What do our customers want from marketing videos?

So we’ve discussed the potential of video and where it can prove effective. But there are many features of a technical marketing video which we need to get right if it’s to be successful. Here at BMON, we’ve been putting a lot of consideration into this over the past few months, and these are our conclusions.

We have two audiences: our prospects, and the search engines. Fortunately, their requirements don’t compete, mainly because the search engines don’t have any requirements. What’s in a video doesn’t really matter to Google, as it can’t understand the contents, just like it can’t understand what’s in a photo. It’s possible that it might give some value to a longer video, for want of anything else to judge it by, but that would be rather inelegant. Most likely, Google would want to see links to the video, sites “embedding” it, and, perhaps most importantly, high viewing figures. None of those are defined by the content, so we have the luxury of just thinking about what our human prospects would want to see.

If your video is a full product demonstration, it should be allowed to run as long as necessary. But if it’s an announcement, or a marketing message, you don’t want to hang around. Even the longest TV ads can get their story done in under a minute, and it’s unreasonable to expect even sophisticated technical customers to wait around any longer than necessary to be sold something. So keep it brief.

Secondly, we need to consider the environment. Although it’s good to engage more than one of the senses, most of our prospects will be viewing the video in an office environment. Those who have the sound turned up on their computers will expect to hear something, but a very large number will be watching a silent movie. So the soundtrack cannot be a crucial part of the message. We’ve concluded that the best approach for a technical business market is to make a video which works on visuals alone. Imagine you’re producing something which is going to be shown on a giant screen at Piccadilly Circus or somewhere. You’ve got a few seconds to engage people and get your message over, and you don’t have the benefit of a voiceover.

So if you’ve been equating technical marketing videos with mini TV documentaries, here’s where you need to start thinking very differently. We think they can be much simpler than that, and tomorrow we’ll look at exactly what might go into them.

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