4 tips to keep your video shortYou only get one chance to make a first impression – and when it comes to marketing videos, you better make it quick. As it’s frequently been pointed out on this blog and elsewhere, shorter is almost always better. That means somewhere between 30-60 seconds if you want it viewed from start to finish. You know what else it means? That you’ll have to make some painful cuts to that long-winded video script you’ve been working on.

But what to cut? It all seems so important, doesn’t it? To make the editing process a little bit easier, I wanted to offer a few script writing pointers that have helped me over the years. Let’s take a look:

Tip #1: Don’t repeat anything. I repeat, don’t repeat anything. I’m not referring to the repetition of actual sentences (though please try to avoid that as well), but rather the repetition of key messages. For example, instead of having five lines explaining the benefits of your product or service, narrow it down to one or two. The written script for a one minute video is short, so it’s easy to go through and identify the duplicates. As we’ll cover shortly, you can go into greater detail elsewhere.

Tip #2: Explain why before explaining how. Does a first-time visitor care about how your product works? They might, but only after they know what problem you’re trying to solve. For an introductory video, you have to assume that the visitor knows nothing about your company or maybe even your industry. They are not a prospect yet. Thus, you have to give them a broader view. Start with “why.”

Tip #3: Let the video tell the story. Wherever possible, let the video handle the storytelling. It’s amazing how much written content can be explained (and cut) with a few bits of animation. For example, instead of verbally listing all of your services, say something like “we offer a variety of services” while the animation lists them on the screen. Instead of verbally listing the benefits you provide, have the video show them. This greatly reduces the length of video without omitting any key details.

Tip #4: Leave them wanting more. As a content marketer, it’s your natural instinct to provide your audience with as much information as possible. The explainer video is neither the time nor place; its purpose is to leave them wanting more of your content. How can you do this? Allude to your cost-effective pricing model, don’t explain it in full. Reference your amazing technology, don’t give a full demo. Highlight some of your big-name customers, don’t list them alphabetically.

Again, these are a few pointers that have worked for me. I’d be interested to know what’s worked for you, so please share your own tips in the comments section below.


Michael Brown is the founder of nDash Marketing – a startup agency specializing in content marketing services. Prior to starting nDash, he was the Sr. content marketing manager for uTest, where he helped the company build its brand through original content.