Social media changes so fast that, often, what you know about it is wrong the second after you learn it. Video is the most effective form of online content, but online video marketing is also the hardest of all the types of social media content to create.
With so much content uploaded to social media each minute, it has never been harder to create content that people actually want to view. The harder your video is to create, the more your brand will stand out and the harder it will be for your competitors to duplicate.
We can no longer just create content. We need to create valuable content that does one of three things: entertains, educates, or inspires.
When it comes to creating online video marketing, most companies are working off bad information. Here are 9 myths that companies believe about using video. Use them to help avoid the mistakes that plague corporate video and online video marketing.
9 Myths Companies Believe About Using Video
Myth #1: Price
If you do a quick search online for the cost of creating a video for your business, you’ll turn up a lot of different ideas as to what people think a video should cost. What they leave out is that there are at least 30 different elements that can go into your video, all of which affect the price of your video.
The end price also depends on how much experience the person who is creating your videos has and how many people it takes to create your video. There seems to be a lot of people stuck on the idea that a video should cost between $500 – $5,000. This might be true if you are talking to a college student, but do you want to trust the most powerful communication tool your company has to someone who is still learning?
I think $5,000 is the least you should expect to pay and that is for a really basic video. To even score that low of a price, you’d have to write the script yourself.
The price also depends on the style of video you need to create. It also depends on how many videos you create at the same time. A video created properly can provide a return on investment for 5 or more years. Sales and marketing should combine budgets to help support their common efforts.
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Myth #2: You can make a video in as little as 3 minutes with stock video
It’s true. There are a lot of services that allow you to quickly create a video using stock video, also known as royalty-free video, that no one will want to watch.
Everyone is looking for a faster way to create content. However, this quest is what has made the majority of videos online look and sound a lot alike. It also makes it easier to ignore.
With rare exception, there is nothing about these fast videos that are worthwhile for your company or your audience. The only thing they’re good for is you being able to tell your boss that you made a video.
Getting out your cellphone and recording yourself talking for three minutes would be more valuable than a video comprised of stock video. It would give a face to your company. Stock video can be used to enhance a video, like if you need a shot of cityscape to help make a point in the video.
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Myth #3: You just need one video
To succeed online, it takes more than one video.
It takes a series of videos. You need a video for each step of the buyer’s journey. Creating just 1 video is a waste of time and money.
It’s the equivalent of telling someone about your product and expecting them to buy right away.
Think about your product. When was the last time you called someone who knew nothing about your company, and they purchased right then and there? If they did purchase from you on that call, you probably happened to catch them at the right time.
Most people go through a process before they buy something, also known as a sales funnel. You need a series of videos that guide them through each stage of the sales funnel.
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Myth #4: Animated video
These are also known as animated explainer videos. They have become popular in the last 10 years. We’ve hit a point where they all look alike.
A lot of companies are making cheap explainer videos. Animated videos are not good for the awareness phase of the sales funnel. People don’t connect with them as well as videos with real people in them.
I recommend, unless you have a product or service that is really hard to explain, avoid animated videos. If you do need to create one, try combining it with real people for extra impact.
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Myth #5 You just need an editor and camera operator
Yup, this is the, “You just need an editor and camera operator on staff,” myth. The problem with this is that a camera operator and video editor are not creative directors or video marketers.
Take that $40 – $100 grand and hire a video marketing agency to create your videos. This will bring a team of people who can make videos faster and help you reach your marketing and sales goals.
It will also save you from purchasing video production equipment that will be obsolete or lost in a few years. If your videos must be created “in house”, I recommend hiring a video marketer and a creative video director. Side note: A creative director who has been focused on graphics is not the same thing and won’t provide the results you need.
Myth #6: Online videos need to be under 2 minutes
Of all the myths on this page, this one isn’t actually bad. The real rule for online video marketing is that the video needs to be as long as it needs to be to properly tell the story you are trying to tell. The optimal length also depends on the video and the platform you will share it on. It also depends on where someone is in the sales funnel. Top of funnel videos need to be shorter so that 2-minute rule isn’t bad for that point.
Myth #7: Online video marketing doesn’t work for B2B companies
Most B2B companies think of video as an offline sales tool. They make a trade show video and will show a company introduction video in their lobby or at a sales meeting and that’s it.
But video should be part of your sales process online and offline. Creating a video sales funnel will supercharge your online and offline sales. Because it builds relationships faster, your message is always on point and, most importantly, is trackable.
You can track an email to see if someone opened it or clicked a link, but you don’t know how much of the email they really read. With video, you can track how much of the video they watched and which videos they watched. This can all be reported in your CRM, letting your sale people know who they should follow up with based on engagement.
Myth 8: You can write the script yourself
You write emails every day or maybe you have someone in your company who writes blogs. It would make sense that someone in your company could write these scripts. You know the product better than everyone else.
But a good video script is different. Your script needs to hold their attention, so they don’t watch someone else’s video. Scriptwriting needs to cut through the noise. A professional scriptwriter can also take an outside look at your company and help you to figure out what your viewer really wants, not just what your sales team or CEO wants.
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Myth 9: You can make a professional video with your cell phone
Cell phone cameras have gotten really good, but you can only make professional looking videos with a cell phone if you are a professional.
The reason you see so many articles that say you can is that you wouldn’t click an article with the title of, “Make a good enough video with your cell phone.”
So, who can use their cell phone and at what point do you need a professional? It depends on your brand and/or what type of videos you are looking to create.
User-generated content can always be recorded on a cell phone. So, if someone wants to create a testimonial video for your company, a cell phone or a webcam is perfect. I still recommend to my clients to let someone coach them, so the video is watchable.
If you’re a one-person shop or a small business whose brand is a little more ‘do it yourself,’ your video can also be recorded with a smartphone or webcam.
If you’re a big brand, want to become a big brand or think of yourself as the BMW or Nordstroms of your industry, a cell phone isn’t going to cut it for you. Just because you can’t see the difference, doesn’t mean your target audience doesn’t and it is an unconscious signal to them that you are choosing the cheap way out.
Which of these myths has your company bought into? How will you change the way you use video to make your video a valuable part of your sales and marketing efforts?