A client came to us a few weeks ago looking for a company video and shared a link to a couple of examples for reference, one of which they admitted that they’d stopped watching about 20 seconds in.

We asked what made them recommend a video they didn’t feel compelled to watch through to the end, and as it turns out, they hadn’t even considered that. After thinking about it, the client actually thought the video was boring and about half a minute too long.

The video was what we call a “talking head” video – a person sitting there, talking just off camera, telling the viewer all about his or her company with generic shots of b-roll interjected throughout.

Don’t say it, show it.

One of the most basic rules of communication is that HOW you say something is just as important, and usually more so, than WHAT you’re saying. For a video to be truly engaging, that rule needs to be taken even farther – don’t just say it, really show it!

No matter how great you are at talking about your business, watching you talk is not going to be as engaging as having that information presented visually in a way that resonates with viewers. If you have a great product that has neat features, don’t tell people about the neat features, SHOW them the features in action — and not in a “presentation” sort of way, that’s still telling. If you want to talk about the awesome employees that work at your company, show what makes those employees awesome.

The point is that anyone can SAY their products are incredible, that their company is the best, that they have a Titanium Space Yeti on their team, but unless you SHOW it, no one truly believes it. Show your Titanium Space Yeti.

Make your viewers want to keep watching.

Video content consumption is through the roof and increasing daily, but so are viewers’ expectations. Combine those high expectations with extremely short attention spans, and you have the majority of today’s marketing targets. So no matter how interesting your company or product is, your viewers are just a quick swipe away from the next video if you can’t get their attention in the first few seconds, and find a way to keep it. For a video that’s 60 seconds or less, you need to capture the audience within the first five seconds.

Take this example from General Electric. Within the first five seconds, an inch-tall donkey just said “Hee-haw, morning.” Ok, I want to keep watching.

Notice how they’ve portrayed their message of being innovative and working with brilliant people that are helping change the world. Although it was a donkey saying these things, he only said them in the last 30 seconds of the video, and was backed by visuals instead of just standing there talking. The idea of an invention donkey is what keeps people watching, the messaging is what they take away.

Business videos don’t have to be boring.

Talking head videos are dead. Don’t make your viewers feel like they’re listening to a lecture. Show them why this product, this company, or this idea is so amazing. Show them your invention donkey, your titanium space yeti; get them watching and keep them watching. Make them believe.

Let us help you create truly original video content that will keep viewers coming back for more. Leeway Films is a Seattle and Chicago video production company, call us at (773) 609-1041 or fill out our online contact form to get in touch.