I Blame Kevin Costner

I Blame Kevin Costner

I blame Kevin Costner! Do you remember the film ‘Field of Dreams’ starring Kevin Costner where he hears a voice when walking through his cornfield which says “If you build it, he will come”.

I often think of this analogy when clients make ‘build’ a video, upload it to the website or plonk it on YouTube and expect people ‘he’ to come and watch it. This might have worked in the past, but not anymore.

If you think about it, we live in a noisy content world. Look at the facts, over 300 hours per minute of video content is uploaded to YouTube. Five hundred million Instagram stories are posted per day. It’s getting tough to get your content seen by your audience. And even if you have a warm audience, they’re very likely to miss what you’re trying to show them.

Social media channels make their money through advertising. You may of heard the phrase “Pay to Play” and, like it or not, this is the world that we live in as marketers, and we need to see this as an opportunity. See this age of video ads as a Goldmine Era. What I am referring to is that you can reach a wide audience and not pay a lot of money at the moment, but this won’t last forever. All the social media platforms are offering video ads, which can be very highly targeted. But before you rush out there, there are a few things to consider to make this campaign effective.

The first, have clear goals. Do you want this to be a brand awareness campaign? Or do you want people to consider one of your products? Or you want a conversion and sales? This will shape what your video content will be.

The second consideration is to have a budget in mind. Now, you can spend just a couple of dollars, obviously, right up to hundreds or thousands of dollars, it depends on the size of the target audience and also their geographic location. But if you’re niche and know exactly who and where your audience is, you can run a very effective campaign for not a lot of money.

The third, measuring the results, and having an online campaign like this, will give you great metrics. So you need to consider what goals you want:

  • Do you want just purely views?
  • Do you want to promote people sharing and engaging with your content?
  • Do you want people to click through to a landing page?
  • Do you want to go straight for conversions?

Now, each platform has a slightly different setup, depending on these goals that you want to achieve. We are nearly halfway through 2019. The digital landscape is changing all the time. I would recommend you at least test some paid promotion for your video content. It’ll give you an unfair advantage over your competition. And believe you me, a lot of businesses are not doing this.

Don’t waste your money on video

Don’t waste your money on video

On my way to see a potential client, and in the video below I want to talk about why making videos for your business can be a complete waste of money.

The main point is that most businesses don’t have a video strategy. They make video on what I call an ad hoc or one-off basis, and there are no concrete goals with what the video should achieve (increase brand awareness, new leads, education, entertainment, etc.) The business justs make content for content sake.

Another potential money waster is making a video for what the business thinks the audience wants to hear. They make videos about their own business (who we are, what we do) rather than considering the audience and making content which actually will resonate with them.

A third mistake I see is not having a marketing or distribution plan in place. Only uploading to YouTube and a few social media posts are not enough. Videos need to be seen as an asset and therefore, to make it work is to pay for some advertising to place it in front of your intended audience.

The way I help my clients and the way I work with them is to join all the dots when it comes to video creation and to help them create a video strategy. And I was just wondering, do you have a video strategy for your content?

Why asking about price is wrong

Why asking about price is wrong

When I get inquiries from potential clients who say “I want a video, how much?” I think this is the wrong first question to ask. Day 12 of my video challenge and this one is a little different. Apart from the different format (wide rather than square), and it’s shot on a DJI Osmo Pocket (apologies for the sound as just using the onboard mic), this video is a bit of a rant, a rant on how not giving any indication of a budget to a video company does not help.


Size and length do matter

Size and length do matter

I understand large corporations may have multiple complex messages to convey to staff and stakeholders, or your business is so good, you need to say everything about it. I feel the challenge for many communicators and marketers is distilling these messages simply and concisely. Video can illustrate complex ideas, through the use of motion graphics for example, but video is not good on conveying huge amounts of detail, as these generally have to be long and complex.

Attention spans these days is getting shorter and shorter and (I include myself in this.) I often find myself on YouTube about to watch something, but notice that it’s over five minutes long, and think, “I don’t have time to watch this now, I’ll come back to it later”, and never do. Or I start to watch a video and before it has even reached 2 minutes I stop watching because I’m bored.  The days of when a corporate video being 15 to 20 minutes have long gone, but I still see clients today who feel the need for a lengthy video, as they have so many messages to convey and assume it can be done in under two minutes!

Video is not a magic bullet. Video is great a conveying messages quickly- a picture is a thousand words and all that – but it can’t bend time, you can’t have 20 messages and expect it to be short, well, you could try, but I don’t think it would be an engaging video and one that I would want to watch it.

KISS – Keep it short & simple
There are lots of acronyms for KISS, but I like this version as it’s really relevant to video.  Keep your messages short, succinct, and use everyday language in your scripts, interviews and when talking to camera. Using words that make your communication simple and uncomplicated ensures that you’re understood by everyone you’re speaking to. After all, if your viewer doesn’t understand what you’re saying, there is no point saying it in the first place. Don’t assume that people understand your technical jargon and don’t assume you appear smarter by using it. Knowing your audience and adjusting your message and words accordingly is far smarter. The key to effective communication is to use simple, easy-to-understand language.

Why shorter is better:

  • Shorter videos are more engaging than longer ones
  • People want to consume information quickly
  • 50% of people will watch a one minute rather than two-minute video
  • The longer the video the more likely viewers will not watch till the end
  • Critical that the most important information in your video comes sooner than later
  • Viewers are used to choice and will watch multiple videos that are relevant to them

You must understand what’s really important to the viewer.

Extract from “How to Get Video Right’ book by Simon Banks. The essential guide to video strategy in the rapidly changing digital age.

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Some Great Event Promo Video Ideas

Some Great Event Promo Video Ideas

When you create a good video, it can engage and excite your potential customer base in a way that mere words simply cannot. According to research, viewers are up to 600% more likely to respond to a visual medium such as a promo video than they are to blog or targeted email marketing. Events and conferences are big business in the UK and across the world and whether the event needs to sell tickets, or simply inform or excite the visiting delegates a strong event promotion video is a must. (more…)