One of the great problems with technological developments is that both techno geeks and people who want to sell the technology have a vested interest. So just as the photo libraries used to tell us that a picture is worth 10,000 words in order to sell you photos, video firms tell us that we have to have a video on the home page because videos sell.
Now I am dubious about this, but as ever I like to experiment, not least because, as you may have read in the past, apart from selling the process of emailing to schools, Schools.co.uk is also involved in other areas of work which sells products and services to schools.
Because of this we have the opportunity to explore what works and what does not when it comes to direct marketing – in this case using website-based videos.
The key issue here is that most viewers who come to a website for the first time want specific information quickly. They don’t want to spend 10 minutes watching a video if they are not yet sure that they are interested in your product.
And most likely they don’t want to know about your background or the history of your company when they are simply interested in what products you have.
Thus the most effective videos related to advertising are those that show a product in use quickly and clearly or express an idea about teaching and learning with a particular product.
If the piece can last no more than two minutes and make a solid hard-hitting point, with a presenter who is interesting and experienced in broadcasting, it can work.
Thus a presenter of a video who looks and sounds professional and starts, “I am going to show you in the next 90 seconds how to cut your time marking homework in half” is likely to get views – and of course, if the product looks viable, some sales thereafter.
And that is the key. The video presenter has to look and sound professional and has to be 100% on message from the off, speak for only two minutes max, and leave the viewer with the feeling “I must do that” or “I need that” – then that can work.
There is one other use of a video that can be helpful. If in relation to your product or service you can also offer a powerful teaching tip or way of increasing grades or anything else, the chances are you will get an audience.
Then all you have to do is put up a new video each week, and make the archive of past issues available on your website.
You will attract teachers and managers who will come back to you each week – and now you have a captive audience. It can take a while to build, but it can work.
If you would like to read more ideas about selling into schools you might care to take look at our blog where we have hundreds of ideas about ways of selling and ways of improving response rates.
And if you would like to talk about how to make videos work when selling to schools please do call 01604 880 927 or email Stephen@schools.co.uk