While videos can be a great tool for communicating a message, they can also be a disaster.
I recently watched one (when I say ‘watched’ I mean ‘skipped through’) that was 4 and a half minutes long, giving safety tips on driving in winter. It was a single camera shot of a gentleman talking very calmly to camera with the following advice:
- Make sure your vehicle is in tip top condition
- Lights working and clean
- Wiper blades in good condition
- Clean the inside of your windscreen, not just the outside
- Make sure your washer bottle and anti-freeze are topped up
- Tyres are most important – make sure they are at least 1.6mm (minimum legal allowance)
- Allow extra time for poor weather, dark conditions
- Listen to the weather reports and road updates
- If bad weather is forecast, can you be flexible with your journey to avoid it?
- Leave plenty of space around your vehicle
- Use accelerator and brakes gently
- Carry a blanket and some ‘emergency’ food
In short, it was boring!
Now we see 1 minute and even 30 second videos with graphics and time lapse video clips, 4 and a half minutes seemed interminably long, and the only reason I watched it was professional curiosity to see whether it was going to go anywhere (it didn’t). To convey the above information would have been easy in a 30 second ‘infomercial’ using graphics, illustrations, typography, photography.
Don’t just put a video on your website because you ‘should’ or because everybody else seems to be doing it. Take some time to make it interesting and relevant to your audience.