January 19, 2012
Online video marketing – it’s the latest and greatest addition to internet marketing. If you create your online videos the right way, viewers will get excited about your products and services – and, more importantly, they’ll think of you as an expert in your niche. But if you create your online videos the wrong way, they’ll do the exact opposite!
Sadly, far too many of the online videos out there fall into the second category.
So, why do viewers hate your online videos? And what can you do to make them better?
1. Because the Background is Distracting
No one wants to see the clutter on your desk, the drawing your kid made in school (no matter how cute it may be!), or sunlight streaming through the window that’s blinding everyone who’s trying to look at you.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to spend a ton of money on a professional background, pay for time in front of a green screen, or rent out professional studio space. It simply means that you have to be creative.
When I was a TV sports reporter in a small Texas town, I got to interview some of the local college football players one-on-one every week. Each interview took place in a bare white room that was normally used for tutoring players, so there wasn’t much in the way of background – unless, you consider plain white walls to look great on camera. They don’t.
I headed over to the local Walmart and spent $9 on a blanket that matched one of the team’s colors. Every week, I used a few push pins to attach the blanket to the wall. I bunched the blanket together a bit with the pins to give it a more elegant look.
The end result?
A background that looked nice, didn’t distract anyone, and looked like it cost a fortune when people watched on their TVs at home. I even had viewers tell me how fancy my “set” looked! You can do the exact same thing in your online videos – All it takes is a few bucks and a little creativity!
2. Because Your Voice is Annoying
You don’t have to sound like a professional voiceover artist to make great online videos. However, you do have to be mindful of the way you sound.
The most common voice issues I see in online videos are:
– People Talking too Fast
If you sound like the Micro Machines man from the 1980’s, no one’s going to be able to digest anything you’re telling them. If they even make it through your entire video, they’re certainly not going to buy from you!
The solution to this is easy – Slow down! Practice with your video scripts several times before you start recording. If your video script is supposed to last 30 seconds and you’re breezing through it in 15 seconds, practice it over and over again until it comes out right.
– People Talking Without Any Direction
The words “um” and “uh” might be OK in casual conversation, but they are definite no-nos in your online videos! That’s because saying things like “um” and “uh” tells people that you’re not too sure of what you’re saying – and if you’re not too sure of what you’re saying, you’re obviously not the expert you claim to be.
The solution to this one is simple – Make sure that you have concrete video scripts written before you hit “record”. If you try to talk on the fly, you’re going to end up sounding unprofessional.
– People Who Don’t Enunciate
When I was in college, one of my broadcasting professors pointed out how important the word “to” is. If you watch professional newscasters, you’ll see them say it the right way – so that it sounds like the number two. If you watch someone who isn’t particularly polished on air, they’ll likely pronounce the word “ta” – because they’re not enunciating.
Unfortunately, even tiny details like that can make your online videos look sloppy.
Again, the solution to this is easy – When you’re practicing your video scripts, make an effort to pronounce every single syllable. (As an added benefit, this will help you slow down, too!) For the ultimate practice session, record it and watch it back. That way, you’ll catch any little mistakes you missed while you were busy talking.
– People Whose Voices are too Monotonous
Guess what? If you don’t sound excited while you’re talking in your online videos, no one else is going to care about them! When’s the last time you heard a newscaster speak with a dull, monotonous voice? If they did, how long would it take for you to grab the remote, turn off the 5:00 news, and flip to a rerun of “The Simpsons”?
The solution to this is easier than you might think – Before you start talking, say to yourself, “check this out!” After all, when you say something like that to a friend before you tell them a story, doesn’t it come out with vigor and excitement? That’s the same way you want to sound in your online videos!
Think that’s going to make you sound cheesy? Think again! It’s actually the same technique given to me years ago by one of the premier broadcasting consulting groups in the country. You wouldn’t believe how many anchors and reporters are saying “check this out!” in their heads right before they start talking to the viewers at home!
3. Because All You’re Doing is Reading Off of Something
Nothing is more boring than watching someone else read. Let’s face it – you’re viewers aren’t 5-year-olds. They don’t want a bedtime story; they want an interesting and informative video. If you think that means reading verbatim off of PowerPoint slides that are up on the screen, or going in front of the camera and simply reading your video scripts off a piece of paper, think again!
So, what’s the solution?
If you can, memorize your video scripts in advance. After all, you’re going to be practicing them beforehand anyways!
If your video scripts are simply too long to memorize, search online for a free teleprompter website. They really do exist! All you have to do is copy and paste your script into the teleprompter program, hit start, and the words will start to scroll down your computer screen!
If you have a laptop or a tablet, you can set it up right in front of the camera – so that you can still look right into the camera while you read your video script. When you set it up the right way, it’s no different than the fancy teleprompters that your local news anchors are reading off of!
A former news anchor and reporter, Nicole Beckett knows how to make her clients look and sound their very best in their online videos.
She and the team of journalists at Premier Content Source write professional video scripts that are interesting and informative – so that their clients can take advantage of everything that a good online video marketing strategy has to offer!