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Not pride, but prejudice: Bad first impressions will haunt your customers

Lemony Snicket said, “First impressions are often entirely wrong. The first time you try Gorgonzola cheese you may find it too strong, but when you are older you may want to eat nothing but Gorgonzola cheese.”

Although Mr. Snicket may be somewhat correct, his belief can’t be applied to the world of business, customer satisfaction and short attention spans. A customer won’t hang around for years to discover whether the Gorgonzola cheese you’re selling really is to their taste.

Last week we showed you how to conclude a video successfully and this leads me to this week’s point – the first impression you make on your potential audience is what will stay with them for a long time, and will determine whether they eventually join your customer base or not. When a viewer watches a corporate video production or video for website for the first time, it’s the first 20 seconds that make the difference between their continuing to watch and explore, and turning it off. Keep these tips in mind when beginning your video and creating your webpage.

Don't be like Mr Darcy: snatch your customers at the beginning not the end of the movie

Don’t be like Mr Darcy: snatch your customers at the beginning not the end of the movie

videomarketing Don’t fade in: Nothing says 80s and “excruciating” like a video that starts with images that fade in slowly. Your viewers will probably be turning away.

videomarketing Do get to the point: It’s highly likely your viewer knows what they’re about to watch, so keep the beginning short and sweet. Think back to Year 7 English: who, what, where and why.

videomarketing Don’t outline the day’s lesson: If you’re making an explainer video, avoid spelling out that you’ll talk about this, then that, then what it leads to, the benefits, the outcomes, zzzz… It’s obvious you’ll explain these, so don’t waste precious time and attention spans.

videomarketing Do be funny, but do it well: It’ll capture viewers’ attention, get them watching for longer and very likely get shared and recommended. Everyone enjoys comic relief – see this post about the Dollar Shave Club’s video.

videomarketing Don’t start with a call to action: Leave this to the end, when you’ve convinced your viewer that your product or service is worth their time. Beginning with a push for their purchase is just plain hungry.

videomarketing Do provide some visual stimulation: The combination of hearing and seeing is most effective, so don’t stick to a general picture of your product for too long – change it up, cut to some B-roll, include animations, and keep the images fresh, interesting and relevant.

videomarketing Don’t use big words: If your viewer isn’t yet privy to your industry’s jargon and norms, don’t overload them with language they’re not familiar with. It’ll discourage them from further viewing, and it’s not likely they’ll keep Google open to look up your every fourth word.

videomarketing Do keep the bare essentials: Determine what is absolutely indispensable on your home page – most likely this will include; 1. the company name, 2. a short, creative sentence that both informs your service and motivates customers to sign up to your database, and 3. the sign-up box itself. Other somewhat important content can be placed anywhere underneath these vital components.

videomarketing Don’t overload the website content: Having said the above, don’t include too much, too early. Your business website should reflect the company itself – professional and willing to provide the service required. It should be free of image clutter and flashing text, as well as any less important information that can be moved to a different part of the site.

videomarketing Do start your video with a question: A question stimulates the viewer’s mind to retrieve and formulate an answer. The answer, of course, is your product or service. This technique has been implemented successfully in Saucony’s Find Your Strong video – inspiring the viewer, making heroes of its customers, and leading those who are watching to believe that Saucony will help you find your strong.

What did you think of Saucony’s video? Did it encourage you to watch until the end?

By Joanna Michalowski

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