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November 1, 2010

How to Keep Good Copywriting From Ruining Your Marketing Video

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Today we’re taking on one of those pesky myths that can hold you back from doing video marketing the way you’d like to. It’s a pretty intimidating one as well. So many marketers today believe that video is a lousy medium for delivering complex ideas. For that they say you need good copywriting, and lots of it.

And you know what? Like Mark Twain said, what most people know to be true is wrong. After all, we once thought the sun revolved around the earth, or that cigarettes were good for you. In fact, there is hardly a better medium for delivering complex thoughts than video. But that doesn’t make sense, does it? That’s why you can’t figure it out.

The Paradox of Video

It’s the very way video technology is structured. It fakes you out. You underestimate its ability to communicate and overestimate the difficulty factor in using it. And you really must get this if you are ever to harness the power of this medium in your marketing.

The Secret Power of Video

Here’s the amazing secret: video is twice as effective at delivering complex thoughts to an audience as text. I know that’s quite a bold claim. So I don’t mind you asking, “how in the world do you make that happen?” Actually you don’t!

It happens quite naturally when you step aside and let the structure of video take over. So, what is the structure of video that you let take over?

It’s simply recognizing how sounds and images work together over time. Here’s what really hangs you up. You see, most people, when they write their video, see only the text part of the message. Then they might add themselves talking, add a couple of photos and boom, they say they have a video.

Um, no they don’t. They have a talking Powerpoint presentation.

What they’re missing is the genius of video technology itself. The real power of video is in the blending and layering of image and sound. Oh, but it’s more than that.

Way more. It’s how and when those images move in time to the voice and the music. That’s why you can take a 50 word sentence, cut out 42 words and have 100% more impact than the original sentence. Yep, that’s right; 84% fewer words, 100% more effective. Sound crazy?

How to Say More With Less

Let me give an example, though you’ll have to use your imagination to see it in action. Look at this sentence:

“The problem with most marriage counselors is that they have a bias toward breaking up marriages. Don’t go to such a counselor if you want to save your relationship. I’ve seen too many relationships break up after only one session with the wrong counselor. Don’t let that happen to you.”

OK. 50 words, right? That takes about 16 seconds to say out loud.

Now imagine the following:

Soft piano music in the background.
Photo of couple standing back to back with expressions of sadness. Floating words over the photo read:
Find a relationship-saving counselor
Not a relationship-ending counselor

That takes 2 seconds to see and understand. And what does it say? As in the 50-word paragraph above, it says that the wrong counselor will do you in. It also adds, which was not in the original text, the right counselor will help save your relationship. A little bonus that would have taken at least another 10 or 20 words to say in great copywriting alone.

Remember Why You Make Marketing Videos

The secret of making your video content work is not in stuffing more and more text into your video. It’s letting the words and pictures work together over time to reveal your message with power and authority. And remember, you make marketing video to establish your authority in your area of expertise. That’s what your potential clients are hungry for. And that’s exactly what your videos can give them.

I know this article was a little complex. It really needs video to make it come alive, doesn’t it? And that’s the point!


Steven Washer develops strategies and systems to help you succeed at video marketing. If you want to learn how to design, craft and distribute powerful videos to help you play on a bigger stage, simply claim your free video marketing gifts at: =>www.brainyvideo.com/newsletter.html

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