Social media, blog, website front page: wherever they appear, videos get a lot of attention. Many businesses have even turned their blogs into “vlogs,” using video posts exclusively.
Videos can make an excellent impression for your business—or a dangerously negative one. Unless you prefer the latter, there are three major “don’ts” when putting videos online.
- Jumping on a bandwagon. The original “website wave” proved it. The first blog craze proved it. The advent of social media proved it. Still, leads-hungry entrepreneurs never seem to learn: rushing to put up a site, blog, account, or video—any site/blog/account/video—because “everyone else has one” will not make business soar, it’ll just get you lost in the crowd. Take time to plan videos that emphasize the unique benefits of your business—and to plan how you’ll help people find those videos.
- Wasting your viewer’s time. The biggest disadvantage of video, compared to text or still visuals, is that videos can’t be “skimmed” for key takeaways. So what’s good advice for any presentation is vital here: catch attention immediately, and hold it throughout. Open with the most interesting point or anecdote; eliminate all extraneous information. Even then, don’t expect most visitors to hold still for longer than 3–7 minutes.
- Giving a “scriptreader” presentation. If all your video shows is someone talking, you might as well stick to all-text posts; you’ll be the exemplification of boredom to video viewers. Always include action, if only a few PowerPoint slides or a presenter sketching a basic infographic.
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Katherine Swarts is a Houston-based freelance writer specializing in blogs for medium-to-large organizations. Links to some of her recent work are posted at HoustonFreelanceWriter.com