Top 10 Video Blunders When Used as a Sales Aid

cameraI love the fact that companies have video available to make email and Internet communication more personal; to deliver a more compelling visual message; to say with emotion what can’t be said in an email; to introduce themselves or their companies; to tell a story; and yes, to sell in a way that can’t be done with text.

But before you go crazy and decide to include or increase your use of video, let’s talk about the mistakes to avoid.  While the mistakes on my list may be in the domain of marketing, in my opinion they are glaring Sales 101 mistakes.  It seems to me that “stars” of their own videos have forgotten that First Impressions are Everything!  I am horrified by some of the video sales pitches I have seen lately starring “Professionals” (CEO’s, Presidents, Entrepreneurs, VP’s, Sales Managers, and Salespeople:

  1. Talking about their unique expertise while in tee shirts instead of suits.  There is a reason that broadcasters, emcees, guests and analysts dress up when on camera – it looks better!
  2. Driving their cars, acting cool, believing that recipients will be impressed that they can shoot a high def video, drive on the highway, look in the mirror, and talk, all at the same time.  I’m impressed too, but only with their ability to multi-task, not with their credentials!
  3. Sitting in front of a $5 green backdrop that makes it obvious it is an undersized, incorrectly hung, poorly positioned piece of crap.  Might as well take it down and let us see the real crap behind their chairs!
  4. Reading from a script.  I know they don’t want to stumble through their message but if they don’t know their stuff by now, why should we watch them read it?
  5. Failing to look at the camera.  If they aren’t going to look at us, they might as well just read the message and send us an audio file!
  6. Using video because it’s there.  If it can be effectively communicated with text, then communicate it with text!
  7. Compressing the video to make it portable.  If the resolution is horrible, it is horrible!
  8. Emailing mini-videos. If the finished video is so small that you need a magnifying glass to see it, well, we won’t see it!
  9. That are Boring.  Give us a break.  If your message isn’t valuable, interesting or thought-provoking, change your mind and don’t share it!
  10. Don’t Speak Well.  If you don’t pronounce your words correctly or have a speech impediment, we won’t hold that against you but for crying out loud, have somebody else deliver your message.  We won’t know the difference.

It should go without saying that your videos should be professionally produced and directed. The do it yourself videos made on the fly are prone to all ten of the mistakes listed above.  Unless you are in the marketing, advertising or videography business, you have no business doing this yourself unless you want to give people reasons not to buy from you.