Make better technology videos than your competitors — here are five ways
1. Focus on the action you want the viewer to take
Everyone knows a video should have a call-to-action. This is often defined in terms of clicks or conversions. But if you’re marketing a complex technology solution, the action you really want is information seeking.
“The only decision a prospect really needs to make is to seek more information” is how interactive video expert Randy Tinfow puts it. Try sizing up every word and image in your video this way: “Is this something a good prospect wants to know more about?”
Instead of just putting up a link at the end that clicks through to another piece of content, make a video that arouses curiosity. Your competitors are probably not thinking along these lines. Nearly all technology marketing videos are designed to maximize the amount of product information delivered over the video’s duration.
2. Divide (your audience) and conquer (with relevant info)
If what you’re selling is a software solution bought by committee, then your video’s audience will include users and non-users in various roles. The users want to know what it’s like to use it; everybody else probably wants to know — well, almost anything else. They don’t want to see a lot of screens.
Think of it this way: you’re making a sales pitch to the CIO, the COO, the CEO. They’re all raising different issues. They not very interested in each other’s issues.
This is why we’re recommending producing multiple short videos about clearly defined issues, features, visions, differentiators, etc. If you can get to the point — one your audience cares about — in the first 15 seconds or so, your video is more than halfway home.
3. Draw a diagram
Try watching some “explainer” videos on YouTube with the sound turned off. Did you learn anything that makes you want to know more? Not likely.
Yet, we all know that people process visuals at least a thousand times faster than words. So maximizing the visual content minimizes the length.
At my company we like to draw inspiration from diagrams — the kinds of diagrams sketched out on whiteboards, or the more formal diagrams you see in sales decks and white papers.
If you put a diagram in motion with clever animation, you can spin out compelling stories that make processes and relationships come alive.
4. Avoid ticking boxes
Marketers like to summarize features and benefits with bullet points. Many seem to believe that a list of three or four things will make an impression and be remembered. I don’t buy it. Why would any list of attributes or business benefits in a marketing video — however assertively spoken and typographically elegant — be remembered? Do you remember any item (let alone a list of them) you’ve seen on a bullet slide?
What’s worse, if your competitors could make some of the same claims, why bother to list them? Studies show that buyers tend to think competing solutions are all pretty much the same, anyway. So, the audience for your video must really want to know how you’re different. Show them that, not a list of stuff.
5. Start with a vision instead of a pain point
Most explainer videos, including many of ours, start with a problem — pain points — and go on to describe how a solution provides relief. But there’s less reason to deal with pain points today than when we started making explainer videos ten years ago. People are researching solutions online. According to Google studies, they research the solution generically before they look up a brand. So, when they do engage with the brand, they already think you may have a solution to the pain points that are totally familiar and need no introduction.
That’s why it makes sense to consider designing your video to put across a vision right from the outset. For example, in this video for a Kratos Networks satellite network monitoring solution, we start with a the key product benefit — visibility into the business impact of operational problems — that prospects are assumed not to be enjoying today.