GET TO THE POINT
This blog is also entitled "Get To The Point M******F***er". But I thought that would be a little too brash for a headline, so I saved it for my opener. I've been watching a lot of action movies with my husband lately, so you can thank him and Samual L. Jackson for any over the top aggressiveness that may happen on this post.
Here we go... I just started watching a video for what looks like an adorable small business. I didn't finish watching the video because it took them 14 seconds to finish their introduction, by which point I was already over it. And by introduction I don't mean their CEO telling us what's up. I mean their logo slowly hovering in and out of focus while some banjo music plays in the background and then a loooong fade in on the CEO.
In internet years that's like an entire millennium.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I'm not going to site the boring an likely unscientific stats about viewer behaviour, but I am going to ask you to think about your own behaviour and the behaviour of others. When you're online, and you click on a video, do you want to watch somebody's logo float around for 15 seconds or do want to get to the point of the video ASAP?
Imagine a Beyonce video where you click play, and you just see a picture of her signature for 15 seconds with somebody else's music playing over top.
Not going to happen.
Why? Because she has a clue, that's why.
START WITH A HOOK
I've written about this before, but it's worth writing about again. If you aren't in the music business you can still get a lot of great ideas from the top musicians in the business and what they do to market themselves. Their business is probably one of the hardest ones on the planet. Which is why they've gotten so good at marketing. It's crazy competitive. Their audiences are fickle. And making money while piracy runs rampant and studios eat up your cash is hard to do. So watch some music videos if you want to learn about grabbing attention ASAP.
But here it is in a nutshell: make sure your video has it going on right away. Have your owner's face at the start. Let's hear someone interesting speaking right off the bat. Open with a hook, with some action, with a bit of drama. If you can build suspense and engagement right away, do it. And put your logo at the end. You can even just have your logo hanging out in a corner of the screen if you really want to.
OF COURSE THERE'S AN EXCEPTION
The first exception to this is if you're doing a course, and people have already paid to watch your video. Then it's fine to have a five to ten second intro at the start. They've paid to have the experience. They're in. They need the extra time to sharpen their pencils. Good. You're doing them a service.
And the second exception is if you are creating web tv. In the case of web tv your intro has to put people into the mood of your show and be compelling i.e. not a floating logo. Example: Marie TV by Marie Forleo whose engaging intro is 5 seconds long and includes movement, action, outfit changes, and her logo.
But if you're just trying to get people in the door on day one, don't waste their time. Not even 14 second of their time.
If you want to know more about how to get your viewers' attention, see my post about grabbing your viewers by the ears.
And if you enjoyed this rant, sign up to get the bi-monthly Story Envelope Web-Mag which has a roundup of the past two weeks' blogs, plus to-the-point video tips that only go out via e-mail. And of course pass this along to any friends of yours who have been thinking about getting into online video.
Thanks for reading!
-Colette Nichol, Vancouver