As a patent attorney, I often know first hand when a new product did not become a success: the corresponding patent applications are abandoned. I see that often.
Worst case is if the company that developed the failed product goes bankrupt. I have seen that more than 100 times in my 27 years in the profession.
I have discovered a pattern in that, and I have recorded a video series about typical failures of start-ups, here https://ip-lawyer-tools.com/course/why-start-ups-usually-fail/
This is one of the ten tests that I run in order to determine whether a start-up is likely to be successful or not: are they doing their marketing or not?
Product Videos vs. Hogwash Videos
Marketing videos are an indicator of whether a company plays in the top class or not.
There are three kinds of marketing videos: demo videos, instructional videos, and motivational videos
In marketing slang, demo videos are “gee whiz”. And instructional videos are “easy as pie”. They should never be mixed. They have rival goals.
Motivational videos are “hogwash”, at least when used by a start-up company.
What These “Gee Whiz”, “Easy as Pie”, and “Hogwash” Videos Do
A “hogwash” video is a red warning lamp. I am extra careful with a start-up company that has only “hogwash” videos, if I cannot change the founder’s attitude. I have seen many start-up companies that never intended to earn any money. And they all had only “hogwash” marketing videos. I don’t show you an example of a hogwash video, a word to the wise is sufficient.
“How to” explainer videos – if done the wrong way – can scare off shoppers: “It’s so hard. I could never learn this.” Example: watch this AutoCAD 2D explainer video for drawing cross sections https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KktOVx-FXmo
A “gee whiz” marketing video targets a specific audience with a specific output goal. It says: “Look what you will be able to achieve.” It focuses on the benefit of the product. Check out my Backward/Forward Prior Art Search marketing “gee whiz” video example https://ip-lawyer-tools.com/lesson/short-recap/ Or check out my proofreading widget “gee whiz” video here https://ip-lawyer-tools.com/widgets/proof-reading/
In the early stage of a start-up company, their founders should focus on “gee whiz” videos. If they do, that is a good sign. I like to work for such start-up companies!
How To Make Good “Gee Whiz” Videos
This is what I tell to my start-up company clients: Produce “gee whiz” videos for the product that you are planning to build! Do a series of 3-minute videos: just one step per video. Focus on just one benefit. Do as many of these as you can.
The key is to identify not one single benefit but an entire series of benefits. A lot of creativity is needed for this. Show on-screen each one of the tremendous benefits, in one “gee whiz” video per benefit. Make it clear that your solution will let the viewer do this with ease.
The “gee whiz” video should go through the procedure rapidly: the faster, the better. The person should see that the procedure does enable the user to achieve the benefit. It should not be a detailed demo.
Narrate the benefit, not the procedure. The video should be well-rehearsed. It should be a screencast.
You can often do the “gee whiz” videos before you even build the actual product, by simulating it. That perfect for checking whether people want that product. This is called “testing the market response”.
“Gee whiz” videos are used in email campaigns and on landing pages. The goal of each “gee whiz” video is to sell the viewer on joining your main website. Your website provides the “easy as pie” how-to explainer videos on achieving each benefit: one benefit/one procedure.
How To Make Good “Easy as Pie” Videos
Then there must be one “easy as pie” how-to video for each “gee whiz” video. For the “easy as pie” videos, go through the procedure slowly. Narrate each single step. Tell the viewer exactly what you are doing. This must be carefully rehearsed.
Your “easy as pie” videos must do the following:
• Save the viewer time
• Flatten steep learning curves
• Re-confirm each benefit per procedure
• Narrate each step in each procedure
Identify each video by means of the benefit.
The layout must be clear. The viewer must be able to find what he wants effortlessly. Good “easy as pie” how-to videos are not easy to design.
Grammar must be perfect.
Language should be neutral: no accent.
In my own case, I consider my German accent to be allowable for my products. My voice is my trademark.
Check out my proofreading app “easy as pie” video here (it the second video from the top): https://ip-lawyer-tools.com/widgets/proof-reading/
Martin “Marketing” Schweiger