Five common mistakes with promotional videos

You may have heard the phrase, ‘give clients what they need, not what they want’. At Clips That Sell that’s sometimes been a hard learnt lesson.

What do I mean by this? It’s a balance between making the video the client says they want, versus what we think will work best for their objective. We’ve gained experience over the years of what works and what doesn’t. So on that note, here’s what I think are some of the most common pitfalls when making promotional videos:

1. Too much content in one video

Remember we’re talking about promotional videos. Not educational or explainers or demonstrations, although in truth most videos are part education/ part promo. It comes back to knowing your audience and there is of course a place for the long form video, just like the old long form sales letter. Still, you just want to get one main point across and a few key benefits. If you try to cover another topic and another, your audience will get lost. It becomes boring and long winded. Think from their perspective, what they’re likely to remember.

While I’m on my indignant high horse, we don’t always have time for a full ‘story’ in every video. You’ve got 5 seconds to capture attention. It’s not always enough for a full exposition, rising tension, climax and resolution. This article goes into more detail on story telling.

2. Talking about yourself too much and not about your audience’s need

You’ll often see business video start off with “We do this” or “I can help with that”. So what! Instead start by describing your audience’s problem or situation which your service/product resolves. Come from their perspective not yours. What’s in it for the buyer. I’ve never understood why Real Estate Agents put their own faces on sales boards. It shouldn’t be about them. See how I do it for Clips That Sell in this advert:

3. Talking to a broad rather than a specific audience

Now I’m not going to preach how your business should only focus on a tight niche because sometimes a tight niche is just too small a market. But it’s still better to make a separate video for each niche rather than talk to them all. If you’re an HR consultancy, make one video for manufacturing clients and another for government clients, or a video per product as we did in these videos for Options Consulting Group.

4. Weak call to action at the end

The call to action sometimes seems like a bit of an afterthought. “Call Now” “Visit our webpage”.

This might be fine if the video’s main purpose is awareness raising. However most of us want to influence the viewer or have them take action, right? Give them something of genuine value to draw them out. After all you’re sending time and money on marketing. And not just a free strategy session which will be percieved as a sales call. Maybe a voucher to get the first session free or entry level pricing.

5. Don’t assume they know what you do or what you’re talking about

We’re all so deep in our own businesses we sometimes forget to start at the beginning and explain the basics. Do you remember missing a couple of maths classes at school and on returning not knowing what was going on… How did that make you feel? Don’t assume the prospect has the first clue about you, your business, what you do, or what value you add.

That’s your five common promo video mistakes. I did have a sixth, which was crappy production values which poorly present your business, but coming from a videographer, you can take that as given 🙂

What elements of promo videos annoy you? Or perhaps I should say what elements do you actually appreciate. Afer all, we all have to get the word out there somehow. I’d love to know…

And of course, check out our packages and get in touch if we can help you avoid these mistakes. Especially for small businesses in Melbourne.