You Can Never Eat Just One

Thank you again to Barry Coziahr of Real Life Marketing (http://barrycoziahr.com/category/real-live-marketing-podcast/) for inviting me to be part of his new podcast this week.  My episode, where I reveal the deepest, darkest secrets about video that you wish you knew but are afraid to ask (intrigued?) will be posted later this year.  I left the studio feeling pretty good - I can, and do, talk video for hours, so filling a mere 45-50 minutes is old hat.  But in the days that have followed, I've wondered if, perhaps, I was a bit misleading on a key point.

(Spoiler alert!)  I talked to Barry about Process and How-to Videos, two formats that I am a firm believer in for their power to do what video does best - target a clear audience and keep them engaged.  My on-air (is it still on-air if it's online?  Semantics.) position was that one of the reasons these videos work so well is that they are ideally produced in a series (4, 10, 15, whatever) of short bites, each one with a clear and distinct message.  Let's say I have a bee infestation in my house (true story!).  I Google "bee infestation".  A local pest control company has a video titled "What to do when you have a bee infestation." (Sadly, not a true story,  Not that came up in our searches, anyway.)  I watch it and learn some great tips.  They have another video, "What are those things with the tiny legs that like to nap in my bathroom sink?"  I watch that video as well.  And the next one, and maybe the next one.  Now, I've just spent the past 5-10 minutes investing in and interacting with this company.  So naturally I call them.

What I failed to say in my interview is that all forms of video can benefit from this "snacking" mentality.  There are clear and distinct reasons for producing a longer form video, and as a producer, I do enjoy luxuriating in a 5 or 10 or 30 minute story.  So don't think I'm advocating throwing those babies out.  But it's time to think about online video as the interactive experience audiences demand.  Whether it's your company story told in chapters, a series of marketing videos, a training session, orientation video, or just for fun, the next time you embark on that great and wonderful world of video, think about breaking your story up into small, easily consumed bites.  Bet your audience won't be able to eat just one!