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Why ‘introductory videos’ are generally useless, and what to use instead

Feb 16, 2018

Why 'introductory videos' are generally useless, and what to use instead

You’re going to do video. At last. Your accounting firm is going to get with the times and have a proper introductory video sitting on the home page of your website.

You’re wondering how to go about it. What goes in the intro video? Do you need a professional videographer? Does your team actually have to dance about the offices and sing, like some accounting firms have done?

Let’s back the truck up a little.

Before you get your choreographer, videographer, new firm outfits, and new offices built for your first video, think about what the purpose of an introductory video is at all.

We are way beyond the point where “having a video” means anything at all. Your audience expects video everywhere. There are demo videos and funny cat videos and speaker reel videos and vlogs and masterclasses and more.

So if you’re going to do a video at all, stop and ask yourself these questions:

Why are you doing a video at all?

Is it because “a video is a good thing to have” for your accounting firm? That’s not enough. It’s like saying “Okay, we’ll use Instagram I guess, because other people are.” That’s a recipe for discouragement in marketing.

Go a little deeper. Ask more questions, such as…

Who will watch it?

Is this video primarily for prospects who are wondering what kind of firm you are? For clients to get to know you better?

Imagine the perfect client – the one you got recently that you absolutely love and wish you had more of. Craft the video around them.

What questions will it answer that the watchers have?

When you make a list of these questions, you might actually find that you need five different videos to answer them. Or ten. Or a hundred.

It’s the “They Ask You Answer” concept we talk about in our Marketing Masterclass.

How will the video fit into your marketing campaigns?

Think about the marketing strategy that you have for this year.

Are you simply building awareness for the firm, or do you have specific marketing campaigns to run? Who are those campaigns built for, and how will this video (or this series of videos) fit in with everything else?

Where will it go on the website?

Knowing where and how the video will be used tells you a little more about what kind of video it’s going to be. Is it background for a website page, with movement and colour but no sound? Is it a case study to be embedded on your “Work with us” page? Is it a series of training videos watched in order?

This will also help you understand what level of quality is required – whether an iphone video will do, or if you need to hire a videographer. (Remember that with the right bolt-on equipment, an iphone can produce a seriously high quality video.)

What other videos will you create?

One video that sits there for ten years isn’t what you want. Go back to your marketing plan and think about how this one video fits into the bigger picture.

For example, you might record a welcome video for new clients, followed by smaller onboarding videos to explain each step of the process.

What will they do next after watching it?

This is key to the content within the video. When you know what you want them to do, you can … tell them. Include some wording at the end, or a URL or link so they click through to the next step.

Give your video the most specific purpose you can

Our experience shows that introductory videos are generally useless. The standard “we are ABC Accountants, we are great, we have been around for 800 years, we we we we we…”… it will begin to look like every other accountancy firm, which is not what you’re wanting out of your amazing content.

By far and away the best videos are those which are specifically relevant to a topic, an issue, a niche, a campaign.

Here are a few examples:

Recruiting

Check out Paul’s intro video (of himself as founder), and Rachel & Charlie’s video about working at this firm.

Client stories

Let them tell the tale:

Brand defined

This firm did record an ‘intro’ video, but it was in connection with their new brand, new offices in Covent Garden, and ‘how we do things here’.

Looking forward to seeing what you create!