Oct 2017

Your Videos Suck.

This isn’t click bait. You heard right. Your videos suck. Why, you ask? Because you told me everything I needed to know in the first 15 seconds. This may be brutal, but for a large majority of the content creators that are reading this right now, it rings 100% true. Sometimes I don’t even need to watch a video to get to the crux of its message.

Video is being consumed more than any other form of marketing content on the planet, yet so many content marketers are simply squandering their opportunities. Take a peek at the analytics of your content. How many people are watching your videos? How long are they watching them before jumping ship? It’s time to stop blaming the consumer for their short attention spans and time to realize your content isn’t engaging.

So how do you fix it?

Don’t Give Away Your Reveals Too Soon
There’s a lot that goes into a great video, but the most important thing is not to give away any reveals in your title or description. This makes your video completely irrelevant. If a video you want to see is titled “A 23andMe Ancestry Story: Reuniting Sisters”, you don’t need to watch it to understand that two sisters who have been separated are now reuniting after using the online service 23andMe. For the record, I’m not making this up. This video actually exists.

Now I don’t discount or discredit the beauty of the story one bit. It’s truly a remarkable story; however from a content marking stand point, the video does the story absolutely no justice. And since I’ve covered the title, I’ll dive into the video itself.

The first 13 seconds of the video shows three still images that relay the following message:

“Stacy knew she had a sister, she just didn’t know how to find her…”
“Greta was searching too…”
“Today the sisters will meet in person for the first time.”

The video then cuts to the sisters in an embrace that has been years in the making.

So within the first 15 seconds of a 2:21 video, all the reveals have been made. It lacks suspense, asks no questions and gives no reason for the consumer to continue watching it.

Evoke Emotion!
The 23andMe video is a VERY dramatic story and so it should be told in such a way that evokes an emotion to the audience that pulls them through to the end. Think of the narrative, how you want it to be presented and build suspense to create angst with your audience. Tease what they want and threaten it until they can’t take it anymore.

Music choices and beats also play into the emotion. The soundtrack for your video is almost as important as the message itself so make sure that the tone of the music selection is in line with the chosen presentation of the story.

Answer All the Questions
If your video poses a question at ANY point, the answer must be given in THIS video. Nothing will burn an audience more than unanswered questions or forcing them to go somewhere else for it. They won’t go. If you get a viewer to commit to two or more minutes of your story and they need to go to a website or another video to finish the story or learn more, there’s a good chance they won’t consume another second of your content. You’ll be blacklisted.

Think Like a Video Editor
The next time you watch a video, watch with a critical eye. It’s the best way to learn how to create content. Great video producers think like editors. Consider your favorite home makeover show. During a remodel or a demo, they constantly tease that there is termite damage, or that there is rot in a wall, or that a floor needs replaced, then immediately go to a commercial break. This is all done purposely to keep you on edge. They never show how great everything is going because it never creates the suspense that pulls you through the commercial. Then when all is said and done and the blocks are being removed for the grand reveal, BOOM. Commercial break. The ultimate cliff hanger. The moment you’ve been waiting for the entire time and now you have to wait yet again. Only this time you’re so committed that you refuse to use the restroom for fear of missing what you spent 55 minutes waiting for. That’s the angst, the drama and the suspense that your video craves and deserves.

The increase of video content is on the rise. With multiple platforms to consume it, it’s important that you convey your story clearly and in a way that creates an emotional attachment with your viewers and makes them ask “why” for the duration. It’s important to stand out in very crowded space.

With that, I’ll leave you with an example of a video that does just that.