Sure, I’ll watch music videos, flash mobs, and cute puppies; but when I get to a blog, I skip the video. When I get to a solopreneur’s site, I skip the video. When I get to a niche site, I skip the video.
But the more I read about social media and driving traffic to sites, the more I come across advice to use video on your blog or web site to create new and compelling content. So I thought I might be missing something and I started watching these videos.
I wasn’t missing anything.
The more video I watch on blogs and niche sites; the more frustrated I become. I think that most of the video I’ve watched is well intentioned; and I could probably learn something from the person behind the video; but I’m just not willing to invest the time to find out.
If you have jumped on the band wagon and started incorporating video for video’s sake on your website, here’s why I hate your video.
1. The Video Blog Skype Chat Interview
I appreciate that you interviewed someone I want to learn more about. I admire your gumption for reaching out and getting an interview with someone I don’t have the nerve to approach.
But posting all 34 minutes of your Skype chat is just plain lazy.
You started off great. You targeted an interesting person and you got the interview; and because of that I’m thinking pretty highly of your abilities. But then you try to make me sit through 30+ minutes of really boring, poorly lit, split screen chat video with audio that cuts in and out.
Take the time to write up the interview as an article, or at least a Q and A style interview so I can quickly scan it to see if there is anything I’m interested in.
And when you post the video on a blank page with nothing more than a title; you’re doing well if I click the video to see how long it is before I close your page.
Is it really too hard to include a synopsis of the interview and the topics covered so I can tell if I am interested in investing half an hour of my time?Free Sales Pitch for Subscribing
2. Free Sales Pitch for Subscribing
It has become the norm to offer a freebie like a short e-book or report when someone subscribes to your blog. I appreciate this and often find these freebies worthwhile reading.
So when I receive links to a video for subscribing to your site, I’m hoping for a short video that explains something about your topic. But when you send me a link to a 5, 10 or 20 minute self promotional video, no dice. I’m unsubscribing immediately.
At least if your free e-book is crappy I can scan it, toss it quickly and give you an A for effort. But if expecting me to sit through your sales pitch is your way of saying thank you for subscribing, I’ll find someone else to subscribe to.
Make sure your free video is something I want to hear, not an ego-stroking promo video.
3. The 30 Minute Talking Head Video
What do you have to say that I need to hear that really requires that much of my time?
Remember the golden rule of blogging? Small easily digestible pieces of information. Do you really think I’m riveted to my screen watch you sit in your kitchen talking into your Flip camera?
Keep it short and to the point. I might be willing to give you a couple minutes if I’m interested in the topic. But for me to stare at you for half an hour, you’d better be someone I’d spend big bucks to hear speak – and even then you had better have something really important to say.
4. The Embedded Sales Pitch
Here’s the deal. I don’t mind if you promote your product or service in your video. I expect it, and I may even be interested in what you are pitching if your video and product/service go hand-in-hand.
But when you embed a huge sales pitch into the middle of your video – not cool. (Even if that does explain why the video is 30 minutes long.)
Pitch naturally. If your product or service addresses my need, bring it up naturally as you explain solutions to my problems. If you are classy about it and pique my interest, I’ll go looking for more info. If you hit me over the head, I’ll call snake oil and leave your web site.
5. You’re Boring and So Is Your Video Blog Post
Video blog posts are being touted as a great on-line engagement tool. The theory is that if I see you and hear you, I’ll like you better.
But, if you are boring and speak in a monotone voice I’m not listening because I’m too busy unfairly judging you. You might be able to get your personality and your message across better with your writing.
Be interesting, maybe add visuals to your video, and if that doesn’t work write a traditional blog post.
6. I Hate Headphones and My Tablet and Phone Are Slow
I usually read blogs in the evening with my family around, or on my phone waiting for my kids to finish their swimming lesson. My family really doesn’t care about your advice on how to use Twitter as a freelancer, and I don’t want to cut myself off from the conversation around me by wearing headphones. So I skip your video, and move on to the next blog.
Same goes when sitting at the orthodontist, no one wants to here what I am watching — but they don’t have to worry, because I am too impatient to wait for your video blog post to load on my phone and I’ve moved on to someone else’s site.
Add a written summary of your video so I can see what you have to say when I’m not willing listen to a video.
7. How Do I Find the Part of Your Video I Want to Quote?
If you have great information in a video blog, and I want to come back to it, how do I find the piece of info I need? How do I quote it here?
A link from my site might not mean much, but what if one of the big name bloggers was in the same situation? Would they put in the effort to get the quote right and link to your site? Will they sent their loyal readers to watch your long boring video if I won’t?
Include some quotables from the video in the written introduction to your video, and include signposts to key content, something like, “Check out the great tips for increasing twitter engagement at 2:15 in the video.”
That’s it. Seven reasons I hate video on your blog and how you could make me happier
In the next post I return to my rational self and share the research I found about whether other people are really watching your video. In part three, I list my suggestions for how to make video blog posts work for me on your site. (I bet you can’t wait.)
In the meantime leave a comment. Do you watch video on blogs? Why or why not?
Photo by Brett Farmiloe