Posted February 11, 2015 by Connor Child
A well-made video can become a business’s most valuable asset. Just take a look at the infamous Dollar Shave Club explainer video. Almost four years after its initial launch, people are still talking about how awesome it is. What’s even more surprising is that Dollar Shave Club has started running this same video as a television ad.
And guess what? Dollar Shave Club didn’t spend tens of thousands of dollars on production. The infamous video cost just $4,000 to produce. It kickstarted the then early stage startup’s customer acquisition process, generating 12,000 sign ups within a few days of launch. The startup has gone on to raise more than $70M in venture funding.
And it all started with a low-budget video.
While Dollar Shave Club’s results may be extreme, its story should provide inspiration to marketers, video producers, and entrepreneurs alike. On a minimal budget, it’s possible to achieve wonders.
Here at Qzzr, for example, our first crack at a low-budget video generated a 9% increase in signups from our homepage. In our eyes, this was a big success, more than justifying the effort it took to get the video up and running.
We were able to benefit from a video that yielded positive results even though none of us are video experts. We found a talented team of videographers who could deliver what we wanted at an affordable cost. They were a delight to work with, and they gave us an end-product that far exceeded anything we could have come up with on our own.
Without a doubt, videos are important, but many marketing videos continue to fall flat with a stodgy, minimally engaging user experience.
Business Video Screenshot from Peter Christy
It all boils down to the subtleties.
There are several steps that business owners should keep in mind when looking for and working with a videographer to ensure the success of their hard work, idea storming, and creative planning. The process starts with knowing what to avoid. Here are the 5 most common reasons why business videos fall flat — with tips for what to do about it.
1 – A lack of empathy for the audience
It’s easy to shoot a video around a team’s inside jokes or sense of humor. The problem, however, is that inside jokes are something that only your company will understand.
The same holds true for any other type of emotion — happiness, sadness, or any other type of passion.
When filming a business video, you need to think about your brand from your audience’s perspective. They’re learning about your company for the first time and often bombarded with boring content. To stand out, your video needs to demonstrate a solid understanding of what your audience cares about. Are they looking to laugh? Are they looking for information?
Ask these types of questions ahead of time so that the video truly hits the mark.
Business Video Screenshot from Chris Sheehan
2 – An off-brand experience
People loved Dollar Shave Club’s video because it was true to the company’s personality. What you may not know is that co-founder Michael Dubin was actually a comedian in his college years. In other words, he knows how to be funny and how to entertain an audience. It’s a skill that is authentic to him and his brand.
Like any other branding experience, videos fall flat when they are inauthentic to the company or founder’s persona. If ‘funny’ isn’t your thing, don’t try to force it. Instead, tap into the qualities that have — and continue — to drive your success. Your audience will connect with these values.
3 – Ambiguous company descriptions
Especially in the technology and B2B space, services and products are becoming more complex. Even the smartest leaders struggle to digest the immense amount of information that is out there in the world.
Before filming a business video, make sure that the team has created — and is happy with — a clear elevator pitch.
Marketing teams should participate with the videographers in this creative process. Videographers, having worked with many business teams, will have a clear understanding of what is likely to resonate and what won’t. Marketers can put themselves in their customers’ shoes to test and validate multiple messaging options.
No matter your video team’s approach, your goal should be to reach a point of clarity, quickly, by face-testing your messaging with multiple different people.
4 – An ‘eggs in one basket’ approach
Successful marketing programs are often built on a process of rigorous experimentation and A/B testing. In other words, marketers are testing and measuring the success of everything — often adapting on the fly.
Business videos should follow the exact same approach.
The more versions of a video that teams create, the more likely they are to achieve success through learning and validation. Convince your videographers to view their videos as ‘works in progress’ rather than standalone works of art. Be prepared for, and comfortable with, the idea of change.
Business Video Screenshot from Noel Occomy
5 – No thought to distribution
Marketers and videographers will often pour their hearts and souls into video production. As a result, they end up creating great videos — with very little visibility. In addition to awesome content, your videos need a clear distribution strategy for how you’re going to connect with audiences.
Believe it or not, Dollar Shave Club wasn’t an overnight viral success. The company had a clear distribution strategy and worked with video seeding ad networks to bring that vision to life. That launchpad gave Dollar Shave Club a platform to drive its success.
When you invest in a video, you’ll need to give significant attention to how your content reaches audience. Videographers and marketing teams, alike, should be closely aligned on this process — before the video is even filmed.
After reading this article, do you think there is anything missing? Are there any points that you’d like to tackle? We’d love to hear your feedback and additions, so share your thoughts in the comments section below.
About Connor Child
Connor Child is a Marketing Qwizard at Qzzr, an online quiz tool that allows you to create quizzes and post them anywhere. In past lives, he worked in investment banking and journalism (he writes in $’s), and now his primary responsibility is ensuring that all of Qzzr's content is on point.