Video Marketing - from the users' perspective

I've been seeing a lot of people recommending video as a communication tool - both from marketing industry articles and from video service providers' ads.

On the surface, the basic approach sounds reasonable:

"Face-to-face is the best way to communicate, but if you can't be there in person, video is the closest replacement to being there."

That's true, except it isn't. There's a big difference between having a video conference call (ie: Skype, Facetime, Hangouts, etc.) and sending someone a video of yourself.


Different Tools for Different Times

Imagine staying in touch with a loved one in a far away place:

  • Email is ok - at least they know you're thinking about them.
  • Talking on the phone is live; you get to hear each each others' voice, inflections, intonation - you can almost hear a smile over the phone.
  • Video chat/conferencing is king - seeing your loved one beats the others, hands down.

Now imagine an old colleague you used to work with. You're friendly, but not really friends.

  • Dropping by his office unannounced would be kinda weird. Do it more than once and you'll probably meet the security guards.
  • Calling him on the phone leads to a great conversation, the first time. Keep calling repeatedly, though, and it quickly gets uncomfortable.
  • Email, on the other hand, is less obtrusive, and allows him to concentrate on you if-when-however he chooses.

Marketing "Help" Gone Wrong

Here is one video-marketing website's 3-step action plan for using video:

1.) Cultivate as large an email/contact list as you can.

I agree wholeheartedly. Staying in touch with people is powerful, and you can't do it without their contact info.

2.) Send them 2 videos per month, with each one being 2-3 minutes long.

Unless you are wildly entertaining, how many videos do you think they are going to watch before they start deleting your emails without reading? You demand their attention. There's no way to skim/scan the content. And you're forcing them to put whatever they were doing on hold while you talk at them.

3.) Call them as soon as they watch your video. (Their software notifies you when the video is played.)

Talk about creepy. This takes all the bad stuff about video and adds digital stalking to it. No thanks!

For Realtors, Email is Better

I do believe video has a place in a Realtor's marketing toolbox, but for staying in touch with your contacts each month, it's the wrong tool for the job.

Email isn't sexy. It isn't a new tech-toy. It doesn't stand out from the digital crowd.

But your contacts get email. They know how to read it. They're used to it, comfortable with it. They know how to save it for later. And they know whose emails are worth reading.

As of today, email still beats video as the tool for staying in touch with your sphere of influence, month after month.

- Chris Butterworth

More reading / Previous posts

Should you be using video?
Attention is today's currency
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