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Stop Making These Three Excuses for Not Creating Videos

by Drew McLellan  |  
November 5, 2012

You've heard all the stats.

Over 88 million people watch an online video on a given day.
Online video is currently 40% of consumer Internet traffic.
75% of C-suite executives watch work-related videos weekly.

    So, are you putting online videos to work for your organization?

    I suspect people avoid creating videos because of one of three reasons:

    • You hate being on camera.

    • You don’t have the budget to shoot enough high-end video.

    • You can’t imagine what you know or do that would make an interesting video.

    None of those excuses is acceptable. Let's dig into them and find solutions that will get your first video uploaded in no time.

    I Hate Being on Camera

    It’s a rare person that likes the way he or she  looks in photos or on video. So, people avoid it like the plague.

    The good news about online video is that plenty of options exist in terms of style and content delivery that do not involve putting you on camera.  Remember: The purpose of an online video is to share a tidbit (try to avoid being longer than 2 or 2.5 minutes---shorter than that is even better) of your knowledge, expertise, or product’s usefulness.

    The even better news is that no matter how beautiful you are, the talking head style of video is typically pretty flat.  Using other visuals will actually enhance the viewer’s experience and increase the likelihood of your video being shared with others.

    I Don’t Have the Budget to Shoot Enough High-End Video

    There will always be a place for high-end video and animation.  They’re both very valuable marketing tools and shouldn't be dismissed. For example, the video that is on your home page and introduces your concept, product, or service to your web visitors deserves to be professionally produced for maximum impact.

    But all online video doesn’t always require high production values.  What YouTube has done is democratized the world of video.  Now, it’s about content much more than presentation. In fact, if it’s a little raw, it feels more authentic and personal.

    I Don’t Have Anything of Interest or Value to Put on Video

    In many cases, good online video is a snack-sized sample of what you do every day. Odds are you have plenty of content already created that could be converted into some valuable videos. Think of the top five questions you get asked by clients. Each one of them (with your corresponding answer) could be a :60-:90 second video.

    Have you put together a presentation lately? You can get up to four video ideas within that presentation. How could you break it down into segments that could stand alone? Use the PowerPoint slides as your visuals and you’re halfway home.

    How about case studies? Those make excellent videos. Or interview your best clients on how you helped their business. Or do a product demo or some customer testimonials (remember, there are ways to shoot those so they don’t have to be on camera either!)

    Bottom line. You don't have any excuse to avoid creating videos. With video being such a prevailing and influential tool on the web,you can’t really afford not to be out there.  It’s time to fire up the camera!
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    Drew McLellan's a 25+ year marketing agency veteran who lives for creating "a ha" moments for his clients, clients' customers, peers and audiences across the land.

    Drew writes at his own blog, Drew’s Marketing Minute and several other hot spots. He authored 99.3 Random Acts of Marketing, co-edited the Age of Conversation series of books with Gavin Heaton, and he launched his own firm McLellan Marketing Group in 1995.

    LinkedIn: Drew McLellan

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    • by SocialGO Marie Mon Nov 5, 2012 via blog

      Absolutely agree - this is a great post and a stark reminder of the key things around video. It's a bit like mobile-optimising our websites. We all know we have to do it, but it seems like such a big mountain to climb that we don't start in the first place. Tell that to the guys who climbed Mt Everest first, right?

      We've just finished creating 4 tutorial videos and a case study with one of our customers. All in-house produced, it's a steep learning curve, but it gets easier with every video. What do you think of this one, for example? It's a tutorial, so not super-flashy, but hopefully easy to follow and informational:

    • by Sabrina Cote Mon Nov 5, 2012 via blog

      Great post, and excellent advice! Using a set of engaging visuals, rather than simply a talking head video, gives video content an added dimension of appeal, is budget friendly, and you can often even create these in PowerPoint!

    • by Nikki Naiser Mon Nov 5, 2012 via blog

      Great advice--we're getting a lot of traction with our B2B videos and you're right--they don't always have to be high-budget.

      Another cost-effective use of video is to sponsor a themed content contest around your product or service. We've used this with some of our clients, and offer tips on how to create your own talking head video. (See our '8 Tips' blog post:

      It's really a win-win: the client gets some really interesting story content and the people who submit get their '15 seconds of fame' and a chance to win something of value.

    • by MandyS Tue Nov 6, 2012 via blog

      Any advice on once your have a video, how to promote it? I'd love to see some examples of email blasts with videos or special video landing pages.

    • by SocialGO Marie Tue Nov 6, 2012 via blog

      Thanks for the link, Nikki, loved the Talking Head advice. What do you think of this video: It's our first proper attempt at a case study/talking head - and while the learning curve is steep, it was a great experience and we can't wait to get our next customers in and film them..

    • by Drew McLellan Fri Nov 9, 2012 via blog


      No doubt -- there is a learning curve. But the longer you wait, the further behind you get -- right? I think the video does exactly what you want it to do -- make it easy for someone to create a welcome page!

      So nice job!


    • by Drew McLellan Fri Nov 9, 2012 via blog


      I agree 100% -- just about anything is better than a talking head. And you're right, PPT can be used to create simple transitional shots or a moment in the video where you need to show data etc.


    • by Drew McLellan Fri Nov 9, 2012 via blog

      Nikki --

      Thanks for the share and the good tips. Video contests are a smart way to create a lot of buzz. Did you guys ever run into problems in terms of appropriate content etc?


    • by Drew McLellan Fri Nov 9, 2012 via blog

      Hey Mandy,

      You're right -- email blasts and special landing pages are both good ways to drive more traffic to your video. You can also share them on Twitter and Facebook. And don't forget just putting them in a prominent place on your website. Even something as simple as an email signature can drive some traffic.

      Of course, you can promote it through offline channels too -- anything from direct mail post cards to radio spots or signage.


    • by Clare Fri Feb 15, 2013 via blog

      Hi Drew,
      I think the thing that most people want to hear is your first point - you don't need to be on camera!!!

      I do a lot of work with businesses and the idea of making an idiot of themselves on camera is what scares them the most.

      As you say, there are many ways to record video, even if all you have is a PowerPoint presentation.

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