In September, Facebook published a fairly definitive statement that video was important. Fidji Simo, the product management director for video at the social network, wrote that Facebook was committed to making the network the best place to share, discover and watch videos.
If Facebook is a part of your social marketing plans, video better be, too.
But it’s not just social marketing that makes video important. Your website is where videos should come in handy as well. Nearly two-thirds of consumers agree that companies that use videos know how to reach their consumers. Some 56 percent believe if a company has a website, it should have video and almost one-fourth say they lose interest if the website doesn’t have video.
Those stats are from a new Market Cube and Animoto survey of over 1,000 consumers in February of this year who confirmed they have watched a video on their computer, tablet or mobile device at least once in the previous six months. You can see more of the report on Animoto’s news release.
The reason consumers react so well to video is that it’s the next best thing to being there. They can see and hear the message, not just read it in 140 characters or see a still image. It’s more human, more real and more believable.
Think back to the Domino’s Pizza scandal of 2009 when the two store employees allegedly desecrated a pizza intended for delivery. If CEO Patrick Doyle had issued a written statement, we would have heard it recited by broadcasters. Instead, he issued a YouTube video response that all but eased anyone’s concerns about the issue.
Whether you are showing your product or service at work, discussing your company’s latest marketing initiatives or even answering customer questions, a human being looking into the camera and talking directly to the audience is infinitely more effective than the written word.
And thanks to mobile devices, everyone is armed with a video camera.
At Elasticity, we’ve been known to play Scorcese for ourselves and for clients to the tune of some pretty nice success. While everyone’s capability and aptitude for video production varies, here are some general tips to ensure your first foray into video is successful:
1. Use people who are comfortable on camera
The worst videos online are those with stodgy CEOs or nervous staff people fumbling through some prepared script. Even if the only person on your team is a junior staffer who doesn’t have all the answers, prepare them to be your go-to video person.
2. Remember talking points rather than memorizing scripts
When someone is reciting a script from memory on camera, most people can tell. And it contradicts the human-ness of the video experience. It’s safe. It’s predictable. It’s not human. Have your on-camera “talent” remember the 3-4 talking points and discuss them naturally rather than forcing them to remember certain verbiage.
3. Slick production isn’t always necessary
Sure, the more highly produced your videos are, the more flawless they seem and more professional you look, but sometimes dropping an iPhone video into iMovie, slapping a title slide on the front and a credit slide on the end is all you need to look “professional.”
4. Steady with the camera
Quick jerks with the camera (perhaps when you’re interviewing someone) and unstable perspectives (maybe you’re walking or running with the camera) can make the audience sea sick. Have your camera or camera person practice holding and moving in smooth, steady motions. Tri-pods also help.
5. Short is sweet, but complete is better
It’s true, most people won’t watch more than the first 30-60 seconds of most videos. But if you need more time to make your message complete, don’t sacrifice clarity for brevity. If the content is good, the people you need to watch it will watch the whole thing.
Obviously, there’s a lot more that goes into strong video content. If your company is interested in help, we’d love to chat. Drop us a line.