If the term "video tour" makes you think of something you'd find only on a real estate website—think again! The fact is, "video tours" are a great way to market a wide variety of products and services.
A "tour" is simply a way of taking the viewer by the hand and, with a logical flow, showing her the steps in a process or the benefits of a product or service.
For instance, you could create a video tour to show the following:
- The step-by-step procedure for using a new kitchen gadget
- An imaginative animated fly-through of a software product
- An illustration of how your electronics components are designed and built to work with a wide variety of manufacturing equipment
- The process a shirt goes through during its trip through your company's dry-cleaning facility
- The way your healthcare software tracks a patient from admission to discharge to invoicing
You can give a tour of virtually anything—physical or otherwise.
If you're thinking a video tour could work for your product or service, here are some do's and don'ts to keep in mind along the way.
1. Put yourself in the customer's shoes
One of the hardest things you must do when creating a video tour (or any other video, for that matter) is to force yourself to think about your message from the perspective of the customer. And you need to be honest.
What's the No. 1 issue your customer has that your product/service solves? What two or three other smaller details help differentiate your product/service from the competition? Those three or four points, and only those points, should be the focus of your tour.
2. Keep the video content relevant
I don't care how proud you are of the entrance to your new company headquarters. Unless that gorgeous sign over your door helps your customer in some way—leave it on the cutting room floor.
3. Don't bore the viewer
The same rule that applies to your company signage applies to your mission statement, vision statement, etc. (Have you ever read another company's mission statement? No, you haven't. They're boring.)
4. Show customers the value of your product
Showing is always better than telling. Don't tell me about the new heavy-duty motor you put in your vacuums. Show me your vacuum sucking up heavy ball bearings from the thickly carpeted floor.
5. Tell a story
It's a scientific fact that people learn from storytelling. They also remember stories better than lists of facts. Why not turn your tour into a "story"? It doesn't have to have actors or characters, but it should have a storyline. What happens first, second, third?
6. Involve your customers
Do you have a satisfied customer who would add her endorsement to the video? Maybe she'd even give the tour herself? Maybe the video tour could be a case study of how your customer had great success using your product/service.
What was the customer's main problem she was looking to solve? Why did she try your product/service? What was the first thing she did with your product/service? What happened as a result of that? What did she do next? What result did she get then? And so on.
7. Quality matters
Think long and hard before you turn this project over to your cousin or the gal from Marketing who just bought a new video camera. A video says a lot about your company. It can say good things, such as "Wow—this really is a breakthrough product from a group of smart industry leaders." It can also say, "We're just three guys who do this part-time from our basement."
You cannot redo a first impression. If your video is poorly lit, badly scripted, or hard to hear or understand—it'll make your whole company look like a group of amateurs.
8. Appear polished
But hold on—what about all those YouTube-style videos that I'm seeing everywhere? They get thousands of views, and no one seems to care about the quality.
Hey, if you run a T-shirt company, a small cupcake shop, or a deep-sea fishing company, then maybe a semi-rough, unprofessional YouTube-style video is just what you need. A down-home and simple video will work perfectly for a lot of small businesses.
But if you sell software, IT services, or healthcare-related products or services—or you want to sell to companies much bigger than yours—the last thing you want to do is look like the kid on YouTube who plays air guitar in his bedroom.
9. Hire a video production company
If a homemade video doesn't seem right for you, ask around for recommendations of video production companies. Talk to three or four of them, and compare their samples.
10. Hire a professional writer
If you can afford nothing else, pay for a professional to write your script. The message is more important than lighting, editing, actors, or anything else. Hire someone who's written lots of scripts. Be sure you've seen videos that were produced based on those scripts. Ask yourself whether you liked the tone and style of the message. Did you get the point? Did you feel motivated to buy the product or take a certain action?
It bears repeating—nothing is more important than a well-written script.
(Image courtesy of Bigstock, Baby Boy.)