
Produced in-house or professionally? Modern high-definition recorders and readily available editing software make it practical to produce good (if not TV-ready) videos yourself. The biggest reason to do so is cost, obviously. There are several interrelated economic advantages to creating your videos in-house:
- You can produce more videos for the same total budgeted amount.
- If each video costs less, you’ll be more willing to discard videos that aren’t working for you. This yields a far less pricey learning curve.
- Significantly shorter time-to-market allows greater responsiveness to breaking developments.
In addition, a lower-cost video may actually be more effective — professionally produced videos can come across as “too slick.” Filming a one-on-one conversation with a knowledgeable, passionate staff member can provide footage for an informative, persuasive video at an affordable cost.
Short or long? The most effective length of an informational video is three to four minutes. Most people don’t want to watch more than that, and viewers click away by the four-minute mark whether you’ve finished saying what you want to or not. If the topic requires more time than a few minutes, you’ve got a couple of options:
- Break the subject down into smaller sections and create a series of videos. Some customers will watch the entire series (in one or more sittings, in or out of planned order), and others will just watch the video that covers the specific information they’re looking for.
- Create two versions: a full-length version that runs six to eight minutes, and a highlight reel that runs only a minute or two. Some companies that have gone this route add a pop-up screen that gives people the opportunity to choose which version they want to watch.
Adding videos to your marketing is effective, affordable, and manageable. Check back here for more information in future posts on how to use videos on your website, how to promote them, and how to measure their success.