Just 'cause it's a good cause don't mean people will watch.
When it comes to video, shorter is ALWAYS better. No matter what the cause.
Camp Discovery, for challenged athletes, has teamed up with the Melting Pot of Littleton to raise $4,000 by August. 16. As of August 13, they've only raised $1,610.
Their promotional video isn't helping. It's committing so many horrible web video sins that they would do much better to simply not use the video at all.
These are sins I see all the time and that I don't want YOU to make with your videos.
Disclaimer: I've made plenty of videos for the Melting Pot of Littleton. They're an amazing restaurant that holds many charitable events and supports the special needs community. And I've produced a number of videos for this community. So I'm not picking on them.
I will, however, rip this awful web video a new one.
PROBLEM #1. IT'S TOO LONG. Especially if this is the first time your audience is encountering your organization.
What's the first thing you did when you saw the video link up there? Look at the time stamp? This is where you see how much of your valuable time I will require.
How many people saw "4:03" and still wanted to watch this?
Your audience grew up on television and they will give you 30-60 seconds to say your message and even then, it better be great or they'll click off after 5-10 seconds. Your hardcore fans may watch all the way through, but are they the people you're trying to connect with?
More than one-third of your audience will watch your video on a mobile device (actually, about 38%) and this group is very time-power-sensitive. Video eats up battery power and yours better get to the point or one-third of your audience might not want to watch.
"But wait," you say, "it's for a good cause! it needs all that time to express the emotional depth of the message!"
Which leads me to...
PROBLEM #2. I DON'T KNOW THE MESSAGE. I had to go to their YouTube description to even learn that "Dodge Camp Discovery is strictly for women who use wheelchairs as a result of a spinal cord injury."
You would never know this -- or much of anything -- about Dodge Camp Discovery from watching this video.
Here's a still frame of a woman talking about Dodge Camp:
There's no text anywhere that says anything about who she is. C'mon, every video editing program has a way to put text information on your video.
There's also no branding information anywhere in the entire video. This means that if I share this video on Facebook, and from there other people share it, nobody will know the web site or who they are or how to contact them.
Here's a still from one of my videos for this community:
You can clearly see where to go for more information. Because I added this simple text on the video, Shawn and Kate Rickel were able to get bookings in Europe because someone shared their videos -- and saw how to contact them.
I'll skip my critique about the awful audio quality and go straight to --
PROBLEM #3: NO CALL TO ACTION. After investing four minutes on this meandering journey, the video simply cuts to credits (credits? Seriously? Like this was a TV episode?) and... that's it.
No call to action. No request to do anything. I feel like my time has been wasted because...
PROBLEM #4: THERE'S NO STORY. I simply have no emotional engagement with the story because, for the most part, THERE ISN'T ONE. It's a collection of images and disparate interviews that aren't tied to any one theme. For a subject that's usually full of emotion, I simply don't feel anything.
Don't ever do this. Know your story and what your audience should feel. Or don't make a video. Your audience wants and expects a story and if you don't deliver, they get mad.
THE BIG LESSON: Here's the sins and what you should always do:
1) Keep it short
2) Know your message
3) Tell a great story and
4) Tell us what we can do about it (call to action)
I'm picking on this video so hard because I have supported this community and I know how powerful video can be to engage your audience and stir them to help. This video misses every mark, and you can all learn from it.