Promotional video, be it for corporates, 3rd sector or SME’s are our regular commissions for the past 13 years. We’ve made some promotional videos that we are proud of, and some that we would love to have had editorial control over to improve upon. Which promo videos are the ones that get the most views and hits, make the most impact, get your best return on marketing investment, and give you a product that your audience really want to watch? Let’s look at the most common mistakes that are made. Each fortnight, we’ll look at one mistake, and how best to negate it.
Wrong message to the target audience
Sadly, this is commonplace. How does this happen? There can be a number of reasons.
Someone in senior management, who doesn’t have a marketing background, may feel the need to stamp his or her authority on content, script and overall message. The marketing team have to do the best they can with the brief they are given, but may know that the product is not going to do what they would like it to do. It may not get watched by the target audience, and thus alienate both the intended and resulting audience. There may be negative brand association as a result, little or no ROMI (return on marketing investment), very few views and no recommendations, forwards or social media presence.
Sometimes there may be an assumption of what the message should be for the target audience without the necessary market research and data to support the assumption.
Here are an example:
Samsung’s Solid State Drive video. Adweek suggested that “it’s the worst thing you’ll see today”.
Adweek said it’s awful because of the acting. From our point of view, it’s not only that – it’s the content too. The target audience: young professionals (by the look of the ad) are being patronised, and within seconds will know it’s a sales pitch done in a tired manner.
At 3mins long, it’s 2m30s too long to get the message across. The message is a little simplistic, the acting is awful and it’s drawn out. In terms of its production values and photography, it’s well done. There is a fairly large budget for those cine lenses, lights and the locations. But it doesn’t matter – it was universally slated.
How to get it right
If you haven’t done so, ask yourself who the target audience is for the video? Indeed, is video the best route? What are the expectations of the audience in terms of message delivery and length?
For example, a technical manager will have different expectations of a video to a teenager – even if they’re buying the same product. Get the message into a short sentence and base the entire clip (short or long) around that sentence. Don’t dilute or digress. Do some market research into your chosen message from core trusted clients, to see if they agree or not. Test the clip on those clients at an early stage of the edit to see what they think and take their advice. And mostly, though this will be covered later, unless it’s for a technical audience which require length, keep it short.