Getting Results from a Business Video or Screencast,
and why hiring “video guys” to create your next tutorial or marketing video is a monumentally dumb idea.
I always love hearing the stories of how & why clients end up on my doorstep. A wide variety of needs fall under the umbrella of “business video,” and such, these stories differ in the finer points, but they always start with one common thing: THE PROBLEM.
“The training staff is complaining that the HR course is boring and repetitive, and people are blowing it off.”
“We’re only getting 1,000 newsletter signups a month from our squeeze page. I think we can do better.”
“It’s been two months since the launch, and sales have slowed to a trickle! We have to figure out a way to kick things back into gear.”
At some point, one of the smarter collaborators in the room suggests supplementing with online video. Good idea. According to a recent Forbes survey, 60% of businesspeople would rather watch a video than read the text on the same page. 75% watch business-related videos at least once a week.
“Okay, let’s put aside some money in the budget. We need to hire some video guys.”
Bad idea. This is where most organizations go awry.
Keep in mind that Video Guys (or Gals), no matter how qualified, tend to focus exclusively on the technical, on the video‑ization of your idea. They obsess over details like dimensions, background music, art style, narration, etc.
These are valid concerns, of course, and all necessary to address. But they’re missing the most important thing.
Video for your business is not an expenditure. It’s an investment, or at least it ought to be. You put resources into creating this lovely moving picture, and at some point, you expect to recoup that investment by getting something back. That “something” may be more sales, more calls, more newsletter signups, or perhaps just a smarter and more engaged user base.
You need someone who actually cares about why this thing is getting made in the first place. Someone who will get to the bottom of that raw need that finally kicked you into action, that made you say, “We’ve gotta get somebody on this yesterday.”
Of course, the act of uncovering this core need is worthless unless your provider is actually qualified to address it.
For a marketing video, this means finding someone who speaks the language of the USP, audience selection, split testing, positioning, testimonials, traffic generation, upsells, and how to write a blazing piece of ad copy that’ll melt your prospects’ faces off, leaving them smacking their foreheads and reaching for their wallets.
For tutorials, it means knowing your way around cognitive theory, the principles of multimedia learning espoused by the likes of Dr. Richard Mayer, solid technical writing technique, and attention-grabbing savvy honed through years as both a stand-up technical trainer and e-learning developer.
Even for large companies with good-sized training and marketing departments in-house, bringing in a capable outside professional can be just what the doctor ordered. It gains you the new perspective of someone who doesn’t work with your products on a daily basis. Someone who can see them with fresh eyes.
Is it wrong for me not to know what I truly do for a living?
For years, when anyone asked me, “What do you do?” I’d reply, “Professional screencaster.” And then wait for the puzzled expression that would inevitably follow.
It wasn’t until recently, when the colleague of a client referred to me as their “video guy,” I got a telltale twinge in my gut. The twinge was telling me that I (along with my staff) had perhaps been mislabeled all along.
We’re not actually in the screencasting business. We’re not in the video business.
We’re in the results business.
I know, I know, it sounds like an empty slogan, the kind of crappy catchphrase that adorns the cover of just about any generic, overly-long, and totally impenetrable mission statement found in corporate America today.
Please let me assure you it’s not. It actually represents a profound, fundamental difference in how we approach our work. It colors everything we do.
The Customized Results Guarantee
Video Guys, assuming they’re worth their salt, will provide some kind of quality guarantee, an assurance that you’ll end up getting the sweet-smelling, aesthetically and auditorily pleasing end product you paid for. This is pretty standard, and indeed, exactly what we ourselves used to offer.
The problem is that once money exchanges hands and they provide you access to finished product, you’re on your own. If the tutorial ultimately doesn’t help people learn any better, or the marketing spot doesn’t lead to any increased sales, tough noogies. Wasted money. Better luck next time.
That’s how our gutsy, results-based guarantee evolved, and it comes bundled with every video project in our Silver and Gold pricing tiers. Given the diverse uses for corporate screencasting and video, the metrics for success obviously vary by the video’s goals and individual business circumstances, but here’s the guarantee in broad strokes:
If your video fails to do the job you commissioned it to do, we’ll either redo it for free, or give you your money back. Your choice.
I have been in this industry for nearly a decade, and in that time, I have found NO ONE ELSE who offers this. You have be really sincere and competent (or really love losing money) to even think about putting up something this bold. It’s almost masochistic.
Of course, clients have to do their part. Once specific success metrics are agreed upon, it falls to the client to set up the mechanism for measuring that success.
We’re not for everybody. Seriously.
Offering the kind of guarantee we do carries no small amount of risk, and as such, we thoroughly vet each potential client prior to extending our guaranteed services. For dappertext to take you on as a client and craft your marketing video, for example, I have to be satisfied that we’re a fit. Specifically, that you’re a reputable organization with a marketable product. That you have a compelling unique value proposition (USP), or at least the potential for one.
If you don’t have a great USP when we start, you’ll certainly have one when we’re finished. The more latitude you give us in crafting your message, the braver we’re prepared to be with the specifics of your guarantee.
However, if I think you have a stinky product, then we will NOT extend the guarantee, and in fact are unlikely to take you on as a client at all. We’re in the results business, not the turd-polishing business, and if I don’t feel there’s a viable fit, I have no qualms about telling you so. But when I do see the potential for success, I stand ready to commit to that success, and to guarantee results. Is your organization ready?
Requesting an OpenLine session with Daniel Park
Our client roster is already quite robust, but I do set aside one hour per week to evaluate potential new clientele. That’s only four sessions total, two on Tuesday, two on Thursday. And when they’re gone, they’re gone.
Your first step is to fill out a brief form with contact information and a short explanation of your needs. This partly serves to help us “hit the ground runnning” during the call so that we don’t needlessly take up time on the basics. I want those 15 minutes to be as helpful and information-dense for you as I can possibly make them.
After submitting the form, someone will get back to you with possible dates and times, and we’ll go from there.
So, if your organization is ready to engage a serious, capable service provider to produce screencasts, motion graphics, and other video with guaranteed results, click the button below to request a 15-minute OpenLine session with me, dappertext principal Daniel Park. Let us speak and determine if there’s a fit, and perhaps we can be in the results business together…