Writing myself out of a job?!


The irony of writing a post about how fantastic video is is not lost on me.

Here I am, calling on 15 years of copywriting experience, oh-so-carefully-crafting-each-individual-sentence… all to explain that my beloved words no longer cut the mustard.

I saw a statistic in some marketing material once: “A video is worth a million words”. I was devastated. Clearly someone somewhere had done the maths, adding up all the unread Google Adwords and blog entries and social media posts and on and on – ultimately proving that all of my work, everything I’ve ever done, was less effective than a single, solitary, well-placed video.

As it turns out, I needn’t have been quite so concerned; there was no such scientific method involved.  

60 frames per second, a 20 second video… well that’s 1,200 frames right there, and everyone knows a picture is worth 1,000 words, so clearly that short video must be worth at least 1,200,000 words! 

Once I had finished laughing, and insisted that no-one could reasonably use that statistic in good faith, I realised that I was looking at what could have been the most ridiculous bit of statistical wrangling I had ever come across, but one that I shall never forget.

And that’s kind of the point – in this business, being memorable is everything.

Because words are everywhere. They fill up our inboxes, demanding that we give them and their earnest pleadings our undivided attention – that we recognise and appreciate this email, these particular words, really are saying something that will change once-and-for-all the way we do business.  

And sure, usually there’s a nice picture to look at, or even an icon or three, but in the end we all know it’s about little more than nudging you gently towards a couple of scientifically-placed Calls to Action (we went for just one at the bottom. Or did we….).

Unfortunately for us wordsmiths, videos do the same thing only much, much more impressively. They are, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say, what words only wish they could be. They’re witty, and engaging, and a whole lot easier to get through than anything that involves scrolling! They sit in our inboxes, smiling out at us, drawing us in with their clear direct human presence.

I mean, what was the last marketing email you read? I’m not sure I could tell you, and I was probably writing it at the time.

But I can tell you what the last video I watched was. I did it through my fingers, because it was dominated by my own far-from-melodious singing. Lucy had corralled the 4 of us together and somehow persuaded us that this was the best way to wish one of our clients a Happy Birthday.

The client watched it, and loved it. Because we’d clearly put some time and effort into it, and meant every cacophonous word (admittedly, it didn’t hurt that there were at least 2 canine guest appearances) – but ultimately it couldn’t have been more personal. 

And, perhaps most importantly, it wasn’t just another email.

Whether it’s introducing your sales team to new prospects, filling up that pipeline with brand-new leads, or dramatically improving your conversion rates and long-term customer relationships, there really is nothing better than a well-crafted video – you can even record them yourself, right at your desk!

But here I go again, trying to describe with words the benefits of a visual medium. It’s madness, really, when you think about it.

Because, in the end, what I’m really trying to say is… just watch the damn video.

Go on, you know you want to…

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