I recently received an email trying to sell me a product. It provided me with a link to a video that was about 9 minutes long. Two days ago, I received another email. This one pointed me toward a video selling me a marketing product. That video was more than 10 minutes long.
At the risk of seeming ungrateful for your product tips, I’d like to say that if you honestly want me to buy into your credibility as a marketer or you truly want me to buy your product, presenting me with an excruciatingly long video and forcing me to sit through it is the least likely way to accomplish either one.
I’m a member of a site that also offers only help videos. Despite commenting on this multiple times, having clients comment on it and requesting another way to find helpful information, that method has not been forthcoming.
This week I quit that site.
There are several reasons why your marketing, sales, and help file videos just don’t work for me. These are just the least of them.
My time, like yours, is valuable. I read very quickly and retain what I’ve read quite well.
In the ten minutes I would spend watching your video, I could assimilate ten times that much text.
Your video seeks to control my time and effectively hold me hostage while you divulge the secrets to your success, the benefits of your product and/or the low, low price that I will enjoy.
If it hasn’t entered your mind, consider this point. By using a video of a specific length you are controlling the time of others for that span of time. If you create a ten minute video, effectively you are saying, I want TEN minutes of your time and I am not going to settle for anything less.
By sending me an email you are saying, “I want you to know that I respect your time.” Read it in two minutes or pore over it for ten minutes, whatever works for you.
If you send me an email with the text incorporated in it, not a link to a video, I can review that text and determine if your product is worth buying in a third the time. That time savings to me is important. Your demonstration that you respect my time is also important and will probably net you the sale. Add the link to your video if you must and if I have time, I’ll watch it.
Granted, not everyone is the same. Some people like videos that need to be searched for the right answer or viewed in their entirety. They enjoy not being able to open an FAQ or a help file while they work on a site.
They may love being constrained to a video and having to search through each one to find the audio that is relevant to their problem. Those people obviously don’t have a lot to occupy their time. . . but still, they do exist.
Your videos may be just what they want.
Even so, there are a few issues with videos that annoy many of those who want to use them.
Here are a few little tips for the video makers in the group.
If you create a video to sell your product or to help your customers:
- Make it easy to start and stop.
- Make it short and to the point
- Make a link below it that offers a transcript of the video.
If your video serves as a help file for a website then definitely make a transcript or a bullet point brief of it and offer it for download or below the video on the site.
A download lets users keep it open while they are using your site.
Try to avoid assuming that everyone uses Windows. PDF is something that everyone can use, they are not denied whether they use Mac or Windows or Linux as some formats like pages or docx accomplish.
Videos are not SEO friendly so by adding the text of the video you also get the added benefit of doing something good for your site.