Turns out, there is such a thing as too much cheese…
Video marketers…have you ever gotten that look? You know, that pensive stare when a friend or colleague is attempting to craft constructive feedback about your video, but you can totally tell they would rather be mauled by wild chimpanzees than have to share their honest opinion? Sorry to break it to you, but if this sounds familiar — your videos probably suck.Unless it’s Super Bowl Sunday, people aren’t exactly signing up to watch commercials. The idea of sitting through a marketing video or promotional snippet makes even us folks in the biz do a figurative eye roll sometimes. If the aesthetics, quality, and content doesn't captivate your audience, and the viewer doesn’t walk away from your video feeling entertained or informed (dare we say both?) then what’s the point?
Here are some of the reasons your videos suck:
Too Heavy on The Ham…
Your star is putting so much cheese into his performance, your video could be served as an Italian entrée. A bad actor can really distract from the message, mainly because you can’t get over the second-hand embarrassment welling up inside of you while watching the cringe-inducing catastrophe unfold on screen.
Don’t get me wrong. Actors can be amateurs, but there’s got to be something there. The ability to deliver lines, good timing, and sincerity will go a long way. If you can’t find these traits in an amateur, it might be worth shelling out some extra scratch for a pro. Maybe let your friend’s brother help with the set next time instead of standing in the spotlight. Learn more about finding the right talent here.
You’re No Chaplin…
LOL! You tripped and fell! I’m dying! So hilarious and creative! That wasn’t on purpose?
Most creative types have the ability to suspend reality for the sake of art, but expecting you audience to pretend like that ‘silly mishap’ or ‘perfectly timed head-turn’ wasn't staged is just insulting. Keep the choreography and dialogue natural. If you must ask your actors to do something that feels or looks unnatural, have them practice before getting in front of the camera…a lot.
The same goes for the script. Make sure you use dialogue that is conversational, relatable, and (obviously) gets your point across. Use phrasing that entices the viewer but can be easily digested and better yet — remembered. Steer clear of judgmental or biased messages as those will immediately narrow your prospective audience.
Ever look back at a note you left yourself and think, what was I on? If a promotional video watches like a random assortment of ideas, you will lose the audience in Wonderland. Establish a topic, be concise, and give your video messaging some structure. Avoid the confusion that befalls the ramblings of a marketing group with “too many cooks in the kitchen”. Focus on a concept and stick to it!
You can have all of the right components to make your video but if you ignore important editing tools, you can end up with a real flop. Remember timing in regards to how and when the message is conveyed as well as the video’s run time. Skip those long intros and transitions backed by some keyboard generated muzak. The viewers will appreciate a pithy clip over an overindulged saga. Get some production and editing tips here.
Whether you’re marketing or educating, producing a well-made video will help to engage, motivate, and excite your audiences. Keep it fun and lay off the cheese (we’re talking to you, corporate restaurant training videos).