When I haven’t had enough sugar, I start thinking pessimistically. Last week I was in Vancouver filming a conference and I forgot my supply of candy bars. So it came as no surprise when I started thinking,
“Is video even that important for running a business?”
Video is everywhere, just like the claim that it is essential to improving your brand presence and awareness. I’ve even written about why you should take time to learn it and how to harness Facebook video marketing. It’s my job for goodness sake! Of all people, why should I question it?
Maybe it’s because so many people do it wrong.
Many Get “Video” Wrong
\What makes me most depressed is when I check Facebook. Everyone’s caught on at this point to how increasingly vital Facebook video is.
So much so that it’s become oversaturated with bad content. People are willing to repurpose and release the cringiest and worst of content in order to have a chance at their place in the spotlight.
But video marketing isn’t about putting out just anything. In fact, there are three rules to follow before you EVER put a video on the internet.
1. Don’t Waste People’s Time
Picture this scenario: I was enjoying my Saturday scrolling through videos when I came to one with the caption, “Funniest scene EVER!”.
I thought, “Wow, this I have to see! Really, the funniest scene in the history of humanity?” (Notice the sarcasm).
What I viewed then was a barely funny video from some movie where Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell proved that they have no comedic chemistry. HUGE let down.
It wasted my time, so I stopped watching. I didn’t like, didn’t share, and didn’t follow the page that posted it because they wasted my time.
One of the simplest rules of marketing that you won’t hear at any marketing conference is the golden rule: Treat others as you wish to be treated. When you treat your viewers as critics, it means that the content you produce has to perform well. Not in only in the eyes of your company, but in the eyes of your viewers.
2. Don’t Sell In Your Video
Raise your hand, anyone who has ever watched an ad and thought, “Wow, I have to have that in my life right now. Where’s the phone?”
Yeah, no one. Aside from those without self-control, nobody makes a purchase immediately upon seeing an ad. We’ve been trained since birth not to trust people who are selling things to us. Ever since we saw our parents’ nervous faces as they tried to slowly close the door on the vacuum salesman, our brains have been wired to know this one thing: Salesmen are evil.
Obviously, they aren’t. But that’s a preconception you have to overcome, whether by charm, logic, or great sales tactics. That’s why you hire a phenomenal sales team.
Selling your product in a video is as terrible an idea as replacing your sales team with robots. A good salesman tailors their pitch to their customer by finding out their needs and pain points, then solves them with their product.
Your video should foster a hunger to have that conversation by following the final rule, which is…
Remember this. Your video has one audience and one audience only.
I don’t mean monetary consumers. I mean overall consumers. Whether your audience is looking for knowledge, inspiration, entertainment, or otherwise, they are looking to gain (or consume) something. Because face it, people aren’t watching your content because they want to buy something. We don’t live in a world where people say, “You know what, I have some extra money to spend. I think I’ll spend it on something a stranger online tells me to buy.”
If you want to use video to benefit your company, it has to give something to its audience. In the case of a business, you may want to inform your customers of better practices they could implement in their company—that you just so happen to be able to help them with. Or perhaps your customer has already purchased something from you, in which case videos about how to use that purchase to their advantage would also help tremendously.
I Figured It Out
The reason I was so critical at the start about video? It isn’t because I need sugar *munches on chocolate* or because it isn’t truly beneficial. There simply aren’t enough people out there doing it right. That’s disappointing, given the innovation and potential one has the moment they sit down to edit.
Yet in a world of Video Villains, I get to be a Video Hero. And with this great power comes great responsibility. Don’t waste your chance. Don’t sell. Don’t waste people’s time.