After much inter-departmental wrangling and tons of hard work, your company furnished itself with a product introduction video. Even people who opposed the idea were probably rejoicing in secret. Imagine that! Your company had a video under its belt, just like all those snazzy tech startups the media seem to love.
But then the excitement wore off and reality asserted itself when your team realized that the video you fought so hard for was a flop. The questions started pouring in: why, how, who’s to blame?
It was a blow, no doubt about that, but don’t be too to quick scratch off the product introduction video for good. The truth is that many fail for one reason or another. If it was your first attempt, chalk it up to growing pains and try to identify the mistakes you made.
We’ll help you with this analysis, pointing you in the direction of what issues to consider. We don’t claim to offer an exhaustive list, but the points that follow are typically the pebbles that overturn the company video cart. Before we get down to it, here’s a happy thought: if you are a novice at this game, flawed practices won’t have taken root and you’ll find it easier to get on the right path. To reverse the popular saying, you’re a young dog so you can learn new tricks.
OK, let’s start our exploration of where companies typically go wrong with their videos.
1) The product introduction video has no clearly defined audience
As we never tire of saying, a company video has no chances of success if its target audience is unclear. A product introduction video is marketing content and every campaign you launch needs to speak to a particular audience. When you know who you’re addressing, you will be able to craft a precise message and thus achieve the desired effect. If you try to speak to everyone, you’ll get lost in generalities and nobody will remember what the heck you were saying.
When you know which consumer segment you want to reach, you’ll be able to tailor your message and achieve the strongest impact. It may have caught your attention that marketing pros constantly go on about “customer avatars.” It’s not complicated, really. The avatar is a collective image of your target audience and takes into account things such as gender, age, education, professional status, and financial means.
If you have a customer avatar, you’ll know who you want to speak to through your video. And it will work because the audience will identify with the characters and the message will resonate with viewers.
2) The video lacks a clear objective and message
While it’s cool and very effective to have a video-backed marketing campaign, you can’t just go out and commission a product introduction video for the fun of it. This is a business investment, often a substantial one, and it has to serve your business objectives. You must know what you want to achieve through a particular video.
It pays to remember that a single video can’t include everything. Perhaps you failed because you crammed too many details, went on and on about multiple benefits, and generally overwhelmed your audience with information. Mind you, the best results are achieved with videos lasting under two minutes, so you have a short timeframe to make an impression and convert.
Videos will fail to perform as expected if they don’t have a focus. In other words, determine what exactly you want to promote regarding features and benefits. Your audience must understand very clearly what problem your product will solve. Keep it concise and focused.
3) The CTA omission
This is closely connected to the points made above and is a major reason for the failure of many a compay video. Make no mistake: a CTA (Call to Action) is indispensable!
The aim of any marketing material is to attract customers, right? So if you made a product introduction video but didn’t tell people what to do after watching it, what was the point? Your video will be a waste of money and time if it doesn’t get people to react and thus advance your business agenda.
Think back to your failed video. Did it tell people what to do after watching? You may have wanted them to visit your website for more information, call a number or go online to order, sign up for your newsletter, or attend a presentational event. The thing is, they couldn’t have done it even they wanted to unless your video had a clear CTA.
4) Budget and production quality
Serious business people know that you have to spend money to make money. Do you really believe you can get a worthy video for a couple of hundred bucks? You know deep down that you can’t. In recent years, technological progress has significantly reduced the cost of video production. Nevertheless, a reasonable amount of money needs to go into such a project.
If companies play cheap, they’ll come to regret it. Their videos will most likely look generic or feel like rip-offs, the characters will be stale, animated videos will look amateurish, and creativity will be basically non-existent.
A low budget is most likely to result in poor video and audio quality, shoddy editing, and an overall impression of inferiority. When you budget a video, keep in mind that it will long represent your company. People who see it may remember your brand but for all the wrong reasons.
Maybe your unfortunate experience with video wasn’t the result of budgeting alone. But if your boss refused to sign off on a reasonable amount, you probably ended up with a video that looked as if the teenager next-door had quickly patched it together.
5) Distribution and promotion failure
If you made none of the mistakes above, then it’s probably this one. Even the most awesome video will fail to meet expectations if you don’t distribute and promote it with zeal.
The logical first step is to have it featured prominently on your home page. But that’s just the start. Push it through social media (YouTube and Facebook), use it in email and other marketing campaigns, feature it in blog posts or promote it on sites frequented by your target audience. Think of your company video as a newly hatched bird that needs care and help before learning to fly. Once it takes off, the desired results won’t be long in coming.
This is definitely not a complete list, but we’ve tried to make you aware of what companies typically get wrong when making a product introduction video. Failure is hardly ever the result of one specific mistake; it is usually a combination of several missteps. Video production can be a lengthy process and involves serious preparation before the shooting or animation starts, commitment and professionalism during the production stage, and persistence in promoting the video after completion.
We wonder whether you’ve had an unfortunate experience with a product introduction video. Care to tell us more? Maybe you’ve done the analysis and pinpointed the reasons for the failure. Go ahead and share.