For the next few weeks, we’re talking about being ready to use video and doing it right. Last week’s post, Here’s Your Awesome New Video, Now Don’t Screw it Up, discussed what happens when companies spend valuable resources to create fantastic video, but don’t devote resources to promoting the video. This week, we’re talking about another conversation we don’t want to have with our clients, the “We’re promoting our video but it just isn’t working” conversation. Gulp. Here we go.

We’re passionate about our clients because our clients are passionate about their businesses. They love what they do, they care deeply about their missions, and they are driven to succeed. They’re also wary of overspending on marketing, tipping their hand to the competition, or risking a failed campaign.

The reasons that videos sometimes just don’t work are numerous — swallowed up in that ever-exploding universe of algorithms and coding that decides what gets seen by whom and when. There’s a certain amount of risk with every single marketing piece of ANY color – video, blogging, marketing automation, what have you. But no one ever made a mark in the world without risk, and video is actually lower on the risk scale than many other, more expensive tactics that are more difficult to measure, like outdoor advertising.

However, we are a “no excuses” kind of agency. If a video isn’t working out, we want to know why and how to fix it. Here are 7 key points to know that can make or break your video – and it’s all about the message.

1) Know Your Audience.

Profile them. What do they care about? What are their ages? Do they have buying power? Pain points? What’s their intent – to know, to go, to do or to buy? Once you know this you’ve got your call-to-action.

>> Learn more about intent marketing

2) Speak to the Decision Makers.

The first person to find your marketing video may not be the final decision maker, but that person is likely to have access to the decision maker. Give them plenty of ammo to make your sale for you by addressing the business problem you are solving and the value therein.

3) Don’t Copy. Improve.

Way back when I was a copywriter, I was told the most important part of my job title was “copy.” I didn’t become a writer to copy other writers, I argued. I was assured that improving upon the work that others have done is perfectly ethical. So it is with all things digital and creative as the tools evolve. If you find a video that you think is absolutely ideal for your business needs, take a step back and think about how would would improve it and make it truly your own. (In any media, a blatant copy is still unethical).

4) Solve One Problem at a Time.

How many problems can you solve in 60 seconds? Don’t try to sell everything you have to offer in one shot. It’s almost always more effective to create several :30 videos that each illuminate how your business solves a particular problem. Otherwise you risk cramming so much detail into a :60 piece that viewers don’t make a connection.

>> Only have budget to make one video? You need to read this first.

5) Teach, Don’t Sell.

Once you know what problem you are going to solve, teach your target audience something they don’t know about that problem, something that you can solve for them.

6) Quality Matters.

An expensive lot of things can go wrong with video. A perfect script paired with poor quality visuals, shoddy editing, or an inexperienced crew at any point in the process can mean an ineffective delivery of message. And that reflects on your business. If you don’t show your own business in the best possible light how can potential customers believe that you’ll help them shine?

7) Know What you Want to Achieve.

If you are getting views and attention, but not much in the way of click-throughs, conversions, or whatever your most valued metric, the problem could be your call-to-action. Be sure it’s directing people to a clear, logical response. That means you need to be clear on what ONE most important thing you want from your video and set your CTA accordingly.

We work hard to advise our clients on all of these points, but sometimes learning happens by making the mistakes anyway. There are many more ways to get your marketing message heard and prompt a desired action from your target audience. We’d love to hear some of your own success, tips and tricks for engagement. Please share with us!