Underestimating the impact of a single video view

Yesterday I mentioned the need to do more stills photography, and today you won’t be surprised to read me advocating for more video too. Many people have an absurdly inflated idea of what a video needs to achieve. This is based on two mistakes: underestimating the impact that a single view of a video can have, and overestimating the effort involved in making it.

As an example, one company I know has become quite confident at making product demonstration videos (after a couple of attempts, anyway). They just use a smartphone, a tripod, a couple of lights, a clip-on microphone and a willing colleague from sales. They email these genuinely helpful videos to prospects, with a “how-to” title that suggests watching it would be worthwhile.

When they first began, the viewing rate of under 1% was a genuine disappointment. All that effort and only half a dozen prospects watched the video?

Then they thought again about the minimal cost involved, and the effort of about four or five man-hours (since reduced dramatically). They compared it to the expense and effort they would allocate – without hesitating – to making the same presentation at a trade show or seminar in front of half a dozen genuinely interested prospects.

The video project was considered a success after all. And that’s not even taking into consideration how each video slowly clocked up fifty times as many views over the next few months – or how useful it was to internal sales staff.