Most articles focus on why explainer videos are great for your marketing efforts and what you should do to reap the most benefits.
But I think it’s just important to tell you about what you shouldn’t do.
As much as we’re loath to admit it, it’s possible to make a bad investment in video and flush your money down the drain.
To help you avoid this, today I’ll tell you about the Seven Deadly Sins of Explainer Videos.
The First Deadly Sin: Outsourcing Your Script, or Not Writing A Script at All
We’ve talked about this before.
Without a script, your video is going to be an aimless, rambling mess. Take as much time as you need to write a script for you or others to follow to keep your video focused and on-schedule.
And please, for the love of Godin, write the script yourself.
I know writing can be a chore and you feel like you should hire a professional so that you can move on to things for which you’re better suited. But I’ll say it again – nobody knows your customers or your product better than you do.
At the very least, write the first draft before you hand it off to someone else for some polish.
The Second Deadly Sin: Focusing Too Much on Yourself or Your Brand
Yes, you’re introducing your business or product to your audience. But it’s not really about you, your business, or your product.
It’s all about your potential customers and clients and what you can do for them.
Talk about how your product or service will make their lives better, easier, or more enjoyable. Focus on the benefits to your consumer, not the features of your product.
The Third Deadly Sin: Not Identifying Your Target Audience or Trying to Talk to Everyone At Once
There’s some research involved in this one. Figure out the people to whom you’re most likely to sell, or with whom you most want to do business. Tailor your message to those people.
Yes, that means you’ll probably leave out some things that might appeal to those outside of your target audience. That’s okay. If that group is large enough, make another video that appeals to them.
If you try to talk to everyone at once, nobody is going to listen. You’ll overwhelm them with information or come across as unfocused. Either way, your audience will tune out.
The Fourth Deadly Sin: Worrying too Much About Length
All the experts will tell you that the ideal length for a promotional or explainer video is between one and two minutes.
The key word there is ideal. It’s not mandatory. If everything you’re including is essential, but your video is two minutes and thirty seconds long, roll with it.
If you’ve got everything in there and the video is only forty-five seconds long, I’m impressed at your gift for conciseness.
Well done. Now hit “publish.”
The Fifth Deadly Sin: Thinking of Your Video as an Expense Instead of an Investment
A business expense is something you have to pay, albeit grudgingly. You pay your power bill and move on. You don’t put any thought into it except whether it’s possible to get that bill to be lower next month.
You nurture your investments. You don’t try to invest less, because you know you’ll be earning dividends on that investment for months or years to come.
You must take an investment attitude with your video. Don’t spend indiscriminately, but don’t be cheap. Put the necessary investment into this project and nurture it so that it will pay you back handsomely.
The Sixth Deadly Sin: Skimping on Quality
You don’t need Hollywood-level production values, but your audience can tell when you’re not even trying.
Put time, effort, and a little money into video and audio quality, music and/or voice acting, and animation or acting.
Otherwise, you might as well not even bother.
The Seventh Deadly Sin: Not Placing Your Video Prominently on Your Site
Speaking of might as well not bother…
Some companies do everything right in producing their video and then hide it behind a maze of links.
You worked hard on that video — put it in a place of honor on your home page, above the fold.
Make sure everyone sees your video and make it work for you.
VidAdBox and Character City can help make your video a success.
Character City offers easily customizable animated video templates made with Adobe After Effects.
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