Layne McDonald, Ph.D.
There are many ways you can connect with your target customers through video. In fact, when you look at your competitor's videos, it seems that there are so many variations out there. There are just too many, and, at some point or other, it feels like there's really no one way to connect on an optimal level.
Well, I beg to disagree. Depending on your niche, one particular video type may be more effective than others. How do you know this? How do you identify this specific video type?
Well, it's as simple as paying attention to your competitor's videos. That's right. Reverse engineer them. Just look at the videos that they produce. What kind of videos do they show? This should tell you everything you need to know regarding the type of video you should use.
The secret to this, of course, is to come up with a better version. If you are in the same niche as your competitors and you can see that they tend to use a specific type of video, you should also use that type of video. Look at what they're doing right and copy that, but look at what they're doing wrong and improve. That's how it works.
Crucial to this analysis is to first figure out the different types of videos. Again, you have to reverse engineer your competitors and focus on the kind they use the most. Here are the three key marketing video types used by almost all industries.
Whiteboards are essentially just animations of a hand drawing something, and there's a voice-over, or there are captions. The giant advantage whiteboards bring is that they are cheap to produce because many of them are made by software like VideoScribe. You just feed your text into VideoScribe and select photos, and out comes an excellent video.
The downside to whiteboard videos, regardless of whether you use VideoScribe or not, is that they seem formulaic. Eventually, people get tired of them. Finally, people would want to expect more.
One of the most potent ways to connect with a viewer is through a video spokesperson. This is especially true if that person is a member of your target audience's demographic group.
People are always looking for a one-to-one human connection. People pay attention to the speaker's voice as well as their appearance. These things send off all sorts of non-verbal signals that make the viewer trust the spokesperson more. This goes beyond the quality of the script that the video spokesperson is reading.
The big downside to spokesperson videos is the cost. It costs money to hire these professional actors. These are professionals. They need to get paid.
People often pay $100 for thirty seconds of spokesperson video. That's actually relatively cheap. However, depending on your niche, you might need something more elaborate or a longer video.
Slideshows can do it if you're looking for a cheap and powerful way to connect with your viewers. Slideshows can get your message across loud and clear by different alternating pictures with diagrams and texts. They cost very little to make, and you can make tons of them.
The downside to slideshows is that you have to invest a tremendous amount of time, effort, and attention to detail to properly optimize them, so they actually work for you. Seriously it's too easy to blow it with slideshows because if you just focus on quantity, you can easily do that. You can crank out tons of slideshows in no time. The problem is that this flood of low-quality videos might erode whatever brand equity you have managed to build up.