When Video Doesn’t Work

When Video Doesn't WorkYou’ve read the good news about online video – “video is 53 times more likely to show up in Google.” It’s also likely that you’ve seen some of your favorite blogs or news sites turn from text to video in recent months. But is all this video a good thing for the customer experience? There is a lot of positive press around the use of online video, but are there turn offs for your customer as well?


5 Times when video doesn’t cut it


1. Your audience doesn’t have time to watch

Whether it’s because your video is literally too long (over 3 minutes) or it’s perceived to be too long, if your audience doesn’t have the time to sit and watch your video, then you are not meeting their needs and you should be trying something else. Too often video is being used as the “lazy way” to put up a blog post. Keep in mind, adding text and video together can be a great recipe for success.

If you’re not sure if your audience is staying engaged with your video, just skipping around, or ending it prematurely, try tools like Wistia to see user response.


2. You’re using video exclusively

In most cases, I recommend using video as a supplement, not a replacement for the written word. Videos can make up for the lack of personality in a written piece. For example, if I had taken the time to create a video for this post you would be able to hear my voice, put a face to the words, and get a better picture of who I am. This added information often leads to a deeper understanding of what’s being read. However, if I only did a video blog, you may miss some of the finer points in this post. Why? First of all you’d be focused on more than just the message, you’d be focused on the presenter too. Now combine that with the fact that most video should be kept to about 3 minutes and you have some pretty superficial content.


3. Your onscreen image is taking away from your professional image

“Yikes!” That’s what I have to say about some of the scary home/office setups I have seen on web video blogs. If you decide to supplement your written blog with video, be sure you don’t forget about your professional image. By looking professional (not to be confused with stiff and unapproachable) you will make a better impression and give more credibility to your message.

TIP: Ladies, professional does not mean wearing the low cut top you wore out to the club last Friday night. Men, the ragged tee shirt you wear on the weekends with the gym shorts, should stay off screen.

Your personal image is not the only thing viewers are evaluating. Your surroundings are important too. Be sure to use a clean, uncluttered area for your video. Messy bookshelves, a dirty kitchen (any kitchen for that matter unless you’re talking about food), pets, kids and other distractions behind and around you while you shoot your video work against your professional image and your credibility.


4. Your composition is distracting

Just like still photography you need to have the right composition in your video frame. I can’t believe how many “professional” vblogs cut the bloggers head too close to the chin, or the person is in a “weird” space inside the frame. This is usually caused by the fact that the webcam is setup in some crazy do-it-yourself fashion that prevents the blogger from sitting in the right place. If you want to want to be seen as a pro, you need to work hard to look like one. Learn some great tips about frame composition in this video from DigitalRevolution101.


 5. Your sound is BAD

Echo…echo….echo….NO. Echo is bad when it comes to your video. Dampen the sound with rugs, drapes, or other sound deadening materials. Another sound dilemma  is when the sound is too quiet. Remember, not everyone will be listening through a headset or on the best speakers. You need to check your mic before you record to be sure the sound level is correct. A clip-on mic is a good option, but not always an affordable one.


 Bottom Line

The bottom line is if you can’t get one or more of these things to work for you, don’t do video. There is no rush! In business you always want to put your best foot forward – offline and online.


Final Note

As with any marketing effort, you must “know thy customer” to know if video is right for your business. When in doubt, try it out and test, test, test!





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About Karin Khuhro

Karin Khuhro is a Digital Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Copywriter. As the owner of Strategy E-ssentials she works with other savvy marketers, digital specialists and business leaders to bring knowledge, know-how and solutions to small and medium sized businesses. Connect with Karin on Google+ or Linkedin.