There are plenty of good reasons to do a video. Besides simply looking good, video has the advantage of engaging multiple senses, blending multiple art forms, and (if they’re dialogue free), crossing language barriers. Also, we’re programed to watch them. On a computer screen or a presentation projector, they’re a lot more attractive than a big paragraph of text (like the one you just read).
Still, there are times when you shouldn’t do a video. Times when you shouldn’t do any marketing, as a matter of fact, but video especially, since it tends to be more expensive.
It has to do with your level of readiness. Here are three ways to know you’re not quite there yet:
You don’t know what to say
Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how often we encounter this. The problem is typical of newer businesses, but afflicts some golden oldies as well. It’s usually a problem of identity (i.e. not having one).
Before contacting someone to do a video, ask yourself: “What’s my brand? What’s my unique offering? Why do clients choose me instead of a competitor?” If you can’t talk interestingly about what you do for 60 seconds, a five minute video isn’t going to be much better.
You aren’t ready to be honest with yourself
Why are you doing this? Why make a video? Why now?
Is it because sales are slumping, customers are grumbling, and you want a big push to rehabilitate your image? Or maybe you’ve got culture issues and want a video to remind everyone just how great you are.
These things don’t work. You know they don’t work. Your viewers are smart, sophisticated people. They can tell when something’s disingenuous.
But you have to be honest with yourself about your situation and motives. If your service is broken, fix it. If your culture is broken, fix it. Then talk to us about communicating your improvements.
You have unrealistic expectations for the video itself
This problem is a little easier to deal with, and something we handle by coaching clients through the film making process.
Still, it’s worth mentioning: a $500 video looks like a $500 video, a $10,000 video looks like a $10,000 video. A $500 video is not going to have that amazing chopper shot, or the dynamic production value, or even the well-organized narrative that requires (sorry to say) time and money to develop.
Similarly, a video shot in your office will not make it look like Donald Trump’s office.
That said, we do the best work we can at any budget, and try not to concern ourselves overmuch with the number on the balance sheet. A cheaper video doesn’t mean a less artistic or genuine one. It’s the feeling behind it that matters.
But it does matter that we manage expectations. There won’t be bullet-time Trinity kicks or slow-mo flying pigeons if all we’re trying to do is sell ice cream. That might be disappointing, but at least we have ice cream… Which is what we came here to talk about…
What was I saying?
Ice cream is good.