I’ve been looking at different ways to promote the pay-per-sale merchant, Mail Order Shoppe, the main case study on Internet Marketing Cookbook (which will run from now till mid July)and it’s been amusing and sometimes funny to see how merchants and affiliates can get their video marketing strategy messed up.
First the good news:
- YouTube has replaced Google as a search engine for a number of demographics, especially tweens, teens, young adults.
- The user interface means that everyone has an equal opportunity to put video up and generate leads for affiliate offers or your own products.
- Hosted video streaming services mean you don’t need a VPS or dedicated server or content delivery network. It’s literally upload and go.
Now the bad news:
- Just because you have the ability to upload 10 minutes videos doesn’t mean you should. I’m doing editorial consulting work now, and just because a writer has written 1,000 words, doesn’t mean they’ll get published. In some cases I’ve cut it down to 300 words or less (ie: deleted 70% of the content). You have to give content the space it deserves. More is (frequently) not always better. 1-2 minutes is the sweet spot if you want impactful video that converts.
- Making a video that showcases your company or your product. Beep, wrong answer. Consumers search for answers to questions or problems they have. That doesn’t mean they want to watch a 5-minute video. What they want is a relevant, neutral, informative (being entertaining doesn’t hurt) video that helps them fix a problem now. Look at the “Does it blend?” videos. Be entertained as iphones, ipaqs get shredded, then go out and order your own Blendtec juicer.
- Lacking a call to action: Institutional advertising is where big brands spend big bucks creating “branding”/mindshare. There’s no regard for ROI, in many cases there’s no clear call to action, aside from viewership or Nielsen ratings (which don’t have ROI or revenue related metrics built in). This is about as useful as a bazooka to someone trying to make an omelette.
So if you’re going to do video, consider:
- Length: follow the “mini skirt” rule. Long enough to cover the essentials, short enough to keep things interesting.
- On-point, on-target: Focus on the core of the problem and provide a solution. Save your lifestory for someone who cares.
- Call to action, stats/analytics: If you’re not implementing some form of conversion tracking in your video marketing (using a special URL, dedicated domain), then you might as well be doing ppc/ppv without any conversion tracking too. Good luck with that.
Video can be powerful, effective and highly profitable.
Just don’t join the 99% of marketers who try it and suck at it.